List of Chuck gadgets
As Chuck is a comedy series with strong ties to both geek and tech-culture, and also part of the "spy" genre, some emphasis is placed on technology within the show. Technologies in the show usually drive the plot (most notably the Intersect), but some gadgets are directly for comic effect (tennis ball grenades). Some of the devices in the series are accompanied by a nod to pop-culture, such as the GLG-20 listening device. There are multiple references made to James Bond in particular.
During Chuck's first season, the Buy More was used as the main base of operations by the team, although by Season 2 it was largely replaced by Castle. Located in a strip mall near the "Large Mart" (a parody of wholesale retail stores like Costco and Sam's Club), much of the store is a typical "big box" style electronics retailer. However, the government made numerous modifications to some areas of the store to facilitate the team's operations throughout the course of the series. By the end of the first season Fulcrum began to identify the store as a place of interest, and sent an agent to infiltrate and monitor the store. Fulcrum has on several occasions attempted to determine what the government's interest in the store is, and by "Chuck Versus the Predator", they identified it as a CIA substation.
The store is a parody of electronics retailers such as Best Buy, and plays a large role in the branding of the series. In addition to its use as the team's base in the first season, most side-plots in each episode in some way involve the store and its employees. The store was managed by "Big" Mike Tucker from "Chuck Versus the Intersect" up through "Chuck Versus the First Kill", when Emmett Millbarge manipulated Morgan into getting Big Mike demoted. Big Mike returned to his former position during the third season. When the secondary plots of an episode intertwine with the main plot, the Buy More is generally involved.
In "Chuck Versus the Ring: Part II", the Buy More is destroyed by explosives planted by Daniel Shaw, which were accidentally activated when Morgan dropped the detonator. This fiasco was blamed on Jeff and Lester as an arson crime, as Jeff suggested to Big Mike that burning down the store was the best way to keep their jobs.
The Buy More was rebuilt by the CIA between the end of Season 3 and the beginning of Season 4, and by "Chuck Versus the Anniversary" is once again up and running, now as a full CIA substation.
Home Theatre Room
The store's Home Theater Room was utilized by the team as a communications facility. The room's regular big-screen and sound system were modified to allow for video conferencing with the team's superiors for briefings. In "Chuck Versus the Sandworm", it was revealed that the room could be used to interface with the U.S. Air Force's training command. Hidden compartments were also available for backup weaponry. In the second season, an access tunnel from Castle led to the Home Theater Room. Throughout season four, an entrance lift to castle is well hidden in the curved corner of the home theatre room.
Although not often used directly by the team, the store's video wall is one of the store's prominent features. Videos subtly referencing the main plots or themes of an episode are often playing on the wall in the background. Clips of What's Opera, Doc? run throughout "Chuck Versus the Fat Lady", in which a sizable part of the episode occurs in an opera house. In "Chuck Versus the Undercover Lover", Casablanca can be seen (the plot of which the episode itself frequently parallels) while in "Chuck Versus the Sensei", a movie featuring ninjas is played.
Employee Break Room
An access tunnel to Castle is hidden behind a set of lockers in the employee's break room. Casey also has a safe hidden inside his locker, containing a substantial cache of money, passports, and other documents. This property was turned over to his daughter, Alex to help her and her mother flee from the Ring when Shaw moved against Team Bartowski and his family, doing so also protected the money from incineration when Daniel Shaw's bomb destroyed the store. After the store is rebuilt by the government as a façade for a significantly enlarged NSA/CIA base, Casey's new locker (or a second locker to which he has the key) contains a security interface computer, behind which is a manual emergency bypass.
The apartment Casey occupies in the complex shared by Chuck and his family is frequently used as a secondary base of operations by the team throughout the first and second seasons. Like the Buy More and Castle, Casey has a live video link back to General Beckman's office which the team can use to consult with their superiors. The apartment has been outfitted with a highly sophisticated security system, which Casey can monitor from Castle. A shooting gallery with pop-up targets is built into the fireplace and concealed within the room is a chemical emergency eyewash and shower station, which Casey uses (along with an intracardiac injection of epinephrine hidden in a framed picture of Ronald Reagan) to survive being attacked with a toxin. Since Casey's dismissal from the NSA and Marine Corps in "Chuck Versus the Tic Tac", it is unknown how much of this equipment has been removed, or reinstalled following his reinstatement.
Castle is the code-name for the underground base facility originally underneath the Orange Orange, the frozen yogurt restaurant where Sarah worked as part of her cover, constructed as a base of operations for "Operation Bartowski" during Season 2. It first appeared in the episode "Chuck Versus the Seduction". Casey in particular was satisfied with the installation, and remarked it now made them a "first-class operation".
Castle possesses multiple detention cells, interrogation chambers and "safe" rooms. It has an extensive communications and computer database which, with proper knowledge of the systems, can be accessed and even controlled from any location in the base. The primary control center is dominated by a large-scale communications grid, including a video uplink, and the facility is able to connect directly with the CIA/NSA. Its main entrance is in the Orange Orange, but an escape tunnel also leads directly across the parking lot to the Buy More through secret panels in the locker room and under the floor of the home entertainment department.
Castle appeared throughout the second season, but was featured most prominently in "Chuck Versus the Gravitron" when Fulcrum attempted to infiltrate and gain control of the installation and its computer system. Chuck's familiarity with both computers in general as well as Castle, along with access to Castle's operator's manual, were critical to thwarting the operation.
Castle plays a central role in "Chuck Versus the Beard". Agents of the Ring, presumably acting on the Ring council's growing suspicion in Season 2 that the Buy More is a CIA substation, lure Shaw, Sarah and Casey away from Castle to infiltrate the base. They accomplish this by discovering and cracking the secret entrance in the Buy More locker room. The team that infiltrates the base shuts down all local communications, planning to capture and destroy all intelligence in the database before blowing up Castle. Though they are stopped before they can complete their mission, and shutting down communications prevents them from getting word out about the exact details of the base, Castle is considered compromised. Shaw believes that Operation Bartowski has enough time to plan a final offensive against the Ring before they have to shut down Castle.
As of "Chuck Versus the Anniversary", Castle has gone under a complete makeover, and has a slide tunnel connected directly beneath the Buy More's Nerd Herd desk. In "Chuck Versus the Masquerade", the CIA's National Clandestine Service begins expansion of the facility. In "Chuck Versus the A-Team", the interior of the new section of Castle, accessible using a handprint, is seen for the first time, and Chuck and Sarah are not authorized to enter.
As of the Season 4 Finale (Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger) Castle is no longer part of the CIA, but of Carmichael Industries. Sarah and Chuck had bought the Buy More and all its assets using the money Hartley Winterbottom gave them as a wedding gift after he sold off Volkoff Industries.
In "Chuck Versus the Kept Man", Jeff and Lester discover Castle while searching for proof of Jeff's theory that Chuck and Casey are spies. In "Chuck Versus Bo", Casey drugs them to make sure they forget what they saw.
In "Chuck Versus the Broken Heart", it is revealed that General Beckman can contact Chuck through his TV while Chuck can also establish a link by uttering his alias "Special Agent Carmichael". In "Chuck Versus the Other Guy", Chuck has a remote to establish a link to General Beckman.
Under his bed, Chuck keeps a shoe box full of various false identification as Charles Carmichael and other aliases.
The Ring Council Chamber
The senior leadership of the Ring meets in a darkened council chamber. Few details of the facility are visible, so the size and location is thus far impossible to determine. The council members sit at a long conference table with their backs to a wall dominated by a large ring, which "Chuck Versus the Mask" reveals can be illuminated, and are backlit so operatives can only see them in silhouette. Additionally, a single bright spotlight is used to illuminate the agent they are addressing, and a pair of glowing footprints in the floor indicate where they are to stand while meeting with the council. The facility first appeared in "Chuck Versus the Predator" when Fulcrum agent Vincent met with them to request permission to search Burbank for Orion. The council appeared again in "Chuck Versus the Mask".
Casey has used a pair of sunglasses with built-in binoculars.
Chuck wears a watch designed by Laszlo Mahnovski (played by Jonathan Sadowski), which was first called attention to in the episode "Chuck Versus the Sandworm". Among its known features are a built-in tracking device and two-way radio/listening device. Chuck's first watch was destroyed by Laszlo to keep Sarah and Casey from tracking them. In several episodes, he has deliberately left it behind when he doesn't wish to be tracked. The watch also either has an integral distress beacon, or was upgraded in "Chuck Versus the Best Friend" to allow Chuck to turn the tracking device on and off. Similar watches are also worn by Sarah and Casey.
A new watch containing the Governor was created for Chuck by his father in order to regulate the Intersect and protect Chuck's brain from overloading.
The watch is one of many devices used by the team that reference the gadgets of James Bond.
The Crown Vic
Casey drives a 1985 Crown Victoria. The car first appeared, and was destroyed in, "Chuck Versus the Crown Vic", however by "Chuck Versus the First Date" had been either repaired or replaced. Casey continued to utilize the car throughout the second season. After Casey was reinstated into the NSA at the end of "Chuck Versus the Other Guy" he requested a new Crown Vic as part of his reward for apprehending the Director, suggesting his car was issued by the NSA. In "Chuck Versus the Ring: Part II" it was revealed this car was equipped with a sophisticated targeting and missile system hidden behind one of the headlights and operated by controls in the glove compartment. Devon and Morgan used the car and its weaponry to help rescue the team from Shaw.
GPS License Plates
Casey's first Crown Vic is equipped with license plates containing a hidden GPS transponder. The car was destroyed when Chuck had no choice but to feed the transponder code into the targeting system of a missile that would have otherwise killed Chuck, Casey and Sarah (after diversion from its original course which would have killed Morgan and Anna). It has not been revealed whether Casey's new car (also a Crown Vic) is similarly equipped.
EM-50 Listening Device
The EM-50 Listening Device is the favored bug of John Casey. Its name comes from the EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle featured in the comedy film Stripes.
GLG-20 Listening Device
The GLG-20 Listening Device is a small, inconspicuous bug that can be planted for eavesdropping on conversations. The device is described in the series as having a limited range, and requires a dedicated receiver to record the data. However, the GLG-20 can also be broadcast to a receiver for live listening.
The GLG-20, and most of its known capabilities, first appeared in "Chuck Versus the Marlin" when one such device was planted by Fulcrum operative Lizzie Shafai. "Team Bartowski" later utilized one themselves in "Chuck Versus the Best Friend", where its ability to broadcast to a receiver "live" was first revealed. The name of the GLG-20 is a reference to the comedy film Spies Like Us.
The GLG-4000 is a small, exceptionally powerful tracking device designed specifically for use in the mountainous, cave-riddled border regions of Afghanistan. Despite its powerful transmitter, it is still small enough to be implanted inside a human body. The device was used in "Chuck Versus the Broken Heart", where it is also noted it would take approximately six feet of solid steel to dampen the signal.
The Herder is the common name used to refer to Chuck's Nerd Herd car, which he uses both for his job at the Buy More and occasionally for his work with Sarah and Casey. The Herder began the series as a Toyota Yaris, but was heavily damaged in the pilot episode and presumably rebuilt and modified by the CIA. Later in the first season, the Herder becomes a Toyota Matrix. The first of these modifications appears in "Chuck Versus the Helicopter". The Herder is known to have the following modifications: access to a GPS/tracking network, an ejector seat and passenger-side control system, internal detention equipment, the ability to be driven by remote control, a self-destruct mode, and a camera in the back seat. The Herder was designed by Laszlo Mahnovski.
It was destroyed with a bomb by Chuck in the episode "Chuck Versus the Best Friend", when he used the remote control system to take an explosive device to a safe distance before it detonated. Chuck was not seen driving a Nerd Herd car again until "Chuck Versus the Colonel", and the episode did not reveal if this car possessed any of the same modifications as the previous Herder.
The Herder and its extensive high-tech modifications are a less-than-glamorous nod to the modified cars featured in the James Bond films.
The IG-88 was a small explosive device utilized by North African terrorists in an assassination attempt against rock star Tyler Martin in "Chuck Versus the Third Dimension". The device was safely detonated by Chuck and Casey by placing it within a safe, placing the safe within a refrigerator and placing the refrigerator in a supply closet. Its name alludes to the droid bounty hunter IG-88 in The Empire Strikes Back.
The Intersect is a fictional secret technology appearing in the television series Chuck. Within the series, it was originally developed by the United States intelligence community to house and analyze large quantities of encoded data. The term refers to the computer in its manufactured form ("We built the Intersect") as well as its presence in a human brain ("He has the Intersect in his head"), and can also be used to refer to the human who has downloaded it ("The Intersect will observe and report on what he sees", "He's the human Intersect"). Wired magazine included Chuck with The Intersect in "10 of Sci-Fi’s Most Memorable Humans With Programmable Brains". When United States' PRISM surveillance program was revealed, The Intersect was an example of how TV had anticipated data mining and data as the weapon, "that power lay not simply in the collection of massive amounts of data, but the computer-assisted ability to analyze, break down, and see patterns in it."
Following 9/11, the CIA and NSA were instructed to "play nice" and share their intelligence, in turn making it easier to track and identify threats to national security, and the manufactured Intersect is "how (they) did that". They put "every scrap of data they had" into the computer, and the Intersect "saw" patterns in the data that the agencies had not. For example, Chuck describes in "Chuck Versus the Intersect" that multiple agencies had picked up information suggesting a bombing attempt against General Stanfield during the speech he was due to give, but the CIA and NSA each only had part of the picture. The Intersect cross-checked and combined both groups' intelligence to determine the full nature of the threat. Dr. Howard Busgang (code name Perseus) was one of the technicians involved in its design and development, as was Dr. Jonas Zarnow. The chief designer is Stephen J. Bartowski (code name Orion), Chuck's father. Hartley Winterbottom and Ted Roark were the two other lead designers on the Intersect project.
It is revealed in "Chuck Versus the Goodbye" that the Intersect was originally built as a teaching tool. Stephen, Hartley and Ted created a device known as 'The Key', which allowed them to modify the Intersect's properties. Realising the potential danger if The Key was to fall into the wrong hands, the components of The Key were split between its three designers.
