Volkoff Industries (Russian: Volkoff Promyshlennosti) is a major organization on the television series Chuck. It is a public business front owned by an international arms dealer named Alexei Volkoff, portrayed by Timothy Dalton. Volkoff Industries is introduced in the third season finale as a threat against which Stephen J. Bartowski was secretly working, a threat that the government could not deal with, in which his wife was somehow involved. Volkoff serves as the main antagonist of season four.
- 1 Organization
- 2 Alexei Volkoff
- 3 Development
- 4 Leadership
- 5 Known agents and operatives
- 6 References
Volkoff Industries maintained a headquarters building in a former KGB installation in Moscow, and possess other known assets in Venezuela and Hong Kong. Like Fulcrum and The Ring before it, Volkoff Industries is the central antagonist of Chuck's fourth season. Little other specific information has been revealed so far in the series, other than that they use a number of other companies as public fronts for their arms shipments. John Casey and Sarah Walker had spent several months prior to "Chuck Versus the Anniversary" on assignment attempting to track down the organization, and it has been revealed that Volkoff Industries is somehow tied to the disappearance of Mary Elizabeth Bartowski. Volkoff has established an underground weapons pipeline called "Project Beacon," which extends to Burma and Costa Gravas. Beacon includes a stolen nuclear controlled panel that could have bombed several American cities. Volkoff has been present in the series as early as "Chuck Versus the Cougars," when Heather Chandler attempts to extort F-22 plans from her husband for Volkoff. Volkoff later arranged for her to be on the same prison transfer as Hugo Panzer and hired Panzer to kill her for the failure. Volkoff's ability to manipulate prison transfers, relationship with Mary, and former connections to the Soviet Union would suggest a far-reaching political power.
Volkoff's entire infrastructure is stored in "Hydra", a valuable database of weapons buyers and sellers that Mary believes is more important than Volkoff himself. The database was present in the series as early as "Chuck Versus the Ring: Part II", when a box labeled "Identity: Hydra" was shown in Stephen's basement. The box was presumably incinerated with the rest of the basement in "Chuck Versus the First Fight". Until "Chuck Versus the Gobbler", Hydra was stored in Yuri the Gobbler's fake eyeball. Following Yuri's imprisonment, Volkoff saw the flaw in the arrangement and destroyed the eye with a paperweight, after downloading it to another computer aboard the ship The Contessa, which he uses as a base. in "Chuck Versus the Push Mix", Chuck Bartowski and Morgan Grimes try to access the Hydra database, but cannot do so until they trick Volkoff into speaking the phrase that acts as a password. Once they access the database, a virus written by Stephen before his death moves Hydra to a computer in his cabin, allowing General Beckman to acquire it and arrest Volkoff.
Alexei's daughter Vivian initially tries to turn the organization into a legitimate enterprise but quickly fills her father's shoes under Riley's guidance. In "Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger", Vivian and Alexei start a new life, sending Chuck and Sarah all of the company's assets, worth $877 million, as a wedding present.
Alexei Volkoff is the head of Volkoff Industries. For the first six episodes of the fourth season, Volkoff was an unseen character, directing his operatives from behind the scenes. He first appeared in the seventh episode, "Chuck Versus the First Fight". Volkoff's real name is Hartley Winterbottom (codename Agent X). He is portrayed by Timothy Dalton.
Volkoff Industries was introduced in the "Chuck Versus the Ring: Part II" as a threat against which Stephen Bartowski was secretly working, a threat that the government couldn't deal with, in which his wife was somehow involved. It has been revealed that in season four Chuck will be facing an individual villain, Alexei Volkoff, instead of another organization.
Vivian initially tried to turn the organization into a legitimate enterprise, but quickly conformed to her father's plans under Riley's guidance.
Chuck Bartowski and "Alexei Volkoff" (his memory and personality restored to Hartley Winterbottom), however, convince Vivian to reembrace her innocent original persona. Hartley and Vivian escape to a new life with the false passports Chuck gives them. Unable to make use of Volkoff Industries' assets without revealing themselves, the pair transfer the financial assets to Chuck and Sarah as a wedding present.
