Also see: The Intersect.
It is shown to be a near unique ability to be able to hold an Intersect in one's brain, with many agents being shown to be driven mad or even killed by being exposed to a full Intersect download. Several Fulcrum and kidnapped CIA agents are seen in "Chuck Versus the Suburbs" to be driven insane, catatonic, or outright killed by the Fulcrum Intersect.
The CIA used one of George Fleming's image recognition classes at Stanford to find people who could recognize encoded images, looking for possible candidates for the Omaha project, probably an early Intersect project. Chuck was revealed as a perfect candidate as the keywords in his essay responses correlated with 98% of the subliminal images in the exam. He would have been recruited, if Bryce had not sabotaged him and got him expelled from Stanford University in order to protect him.
The Intesect host who has retained the Intersect data, receives feedback from it in the form of what have been labelled "flashes" by Operation Bartowski.
In each case, the flash itself is virtually instantaneous; however, the user experiences brief disorientation as he flashes. Chuck's handlers have learned to spot the subtle indicators (with spotty accuracy, so they frequently ask him if he has flashed), such as Chuck briefly going slightly cross-eyed and fluttering his eyelids, rapid wide-eyed blinking or suddenly exhaling and catching his breath. Another clue is Chuck suddenly showing fear as a result of passively flashing (see below) on something dangerous. Otherwise there is little external indication that such an event has occurred.
Stephen Bartowski has an early version of the Intersect in his brain, which is apparently inferior to the 2.0 product. His flashes apparently take longer than Chuck's, and the flash makes him momentarily go weak.
Physical Flashes Edit
If the human host has the Intersect 2.0, the Intersect can not only show them flashes of information as in the previous form, but it can supply the host with physical skills, instilling instant comprehensive knowledge of a given subject.
Physical flashes are when the Intersect supplies the host with information, via upload, on how to perform physical activities which ran range from knowing Kung Fu, a foreign language, or how to play the guitar. He flashes on these skills as needed when useful for solving problems, such as in "Chuck Versus the Ring" when Sarah was put in mortal danger.
Chuck, however, is not always able to get theses physical flashes as the Intersect 2.0 was meant for "a real spy, like Bryce Larkin", who was cold, calculating and in total control of his emotions. Chuck's emotional nature has a direct effect on the functionality of the Intersect and makes him struggle to activate the Intersect in highly emotional situation, although he does improve.
In early episodes of the third season, these skill flashes are shown to cause him to react automatically to the source of the flash. In "Chuck Versus the Pink Slip", he had to make a concerted effort to resist throttling Emmett, while in "Chuck Versus Operation Awesome" he launched into an angry tirade against a customer, berating her in Thai, and reflexively kicked Lester in the face.
If the human Intersect survives the upload, many things can still affect the Intersect and the Intersect can thus cause problems. The Intersect 2.0 is shown to not work correctly if the human intersect is not in control of their emotions, inhibiting flashes. This can be counteracted by Laudanol, a drug which effectively supresses the emotions in any one who takes it. In "Chuck Versus the Tic Tac" Chuck takes the Laudanol pill and is able to perform much better in fights, even being able to dodge a bullet fired at him. The pill has a negative effect on Chuck, however, apparently making him unable to know when to stop. He had one of Keller's men by the throat, slowly strangling him, and would have likely continued had Sarah not intervened.
Over time, the use of an Intersect that's stored in a human brain can start having negative effects. It is possible that we saw this effect at the end of the second series when Orion flashed on the agents taking Bryce to have the Intersect 2.0 uploaded, resulting in Orion suffering pain. What makes this likely is that Orion doesn't have a governor on at the time.
The negative effects include bad flashes, when the intersect images interfere with the user's vision and equilibrium, causing them mild to severe headache pain. Chuck began to experience vivid nightmares that were eventually traced back to the Intersect, and Chuck's analyst expressed concern that the Intersect may overwhelm Chuck's mind entirely. During the final two episodes of the third season, the condition worsens while Chuck flashes on information or skills, causing him to suffer random flashes of information and a lingering ringing noise in his head. This prevents him from recovering from the flashes, leaving him vulnerable.
Stephen Bartowski, the creator of the Intersect, managed to counteract the negative effects the Intersect has on the host's brain by inventing the Governor. The research Ellie completed via Orion's Laptop, looking at the Intersect from the P.O.V. of a doctor not an engineer, may have lessened some of these problems.
The minds of Human Intersects become comparable to Mycroft Holmes who is described as
- "He has the tidiest and most orderly brain, with the greatest capacity for storing facts, of any man living. The same great powers which I have turned to the detection of crime he has used for this particular business. The conclusions of every department are passed to him, and he is the central exchange, the clearinghouse, which makes out the balance. All other men are specialists, but his specialism is omniscience. We will suppose that a minister needs information as to a point which involves the Navy, India, Canada and the bimetallic question; he could get his separate advices from various departments upon each, but only Mycroft can focus them all, and say offhand how each factor would affect the other. They began by using him as a short-cut, a convenience; now he has made himself an essential. In that great brain of his everything is pigeon-holed and can be handed out in an instant."
Human Intersects instinctively, automatically and flawlessly perform the following mental operations subconsciously
- They notice, process and analyze information at incredible speeds
- They continuously and without limit, incorporate information gathered from the external environment.
- Their mind perfectly remembers every piece of information without hindrance. They can instantaneously retrieve every and any information they have perceived. The mind has unlimited storage capacity, and is able to immediately recall any information stored with perfect clarity. The speed of their thoughts allows them to analyze their surroundings for information in an instant, instantly cross-correlating all information user has allowing them to find and analyze patterns, and track the probability of an event by piecing together stored and acquired data.
- The quantity of information gathers greatly exceeds that of normal humans, by recalling of the information and materials already obtained and carefully observing even the slightest of gestures, a human intersect can instantaneously process and integrate an infinite amount of patterns. This can no longer be classified as simple deduction, instead it is close to mind-reading and precognition
- They can gather and instantly understand any information and knowledge, and adapt the knowledge, skills, talents, etc, to suit their needs.
- They can perfectly execute any skill after a single lesson in without the need for practice.
- They perform an infinite number of simultaneous calculations instantly, allowing them to automatically identify all the variables and quantum possibilities in any situation, and use this information to automatically adjust the outcome so it is the most optimal and favorable to them.
- Ultimately they intuitively understand; what is going to happen and how to deal with it.
- When a situation emerges, an optimal solution is executed automatically
Known Human Intersects Edit
- Charles Bartowski - Intersect prototype, First Intersect, Fulcrum Intersect, Intersect 2.0, Laptop Intersect (Removed), Intersect 3.0 (Input via Intersect Glasses).
- Stephen Bartowski - Orion's Intersect. (lost due to subject's death)
- Hartley Winterbottom/Alexei Volkoff - Hartley's Intersect (removed)
- Manoosh Depark - Intersect Glasses (destroyed)
- Daniel Shaw - Ring Intersect, Intersect 3.0 (Input via Intersect Glasses) (removed)
- Richard Noble - Laptop Intersect (removed)
- Victoria Dunwoody - Laptop Intersect (removed)
- Morgan Grimes - Intersect 2.0 (Input via Intersect Glasses) (removed)
- Sarah Walker - Intersect 2.0 (Input via Intersect Glasses) (removed)