Stephen Bartowski was apparently unaware of what the government intended to do with the Intersect, and it is not entirely clear what he originally expected or if the government had designs for the Intersect beyond creating more powerful spies. His original intention was to use it as a learning device. Both he and Dr. Busgang refer ominously to Stephen learning about the government's plans for the Intersect. When Stephen did learn, after completing the original Cipher, he purged his personal records and went on the run. "Chuck Versus Agent X" later confirms that the use of the Intersect to empower government agents was present from an early stage in the computer's development: Stephen and the CIA used an early version of the system to implant a cover identity into his friend and colleague, Hartley Winterbottom. However this version of the Intersect subsequently malfunctioned, leading Winterbottom to permanently assume the cover identity as if it were his actual identity.
- Stephen J. Bartowski (code name Orion) — Intersect 1.0 chief designer; Intersect 2.0 technician
- Hartley Winterbottom - Intersect 1.0 technician
- Ted Roark - Intersect 1.0 technician
- Dr. Howard Busgang (code name Perseus) — Intersect 1.0 technician
- Dr. Jonas Zarnow — Intersect 1.0 technician
- Director Langston Graham — Supervisor of Beta Intersect
- Roark Instruments — Intersect 2.0 manufacturer
- Bryce Larkin — Technician for completed Intersect 2.0
- Manoosh Depak — Engineer of temporary Intersect 2.0
- Daniel Shaw (code name Blackbriar) — Provided stolen Intersect 2.0 data to the Ring.
Several humans have uploaded an Intersect in their brain:
- Chuck Bartowski - Intersect Prototype; Intersect 1.0; Intersect 1.0 Upgrade; Fulcrum Trial Intersect; Fulcrum Intersect; Intersect 2.0; Laptop Intersect (Intersect 2.0); Government Intersect 3.0
- Stephen J. Bartowski — Intersect Prototype
- Manoosh Depark — Temporary Intersect 2.0
- Daniel Shaw — Ring Intersect (Intersect 2.0)
- Captain Richard Noble — G.R.E.T.A. Intersect project (Intersect 2.0)
- Captain Victoria Dunwoody — G.R.E.T.A. Intersect project (Intersect 2.0)
- Hartley Winterbottom (code name Agent X; alias Alexei Volkoff) — Volkoff Intersect (Intersect Prototype)
- Morgan Grimes — Intersect 2.0 infected with a Trojan horse
- Sarah Bartowski — Intersect 2.0 infected with a Trojan horse
The completed system was originally housed in the "Directorate of National Intelligence" in Washington, DC, in an isolated chamber consisting of a single terminal (a very early generation beige Macintosh). The walls were completely lined with video monitors that, when the system was accessed, displayed the data contained within the computer in a massive rush of information. This data was encoded in seemingly innocuous images, which facilitated subliminal retention when viewed by those receptive to it. It has not been specified how the Intersect was originally intended to be used. Dr. Zarnow suggested subliminal retention was intended in "Chuck Versus the Helicopter", though he found it remarkable that one subject could retain all of the images. Dr. Busgang told Chuck in "Chuck Versus the Lethal Weapon" that he never expected that a Human Intersect was possible. Stephen Bartowski tested an early version on himself, suggesting that at least he intended visual retention from early on. In "Chuck Versus the Living Dead" Stephen describes the Intersect as making use of the brain's own electrical impulses to function, and Ellie Bartowski would determine over the course of the fourth season that her father was attempting to use this to map information to the human brain in a manner similar to a computer.
Retention of data can be blocked by shielding the eyes, and even regular sunglasses appear to be sufficient for this purpose. It is strongly implied, but never stated, that once a person begins looking at the images, it is impossible to stop looking before the sequence is complete, even among those who are not especially receptive to them.
Despite the substantial amount of information stored within, it was still compact enough to be downloaded to a single UMPC device and sent via e-mail to a civilian personal computer system. New data can be added to the Intersect computer system and distributed to agents in the field via portable imaging devices or viewing over a computer terminal.
The original (manufactured) Intersect was destroyed by Bryce Larkin in an effort to protect it from capture by a CIA splinter group known as Fulcrum. Before destroying the Intersect, Larkin sent the only copy to Chuck Bartowski; the e-mail launched the string of images, causing Chuck to unwittingly download the full contents of the database into his brain. These events are recounted in the series pilot, "Chuck Versus the Intersect".
Although human Intersects show no outward sign of possessing the computer unless they are seen in the middle of a "flash," several episodes have indicated the Intersect has an ongoing physical effect on the host simply from its presence. When Stephen removed the computer from Chuck's brain in "Chuck Versus the Colonel" Chuck remarked that he felt "lighter." Furthermore, in "Chuck Versus the A-Team" Capt. Rick Noble expressed physical relief at having the Intersect removed, and declared his admiration for Chuck managing to handle the system's presence. The same episode also confirmed that, if so modified, the Intersect can directly alter the personalities of its hosts, as both Noble and Capt. Victoria Dunwoody were turned into what Chuck described as "Terminators" by the computer. This was further supported in "Chuck Versus Agent X," in which it was revealed that international arms dealer Alexei Volkoff was actually the product of a malfunctioning Intersect prototype, and was in truth a cover identity implanted by the Intersect into scientist Hartley Winterbottom. "Chuck Versus the Truth" revealed that prolonged use of the Intersect can cause damage to the host's brain, as well as used the host's subconscious mind to flash by means of vivid dreams. The detrimental effects of the Intersect on the human host's brain were most prominent in "Chuck Versus the Subway" and "Chuck Versus the Ring: Part II," in which Chuck experiences painful and debilitating flashes.
The Cipher was a critical component of the Intersect computer developed by Orion, which he stole when he chose to go into hiding and prevent further development by the government. After the destruction of the original Intersect, construction on the new system was delayed when its Cipher was stolen by mercenaries sometime shortly before the events of "Chuck Versus the First Date". It was retrieved by the team, stolen again by the mercenaries, then recovered again, and the device was installed in the new Intersect. However, the device recovered by the team was a forgery and exploded, killing Director Graham and several CIA agents, and destroying the rebuilt Intersect.
The real Cipher was subsequently recovered in "Chuck Versus the Seduction" from Sasha Banacheck, a mercenary who was hired by Fulcrum to take the real Cipher from Mr. Colt, another mercenary hired by Fulcrum to replace the real Cipher with a decoy. Beckman revealed Stephen Bartowski's connection to the development of the Cipher in "Chuck Versus the Predator".
"Chuck Versus the Other Guy" revealed that the Ring managed to reverse-engineer their own Cipher, however the device was significantly flawed and required correction using stolen Intersect data provided by Daniel Shaw.
Early in the second season, in "Chuck Versus the Break-Up", Bryce leaves Chuck a pair of sunglasses as a gift "for a real spy". When Chuck puts them on to see how they look in the mirror, a chip in the side activates, scans Chuck's eye for identification, and starts uploading new encoded images, finishing the sequence with the words "Intersect Update Complete". The chip then self-destructs with a wisp of smoke.
