Mary Elizabeth Bartowski

Chuck linda hamilton3
Mary as she appeared in Season Four

Seasons:Season 4, Season 5
Portrayed by:Linda Hamilton
Status: Alive
Occupation:Former CIA Agent
Aliases:Frost (codename),
Mama B (by Morgan)
Relatives: Charles Bartowski (son)
Ellie Woodcomb (daughter)
Devon Woodcomb (son in law)
Sarah Bartowski (daughter in law)
Clara Woodcomb (grand daughter)
Jesse Gunter (father)
Mary Gunter (mother)
Relationships: Stephen Bartowski (husband)
Appearances: List of appearances
"My husband, alive or dead, will always
be ten times the man you are.
― Mary when Volkoff threatens to kill Orion.

Mary Elizabeth Bartowski, née Gunter, is the widow of Stephen Bartowski, and the mother of Chuck and Ellie Bartowski.

She was a CIA agent assigned to bring down Volkoff Industries and to protect Alexei Volkoff (Timothy Dalton), which meant she had to leave her family while Chuck was in the third grade. She is portrayed by actress Linda Hamilton.

Pre-Series Edit

Mary left her family, with just their father to look after them, to go undercover and retrieve Volkoff's Hydra Network when Chuck was in the third grade. It is revealed in "Chuck Versus the Ring: Part 2", that Chuck blames himself for her leaving, thinking that his breaking of her necklace was the last straw. Her full name was only revealed in the Season Three finale, when Chuck is led to her file by his father in a video message sent after Stephen's death.

In the first two seasons Mary was entirely unseen, though her abandonment of Chuck and Ellie was occasionally mentioned. Chuck tells Sarah that the day their mother left is the day he and Ellie learned to look after each other because their father was "never really there", a date they celebrate as "Mother's Day". Chuck would later give Sarah a charm bracelet that belonged to Mary, as a Christmas gift during a hostage crisis at the Buy More. Stephen had previously given the bracelet to Mary when she was pregnant with Ellie, and Sarah reluctantly accepted it, despite her thoughts of it being something Chuck should give to a "real girlfriend".

Mary first appeared on-screen in "Chuck Versus the Ring: Part 2". After Stephen's death, he leaves Chuck a video message stating that he was working against an at-the-time unidentified threat in which Mary was somehow involved. Chuck is directed to go to his childhood home, where he finds his dad's secret base in which there's a box labeled "MARY ELIZABETH BARTOWSKI: MISSING". At the same moment in an unspecified elsewhere, a woman is working when she receives a phone call, informing her that "they" are going to have to move her immediately. When the camera angle changes, it is revealed that the woman is wearing the majority of Mary's necklace as a bracelet.

Series Edit

In "Chuck Versus the Anniversary", it is revealed that Mary used to read Chuck a bedtime story called "The Frost Queen", the title character of which was the basis of Mary's codename: "Frost". Although the circumstances were not yet clear then, it was assumed that Mary never actually left her family, but instead had been captured, at some point ending up in the custody of Volkoff Industries. More information about Mary is revealed by Heather Chandler in "Chuck Versus the Cubic Z", where she declares that she and Mary had met at "Operation Beacon". In "Chuck Versus the Couch Lock", it is revealed she is Volkoff's head enforcer; Volkoff's right hand sent in to make any problems "disappear". Her weapon of choice is a 9mm Berreta 90two with a 15 round double stack magazine.

Mary resurfaces in "Chuck Versus the Aisle of Terror", after having contacted Chuck in the previous episode. Following a tense confrontation with Sarah, which Chuck defuses, and where Mary claims to be operating under "deep cover" for a CIA project codenamed "Isis", Mary offers up Dr. Stanley Wheelwright and a nightmare-inducing toxin he is producing for Volkoff, as it is too dangerous to be allowed into the wrong hands. However after a series of double and triple-crosses in which she ultimately aids the team in capturing Wheelwright, Mary's true allegiance remains unknown, and she is apprehended by Sarah and Casey without Chuck's involvement or prior knowledge.

As the ambiguity persists into "Chuck Versus the First Fight", Mary convinces Chuck to seek out her MI6 handler, Gregory Tuttle (Timothy Dalton), who can provide intelligence clearing her name. Later when she finds out Chuck has been captured by Volkoff's agents during an attempt to meet with Tuttle, she agrees to help Sarah and Casey locate him after a deal brokered by Morgan which allows her to meet Ellie. During the meeting, she provides carefully worded hints to aid Ellie in locating a possible hidden message Stephen had left for her in the event of his death.

After Chuck, Sarah and Tuttle recover the MI6 data to prove her allegiance, she accompanies Chuck and Sarah back to their old home and Stephen's hidden base, where she apparently betrays them once again when Sarah and Chuck find out that the MI6 data unit they recovered was empty. Mary flashes Chuck with a device that apparently neutralizes the Intersect, allowing her to capture the pair alongside Tuttle, who immediately reveals himself to be the notorious Volkoff. However, as Volkoff sets the charges to destroy Stephen's base and the intel he had gathered, Mary surreptitiously slips Sarah a razor to allow her and Chuck to escape later on, and whispers to her to protect her (Mary's) son.

