Do we have a situation?
Daniel Shaw was a decorated CIA whose mysterious existence was first hinted at in Chuck Versus the Three Words, but he did not actually appear in the series until Chuck Versus Operation Awesome. He is termed a super spy, a complete professional, and a man in total control. As such, he is the man in charge of bringing down the Ring, and is the Agency's expert of the shadowy organization. It is eventually revealed that his determination stems from the fact The Ring had his wife, fellow agent Evelyn Shaw, assassinated.
By Chuck Versus the American Hero he is told that the CIA had ordered the termination, and it was carried out by agent Sarah Walker, for whom he had begun to develop feelings.
He is portrayed by Brandon Routh.
It is mentioned in Chuck Versus the Other Guy that Shaw once taught at United States Military Academy at West Point.
After joining the CIA, Shaw and his wife were assigned to gather intelligence on the Ring. Some five years prior to Chuck Versus Operation Awesome Evelyn Shaw was killed in the field. Shaw admits he always tried to protect her, and he believes this is in part, what led to her death.
Place in the Series
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 pointed out by Jack Artman after the events of Chuck Versus the Angel of Death, moved in on him. In an effort at a hostile recruitment, she ordered him to assassinate Shaw. Devon, with Chuck's help, 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. Upon his arrival, Shaw insisted Chuck shoot him. Chuck refused, saying he hates guns. Shaw then took a pill, gave Chuck an envelope to open after the Ring agent left, and shot himself in the shoulder. After checks Shaw's body, and is convinced of his death, she leaves, and Chuck opens the note which explains the pill Shaw took stopped his heart temporarily, and concluded, "Save me." Devon was then able to revive him.
After returning to Castle, he is introduced as a CIA Special Agent and an expert on the Ring. He had also been briefed on Chuck's status as the Intersect, and was put in charge of Team Bartowski. He clashes 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 because of 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 her, 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 seems to have encyclopedic knowledge of Ring operatives, as he can identify Serena just by her voice, and knew her poison of choice. With the mission successful, 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 had gathered on the Ring. The case also contained Eve's wedding ring. He shows Sarah the ring and tells her how he lost his wife. He wonders if Sarah's protectiveness toward Chuck could cause her to lose him in the same way.
In 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. They call Chuck for help and he arrives in Nerd Herd guise to deal with the security system. 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 Ring operatives do.
Shaw and Sarah infiltrate the opening for the mask, while Chuck monitors from the security room, all the while keeping Hannah in the dark about the mission. Unfortunately, Chuck identifies one of the Ring Operatives present as Nicos Vassilis, an agent who would surely recognize Shaw. Shaw had once burned Vassilis, leaving a scar on his face. He realizes this, and removes himself. In the end, it is Chuck who is able to swap the mask with a fake. Team Bartowski then takes the mask back to Castle.
Upon investigation, Shaw inadvertently releases a caniter hidden in the display base. The canister then disperses a nerve gas called cyclosarin, Castle immediately locks down the contaminate, but he and Sarah are exposed and quarantined until Castle can neutralize the toxin. They are dying, and must receive the antidote, “there's a counter agent that can be taken up to 30 minutes after exposure.”
In order to get the antidote from Vassilis, he threatens to release the gas, in reality a smoke grenade Casey had supplied, should he not cooperate. Chuck managed to fool Vassilis by setting off the smoke grenade. Vassilis says the counter agent is in one of the vases. Shaw, meanwhile, once the contaminant had been contained, and the lockdown lifted, carries Sarah to the museum. He is just in time for Casey to administer the antidote.
Unfortunately, Vassilis managed to get a look at Shaw before escaping, so knows that Shaw is alive.
In the aftermath, 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 sharply, but she softens toward him by the end of the episode, and although Chuck is still not happy with the altered dynamic, “all I know is the guy carried you out of Castle on his back while you were both dying. So, if I have to see you with someone else it might as well be a hero, right?” Sarah admits she has a type.
In Chuck Versus the Fake Name, Sarah tells Shaw that she doesn't want to again mix her personal and private life, and talks to Shaw how calls it a “preemptive breakup.” She later is visibly upset about the perceived changes in Chuck as he becomes more professional, and her own feelings about herself, and goes to see Shaw at his hotel to discuss it. Shaw listens, but uses the opportunity to advance his own agenda, “Well, if this is you, I like you. I want more....I'm going to kiss you now...”
