Chuck Versus the Sandworm
Season 01, Episode 06
Air Date October 29, 2007
Writer Phil Klemmer
Director Robert Duncan McNeill
Previous "Chuck Versus the Sizzling Shrimp"
Next "Chuck Versus the Alma Mater"

Chuck Versus the Sandworm is the sixth episode of season one, which first aired on October 29, 2007. This episode is a Halloween special.

Synopsis Edit

Chuck encounters CIA runaway analyst Laszlo Mahnovski, who tells him not to trust his government handlers; Sarah and Casey.

Meanwhile, Morgan tries to become mature as a frustrated Chuck loses his temper with him.

Full Plot Edit

Main Story Edit

As the episode begins, a secret bunker out in the desert explodes and a disheveled young man fights his way past an armed agent to escape. In Burbank, Chuck is approached by Big Mike regarding the pending interviews for the store's Assistant Manager position, and Mike warns him Morgan is a liability to him. Morgan is supposed to be working a double-shift, so Chuck is asked to track him down. He finds him playing video games out at an Playland Arcade amusement park, where he flashes on Morgan's opponent: the young man from the opening, who Chuck identifies as Laszlo Mahnovski. Chuck tries warning Morgan that his opponent is dangerous but his friend doesn't take him seriously. Laszlo recognizes Chuck's watch and discontinues playing. He confronts Chuck, demanding to know if there are other agents waiting for him and reveals that it was he who designed that watch. Lazlo then runs away as Morgan attempts to hassle him for a bet he made with him.

Chuck checks in with Sarah, and she confirms they're looking into the situation and gives him a picture of them cosplaying as Han Solo and Princess Leia at Comic Con, which Chuck laments makes them almost look like a real couple. The next morning Casey angrily confronts Chuck about not being contacted. During a briefing, Beckman confirms that Laszlo is a government technology wizard who recently killed and escaped from the team handling him, and is believed to be highly dangerous. Laszlo tracks Chuck to the Buy More and claims he was framed. Laszlo's situation mirrors Chuck's own, so he begins to trust the rogue asset and takes him to get something to eat. Laszlo reveals he was recruited at the pier where Chuck first identified him, and that he was responsible for any technology the government needed, including Chuck's watch. Laszlo is so sheltered he doesn't even understand the reference Chuck makes to him being like Q. Laszlo then warns him he shouldn't even trust his own handlers.


Chuck returns home to find that, as Laszlo predicted his home has been bugged, even the picture Sarah gave him. Chuck angrily confronts Casey, who acknowledges the bugs are there for Chuck's protection; also, he shows Chuck the recording he made of how he and Morgan were chatting for four hours on what sandwich they would eat if stranded on a desert island. When Casey asks how he knew, Chuck admits to having spoken with Laszlo. Chuck returns home again to find Laszlo in his room, and despite Chuck's continued protests that his handlers can help, the rogue doesn't believe him. He states that if the government had gone as far as framing him for murder. He asks for a place to hide for just one night. Chuck agrees to hide Laszlo at the Buy More, where they watch A View to a Kill, as Laszlo has never seen a Bond movie; also, Laszlo smashes Chuck's watch and instructs him to turn off his phone so that his handler can't track him. At the end of the movie, Laszlo interprets Max Zorin as the real hero, as he relates to his being the subject of government experimentation. He then reveals that he designed the Home Theater room and that it's capable of tapping into military computers. Laszlo upgrades a nuclear-armed B-2 bomber to active status and sends it to bomb San Francisco, but relents when Chuck suggests he might enjoy Goldfinger.

Meanwhile, Sarah is contacted by Agent Ben Katz, Laszlo's chief handler, who warns her that Laszlo is psychotically dangerous and may be building a bomb. She leaves Chuck a voicemail warning him to get to his car and stay there. Chuck complies after checking his mail, mostly composed of threatening messages from Casey, when Laszlo's instability was revealed and he ran to get a copy of Goldfinger to distract him, but Laszlo is already there and takes control of the Herder. After a short chase with Casey he ejects Chuck from the vehicle. At home, Chuck apologizes to Sarah for not trusting them. She sees he threw away the fake picture of them together.

The Herder's tracking device reactivates, but when Sarah and Casey track it down they discover that Laszlo had removed it and thrown in onto another vehicle. Chuck flashes on a drawing Laszlo gave him and realizes that he intends to blow up the pier. Chuck arrives in time for Laszlo to activate the Herder's amplified self-destruct device and begins to taunt Chuck on which wire to cut. When Laszlo makes a reference to Goldfinger--a film Laszlo claimed to have never seen--Chuck realizes the asset had been lying to him all along, so ignores Laszlo's suggestion to cut the red wire, and does the green instead. The bomb is disarmed, and Laszlo is taken into custody.