Glasses are later used in the series, as a method to both download Intersects into people and suppress existing Intersects. In "Chuck Versus the Nacho Sampler", Manoosh Depak is contracted by The Ring to reverse-engineer damaged components of the destroyed Intersect 2.0, which are developed into a pair of Intersect glasses that temporarily "flash" the user with Intersect abilities. In "Chuck Versus the A-Team", two of the GRETA field agents have their Intersects extracted through Intersect glasses due to the deteriorating mental effects. In "Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger", Clyde Decker uses glasses to forcibly remove Chuck's Intersect and Hartley's Volkoff Intersect, and Morgan accidentally downloads an Intersect via glasses. In "Chuck Versus the Santa Suit", Daniel Shaw puts on a pair of Intersect glasses that have been corrupted to remove his own Intersect. By the end of season five, both Sarah and Chuck obtain Intersects via sunglasses. Using the glasses has the drawback of only being able to download one time, but they can be reloaded by connecting them to an Intersect computer, much like the handheld device Larkin used in the pilot.
Stephen Bartowski discovered the possibility of harmful side-effects early in the Intersect's development, which, in "Chuck Versus the Living Dead", he describes to Chuck as being akin to a computer overheating. He began experimenting with methods of correcting this flaw, and developed a prototype device called the Governor. The Governor regulated the electrical impulses generated by flashes. When he learned Chuck downloaded the upgraded Intersect 2.0, Stephen determined that the Governor, with modifications, could be used to regulate the new version of the computer. Stephen's Governor was destroyed in the fall after he died. The Governor he designed for Chuck was stolen by Shaw, but eventually Sarah returned it to Chuck. As shown in "Chuck Versus the Anniversary", Chuck had fabricated other Governors for his personal use.
Though the Intersect was designed as a learning device, Stephen Bartowski, Ted Roark, and Hartley Winterbottom designed a device called the Key, which could alter the Intersect's original function, grant it new abilities, even rewrite a person's memories. The Key was split into three pieces, given to Fulcrum, The Ring and General Beckman. Nicholas Quinn managed to reassemble the Key and finally perfect the faulty Intersect.
Additional Intersect Variants
Following the destruction of the first Intersect in the pilot a number of follow-up systems were developed over the course of the series both by the government and the series' chief antagonists, Fulcrum and the Ring.
There were at least three earlier prototypes of the Intersect shown in the series. Stephen Bartowski is revealed to possess an early version in "Chuck Versus the Ring". In "Chuck Versus the Ring: Part II" while fighting Shaw in the Buy More, Chuck's brain "reboots" itself and unlocks a memory of having previously viewed another early prototype long before the version Bryce sent him. In "Chuck Versus Agent X" another Intersect prototype was revealed to have been implanted into an English scientist named Hartley Winterbottom before Chuck was born. The date in which Stephen uploaded the Intersect into himself is unknown, but Chuck uploaded a prototype in 1991. Winterbottom was uploaded in 1980.
Stephen Bartowski's Intersect is only ever seen in use once, but that one use easily shows that the earlier model is far surpassed by Chuck's. The intelligence is accurate, but its retrieval seems much slower, flashing one picture or document at a time with a noticeable gap between the images, rather than the cascade Chuck is usually subjected to. It also visibly weakens or causes pain to Stephen, causing him to stagger and hold the wall to support himself once the flash has happened; whether this is due to a primitive Intersect, or the number of years Stephen been in possession of it, was not established.
In an interview with show creators Chris Fedak & Josh Schwartz, they state Chuck's Intersect Prototype "did not have spy information, that didn't have any skills" and was just the concept of the Intersect and shows Chuck's ability to be a human Intersect. They also joke that it was "like DOS". They elaborate on the following Intersect Chuck receives from Bryce, describing it "like uploading the original operating system" and each version after "kind of like [installing] patches".
The existence of another Intersect prototype is revealed in "Chuck Versus Agent X." The CIA and Stephen implanted an early Intersect version into an English scientist named Hartley Winterbottom in 1980 to create "Agent X." Part of this Intersect included a constructed personality to create a cover for Winterbottom. However, the Intersect malfunctioned, and it overwrote Winterbottom's actual personality to the point where he believed he really was the Russian arms dealer Alexei Volkoff. Stephen then spent much of the following 30 years attempting to undo the damage he caused, whereas the CIA chose to sweep it under the rug. The full capabilities of this Intersect were not disclosed in the series, or if Volkoff could consciously tap into the computer.
Shortly following Bryce Larkin's destruction of the original Intersect, the government began building another. It is currently unknown what differences existed between the first and second generation databases. The new system was nearing completion by the end of 2007; however, development may have been delayed by the theft of the Cipher by Fulcrum. The Cipher is described as "the brains of the Intersect, the most important piece". The module was installed and the system activated by Director Graham, who had brought in several of his agents to receive the subliminal imprinting. Fulcrum sabotage led to the Beta Intersect exploding, killing Graham and the agents with him. Due to the destruction of the Beta Intersect and the deaths of Director Graham and several CIA agents, the kill order on Chuck was rescinded, as his Intersect was no longer redundant.
Since then, Fulcrum agents revealed their belief that the CIA abandoned the Intersect project after the destruction of the second system and reverted to pre-existing methods to combat terrorism.
With the Destruction of the Beta Intersect (or possibly before), the rogue CIA group, Fulcrum, began constructing their own Intersect underneath the Meadow Branch suburb.
It is revealed at the aftermath of the episode that Fulcrum had almost completed a successful Intersect; however, the design was significantly flawed. Fulcrum began testing on human guinea pigs, but their Intersect had a devastating effect on the subjects, causing their brains to overload, resulting in brain-death or insanity. Rather than address the flaw, Fulcrum constructed a trial Intersect, which contained a small portion of the complete Intersect, and continued testing to find suitable candidates.
Chuck, under the guise of an unfaithful husband, uploaded the Intersect trial; this act singled him out as a suitable candidate as he survived and escaped near capture. The upload included intel identifying the Meadow Branch Corporation as a front for Fulcrum and the residents as Fulcrum agents/scientists.
Chuck was then captured in an attempt to rescue Sarah and Casey. Upon capture, he was forcibly uploaded with the Intersect; the upload has been the most devastating upload to date, causing Chuck to retreat into a state of catatonic shock. Mistaking Chuck's state for brain-death, the scientists prepared to dispose of the body, but Chuck suddenly comes to and is able to function, branding the upload a success. Chuck uses the intelligence contained in this upload for the remainder of the season, and the intelligence is differentiated from the original Intersect's by a red tinting.
The Fulcrum Intersect is also suspected of including some form of brainwashing with the encoded images. The scientists joked that the upload "should help [Chuck] get over [Sarah]". This suspicion is further confirmed with the ease that Chuck is able to convince the Fulcrum scientists that he has betrayed "Agent Walker", and allows them to test Sarah. It also explains why Fulcrum was willing to test on a candidate believed to be CIA or candidates that were not confirmed loyal to Fulcrum. Chuck, however, is able to resist any brainwashing contained in the upload and signals Casey to run the Fulcrum Intersect and expose the scientists to the same fate intended for Sarah.
Whether due to their failure to capture the original Intersect or independently early in its original development, Fulcrum attempted to reconstruct their own Intersect device. The earliest direct reference to this may be traced to "Chuck Versus the First Date", after the organization attempts to steal the Cipher.
