Do we have a situation?
After learning that Sarah Walker's Red Test had actually targeted Evelyn Shaw, he turned rogue, becoming a Ring Agent intent on bringing down the CIA, who had ordered the hit. His actions ultimately made him the nemesis of Chuck Bartowski. He served as the primary antagonist of Season 3, and the secondary antagonist of Season 5.
He is portrayed by Brandon Routh.
Daniel Shaw and his wife, Evelyn Shaw, were assigned to gather intelligence on the Ring roughly five years prior to Chuck Versus Operation Awesome. Shaw admitted he always tried to protect her, and he believes this is what led to her being killed in the line of duty.
It is mentioned in Chuck Versus the Other Guy that Shaw previously taught at United States Military Academy at West Point.
Shaw first appears at the end of Chuck Versus the Three Words, after Team Bartowski recovers an unidentified circular case from an arms dealer with the help of DEA agent, Carina Miller. Though General Beckman turns away any questions from the team regarding its contents, she is seen pleading with Shaw to tell the team what he knows, on the grounds that they need to be "prepared". His face is not seen, only that he is sitting on Beckman's desk fidgeting with his lighter.
In Chuck Versus Operation Awesome, Ring Operative Sydney Prince, believing Devon Woodcomb is a CIA operative after being identified as such by Jack Artman after the events of Chuck Versus the Angel of Death, moved in on him, and in an effort at a hostile recruitment, ordered him to execute Shaw. Devon, with Chuck helping him, found Shaw in an office of the 12th floor of an unidentified building. Shaw and the CIA knew the Ring was targeting him, and so they set the entire confrontation up, and faked his death - upon his arrival, Shaw insisted Chuck shoot him. After Chuck's refusal, he took a pill, gave Chuck an envelope to open after the Ring agent left, and shot himself in the shoulder. After White is convinced of his death, and leaves, Chuck opens the note to discover the pill Shaw took stopped his heart temporarily. The letter explained all this and concluded, "Save me". Devon was then able to save him.
After returning to Castle, he is revealed to be a CIA Special Agent and an expert on the Ring. He had also been briefed on Chuck's status as the Intersect before being put in charge of Team Bartowski. He clashes personalities with Colonel Casey and Agent Walker and with Chuck when he seems ruthlessly willing to put Devon in danger, but he also shows faith in Chuck's potential to become a real a spy, calling Sarah and Casey a hindrance to the evolution with their over protectiveness.
In Chuck Versus First Class, Shaw sends Chuck on his first solo mission, placing him on a first-class flight to Paris. He is confident in Chuck and convinced, despite the protests of Walker and Casey, that Chuck will succeed. Shaw doesn't tell Chuck, however, that his mission is actually on the plane in the form of Ring Operative Hugo Panzer. After Chuck manages to complete his mission - detain Panzer and acquire the digital key he'd been transporting - he discovers that one of the flight attendants - another Ring Operative, had poisoned him. While Chuck tries to get the antidote from Serena, Shaw hijacks the plane via satellite controls from Castle and gives the controls to Sarah. Her purposely unstable flying not only buys Chuck time to get the antidote, but also knocks Panzer and Serena unconscious. Shaw is shown to have known and studied many Ring operatives beforehand as he can identify Serena just by her voice and knew her poison of choice.
At the end of the episode, Shaw uses the digital key Chuck acquired to open the mysterious gold case. Its contents are revealed to be discs containing the intel he and Evelyn Shaw had gathered on the Ring. The case also contained Eve's wedding ring, which Shaw shows to Sarah as he tells her how he lost his wife. He also takes this moment to express his concerns that Sarah's protective nature towards Chuck could cause her to lose him in the same way.
At the beginning of Chuck Versus the Mask, Shaw attempts to steal The Mask of Alexander from a museum, until the security kicks in and seals him in an airtight room. The curator, unaware that the display room is sealing up because of the alarm being triggered, calls the Nerd Herd for help. Chuck and Hannah manage to reboot the system, thus saving Shaw from suffocating. After the team returns to base, Shaw explains to Chuck that the Ring is smuggling an unknown weapon by means of the mask, and that their mission is to steal it before their operatives do.
Shaw and Sarah infiltrate the opening ceremony of the mask's display while Chuck monitors from the security room, all the while keeping Hannah in the dark about the mission. Unfortunately, when Chuck identifies one of the Ring Operatives present as Nicos Vassilis, an agent who would surely recognize Shaw, at sometime during his field work against the Ring, Shaw had burned Vassilis, leaving a scar on his face. He realizes his presence could jeopardize the mission, and Chuck fills his role. In the end, Chuck is able to swap the mask with a fake. Team Bartowski then takes the mask back to Castle where Shaw begins tampering with it to find the weapon. But when the weapon turns out to be a nerve gas called cyclosarin, he and Sarah are contaminated by the gas and quarantined, dying, inside the main room of Castle.
In order to get the antidote from Vassilis, Chuck takes another fake mask to the museum, where Hannah is being held hostage, in exchange for Hannah's release. Chuck threatens to release the gas, in reality a smoke grenade Casey had supplied, should he not cooperate. Chuck managed to fool Vassilis by breaking the mask and setting off the smoke grenade inside. He then finds the antidote in one of the vases, and Shaw, meanwhile, once the contaminant had been contained, carried Sarah to the museum just in time for Casey to arrive with the antidote. Unfortunately, Vassilis managed to get a good look at Shaw before escaping, so knows that Shaw is alive. After the mission, Shaw explains to Chuck that his performance suggests he should be moving out on his own soon, as the Intersect was originally designed to allow agents to operate autonomously and that he, Sarah, and Casey are merely "training wheels".
Throughout this episode, Shaw flirted with Sarah. At first, she rebuffed him harshly, but she softens toward him by the end of the episode. In Chuck Versus the Fake Name, Sarah is visibly upset about the perceived changes in Chuck's personality, and she goes to Shaw in his hotel room to discuss it. Shaw comforts her, and they kiss. This begins a romantic relationship between Sarah and Shaw that Chuck finds very difficult to observe.
In Chuck Versus the Final Exam, Shaw orders chuck to execute a rogue CIA agent, Hunter Perry. Sarah give him the mission and leaves the decision to Chuck who is horrified at the idea. When he realizes that to kill the agent made him no better than those he fought against, he tried to take him in. When Perry ran, and Chuck was faced with shooting him, Casey took the shot, knowing that Chuck was not a killer. Shaw, however, was told Chuck completed his Red Test successfully.
In Chuck Versus the American Hero, Chuck tries to win Sarah back, with the help of Morgan, Casey, and Devon. As Sarah joins Shaw for a romantic dinner, Morgan lures Shaw into leaving the restaurant with a disguised-voice phone call, posing as a Ring agent, so that Chuck can move in and sit down with Sarah to plead his case. Shaw, however, uses a tracer to see who is calling him and recognizes Morgan. Two real Ring operatives, who had been tailing Shaw, then move in. After using Morgan as a human shield to block a taser, and defeating the Ring agents in a fist fight, Shaw runs back to the restaurant. He is stopped at gunpoint outside the restaurant by another Ring operative who informs him that the Ring Director wants to meet with him. There, he is tackled by Captain Awesome and knocked through the restaurant's glass window onto the table where Chuck and Sarah are sitting.
Shaw agrees to meet with the Director, so he can act as a target for an air strike on the ring director. He swallows a tracking device and drives to the predetermined meeting spot. Unfortunately, he is scanned and the tracking device is found and forcefully removed from his body, before he is driven to the Ring's compound. He then has his meeting with the Director, who reveals that Sarah was the one who killed his wife for her Red Test. An infuriated Shaw attempts to attack the Director, before discovering that he is actually a hologram. He is then tasered and left unconscious. He is saved by Chuck, who located the site thanks to Jeff and Lester, who had been stalking Shaw. Chuck carries Shaw to safety, even as the site is destroyed behind him, and takes the unconscious Shaw to the hospital.
Back again at Castle, with Shaw in the hospital, Chuck declares his love for Sarah and asks her to run away with him to Mexico. But, at the end of the episode, Shaw appears at Sarah's apartment, unknowingly interrupting her departure to meet Chuck, and tells her that she has to accompany him on a mission to apprehend the Director.
In Chuck Versus the Other Guy, Chuck fears that since Shaw found out that Sarah had killed his wife, Shaw would be seek revenge, Shaw had taken Sarah to a suspected Ring facility. After Sarah lost visual on him, she activated her distress beacon, and Chuck organized a massive task force to rescue her. Before the task force arrives, Shaw reveals to her that he knew that she killed Eve for her red test but says she was not at fault. This is when Chuck and his task force arrive and Chuck orders everyone to stand down. Later at the Castle, Shaw tells General Beckman that Chuck's unauthorized actions were prudent given the circumstances, sparing Chuck from severe repercussions. Chuck, however, was concerned, saying, "The guy's got to be an emotional train wreck right now. Nobody can control their feelings that well." But Beckman insisted Shaw was a true professional.
Chuck, Shaw, and Sarah then went on a mission to a Ring facility where the Director had been pinpointed. After Chuck and Sarah rappelled down the Director's private elevator's shaft, Shaw was attacked by several Ring operatives and managed to defeat them before making his way to the elevator. After Chuck and Sarah had apprehended the Director, and after the Director reveals that they have been working on their own Intersect, they force him to call his assistant to bring the Cipher to them in the elevator. Chuck and Sarah are eventually cornered by three Ring operatives and the assistant that enters the elevator from successive elevator stops. But Shaw is on the floor with the open elevator. He shoots the agents, as well as the custodian, and the Director's assistant. He then steps into the elevator and asks Chuck and Sarah to leave the facility with the Cipher. Once the elevator doors are closed, Shaw is heard to shoot the Director.
Back at Castle, General Beckman debriefs the team and reveals that the Ring's Intersect designs had numerous flaws, noting that she has sent them a report detailing the errors. Shaw notices that the parts for the Cipher were manufactured in France, and Beckman orders Shaw and Sarah to Paris to investigate. Chuck, with Morgan's help, is reviewing the surveillance footage from the Ring facility, and it' is discovered Shaw's fight with the Ring operatives in the elevator control room was staged. Chuck admits to Morgan that he and Sarah did not confirm any of the kills on the Ring operatives in the elevator. It is now clear that Shaw has been deceiving them, that he has turned to the Ring and that Sarah is in danger.
In Paris, Shaw led Sarah to the place where she had killed Evelyn. She then realizes that this is a trap, but Shaw had drugged her so that she no longer has control of her limbs. Shaw asks Sarah how she thought he would be all right with her having killed his wife. He intends to kill her to send a message to the CIA. He takes her to a cafe where he meets with the Director and other Ring operatives and gives the Director the NSA's report detailing the flaws in the Ring's Intersect.
Chuck then arrives and tries to stop Shaw and rescue Sarah, but despite the Intersect's combat skills, his emotions are in play and Shaw is able to overpower him, since Chuck can't quite see him yet as the enemy. Shaw then tells Chuck that he has not identified him as the Intersect to the Ring, and will not hurt him, provided he does not interfere with his plan and does not follow him. Chuck can't leave it at that and finds one of their guns on the ground and follows Shaw and Sarah onto a bridge over the Seine.
As Shaw is about to throw the semi-conscious Sarah into the river, Chuck pulls the gun on him. There is a brief standoff, where Chuck tries to convince Shaw that what he is doing is not really him. As Shaw is about to shoot him, sure that Chuck would be able to return fire because of his history, Chuck pulls the trigger, and shoots Shaw three times in the chest before he can fire his weapon. Shaw falls, he attempts to pull Sarah into the Seine with him, but she is grabbed by Chuck, who keeps her safe. Shaw cannot hang on any longer, and he falls into the river.