Relationship with Volkoff Edit

Mary's relationship with Alexei Volkoff (Timothy Dalton) was strictly professional at first when she was assigned by the CIA to bring down the network. However, there may have been complications throughout the decades as Volkoff later began to develop feelings towards her. Mary however did not feel the same way, as after her true affiliation has been unmasked, she tells Volkoff that "Stephen will always be ten times a better man than you", followed by her extreme disgust when he kissed her.

Alexei marysphone

Volkoff's contacts image seen on Mary's phone

In "Chuck Versus the Leftovers", Mary is seen in Volkoff's base of operations in Moscow, Russia. She is briefed by Volkoff on an assignment to assassinate Chuck, whom Volkoff is unaware is actually her son. In Burbank, Mary kills the three assassins dispatched by Volkoff to kill Chuck. She is brought to Castle for interrogation as Volkoff immediately discovers that three of his men are dead and Mary is missing. Volkoff himself assaults the Buy More with his operatives, and threatens to blow up Castle, killing every CIA and NSA agents below the store along with Mary if they do not give her back to him. After Chuck and Sarah escort her to the store, Chuck is about to be killed by Volkoff. Mary tells him to let go of Chuck as he is her son.

Mary and Volkoff later join Chuck, Sarah, Ellie, and Devon for their late Thanksgiving dinner. Volkoff attempts to impress Mary by showing her that he can in fact love her two children. As Ellie and Devon leave the dinner due to a fake hospital emergency call, Sarah and Chuck attempt to assault Volkoff, only to be surrounded by Volkoff's men waiting outside the apartment. Mary then holds Volkoff at gunpoint, forcing him to release Chuck and Sarah. Volkoff hesitates to release them, but immediately lets them go after she tells him that she "could never love a man" who would threaten her son. Volkoff leaves Burbank and has all of his operatives within the area as well as the Buy More leave Burbank, with not a single person harmed.

The Hydra Network Edit

Main article: Hydra Network

Mary's original assignment twenty years ago, was to locate and retrieve the Hydra Network. It is a network that allows Volkoff to manipulate and monitor all of his operatives without them knowing. Mary has been well aware of Volkoff monitoring his operatives, as she had shot Chuck during a supposed weapons transaction; he was under the guise of Charles Carmichael at the time.

In "Chuck Versus the Gobbler", Mary aids Sarah (who joined Volkoff Industries after staging an act of treason) in finding the Hydra Network. She has Volkoff send Sarah to break out his once-trusted bodyguard, Yuri Gobrienko, who is now in prison, as he is linked to the Hydra. After rescuing him, they discovered that the Hydra was a device, in the form a fake eyeball implanted in Yuri.

The two later on are brought, with Volkoff, to The Contessa, a ship that houses the Hydra database. There they meet up with Chuck and Morgan and attempt to infiltrate the database. After being caught by Volkoff, he takes her prisoner, but still treats her with affection as he still loves her. However she and Chuck had already found the database and he had tampered with the machines, sending a message to Volkoff through the Hydra interface, in which Chuck pretended to be Orion by asking him to come to Stephen's house, the Pine Cabin.

The Hydra network is later completely uploaded to Orion's computers at the Pine Cabin after Chuck tricks Volkoff into providing a voice recognition passcode for his Hydra network.

Granddaughter Edit

After successfully bringing down Volkoff Industries and the Hydra network, the Bartowski family with Morgan and Sarah, rush back to Burbank, in time for Ellie to give birth to Mary's granddaughter, Clara Woodcomb.

While there, the doctor asks for only one relative to come and comfort Ellie through her delivery; the family all agree, that Mary should be in the room with her, which is a particular joy to Ellie, as she has throughout her pregnancy commented on how much she misses her mom at this time above all.

The Orion ComputerEdit

Mary has concerns with Ellie's hobby with the Orion laptop, just like her other family members. By the time Mary finds out about the laptop, Ellie has already discovered that the project was called the Intersect. Mary takes swift action - when the Woodcombs go out for dinner, she deletes all the "dangerous" files.

Mary is then instructed by General Beckman to put the files back and allow Ellie to continue with the Intersect project. Mary thus tells Chuck it is time for him to reveal to Ellie his role in the CIA, and the fact that he is the Intersect she is working on. Mary then meets with Volkoff and accepts his apology for what he has previously done.


  • The necklace is a metaphor for Stephen and Mary. The necklace has a boy and girl holding hands on it, which represents Stephen and Mary Bartowski. Not long after Chuck broke the girl half of that necklace, his Mary left, with that half being a part of her bracelet, while the boy half of the necklace remained with his dad.
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