"Chuck Versus the Dream Job" reveals that the Fulcrum Intersect project is being headed up by Ted Roark. Stephen identifies this version of the Intersect as "Intersect 2.0", and calls it his baby. The device is significantly more advanced in appearance than the original Intersect and Beta Intersect, which used a traditional PC (a modified Macintosh Classic) as its interface. Roark has been unable to complete the project, but at the end of the episode, Fulcrum captures Stephen and forces him to complete the Intersect Cube.
In "Chuck Versus the Colonel", Stephen reveals that he secretly did what he originally intended to do before being captured and successfully reconfigured the Cube to erase the Intersect images from Chuck's head, and is apparently successful after getting Chuck to watch the images. Operation Bartowski rescues Stephen Bartowski and captures Intersect 2.0 from Fulcrum.
In "Chuck Versus the Ring", Stephen reveals that he has made yet more modifications from his original design, using a new architecture as requested by the government as part of a deal. When Stephen asks Bryce Larkin what the new Intersect is for, Bryce says, "You don't want to know." Bryce was slated to receive an upload from the new Intersect, though he also brought along a device made to destroy the new Intersect along with the terminal and chamber. Bryce was mortally wounded in an ambush while entering the Intersect chamber and ordered Chuck to destroy it. However, Chuck downloaded the new system into his brain before doing so.
In addition to its intelligence data, one of the modifications to Intersect 2.0 "flashed" Chuck's memory with the knowledge of new skills; his first flash gave him the ability to do highly advanced martial arts. As Chuck failed after six months of spy training, General Beckman told Chuck that the changes Stephen added at the government's request were designed specifically 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 its behavior both unpredictable and potentially dangerous to those around him; he struggles to activate the Intersect when he wants to use it, and he has trouble restraining himself from attacking Emmett Milbarge in public when provoked, as he involuntarily flashes on choking and martial arts skills.
In "Chuck Versus the Tooth" it is revealed that Intersect 2.0 is beginning to have the same effect on Chuck as the Fulcrum prototype had on the unfortunate subjects on whom it was tested. Chuck began to experience vivid nightmares that were eventually traced back to the Intersect itself, and Chuck's psychiatrist expressed concern that the Intersect may soon overwhelm Chuck's mind entirely. During the final two episodes of the third season, the condition has worsened 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. Chuck's father has been working on a device he calls "the Governor", which governs his Intersect and acts as a pacemaker would to the heart. He stated in "Chuck Versus the Living Dead" that he would create one compatible to the Intersect 2.0, and he fulfilled this promise in "Chuck Versus the Subway". After being stolen by Shaw, it is returned to Chuck by Sarah and the damage healed.
In "Chuck Versus the First Fight", Chuck's mother betrays him and uses a device resembling a PlayStation Portable to neutralize the Intersect 2.0. Various methods are used to cause Chuck to flash in "Chuck Versus the Fear of Death". The strongest incentive was the knowledge that if he didn't flash, he might die. However, even this did not work. In "Chuck Versus Phase Three", evil scientists believe the information is still there, and when nothing they tried succeeded in making Chuck flash, they intended to give Chuck a lobotomy to retrieve the data. As of "Chuck Versus the Leftovers", one of Stephen's laptops restored the 2.0 or perhaps a new version into Chuck's brain.
Temporary Intersect 2.0
"Chuck Versus the Nacho Sampler" revealed that the Ring was attempting to reverse-engineer the Intersect from damaged components of Intersect 2.0 they stole from the CIA after its destruction by Chuck. As part of this effort, they contracted a software engineer named Manoosh to develop a new Intersect. The results of the project were a pair of sunglasses that could "flash" an agent with Intersect 2.0 skills. Unlike the full Intersect, the portable version did not download into an agent's brain and was entirely self-contained within the device, however the extent of its capabilities are unknown, as the only flashes they have been seen to produce are on martial arts. The images during flashes were also grainier and not as clean as Chuck's. Manoosh ultimately destroyed his glasses when cornered, hoping that without a functional prototype, the Ring agents he was attempting to cheat would consider him too valuable to kill.
The Ring Intersect
"Chuck Versus the Other Guy" revealed that the Ring has made substantial headway into redeveloping the Intersect by building their own prototype for the Cipher. Chuck, Sarah and Shaw managed to take possession of the Ring's Cipher during an attempt to apprehend the Director. Analysis of the component by the team later indicated numerous flaws in the design. Shaw later betrayed the team by turning over a substantial amount of data on the Intersect to the Ring to refine their prototype. Although Casey captured the Director, it is unknown how much Intersect technical data escaped. Recently, Ring agent Justin Sullivan is trying to convince Ellie Bartowski to lead him to her father. "Chuck Versus the Living Dead" reveals that they want the Governor Stephen has developed to control the harmful electrical surges that gradually eat away at the host's brain during flashes.
The Ring completed development of their own Intersect following the apparent death of Shaw, who was later revealed to have survived his wounds. Despite the Ring's failure in securing the Governor to manage the dangerous system flaws, Shaw uploaded the system into his brain.
As with the original Intersect and Intersect 2.0, the Ring's system was housed in a chamber completely lined with video terminals, which uploads the contents of the computer into the host's brain. The Ring's Intersect is activated by means of a hand-print scanner, which confirms the identity of the user before activation. It lacks the Cube present in Intersect 2.0, and the PC terminal interface of the original, Beta, and 2.0 systems. Upon activation, a burst of green energy fires from the control console into the floor, which triggers the actual activation of the monitors. It is unknown if the Ring Intersect causes the same post-upload disorientation of the previous versions, however Shaw appears to enter the same semi-trance state Chuck is seen in while the Intersect uploads. "Chuck Versus the Subway" and "Chuck Versus the Ring: Part II" confirm that Shaw is subject to the same moment of disorientation during a flash that Chuck experiences. It is revealed in "Chuck Versus the Subway" that Shaw suffers the same neurological damage as Chuck and Stephen, when he steals Chuck's Governor. Sarah retrieved it from Shaw after he was knocked out. In "Chuck Versus the Santa Suit", Shaw's mental state has severely diminished, though whether this was caused by the absence of a Governor or his desire for revenge is unclear.
The Laptop Intersect
In "Chuck Versus the Leftovers", a backup of the Intersect is stored on one of Stephen's laptops that is found in Ellie's car. After it is fixed by the Buy More employees, in return for medical help from Devon, Ellie activates it and it asks her "Knock, Knock". She responds with "I'm Here" and the laptop activates. It presents her a memory problem which she solves by doing MRIs on herself. She saw that Stephen was trying to store information in the brain but was going about it the way of an engineer, and not how the brain actually stores information. She uploads this information into the computer and it prompts for another password "1 or 11". She doesn't know the answer to this question. Later after they have had dinner with Frost and Volkoff, Devon gives the laptop to Chuck. Realizing the question is a reference to blackjack, Chuck inputs as a password "Aces, Charles" and the laptop activates again, and flashes (essentially repeats the original process from Bryce's email) Chuck with a version of the Intersect.
It is revealed in "Chuck Versus the A-Team" that laptop has come into the possession of Director Jane Bentley. It is then uploaded to agents Richard Noble and Victoria Dunwoody who are members of the Greta program. When the Gretas are found to be less effective Intersects than Chuck, their Intersects are removed from their brains. Noble expresses relief at having it out, suggesting that the Intersect causes discomfort to those whose brains are not well-suited for it. After failed attempts to decode the laptop, Bentley returns it to Ellie in the hopes that she will be more successful. Although Chuck took over command of the Intersect project from Bentley, he was ultimately unable to find a suitable Intersect candidate, and so General Beckman brought an end to their efforts for the time being.