Buy More and Family Edit

Mystery Crisper

Morgan's behavior at the Buy More is becoming a serious problem. His antics include a game called the "Mystery Crisper," an employee game where someone eats spoiled leftovers from the break room fridge's vegetable crisper while the rest of the team bets on if the challenger will eat it, which Morgan universally wins. When Morgan risks a sexual harassment suit by showing two teenagers a girl's "whale tail" using a camcorder hooked to the video wall, Chuck angrily warns him he needs to grow up.

A dejected Morgan talks with Awesome, who discusses the finer points of "being a man," including getting Morgan to tuck in his shirt and neaten up his hair. However when Morgan goes to work the next day in a pressed shirt, tie and sweater-vest with slicked hair, it is Halloween and everyone assumes he is in a costume. Morgan rebuffs Chuck when he tries to apologize for chewing him out the day before. Chuck leaves the store when he flashes on Laszlo's plans, even though he is scheduled to be interviewing for the assistant manager's position that day. Morgan decides to intervene on Chuck's behalf and interview with the HR manager, Mr. Mercer, for him, although the job is given to Harry Tang. That night at their Halloween party Chuck returns home from the mission and he apologizes again, and insists Morgan take the "head" of their popular Sandworm costume.

At the party, Sarah arrives dressed in a Princess Leia slave bikini costume to talk with Chuck. She wants Chuck to have something of them that's real, so she takes a picture of them both together. When Morgan asked Chuck what were they doing, Chuck purposely talks about roast beef to irritate Casey who listens in.

References Edit

  • Sarah's costume is based on the slave girl outfit Princess Leia wore when she was captured by Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi (1983).
  • The costume worn by Chuck Bartowski and Morgan Grimes is based on the sandworms of Arrakis featured in David Lynch's Dune (1984).
  • The end credits of A View to a Kill featured in this episode are not the real end credits to the film. Instead of footage of the Golden Gate Bridge and Duran Duran's title song playing as the credits roll, a black screen with standard rolling credits accompanied by generic spy music is featured.
  • When Chuck cuts the wire on the Herder's self-destruct, the timer stops at 7 seconds. This echoes the scene in Goldfinger when Bond disarms a bomb set to explode inside Fort Knox, which also stops at 7 seconds. However the Herder's timer has an extra digit, making the time read 00:07 rather than 0:07 (Double-Oh 7). The film Goldfinger was discussed on several occasions leading up to this scene.
  • The end scene when Chuck runs back home in slow-motion while Finlay Quaye's song "Dice" plays, is a copy of the end sequence from The O.C. episode "The Countdown." The O.C. was the debut series of Chuck producer Josh Schwartz.
  • After Sarah gives Chuck a photo of them together at Comic-Con, Chuck mentions that they never actually went to Comic-Con together. However Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski actually attended San Diego Comic Con International in July 2007 as part of the promotion for the show.
  • Casey's "What's he gonna do? Hurt me with his mind?" is a nod towards the TV series "Firefly" which Baldwin appeared on. His character was told by Summer Glau's River Tam, "I can kill you with my brain".
  • This is the first of several situations in which we meet 'Chuckalikes'.
  • At the Buy More, the corporate rep says "Hey you in the Gordon Gecko costume." This is a reference to the movie Wall Street.
  • At the Buy More, Tang says "I will not be ignored." This is a quote from the movie Fatal Attraction.
  • In this episode we learn that Tang's full name is Harry Tiberius Tang. Tiberius is the middle name of Captain James T. Kirk from the original Star Trek.
  • At the coffee shop, Lazlo says: "Would you like to play a nice game of Thermonuclear War?" This is a reference to the movie War Games.


Casey: You! What do I have to do to get timely intel out of you, Bartowski?
Chuck: Look, I briefed Sarah last night alright?
Casey: [sarcastically] Oh, I bet you did, slugger.
Chuck: I thought we're all suppose to be part of the same team here, huh, Team Chuck?
Casey: We are, but I'm starting to feel like the guy that always gets picked last, and I don't like feeling like Team Chuck's little fat kid!

Music Edit

  • “All Right Now” by Bad Company
  • “The Weights of the World” by The Editors
  • “Dice” by Finley Quaye
  • “It Takes Two” by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock