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Chuck Versus the Santa Suit
Season 05, Episode 07
Air Date December 23, 2011
Writer Amanda Shuman
Director Peter Lauer
Previous Chuck Versus the Curse
Next Chuck Versus the Baby
"I'm a much bigger nerd than you thought I was."

Chuck Versus the Santa Suit (originally titled Chuck Versus the Grinch) is the seventh episode on the final season of Chuck, which aired on December 23rd, 2011.


Ghosts of Christmas past returns to haunt Chuck and Sarah when old secrets and threats resurface. The couple discovers who’s behind the plot to destroy Carmichael Industries.

Meanwhile, Ellie’s plans for a perfect Christmas unravels. At the Buy More, Morgan and the gang must fend off worried customers as a computer virus ruins their Christmas.

Full Story[]

It's Christmas Eve at the Buy More and customer panic abounds because the Omen has apparently infected the world's computers. A local television reporter conducting a live newscast from the store explains the situation to the viewing audience. Big Mike interrupts, stepping in front of the camera and telling the reporter he thinks the virus is really a gag and isn't dangerous. He tells everyone not to panic and to remember the true meaning of Christmas: buying stuff. He announces there are no virus problems at Buy More. Lester then takes his own cue in front of the camera and neuters Mike's pronouncement by admitting the virus is everywhere at Buy More. In a high security penitentiary, two guards watch the live newscast from the Buy More and discuss the danger of the Omen since every cell at the prison is operated on electronic doors connected to a mainframe. With their attention focused on the television, they fail to notice one of the prison doors opening. An unseen inmate quietly gets out, then ambushes and kills the two guards. The mystery prisoner then puts on one of their uniforms and takes their weapons.


No Santa for Clara

At the Woodcomb's, Ellie is panicked because they are six hours away from a Christmas party and have yet to even put up a tree. As she scrambles to find the Christmas tree topper her father gave, Devon tells her to relax and be Zen about it. Ellie explains that Christmas was her first memory, and she wants Clara's first memory to be special. Devon asks what he needs to do in order to make her happy. Ellie asks for a real tree, lights, fake snow, and a picture of Clara on Santa's lap. He admits it's a tall order, and Ellie agrees. That's why she recruited someone to help. She picks up the phone and speed dials Sarah. Sarah picks up and tells Ellie "Project Santa" is under control, they just need to get the tree and snow.

Chuck calls Sarah from Morgan and Casey's place, and she tells him Ellie is freaking about Christmas Eve. Chuck tells her it wouldn't be Christmas without a little Bartowski drama. He says there is still no progress on finding the origins of the Omen virus. Sarah thinks whoever is behind it will slip up eventually. She promises no one will ruin their Christmas. Before signing off, she tells Chuck to tell Casey his "Mr. Pippers the Preppy Polar Bear" has arrived. Morgan gets on and says that's probably one of their favorite childhood toys but why did Casey buy one? Casey tells them he bought it on eBay for Alex because her mom told him it was something she used to play with as a kid. Casey wonders if it's a dumb idea. Chuck and Morgan think it's touching. Morgan tells Casey he thinks he's actually beginning to exhibit signs of real human emotion.

Just then, Beckman pops up on the screen and tells them she knows who is behind the Omen virus. Sarah is leaving Castle loaded with Christmas stuff when the elevator door unexpectedly opens to reveal Shaw. He says, "Merry Christmas, Sarah. Did you miss me?" Sarah immediately takes a defensive posture while Shaw initiates his Intersect, and they fight. Sarah is no match for an Intersect-enhanced Shaw, and she's pummeled into unconsciousness. She awakens to find herself bound and hanging from the ceiling. Shaw asks if she's comfy and checks the progress of the virus. He tells her it will only be a few hours before the virus fully integrates. Sarah asks why he initiated the Omen. He tells her, "Why stay in jail when I can break out, release the virus and take over the CIA" before duct taping her mouth. Sarah's phone rings and Shaw picks up, he orders Chuck to turn on the monitor. With Casey and Morgan standing behind him, Chuck turns on the monitor to see Shaw standing in front of a helpless bound and gagged Sarah.

Shaw tells Chuck the story of Krampus, the anti-Saint Nicholas of Central European folklore. Krampus visits kids on Christmas Eve, but instead of giving the bad kids a lump of coal, he makes sure they don't wake up to see Christmas morning. He orders Chuck to lock down Castle and break into Decker's CIA office to retrieve "the Macau device." He has three hours or Sarah dies. Shaw ends the transmission and asks Sarah if she's impressed. He's implicated Chuck in a massive conspiracy and has captured his girl all from an 8 x 8 prison cell. Sarah asks how he connected with Decker. He tells her during his interrogation he was able to discover all of Decker's secrets and, after a little blackmail, was able to recruit him.

Back at Casey and Morgan's, Chuck is in a quasi-catatonic state thinking about his next move while Casey and Morgan look on with concern. Chuck snaps out of it and announces he has a plan. He tells Morgan to have Jeff and Lester reverse engineer the Omen. He needs to know what will happen when it activates. He tells Casey to find alternate routes into Castle so they have options in case he can't get the Macau device. Casey reminds Chuck that breaking into the CIA alone is suicide. Chuck, Casey, and Morgan speak to Beckman. Chuck asks her what's the best way to get into the CIA. She tells him there's only one way; with her.

Shaw lowers the temperature at Castle to make sure the computers don't overheat from the virus. While talking to Sarah, Shaw records her voice. Meanwhile Jeff and Lester work on the Omen. Shaw discovers that Sarah has escaped. Casey and Sarah try to take Shaw down but fail.

Chuck and Beckman break into Decker's office but set off the alarm. Beckman kisses Chuck, when the guards arrive, to make it look like they retired to Decker's office for some private time.

The store is inundated with angry shoppers worried about the Omen. Chuck gets another call from Shaw, disguised as Sarah, telling him that Shaw has been captured by Casey and to hurry up and get to Castle. At the end of the conversation, Shaw makes the mistake of calling Chuck "dear." Chuck immediately knows it isn't really Sarah, because she never calls him that. Chuck tells Morgan about the bogus call, and Morgan reminds him that last time Shaw was around he blew up the Buy More. Chuck looks around the store and realizes it's filled with people and tells Morgan they have to do something. Morgan gets on the loudspeaker to tell everyone they should be with their families. In order to let them, he tells them they are closed for the day. Morgan makes an announcement, and the place clears. As the store empties, Ellie finds Chuck and tells him about the botched Santa photo and wonders why Sarah isn't answering her phone. Although initially reluctant to tell her about Shaw, he finally tells her everything. She tells him she wants to help, but Chuck orders her home because he has to know she's safe.

Shaw has Sarah tied up again, this time on a chair chained to the floor. Hypothermia is setting in and she's slipping in and out of consciousness. Shaw comes up to her and plants a kiss on her, repulsing Sarah who calls him a sick son of a bitch. Shaw tells her he was checking to see if there was any spark there. Sarah tries to reason with Shaw, telling him she didn't know she was killing his wife; she was a young agent only trying to do her job. Shaw ignores her.


Chuck offers to trade himself for Sarah

Back at the Buy More, Jeff and Lester are amped on endless cups of Subway coffee. They explain to Chuck and Morgan they think Omen is a hoax. In fact, the virus is only infecting government computers. But they're not sure where all that data is going. Chuck and Morgan guess it's Shaw trying to create Intersect 3.0, using all the CIA databases. With the databases wiped clean and only in Shaw's head, the agency will be forced to rely on him for intel. They'd have to reinstate him. Chuck tells Morgan he has a plan. The elevator door at Castle opens, alarming Shaw, who draws his gun. He finds the Macau device on the elevator floor. At that moment Chuck calls Shaw and tells him that now, since he has the device, he can let Sarah go, then he says the Buy More is empty, and he can come up and kill him. Before Shaw goes up to meet Chuck, he uses the Macau device to upload the Omen data into his Intersect glasses. He will now be virtually unstoppable. He slaps Sarah awake and tells her to watch the monitor because he wants her to watch as he kills Chuck. He tells Sarah because she killed his wife, she'll pay by living without Chuck.

In the locked Castle interrogation room, Casey struggles on the floor, nursing his gunshot wound. He discovers the "Mr. Pippers the Preppy Polar Bear". He realizes he can record a message on the bear for Alex to hear if he should die. He begins by apologizing for not always being there for her through the years and says he's sorry he has to say it to an electronic bear. He then realizes he can probably cannibalize the electronics of the bear to try and disengage the door and get out. He gets to work taking Mr. Pippers apart. Shaw goes upstairs and enters the Buy More, walking past a hidden Morgan who sneaks into the elevator and goes downstairs to get Sarah. Once in the store, Chuck reveals himself, and tells him if he wants to shoot him now, he can, but he doesn't think that's what he has in mind. Shaw confirms Chuck's assumptions and puts his gun down. He then puts the Intersect glasses on, assuming he will download the Intersect 3.0. After he's done, he tells Chuck he's been thinking about this moment for a long time. With that, Shaw flashes, but it's a bunch of cartoons and senseless images, covered by the red static of the Omen virus. Instead of being able to attack Chuck, Chuck punches him in the face. Shaw realizes Chuck put the Omen on the Macau device, and he's actually just uploaded the virus into his brain. Chuck explains that Shaw just removed the Intersect by destroying it, and he will never flash again.