In the first episodes of the fifth season, the Intersect Morgan downloaded provided intel and abilities, but it came at a cost. Morgan's personality became much more self-serving, egotistical and reckless, driving him to join a rival company and betray Carmichael Industries. However, it was later discovered that this version of Intersect was created to erase the recipient's personality and memories, much in the way the Intersect used on Hartley Winterbottom overwrote the scientist's personality and created Alexei Volkoff. Originally believed to have come from General Beckman, it is discovered that the Trojan Intersect glasses came from either Decker or one of his corrupt CIA colleagues. While the Intersect was removed later on, Morgan's long-term memories - especially regarding his fondness for movies - were not restored, requiring him to relearn everything.
Nicholas Quinn had acquired similar Trojan Intersect glasses, costing him a lot of money, but Morgan stole them and hid them at the Buy More located in Vail, Colorado. Team Bartowski later retrieved these glasses to keep Quinn from locating them. Sarah later uploads the Intersect into herself to save Chuck from Quinn. In "Chuck Versus the Bullet Train", since Sarah flashed forty times within two days, Ellie theorizes that the constant flashes are what causes memory loss. Quinn uses it to his advantage when he captures Sarah and forces her to view Intersect images, brainwashing her into believing that he's her handler and Chuck is her enemy. He has her steal a new Intersect, which he modifies with The Key contained in Beckman's badge. Ellie devises a plan to use the Key to fix the Intersect contained in the glasses and reprogram it to implant Sarah's lost memories in her, much in the way Stephen implanted Hartley with Volkoff's fictitious memories. However, Chuck is forced to upload the new Intersect onto himself after Quinn's death.
In "Chuck Versus the Santa Suit", Daniel Shaw intended to use the Omen virus to clear all of the data out of CIA computers and put it in his head using the Macao device. The government would therefore be dependent on him for all intelligence. Chuck infected the Intersect with the Omen virus, causing it to wipe The Ring's Intersect from Shaw's mind.
Revealed in Chuck Versus the Goodbye, The Intersect 3.0 was to be designed much the way Stephen Bartowski originally intended the Intersect to be used: as a teaching tool. It was created so that some one may not only get the benefits of the current Intersect but could also learn new abilities and information. This revelation was the key to restoring Sarah's memory; Ellie was convinced that she could reprogram the Intersect 3.0 to include most, if not all, of Sarah's memories with Chuck using their wedding footage, Sarah's spy log and other hard data personal information Chuck's family and friends could acquire. Whether or not this would have been successful is uncertain, as Chuck had to use the single download of the Intersect 3.0 into his own mind in order to save General Beckman.
The Intersect 3.0 is believed to be the final version of the Intersect.
A user who has subliminally retained the Intersect data receives feedback from it in the form of what have been labeled "flashes" by Operation Bartowski. In "Chuck Versus the Zoom", Morgan Grimes refers to the flash as a zoom.
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, something that has become less common as Chuck has progressed as a spy. Otherwise, there is little external indication that such an event has occurred. Having several flashes in a row results in greater disorientation, and Chuck believes after the first such occurrence he will have a headache.
"Chuck Versus the Ring" revealed Stephen Bartowski has an early version of the Intersect in his head, which is apparently inferior to the finished product. His flashes apparently take longer than Chuck's, and the flash makes him momentarily go weak.
"Chuck Versus the Tooth" revealed that the Intersect is capable of interacting directly with the host's subconscious rather than merely residing in it, creating vivid dreams that can provide much of the same information as a typical passive flash. However, due to the nature of how this information is processed, the resulting imagery is highly disjointed, surreal and confusing. CIA psychiatrist Dr. Leo Dreyfus has indicated the government is aware of the possibility of side effects, however too little is known about the science behind the Intersect to draw definite conclusions on the meaning of this interaction. Stephen Bartowski reveals in "Chuck Versus the Living Dead" that flashes make use of the brain's own electrical impulses and synaptic processes, and that a flash is simply a large electrical surge in the brain. It is this surge which poses a danger of overloading and damaging the Intersect host's brain. At the beginning of "Chuck Versus the Subway", Chuck experiences pain as he flashes on a voice recognition, and further flashes cause longer durations of pain where Chuck is vulnerable, leading up to Chuck's attempt to recover the Governor, where Chuck is completely defenseless and bordering on either a coma or death.
Additionally, the Intersect is fully capable of functioning even if the host's senses are impaired. Chuck successfully flashed on martial arts while heavily drugged in "Chuck Versus the Tooth" and was able to physically perform the stored techniques. However some degree of control is still required from the host's senses to successfully use these skill flashes, as Chuck proved unable to connect against any of his assailants.
Passive Flashes (Intelligence)
Until the end of the second season, flashes were always passive events. The human Intersect, upon seeing or hearing something related to intelligence in the Intersect database, quickly recalls the related information (e.g., Chuck sees a face, and suddenly knows things about the person that were known to the NSA and/or CIA). Once the subject has retrieved the data, it remains accessible without needing an additional flash to pull it up a second time.
The intelligence revealed through passive flashes is not always completely clear and can be open to interpretation, or potentially even error. As a result, actions based on the flash alone may be prone to mistakes, such as in "Chuck Versus the Tango", when Chuck flashes on an MI6 agent and incorrectly identifies him as an arms dealer because his intel didn't include the agent's true affiliation, only that he was closely related to the case. Therefore, depending on how imminent the threat is, Chuck typically reports his flashes to his handlers and they report that information to their supervisors to get secondary intelligence and work out a plan for addressing the threat.
Passive flashes can be triggered by a broad spectrum of stimuli, including both visual and auditory cues, which includes both in-context keywords and full voice-recognition. Visual triggers include personal distinguishing characteristics such as scars, tattoos, fingerprints and full faces. Another major class of visual trigger is objects, from tiny devices to buildings. In one case, Chuck detects counterfeit currency by its serial number. He can even recall intelligence by looking at the innocuous picture in which it was originally encoded in the Intersect.
"Chuck Versus the First Kill" introduces a new passive capability of the Intersect, in which Chuck can gather information from multiple sources and combine them in one flash. This is demonstrated when he and Casey infiltrate a Fulcrum recruiting office. He begins to flash on one of the Fulcrum operatives, but before retrieving the data on him checks several other people in the room and pulls their files as well. Previously, when flashing on multiple people, he only flashed on them one at a time.
In "Chuck Versus the Dream Job", Stephen Bartowski orders Chuck to use the Intersect in his head to perform a task, namely cracking a Feistel cipher to open a door in the Roark Instruments campus, which was shown to be beyond Sarah and Casey's technical ability earlier in the episode. Chuck protests that unless the data is already inside his head, he can't flash. Stephen explains that as a designer of the Intersect, he knows its capabilities, and he tells Chuck to flash intentionally, which Chuck is able to do almost immediately with a little concentration. This is the first clue that the Intersect is more than a database, and can grant abilities as well. Chuck repeats this feat on various safes and code-protected doors after downloading the Intersect 2.0.