Resurrection and Revenge
Daniel Shaw is confirmed to be alive at the end of the episode Chuck Versus the Living Dead, where he is seen uploading the Ring's Intersect into himself, making himself into a second Human Intersect. In Chuck Versus the Subway, Shaw returns to the CIA, in the middle of a hearing with General Beckman regarding whether to continue or cease Operation Bartowski. He claims that he was a double agent inside the Ring. He presents Dr. Leo Dreyfus' diagnosis about the Intersect's potential to overwhelm Chuck's mind as a way to publicly discredit Chuck's claims that Shaw has been turned by the Ring. Beckman tries to counter Shaw's statements by presenting evidence of the various successes the operation has achieved by showing several reports of the many operatives of hostile organizations they had captured starting with the report of Fulcrum agent, Alexis White.
Shaw flashes on the name of 'Alexis White', and Chuck noticed. He tries to prove that Shaw is a human Intersect by throwing a knife at him, the same way his father did to him, an episode earlier, knowing Chuck would catch the knife. Instead, Shaw allowed the knife to hit, as a result, Chuck was thrown in a cell with the rest of his team and Beckman.
Stephen Bartowski was able to free his son, and urged him to run. Shaw, meanwhile, hoped to use Sarah and Casey as bait to lure Chuck back into the CIA building. Instead, Chuck and Stephen broke into the real Ring base where they developed the Ring Intersect, discovering that Dr. Martin Kowambe's research in Chuck Versus the Tooth was used to rescue and restore Shaw.
Shaw intercepted the Bartowskis and steals Chuck's Governor. After noting that Chuck would be unable to flash if his emotions got in the way, he summarily and coldly murders Stephen on the spot in order to compromise Chuck's emotional equilibrium. Shaw then rounds up Team Bartowski and after transporting them in a prisoner transfer vehicle, tells them he is going to kill them. They escape, however, when Morgan and Devon fire a missile at the van holding them.
In Chuck Versus the Ring: Part 2, an imprisoned Beckman informs Team Bartowski that Shaw had taken her place at the Joint Security Summit, a secret convention of spies, where the Ring intends to take over the CIA and NSA in a coup. Chuck is able to trick Shaw into signalling the his superiors to leave the summit, and manages to identify them for capture as they attempt to leave. He also tricked him into confessing his allegiance to the Ring and to the murder of his father in front of the entire convention, thanks to Chuck's video conferencing set up. Shaw escapes after being compromised, but is later spotted at the Buy More by Morgan whom he holds hostage as he plants bombs around the store.
He uses Morgan's cell phone to call Sarah, demanding that Chuck come to him. Jeff and Lester pull a fire alarm for an unrelated reason, evacuating the store. While Shaw is holding Sarah, Chuck, who is barely able to function, shows up and fights Shaw using the Intersect despite its deleterious effect. Chuck falters due to the malfunctioning Intersect, and Shaw is able to overpower him and knock him senseless. While semi-conscious, Chuck revisits a memory from when he was a child when he downloaded a prototype Intersect, and manages to reboot his brain. Chuck then gets back up and proceeds to beat Shaw before getting him in a strangle hold, but Chuck ultimately spares his life. Shaw claims that Chuck's unwillingness to take a life makes him weak. He is hit in the back of the head by Sarah who tells Chuck it's what makes him great. Sarah then grabs the Governor and gives it back to Chuck.
Shaw is taken into CIA custody.
Shaw returns and takes over Castle in the final season's Chuck Versus the Santa Suit. It is revealed that Shaw was the one behind the plan to release the Omen Virus, then discredit and kill Chuck. He had flashed on Decker and knew all his dirty secrets. After some blackmail, Decker and his team began to work for Shaw. When the Omen Virus is released, Shaw breaks out of prison and takes over Castle, chaining Sarah to a chair and informing her she gets to watch his ultimate revenge; "I'm going let you live. I want you to watch while I kill your husband. You killed my wife, now you're going to suffer, just like I did. You're going to spend the rest of your life without Chuck."