In Chuck Versus the Final Exam, Shaw orders Chuck to execute a rogue CIA agent, Hunter Perry. Sarah gives him the mission and leaves the decision to Chuck, who is horrified at the idea. When he realizes that to kill the agent would make him no better than those he fought against, he tries to take him in. When Perry runs, and Chuck was faced with shooting him, Casey took the shot, knowing that Chuck was not a killer. Sarah, who was observing, could not see Casey only Chuck with a drawn weapon, so Shaw 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 phone call, posing as a Ring agent, so that Chuck can move in and plead his case with Sarah. 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 Devon and knocked through the restaurant's 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, 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 during her Red Test. An infuriated Shaw attempts to attack the Director, before discovering that he is only 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 at Castle, with Shaw in the hospital, Chuck declares his love for Sarah and asks her to run away to Mexico with him. But, as she is packing, Shaw appears at Sarah's apartment, and tells her that she has to accompany him on a mission.
In Chuck Versus the Other Guy, Chuck fears that since Shaw found out that Sarah had killed his wife, he will be seeking revenge. Shaw had taken Sarah to a suspected Ring facility, where she activated her distress beacon, and Chuck organized a massive task force to rescue her. Before the task force arrives, Shaw reveals to her the surveillance video of Eve's death, when Sarah realizes she killed his wife, she is devastated, but he says she was not at fault, and hugs her. At this point, Chuck and his task force arrive and Chuck orders everyone to stand down. Later at Castle, Shaw tells General Beckman that Chuck's actions were prudent given the circumstances, sparing Chuck from severe repercussions.
Chuck, remains concerned, saying, "The guy's got to be an emotional train wreck right now. Nobody can control their feelings that well." But Beckman insists Shaw is a “true professional.” Chuck goes off and gets drunk, sure that Sarah is going to go with Shaw. A few hours later, she appears at his apartment to tell him otherwise, that it was Chuck she had fallen for.
Chuck, Shaw, and Sarah then go 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 is attacked by several Ring operatives and manages to defeat them before making his way to the elevator. After Chuck and Sarah have the Director at gunpoint, 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 then cornered by three Ring operatives. But Shaw appears when the doors of the elevator open. 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 with the Cipher. Once the elevator doors are closed, another gunshot is heard.
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, review 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. To Chuck, it is now clear that Shaw has been deceiving them, that he has turned and that Sarah is in danger.
In Paris, Shaw leads Sarah to the street where she killed Evelyn. She then realizes that she was in a trap, but she had been drugged, 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, not with Sarah in danger, and finds one of the dropped 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. Shaw falls, and 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
In Chuck Versus the Subway, Shaw returns to the CIA, in the middle of a hearing with General Beckman regarding whether to continue with Operation Bartowski. He claims that he was a double agent inside the Ring to explain Paris. 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, recognizing the flash for what it is. He tries to prove that Shaw is a human Intersect by throwing a knife at him, the same way his father had done to him, earlier, knowing Chuck would catch the knife. Instead, Shaw allows the knife to hit, as a result, Chuck is thrown in a cell with the rest of his team.
Stephen Bartowski is able to free his son, and urged him to run. Shaw, meanwhile, hopes to use Sarah and Casey as bait to lure Chuck back into the CIA building. Instead, Chuck and Stephen break into the real Ring base, discovering that Dr. Martin Kowambe's research in Chuck Versus the Tooth was used to rescue and restore Shaw.
Shaw intercepts the Bartowskis upon their departure form the base, 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. Shaw then rounds up Team Bartowski and confines them in a prisoner transfer vehicle, he tells them he is going to kill them. They escape, however, when a rescue party headed by Ellie tracks them, and Morgan and Devon fire a missile at the van holding them, knocking out Shaw.
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, "Yes, I killed your father. Yes, I work for the Ring. I'm going to take down the CIA, Chuck, and still I'm going to walk out of here a hero. How does that make you feel?" But thanks to Chuck's video conferencing set up, his confession is heard by the entire law enforcement community.
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 due to the deleterious flashes he's been experiencing, shows up and fights Shaw, "Do you have one good flash left?" Chuck responds, "Saved the best for last." After a vicious fight, 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 kill him makes him weak. Shaw 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 Chuck Versus the Santa Suit. It is revealed that Shaw was behind the plan to release the Omen Virus, hoping to frame and discredit Chuck. He had flashed on Decker and knew all his dirty secrets, so after some blackmail, Decker and his team began to work for Shaw. After 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. It was not the doomsday virus it was billed as, Jeff and Lester figure that out when the reverse engineer the virus at Chuck's behest, "We have reason to believe this whole entire Omen virus, end of the world, apocalyptic thingy - it's a hoax - it's literally a hoax."
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 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, "You seriously underestimate the power of the Nerd Herd. The Omen virus.... Instead of downloading the Intersect 3. 0, you removed it. And it turns out that's the last flash you're ever going to have." Chuck and Shaw then proceed to fight hand to hand, 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 clobbers him over the head and 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 in the press, and blamed publicly for the release of the Omen virus. He 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 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