In "Chuck Versus the Ring", Chuck activates the modified Intersect 2.0. Flashes from Intersect 2.0 can grant Chuck entirely new abilities in addition to the old ones, such as suddenly knowing kung fu, a foreign language or how to play the guitar. He flashes on these skills just as they become useful for solving problems, which in "Chuck Versus the Ring" occurred just as Sarah was put in mortal danger. Actor Zachary Levi has confirmed that the new abilities provided by the Intersect will have a glitch and won't last. Part of the third season will therefore focus on Chuck learning to use and control the new abilities of Intersect 2.0.
In early episodes of the third season, these skill flashes are shown to be able to directly control Chuck, or 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 after she complained to him in that same language, and then he reflexively kicked Lester in the face as Lester attempted to imitate Steven Seagal. Chuck was also concerned that if he allowed himself to access the Intersect while sparring with Sarah, it would lead him to hurt her.
The show alerts the viewer to what a human Intersect is flashing on with a distinct visual and audio cue. In addition to the brief effects on the subject's face as noted above, there are distinct sounds played throughout the flash.
The first operational Intersect showed a generally unrelated "key image" - apparently the image in which the data was encoded when transferred to the brain—at the beginning and end of the flash. In between are a quick and uninterrupted series of pictures that show information such as photos, documents and legible text related to the data. The flash may also contain surveillance video or animated graphics illustrating voice recognition and the like.
In "Chuck Versus the Suburbs", a new whooshing sound is placed at the beginning of Chuck's flash. The sound was used for the rest of Season 2, and in Season 3, the whooshing starts off every flash, but still has the regular flash sounds in the middle of the flash.
The Fulcrum Intersect is similar, but the images are distinguished from the original Intersect by red tinting. It also sometimes includes the Fulcrum symbol/logo.
The prototype Intersect that Stephen Bartowski tested on himself has passive flashes consisting of images that appear one at a time, with gaps in between, in a slower fashion than Chuck's flashes.
With the introduction of Intersect 2.0 in the Season 2 finale, "Chuck Versus the Ring", the visual style of Chuck's new flashes is a zoom-through the pupil of his eye, with images related to the skill being learned. A modified version of the effect was used in Season 3, with clearer images symbolizing the new skill. The Ring Intersect differs only in the color of the images of the skill set Shaw is flashing on.
Uploading the Intersect to one's brain has a powerful physiological effect. Those who are not capable of retaining Intersect data are usually overloaded and rendered catatonic; even those who are capable register a significant experience of disorientation or unconsciousness.
- Chuck, as a child, unintentionally uploads an Intersect prototype during a flashback in "Chuck Versus the Ring: Part II". Despite the prototype containing images of cartoon characters, rather than usable intelligence, Chuck still appeared disoriented during and after the upload.
- When Chuck unwittingly uploads the first Intersect in the pilot, which takes all night due to the enormous amount of data, he passes out and still sees floating Intersect images when he is awoken later in the morning. Chuck likens the feeling in his head to a hangover and doesn't feel up to driving.
- When Chuck unwittingly uploads the small Intersect update via a pair of sunglasses that Bryce Larkin gives him in "Chuck Versus the Break-Up", the short burst of new information is enough that Chuck falls straight on his back again, but he is still conscious and can speak clearly.
- About halfway into the second season, when Chuck is forced to upload the testbed Fulcrum Intersect, which was still working out a number of bugs, he becomes catatonic and unresponsive for a short time such that the Fulcrum agents present think he has died like previous subjects, but seconds later he wakes up with a start and is immediately able to function again.
- Prior to the Fulcrum Intersect upload, Chuck uploaded a Trial Intersect, a small fraction of the complete Fulcrum Intersect. Chuck is rendered unconscious for an extended period, long enough to only narrowly escape capture.
- At the end of the second season, Chuck intentionally uploads Intersect 2.0, causing him to go weak for a minute, but this time he doesn't lose consciousness or even fall all the way to the floor.
- Manoosh's Intersect 2.0 glasses, which only flash the brain with temporary knowledge of one skill (kung fu), do not appear to cause disorientation in the user at all.
- Daniel Shaw did not appear disoriented, but did look uneasy on his feet when uploading the Ring Intersect, but the episode ended before the upload finished.
- When Chuck uploads the Intersect via Stephen's laptop in "Chuck Versus the Leftovers", the new information is enough that Chuck falls straight on his back again, but he is still conscious and flashes to jump back up.
- When Morgan uploads the Intersect via sunglasses in "Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger", he instantly falls on his back, though he is still conscious and alert.
- When Sarah Bartowski uploads the Intersect via stolen glasses while under fire in "Chuck Versus Bo", she experiences no disorientation at all as she immediately uses her skills to defeat Nicholas Quinn's team almost singlehandedly. This could be an improvement on the design, the fact she was full of adrenaline or sheer willpower alone.
- When Chuck uploads the Intersect 3.0 in "Chuck Versus the Goodbye", he seems slightly disoriented upon completion, but does not fall down.
Rather than use an explosive, Bryce Larkin carried a small circuit board with a metal box at one end that was used to destroy Intersect 2.0 in "Chuck Versus the Ring". When Bryce inserted it into the interface terminal's floppy drive, it generated a massive power surge that burned out the Intersect Cube. The surge spread to the monitor (and cracked it) as well as the walls of the chamber.
Twice in the series, the Intersect has been either removed or suppressed by a device.
In "Chuck Versus the Colonel", Stephen creates an Intersect-like device (later reconfigured to become the Intersect 2.0) designed to remove the Intersect from Chuck by overwriting the encoded images (this description was explained in "Chuck Versus the Dream Job"). Further more, the suppressor must be designed for a specific Intersect or individual, as both Chuck and Stephen saw the Intersect Suppressor run, yet in the following episode Stephen's Intersect still functions.
In "Chuck Versus the First Fight", Mary Bartowski uses a handheld device (akin to a PlayStation Portable) to suppress the Intersect. It does not remove the Intersect, as in the following episode, Chuck manages to partially flash when his therapist breaks into his home and mock threatens his life, but it prevents the full flash required for Chuck to use any abilities.
Both times, these suppressors have a similar effect as an Intersect, but only on someone already in possession of an Intersect. Stephen's suppressor causes Chuck to fall un- or semi-conscious, as he has done with the original Intersect, the update, the Fulcrum Intersect and the Intersect 2.0 (whereas it had no effect on Roark or his agents), and, with both, Chuck was unable to break his sight from the cascade of images, an effect that is similar to when anyone downloads an Intersect.
KGB Knockout Pen
In "Chuck Versus First Class", Shaw gives Chuck a pen which, when clicked, releases a fast-acting tranquilizer to be put into an enemy's food or drink. Chuck attempts to use the pen to take out Ring agent Hugo Panzer (Stone Cold Steve Austin) on his flight to Paris. It malfunctions due to the air pressure of the plane's cabin, but is able to temporarily disable Hugo after being sprayed directly in his mouth. Prior to his mission, he tests the pen on Jeff's coffee; Morgan drinks the coffee, thinking it hasn't been tainted, succumbs to the tranquilizer and wakes up in the crane game by the entrance to the Buy More.