Much like Fulcrum and the Ring before him, Volkoff appears to appoint higher-ranking officials to command his company's numerous operatives. Alexei Volkoff serves as the company's head and founder, and Frost has been called his "right hand". Volkoff has also appointed a number of lieutenants to lead the organization should he be unable. However, Volkoff's intention is for his daughter, Vivian McArthur, to succeed him as the head of Volkoff Industries.
Frost is the codename of Mary Elizabeth Bartowski (Linda Hamilton), a CIA agent who went deep undercover into Volkoff Industries in Project ISIS around 1994. To keep her cover, she went rogue from the CIA. She is described as Volkoff's "right hand," the woman who Volkoff sends to make his problems disappear. However, her true allegiances are unknown. After Team Bartowski's escape from Volkoff's Moscow headquarters, Mary herself escaped custody after killing several of her captors, including Marco.
Mary breaks her cover in "Chuck Versus the Aisle of Terror" to inform her son about Wheelwright and the 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 is revealed to be a rogue agent, and she is apprehended by Sarah Walker and John Casey. Mary convinces Chuck to seek out her MI6 handler, Tuttle, who can provide intelligence clearing her name. After accompanying Chuck and Sarah to their old home and Stephen's hidden base, she apparently betrayed them, flashing Chuck with a device that apparently neutralizes the Intersect, allowing her to capture the pair with Volkoff. Although Volkoff destroys Stephen's base and intelligence, Mary slips Sarah a razor so that she and Chuck can escape, and she leads Ellie to one of Stephen's surviving laptops.
In "Chuck Versus the Gobbler", Sarah goes under cover as a double agent working for Volkoff, essentially becoming Mary's partner. Her plan is to have Sarah free Yuri the Gobbler from prison to gain access to Hydra. When Volkoff destroys the copy hidden in Yuri's false eye and downloads it to another location, Mary retrieves a piece of the micro chip. In "Chuck Versus the Push Mix", Volkoff discovers Mary's betrayal. She tells him that her husband was ten times the man he is and she never stopped thinking of him.
Jurek, Antonia, and Christoph were Volkoff's lieutenants. After Volkoff's arrest, Boris Kaminsky began a search for a key to unlock a compartment in Volkoff's office and claim the organization. Kaminsky murders Jurek and Antonia, leading him to Christoph, who tells him that he knows where the key currently is. The lieutenant is spared, but found dead later by the CIA.
Vivian McArthur Volkoff (Lauren Cohan), previously Vivian McArthur, is Volkoff's daughter and chosen successor. She had no knowledge of her father's criminal organization, having believed her whole life that he was an oil company executive. Team Bartowski is ordered to protect her when Boris Kaminsky begins a killing spree in search of a key to unlock a part of Volkoff's office and claim the company. When Boris confronts her, he reveals that Vivian's entire life, including martial arts training, target practice and learning multiple languages, her father had been about preparing her for the spy world. After shooting Boris with a shotgun at point-blank range, Vivian goes alone to the Volkoff Industries headquarters in Moscow and unlocks a compartment with a locket from her father, revealing a card to access Volkoff's vault at the First Bank of Macau, which contain various pictures of Vivian's life.
Although Vivian initially declines her father's legacy, she is later shown to have joined Riley, and they drive away to learn the truth about her father. She then hires a CIA agent named Damien to kill Chuck for $10 million, effectively becoming Chuck's nemesis.
The CIA orders Vivian assassinated, but Chuck refuses to believe that Vivian would hire Damien. In a meet, Vivian reveals that she is turning Volkoff Industries into a legitimate enterprise, having given Interpol a list of a list of every black market agent and replaced the old operatives. As a sign of good faith, she gives Chuck a component of a Volkoff weapon known as the "Norseman", only to flee when she is apparently shot in the arm by a sniper. Team Bartowski then seeks the help of Vivian's father to find the weapon's tracking device and killing agent in exchange for a meeting with Vivian. It is later revealed that Vivian had communicated with her father simply by giving Chuck the Norseman, and the elder Volkoff goes to rejoin her. However, Vivian refuses to forgive her father or Chuck for their lying and leaves them to die, using the killing agent, thorium, as leverage to further her business aspirations. Vivian becomes determined to find "Agent X", the only person of whom her father was ever afraid. However, Agent X is later revealed to be the true identity of Volkoff himself.