The Omen Virus was a key component in Shaw's plan to gather all of the CIA and NSA's intelligence and to upload it into his brain, granting him what he called the Intersect 3.0. With this, he planned to again attempt a take over of the CIA and NSA.
After receiving the Omen from Chuck, and connecting it to a pair of Intersect Glasses he goes to the Buy More, preparing to kill Chuck. When the Intersect free Chuck tells him he has been training, Shaw taunts him by saying that, while Chuck has been doing some push-ups and hitting the heavy bag, he himself has been working to update the Intersect. He then proceeds to upload the Intersect 3.0 by putting on the glasses. The update only takes a second. Shaw moves on to flash on martial arts skill to attack Chuck, but is thwarted again by Chuck who had reconfigured the Omen Virus to erase Shaw's Ring Intersect upon uploading it into his brain. Chuck and Shaw then proceed in hand to hand combat, neither one aided by the Intersect. As Chuck gains the upper hand, Shaw is knocked onto the floor and recovers his gun. But before he can take a shot, Ellie knocks him out, "That man took our father away from us, Chuck. I wasn't going to let him take anybody else."
Shaw is then named a terrorist and blamed publicly for the release of the Omen virus and is committed to solitary confinement for the rest of his life. He requests a meeting with Sarah, however, and, against Beckman's advice, she meets him. Shaw then reveals to her that he has sent her former handler Kieran Ryker after her adopted sister, Molly, whom she rescued as an orphaned baby to prevent her fortune from being exploited. "I'll be locked in solitary the rest of my life. But one thing's going to keep me warm at night. Little something I put into motion that you'll never be able to stop. Do you remember Hungary? Does Chuck know about the baby?" He is proved wrong, however, and his final plot against the Bartowskis fails as well.
- Daniel Shaw is noted for being the first and only person Chuck has actually attempted to kill; once after Shaw tried to kill Sarah in Paris, and once after their battle in the Season 3 finale, though in that case, Chuck deliberately chose not to kill him.
- Despite their differences, Shaw and Chuck share many similarities, making him the suitable rival for Chuck:
- They are both talented at thinking of plans which rarely fail, though Chuck regularly outsmarts him when they go head-to-head.
- They are both skilled fighters. Chuck was not as good as Shaw during their first fight in the Paris Cafe, but he beats him in their fight in Chuck Versus the Ring: Part 2 and fights him to a draw in Chuck Versus the Push Mix.
- Both dislike using guns, though Shaw is more willing to use them.
- Both are turned into a human intersect at some point, but lose it later.
- The character is vaguely similar to that of Devon Woodcomb's original concept, as the latter was meant to be revealed as an enemy spy at the end of Season One but was kept as a civilian and a main character due to his popularity with fans who loved him. The fan base had expressed a dislike for Shaw, however, for being a blockade to a "Chuck and Sarah" relationship.
- He is the main antagonist of Season 3 and the first-half of Season 5.
- At one point, Chuck refers to Shaw's physique as 'Superman-y'. This is a reference to actor Brandon Routh's role as Superman in the 2006 film Superman Returns.
- It is interesting, in Chuck Versus the Other Guy, how easily Shaw leaves Sarah to sacrifice himself to bring down The Ring. Though he consistently works to connect with Sarah, he is clearly not in love with her. Shaw's love is his first wife, and he is obsessed with avenging her death.When Shaw tells Sarah that their romantic dinner date is something they should have done a long time ago; this casts some doubt on their previous assumed romantic activities in Washington, as described in Chuck Versus the Living Dead.
Anna Wu • Alex McHugh • Alexei Volkoff • Bryce Larkin • Carina Miller • Clara Woodcomb • Clyde Decker • Daniel Shaw • Diane Beckman • Emmett Milbarge • Gertrude Verbanski • Hannah • Harry Tang • Jane Bentley • Jill Roberts • Langston Graham • Mary Bartowski • Nicholas Quinn • Stephen Bartowski • Vivian Volkoff