A laser pen appears in Chuck Versus the Nacho Sampler at Weap-Con, a weapons convention where Casey buys one from a Japanese vendor. Chuck uses it to free himself, Casey, and Sarah from handcuffs when they are apprehended by Ring agents. Casey also uses the pen to escape the room they are being held in by using it to melt the hinges off the door.
A remarkably potent explosive device designed to eliminate all biological traces of its victims, this small detonator can be fit into–and triggered by–a common cell phone and has a charge large enough to destroy an object roughly the size of a mid-sized car or van. The device first appeared in "Chuck Versus the Helicopter", used by Dr. Jonah Zarnow first to fake his own death, and later in an attempt to eliminate Casey and Chuck.
A computer virus captured by Chuck's team, capable of quickly destroying many databases throughout the planet. Created by Colin Davis, it first appeared in "Chuck Versus the Hack Off". In "Chuck Versus the Curse", rogue agent Robyn Cunnings kidnapped Ellie and Devon, and then Chuck as he tried to rescue them. Cunnings succeeded in stealing the virus and released it. In "Chuck Versus the Santa Suit", Daniel Shaw intended to use it to transfer data from all of the CIA computers into Intersect 3.0.
A highly advanced laptop capable of breaking into secret government systems, including "hijacking computerized weaponry" such as unmanned aerial drones, the device is equipped to scan users' faces with a remote command. Orion sent one to Chuck at the Buy More in "Chuck Versus the Predator" so that they could communicate securely, but Lester misidentified it as a new display computer and in the confusion that followed, he and Jeff and Morgan nearly bombed the Buy More locations in Burbank and Beverly Hills.
In "Chuck Versus the First Fight", it is revealed that another one of these laptops is lying beneath the driver's seat in Orion's old Mustang. In "Chuck Versus Phase Three" Ellie and Devon discover this laptop, but find that it doesn't work. Lester is able to fix it with great difficulty. Ellie unlocks the computer, with the answer to a riddle, "Knock Knock". According to Ellie, the answer was "I'm Here", because it was always her response when her father, Stephen Bartowski, would recite "Knock Knock" jokes.
In "Chuck Versus The Leftovers", Ellie analyzes brain scans, which were left for her, on the laptop. After deciphering the scans and solving a complex problem, the computer locked. Ellie attempted to unlock the computer, but did not know the password. After Thanksgiving dinner, Devon gives Chuck the laptop. Chuck enters the password "Aces, Charles", as a response to the riddle, "1 or 11" After being unlocked, it is revealed that the laptop is also a new Intersect, which Chuck downloads, thus reversing the effects of Mary Bartowski's PSP Device. It is unknown whether this is a new Intersect (more powerful or weaker than the 2.0), an Update for the 2.0, or simply a counter-measure to Mary's device.
The laptop is given back to Ellie by Director Jane Bentley who suggests there's something else on it possibly a more powerful Intersect. At the end of "Chuck Versus the Muuurder", the laptop identifies Ellie before the words, "Agent X Files" pop up on the screen.
Peppermint Knockout Spray
In "Chuck Versus the Best Friend", Chuck makes use of a powerful tranquilizer disguised as mint breath spray on Morgan.
Agents of the Ring carry a small, unusual communications device. The device is rounded and operates using touch-screen technology similar to a PDA, and has no obvious buttons or controls when deactivated. The device first appears in "Chuck Versus the Pink Slip", when Chuck recovers one from a Ring assassin named Javier Cruz. Beckman later reveals that her operatives have been attempting to capture an example of the device for some time.
One of these unusual black orb-shaped devices were originally the objective of a long-term mission by Carina, and was valued by General Beckman at over $10 million on the black market arms trade. The safe contained intelligence gathered by slain CIA officer Evelyn Shaw, and was described by her husband, Team Bartowski supervisor Daniel Shaw, of being their best hope at taking down the Ring. The safe was recovered by Team Bartowski and Carina in "Chuck Versus the Three Words", and its contents were revealed in "Chuck Versus First Class". Contents included Evelyn's wedding ring and "spy will". It was later discovered in "Chuck Versus Agent X" that these safes are generally more of a necessity among espionage agents, as Hartley Winterbottom was in possession of the same type of safe, which he entrusted to his mother.
Tennis Ball Grenades
In "Chuck Versus the Best Friend", several tubes of tennis balls are on one of the tables in Castle. When Chuck inquires about them, Sarah and Casey identify them as actually being white phosphorus grenades, capable of melting iron. The devices were not used in the episode.
The first use of a tranquilizer gun in the series was by Dr. Jonas Zarnow in "Chuck Versus the Helicopter". The team itself, as well as others, frequently make use of various types of tranquilizer guns and darts in the field when non-lethal force is required. Chuck prefers to use such weapons specifically to avoid having to kill or harm his targets. The effectiveness of these weapons varies; Most targets are knocked out almost immediately, however some subjects (such as Casey and Jeff) may require multiple darts.
Chuck makes use of "tranquilizer gloves" in "Chuck Versus the Suitcase", which emit an unspecified gas on contact with a target that causes unconsciousness within a few seconds. Although less conspicuous than his tranq gun, the gloves do not act as quickly. It is also unclear whether the gloves are coated with the tranquilizer, or actually vent it on contact.
Orion wears a specially-designed computer on his left wrist, which he can use to control MQ-9 Reaper drones, send messages, and override doors and security systems. The device can display the user's location inside a building with walls, building and floor schematics, nearby humans visible onscreen and plot pathways and routes to specific destinations (including the ventilation system). The device was first seen in "Chuck Versus the Predator", and later appeared in "Chuck Versus the Dream Job" when Chuck's father revealed himself to be Orion. Towards the end of "Chuck Versus the Ring", Stephen gives the wrist computer to Chuck, but it has not reappeared in subsequent episodes (except for a small cameo appearance in "Chuck Versus the Ring: Part II", when Chuck enters his father's vault and sees a number of his father's inventions, including the wrist computer).
The computer is a nod to the similar device worn by the titular aliens of the Predator series.
- List of James Bond gadgets
- "Chuck Versus the Subway"
- "Chuck Versus the Ring: Part II"
- "Chuck Versus the Cubic Z"
- "Chuck Versus the Colonel"
- "Chuck Versus the First Date"
- "Chuck Versus the Seduction"
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- "Jonathan Sadowski". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
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- "Chuck Versus the Best Friend"
- "Chuck Versus the Helicopter"
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- McMillan, Graeme. "10 of Sci-Fi's Most Memorable Humans With Programmable Brains". WIRED. Retrieved 2017-09-27.
- Poniewozik, James. "PRISM of Interest: How TV Drama Anticipated the Data-Mining News". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2017-09-27.
- Chuck's Chart: NBC.com Archived 2010-10-22 at the Wayback Machine
- Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 55 with 'Chuck' creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak: Hitfix.com
- Star-Ledger: Chuck Co-creator Chris Fedak Q&A
- What's Alan Watching? Chuck: Chris Fedak vs. the finale
- SCI FI Wire:"Chuck star Zachary Levi reveals a few season-three hints"
- Development Update: July 25, 2009: Chuck superpowers to have glitch
- "Chuck Versus the Predator"
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