Riley makes several attempts to turn Vivian into as ruthless an individual as her father, including killing all her competitors with the fully assembled Norseman. Vivian captures Mary, who she learns is not only the woman who betrayed her father for twenty years, but also Chuck's mother. Vivian accuses Chuck of being Agent X, but Chuck reveals that Vivian's father was Agent X. Riley twists this information to further his attempt at manipulating and shaping Vivian, only to be shot by Sarah. Vivian is shown to have transitioned from a victim to a villain when she seeks revenge against Chuck and the Bartowski family, by attempting to kill Chuck's fiancee Sarah Walker with the Norseman weapon. Vivian neglected, however, to consider the presence of neurosurgeon Ellie Woodcomb and cardiologist Devon Woodcomb who were able to slow the weapon's effect. Vivian is convinced to return to her innocent earlier persona by Chuck Bartowski and her father's restored personality, Hartley Winterbottom.
In "Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger", Chuck Bartowski and "Alexei Volkoff" (his memory and personality restored to Englishman Hartley Winterbottom) convince Vivian to reembrace her innocent original persona. After providing Chuck with the Norseman antidote for Sarah and a platoon of Spetsnaz paratroopers, Vivian and her father Hartley escape to a new life with the false passports Chuck gives them. Unable to make use of Volkoff Industries' assets without revealing themselves, the pair transfer these financial assets to Chuck and Sarah as a wedding present. In the same episode, Hartley reveals that Vivian was named after his grandmother, who also loved to ride horses and bears a striking resemblance.
Known agents and operatives
A number of Volkoff Industries operatives have been identified by Operation Bartowski over the course of the fourth season. In addition to spies, the organization includes weapons dealers, weapons designers, and assassins. After the organization's collapse, Vivian reveals that she has given Interpol a list of a list of every black market agent and replaced the old operatives.
Armand (Igor Jijikine) is an assassin Volkoff ordered to track down Stephen. When Chuck is revealed to have been impersonating Stephen, Volkoff informs him that Armand is going to kill Casey and Ellie. Armand apparently smothers Casey with a pillow, but Casey is revealed to have faked his death and hits Armand with a bonsai tree. First seen in: Chuck Versus the Push Mix.
Barbara (Monet Mazur) is a Volkoff agent who gained access to the Buy More by offering to do anything for a Bondesen 7G smart phone. Throughout the episode, she acts as Volkoff's second-in-command. Barbara is last seen guarding hostages when Volkoff informs her that their mission is accomplished. First seen in: Chuck Versus the Leftovers.
Dasha (Ana Gasteyer) is a Volkoff agent who kidnapped Chuck and "Gregory Tuttle"—actually Volkoff himself in disguise—during Chuck's rogue attempt to clear his mother's name. Chuck and Tuttle escaped her custody by parachuting out of an airplane on which they were being transported, after Tuttle attempted to seduce her. She later reappeared leading a supposed bank robbery to cover for their attempt to recover the data on Mary that Chuck was attempting to find. After the gunfight in the bank she shoots "Tuttle" as part of Volkoff's plans to gain access to Stephen's hidden base. Dasha has several scars, and is portrayed by actress Ana Gasteyer in a very emotionless manner compared by HitFix writer Alan Sepinwall to Rosa Klebb. First seen in: Chuck Versus the First Fight.
Boris Kaminsky (David S. Lee) was a former Volkoff Industries operative. After Volkoff's arrest, Kaminsky begins a search for a key to unlock a compartment in Volkoff's office claim Volkoff's bank account and his organization. He murders two of Volkoff's lieutenants, leading him to a last one in Volkoff's organization, who tells him that he knows where the key currently is. The lieutenant is spared, but found dead later on by the CIA. Kaminsky locates Vivian McArthur, revealed to be Volkoff's daughter, and holds her at gunpoint to find the key. However, Vivian pulls out a shotgun and shoots Kaminsky at point-blank range. First seen in: Chuck Versus the Masquerade.