Without the Intersect, they're evenly matched. While Shaw and Chuck battle upstairs, Morgan arrives in Castle to see Sarah nearly frozen. He tries to wake her up but gets no response. Casey manages to rewire the door using the talking bear parts and escapes. Morgan tries to pick her up, but she is chained to the chair and the chair is locked to the ground. Just then Casey emerges and shoots the lock, freeing her from the frozen chair. They both grab Sarah and carry her away. Upstairs, Chuck is beating Shaw, but Shaw manages to grab the gun. He points the gun at Chuck and tells him, "You're good Chuck, but you're not lucky" and when he's about to fire, Ellie clobbers him on the head with an appliance and knocks him out. She never left the store.


Christmas at the Bartowskis

The whole team, including Beckman, reconvene at the Buy More to watch a newscast about the Omen and how it's no longer a threat due to a private security team, who wished to remain anonymous. Beckman tells the team they all have an open invitation to rejoin the CIA. She wishes everyone a nice holiday. Before she leaves, Sarah asks Beckman if she has somewhere to go for the holiday and invites her to Ellie's party. Ellie reminds everyone that her party is now a bust. Chuck asks Beckman if she'd consider helping to make the party happen after all. She's reluctant, citing "taxpayer dollars" but succumbs to the holiday spirit.

Back at the Woodcomb's, Ellie is getting everything she wished for: a Christmas tree, Santa, fake snow and family. Chuck tells Ellie he knows without their mom and dad it can never be a perfect Christmas, but she'll always have him around. She admits it felt pretty good taking down Shaw. She thinks their dad would be proud. Casey gives Alex the "Mr. Pippers the Preppy Polar Bear" and tells her she probably shouldn't listen to the recording because things got pretty grim.

Casey goes on to say he should just tell her things in person. He tells her he loves her, which makes her happy as she returns the sentiment. Casey says the bear won't make up for all the lost holidays, but Alex disagrees and thinks it's perfect. Casey then tells her she should reconsider Morgan because he's not such a bad guy. Sarah thanks Chuck and tells him when she was captive Shaw kissed her. Chuck tells her that he had to kiss Beckman. Beckman then asks Chuck for a private word with Sarah; she tells Sarah that Shaw has asked her to visit him in prison but thinks Sarah shouldn't go. Sarah goes anyway and Shaw tells her that, in Hungary, he set something in motion she can't do anything about. He asks her, "Does Chuck know about the baby?"

Guest stars[]


  • Stan Lee (as himself) appears as a CIA agent, which Beckman disparagingly refers to as one of the "Los Angeles spies".
  • While fighting Shaw, Chuck declares "never underestimate the power of the nerd herd", a reference to the Star Wars line "never underestimate the power of the force".
  • Shaw mentions the line "I could practically catch a bullet with my teeth", referencing Brandon Routh's portrayal of Superman.
  • At the beginning of the episode, Shaw is being held at "Clarksville Penitentiary", another reference to Superman (Clark + Smallville).
  • Team Bartowski wishing to remain anonymous after taking down the Omen virus, especially during a Christmas episode, is a "feel-good" plot point. Normally, from a business standpoint, they would have taken credit in order to drum up business for their company.


Chuck: My wife has been kidnapped and I'm officially ruining Christmas for the children of Burbank.


[Lester and Jeff talking exceedingly fast, due to a caffeine high]
Lester: We believe this whole Omen virus, end of the world apocalyptic thingy-- it's a hoax-- literally a hoax.
Jeff: The virus is hypothetically designed to suck information out of a whole set of computers and move information to a single location.
Lester: But it's not doing that. It's absolutely not doing that.
Jeff: Or it's not doing that with our computers. It looks like this virus is targeting government computers.
Lester: I think it's a real-life conspiracy.
Jeff: Problem is no one computer can hold all that information.


Chuck: Are you sure I'm her type?
General Beckman: You have a pulse and you're wearing a Santa suit.
[Chuck looks disturbed]


  • Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas - The Platters
  • Silent Night - the Washington National Cathedral Choir
  • White Nights - The Golden Filter
  • Love Can Drive Your Mind Wild - The Kickdrums