List of Chuck gadgets
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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.
- 1 Facilities
- 2 Equipment
- 2.1 Binocular Glasses
- 2.2 Chuck's Watches
- 2.3 The Crown Vic
- 2.4 EM-50 Listening Device
- 2.5 GLG-20 Listening Device
- 2.6 GLG-4000
- 2.7 The Herder
- 2.8 IG-88
- 2.9 The Intersect
- 2.10 "Intersect Destroyer"
- 2.11 Intersect Suppression
- 2.12 KGB Knockout Pen
- 2.13 Laser Pen
- 2.14 NSA Incinerator
- 2.15 Omen
- 2.16 Orion's Laptop
- 2.17 Peppermint Knockout Spray
- 2.18 Ring Communicator
- 2.19 Spy Safes
- 2.20 Tennis Ball Grenades
- 2.21 Tranquilizer Darts/Gun
- 2.22 Tranquilizer Gloves
- 2.23 Wrist Computer
- 3 References
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 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.
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
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.
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.
- "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"
- "Chuck Versus the Gravitron"
- "Chuck Versus the Suburbs"
- "Jonathan Sadowski". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
- "Chuck Versus the Sandworm"
- "Chuck Versus the Crown Vic"
- "Chuck Versus the Marlin"
- "Chuck Versus the Best Friend"
- "Chuck Versus the Helicopter"
- "Chuck Versus the Fat Lady"
- "Chuck Versus the Predator"
- "Chuck Versus the Dream Job"