Jasmine (India de Beaufort) is an operative who assists Riley in locating Orion's laptop. She uses her appearance to her advantage, and is later shown to be proficient with knives. She is killed by Mrs. Winterbottom in the childhood home of Hartley Winterbottom (the true identity of Agent X and Alexei Volkoff). First seen in: Chuck Versus the Agent X.
K.K. (Andre Kincaid) is one of Volkoff's computer experts. He hacks into the Buy More's weapons system and takes control of several miniguns. However, he is unable to open the elevator to Castle. K.K. is last seen with Barbara guarding the hostages. In an episode that is largely a homage to Die Hard, he is believed to be a reference to the character Theo, even repeating the line "And the quarterback is toast!" First seen in: Chuck Versus the Leftovers.
Marco (Dolph Lundgren) was a high-level agent for Volkoff Industries. He was tracked to Hong Kong by Casey and Sarah, in possession of a portable EMP device intended for black market sale. He later escapes and captures Casey and Sarah while on a flight to Venezuela, before taking them to Volkoff's Moscow headquarters. After underestimating Chuck and The Intersect, he escapes once again following an intense gunfight in the dark. When confronting Mary Elizabeth at an undisclosed holding facility, his veiled threats against her surviving family leads to her quickly defeating and killing her captors and escaping. Marco is killed by Mary during her escape. First seen in: Chuck Versus the Anniversary.
Packard, T.I., and MacKintosh
Packard, T.I., and MacKintosh (Eric Roberts, Dave Bautista, and Joel David Moore) were members of Casey's Clinton-era special forces team, with their expertise being in special weapons, hand-to-hand combat, and electronics, respectively, while Casey himself was the team's tactician. The characters are presented as an homage to and spoof of the A-Team, a comparison Chuck makes during the episode in which they appeared. During a mission in Iran during 1999 they attempted to steal terrorist gold they were ordered to destroy. Casey thwarted his teammates and personally dragged them back to friendly territory for court-martial. They managed to escape, and attempted to kill Casey several times before they finally gave up. At some point they went to work for Volkoff. When Chuck learned they may have had a connection to his mother he orchestrated a complex plan to lure them into the open by faking Casey's death and funeral. They were ultimately defeated and recaptured by Morgan when he electrocuted them, and himself, to prevent them from recovering the gold. They apparently take their names from electronics brands: Packard Bell, Texas Instruments, and Apple Macintosh. First seen in: Chuck Versus the Couch Lock.
Pierre, Victor, and Hercule
Pierre, Victor, and Hercule were Volkoff's top assassins in North America. They attack Chuck and Sarah with knives but are soon slain by Mary. First seen in: Chuck Versus the Leftovers.
Riley (Ray Wise) is Volkoff's lawyer, handling Volkoff's estate after his arrest. Riley reads Vivian her father's will, revealing Volkoff's intention for her to control the company. Riley is adamant that Vivian accepts the company, and he holds her at gunpoint when she declines. Although Vivian injures him and escapes, Riley later returns her locket. They are last seen driving away so Vivian can learn the truth about her father.
Riley later carries out an attempt to recover Stephen Bartowski's laptop from Chuck, ambushing him and his friends during his bachelor party in Las Vecas, and later assaulting Team Bartowski at the house of Volkoff's—whose real identity as English scientist Hartley Winterbottom would be later revealed by intelligence the team recovered there—mother. He survives when Mrs. Winterbottom destroys the house and kills Riley's assault team to cover Chuck's escape.
He is shot and killed by Sarah during the events of "Chuck Versus the Last Details" while attempting to turn Vivian into as ruthless an individual as her father. Before his death Riley revealed he was fully aware that Volkoff was Agent X, and of Stephen Bartowski's involvement in the project. He twisted this information to further his attempt at manipulating and shaping Vivian. First seen in: Chuck Versus the First Bank of Evil.
Sofia Stepanova (Karolína Kurková) is an arms dealer, described by Beckman as one of Volkoff's top agents. She used her cover as a high-profile runway model to move items through customs and reach her clients without attracting notice of authorities. She was intercepted by Chuck and Sarah while using Fashion Week in Milan as a means of moving an experimental smart bullet design. They managed to recover the bullets, but Sofia had already removed the control chips, hiding them in the sequins of her dress. Sofia was finally captured when Chuck and Sarah discovered the ruse, and was defeated by Sarah in a brutal (and public) fight on the catwalk in Milan. First seen in: Chuck Versus the Suitcase.
Dr. Stanley Wheelwright
Dr. Stanley Wheelwright (Robert Englund) is a weapons designer, with experience as a professor of endocrinology, biochemistry, and psychology, as a senior lab advisor, and as a manager of resources. He makes reference in dialogue and action to the character Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street series—a role previously made famous by Englund—and Scarecrow from the Batman series. Wheelwright develops a nerve gas called atroxium that can send people into permanent nightmares. After Wheelwright demonstrates atroxium on a Volkoff security guard, Mary Bartowski risks breaking her cover and arranges for him to sell it to Volkoff's most trusted buyer, "Charles Carmichael" (cover for Mary's son Chuck). Chuck later locks Wheelwright and himself in the Buy More after being exposed to the drug, and the scientist tries to terrorize Chuck into opening the store by putting him in the "Aisle of Terror" (a Halloween attraction based on experiments by a UCLA colleague, Professor Schofield, whom Wheelwright resents). The plan backfires when he is driven mad by the imagery. Wheelwright hands over the antitoxin and is taken into custody. First seen in: Chuck Versus the Aisle of Terror.
Yuri the Gobbler
Yuri Gabrienko (Matthew Willig), nicknamed "Yuri the Gobbler" because he eats his victims, was Volkoff's most trusted bodyguard. One of his real eyeballs was replaced by a false one containing the Hydra database (which is very valuable to Alexei Volkoff). In "Chuck Versus the Gobbler", Team Bartowski breaks Yuri out of prison. When Sarah returns Yuri to Volkoff, Volkoff kills him and retrieves the eyeball. Willig earlier appeared in the first season episode "Chuck Versus the Tango", as "Uri", one of two bodyguards escorting the known arms dealer La Ciudad. First seen in: Chuck Versus the Gobbler.
In addition to Yuri, Volkoff Industries has assigned a number of guards to protect its assets and higher-ranking agents. One such bodyguard (Lou Ferrigno) worked with Stepanova for some time, falling in love with her. One security guard (Roland Kickinger) was victimized by Wheelwright in a demonstration of atroxium for Frost.
Riley is later shown to employ a team of former Green Berets as mercenaries, all of whom are killed by Casey. Several guards are shown to protect the mine housing the Norseman device in Amacayacu, Colombia. One of them, Vlad (Michael Bailey Smith), stops Chuck and Sarah when they are attempting to sneak in using Casey as a prisoner. When Chuck confides in Vlad that he is trying to impress Sarah, Vlad suggests beating Casey based on a personal experience of wooing a woman by breaking a man's neck. The Volkoffs are later revealed to have a platoon of Spetsnaz paratroopers at their disposal.
- "Chuck Versus the Anniversary"
- "Chuck Versus the Ring: Part II"
- "Chuck Versus the Cubic Z"
- "Chuck Versus the Coup d'Etat"
- "Chuck Versus the Gobbler"
- "Chuck Versus the Last Details"
- "Chuck Versus Agent X"
- "Chuck Versus the Masquerade"
- "Chuck Versus the Couch Lock"
- "Chuck Versus the First Bank of Evil"
- "Chuck Versus the Aisle of Terror"
- "Chuck Versus the First Fight"
- "Chuck Versus the Muuurder"
- "Chuck Versus the Family Volkoff"
- "Chuck Versus the Suitcase"
- "Chuck Versus the Leftovers"
- Alan Sepinwall (2010-11-01). "'Chuck' - 'Chuck vs. the First Fight': The name is Dalton. Timothy Dalton.". HitFix. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
- Eric Goldman (2010-01-29). "Chuck: "Chuck Versus The Leftovers" Review". IGN. Retrieved 2010-02-30.
- "Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger"