The Impact Players of Chuck: Chapter One

While we love talking about the good guys of Chuck. We often take a lot of time discussing the romance, but what about the bad guys.

Well my friends, Chuckaholics is embarking on a new series dedicated to the villains of Chuck. We will profile some of the baddest of the bad such as Shaw, Volkoff and Quinn, and we will also include single serving bad guys into the mix.

When I call a character impactful, I am talking about effecting all three members of Team Bartowski and their families. There are three bad guys that make my list right away, but what about the single serving baddies. I know a fight club reference.

Does impact constitute over the long haul or can we classify one episode good enough to be honorable.  Over the course of time, Chuckaholics will be releasing a series of articles showcasing the bad guys of Chuck. Hey, you can’t have good guys with out some bad ones right?

We begin with Tommy from Chuck vs The Nemesis. He is first on our list,



 Tommy was played by Anthony Ruivivar, who showed up on the scenes at the end of Chuck vs The Imported Hard Salami. He would impact the story right away, His job was to start cleaning the operation once Team Bartowski intercepted the package, and secure the Intersect.

He was the first baddie trying to secure the Intersect, which was believed to have been Bryce Larkin. He had some great lines in Nemesis,

Tommy coming for Bryce
Tommy: I wouldn’t want you to kill some random person. I’d feel just terrible.

Bryce and Chuck confronted by Tommy

Sadistic Tommy
Tommy: This is your chance, bryce. This is me being reasonable. Let’s go. Let’s be friends again.

Tommy was my first baddie I thought could be a main stay, but he only lasted for one episode, but his impact was good enough for me.

He was able to set up a trap to lure Bryce and Sarah to the Buymore, and made it seem safe, but Tommy was one step ahead. He knew that Team Bartowski had the Intersect. Thus, he used agents that weren’t in the supercomputer.

Tommy had a plan of his own

Tommy:  you don’t seem to understand the situation, charles.
You think that all these witnesses are a guarantee that nothing’s gonna happen to you? You couldn’t be more wrong.

Tommy's men take Casey into custody

Bryce and Sarah taken

He captured Sarah and Bryce, and finished it up by grabbing Casey. A well thought of plan by Tommy. As I mentioned, he impacted all members of Team Bartowski and Bryce Larkin.

Bartowski was quick on his feet, and used pineapple to foil Tommy’s plan.

Justin Sullivan 

Justin Sullivan

Justin’s impact had more impact than Tommy. Justin was played by Scott Holroyd, and he would infiltrate not only Team Bartowski, but target the entire  Bartowski family

His target was Orion. Justin was operating under the direct order of Daniel Shaw, but his work as a master manipulator was brilliant. Justin’s manipulation convinced Ellie that Casey was a bad man, plant a bug on Orion so the Ring can track him to his cabin.

He also was the reason Ellie found out Chuck was a spy. So, lets put into perspective how dangerous Justin Sullivan was for the team and family of Chuck Bartowski.

Befriending Ellie

Justin found Devon and Ellie in Africa, He drugged Devon enough to send them back to Burbank.  When the Woodcombs made it back to Burbank. Justin would soon find his way to Burbank to continue his manipulation of her.

Justin using Ellie's hatred for the out doors against to his advantage
Justin overhearing Ellie’s message to Chuck as leverage to create a connection with his asset.

Justin established trust right away, he showed concern and willingness to listen. Since Devon was enjoying his time in Africa and Chuck wasn’t available to comfort her, Justin moved in on her vulnerability.

Devon sickJustin did his job Letting Shaw know phase one was complete Phase one was complete, he was able to force the Woodcombs to return to Burbank. Next would be to gain the complete trust of  Ellie Bartowski.

Justin found Ellie at the Buymore The Manipulation continuesJustin came clean about his real identityJustin's badgeJustin’s plan was to find out how Ellie communicated with her dad Stephen Bartowski aka Orion. What Justin did was what I like about his plan.

He told the truth, did he switch the roles. yes, but everything he said was true. It was very easy to get Ellie on board.

Ellie: You work for the CIA?

Justin: I know it’s a lot to process, but meeting you in Africa wasn’t an accident. I wanted to talk to you then, but your husband got sick before we could fully brief you.
This is about your father, Ellie.

Ellie: My father? My father? Are you kidding me? My father is

Justin: He’s eccentric, sure, But the work Stephen J.
Bartowski did in the field of molecular computing has turned out to be brilliant. Which is why as we speak, there are some very bad people looking for him, including a man named John Casey.
He’s an NSA double agent. He’s been monitoring you for another organization.

Ellie: John Casey works with my brother.

Justin: You don’t have to take my word for it. Just keep an eye on him. I caution you about telling anyone about this.

Ellie: But what about my brother and my husband?

Justin: Here’s the problem: They’re gonna tell you you’re crazy; as crazy as you think I am right now. We came to you because we need you, Ellie. Your father needs you.

These are the kind of conversations Justin would have with Ellie to make her fall under his thumb It would help his case when Sarah saw the guns in Casey’s apartment and  Devon calling her crazy. Justin’s warnings were confirmed by Ellie. She believed everything Justin had said. Its great to use the truth to your advantage.

Eventually word got to  Orion that Ellie wanted to speak to him, and he would make his return to Burbank.

Justin's plan was working
Ellie was able to contact her father using the classifieds of a newspaper as a way to communicate.

Phase two was complete for Justin, the message Ellie sent would cause Orion to return to Burbank and find out what was wrong.

The plan would also cause Orion to find out that his son downloaded Intersect 2.0, which would be how Team Bartowski catches wind of the plan orchestrated by Justin and Shaw.

I don’t want to spoil Season Three because we haven’t started those episodes yet, but  for the purpose of illustrating Justin’s role we need to backtrack a little bit about Chuck and his team.

In Chuck vs The Tooth, Chuck’s  brain was deteriorating at an alarming rate. He was beginning to flash in his dreams now, which would cause  stress on the brain.

Chuck would tell Sarah and company that he dreamed that the President of Zamibia was going to be killed at the Beethoven Concert, but no one would believe him. They would send Chuck to see Dr. Dreyfus, who said the Intersect overwhelming Chuck’s brain. However, Chuck was wrong. The flash was more about Dr. Kwambe carrying Ring Intel in his tooth.

I am not going to get into whether or not Chuck should’ve told Sarah, its not important for this article. I am just filling in the blanks on why it was important for Justin and Shaw to lure Orion back to Burbank.

At the ending of the Tooth, Chuck would dream that Shaw was still alive. The next morning Chuck would tell Morgan about his dream, but not Sarah. He didn’t want to included her until he was for sure that his dream was accurate.

So, when Chuck saw his father enter the Buymore, Chuck was caught in a big lie that would ultimately include all the members of Team Bartowski and his father. Justin was along for the ride as the team self destructed with the lying and secrets. The team wouldn’t knew that Ellie was also on their trail, but not willingly.

Chuck would find out that Sarah knew about his dream, and Sarah came looking for Chuck to confront him about it.

Sarah wants to know about Shaw

His father would be suspicious about everything he was seeing. John Casey still working at the Buymore, Sarah living with Chuck. All of this was not adding up, and he would ask Chuck, but Chuck lied.

Meanwhile, Justin was still working on Ellie. He told Ellie to contact him when her father communicated, which she did.

Orion would then ask his son if he didn’t have the Intersect, why would the CIA need to have a live surveillance feed on his television or that his laptop was still connected to the CIA mainframe. Chuck would tell his father he was just an analysis.

Meanwhile, Ellie was surprised to see her father came to Burbank, and notified Justin right away, which didn’t go over well with Justin at all. Justin ask to meet with Ellie, in which he gave her a bug to place on her father.

After having dinner with his son and daughter, he would learn Chuck and Sarah were going to go downtown for evening with his girlfriend, but thats not where they were headed.

They were going to Shaw’s penthouse. This would be where Chuck and Sarah first meet Justin.

Chuck lying to his dadChuck saying he is just an analysis

Chuck and Sarah were trying to get into Shaw’s vault in his house, but before they could get it. Justin came to the apartment causing Charah to hide.

Justin coming itno the room

Sarah can seem with the cool glasses

They would hide in the closest, but Chuck’s sneakers made some noise to gain the attention of Justin, who took a briefcase out of Shaw’s vault.

Justin would open fire on the door, and it would cause Chuck and Sarah to make chase. While Sarah went down stairs, Chuck attempted to jump across, but didn’t make it and was hanging over the rail. Justin attempted to kill Chuck.

Justin making a run for it. Chuck didn't make itJustin reveals himself

But before Justin could harm Chuck, Sarah and Stephen would help save Chuck.

Sarah took  a shot at Justin

Dad making the save

While Sarah, Chuck and Orion know Justin’s secret. Ellie still thinks Justin is on the side of the law.

Back a Castle, Orion told them that he heard of Shaw, some Ring expert, and the box had Shaw’s spy will in it. Orion explained to Chuck what it was.

Orion give the team a pep talk
One of the reason Orion was essential to Team Bartowski. When he spoke everyone listened.

Orion explaining the spy will and missions are never over

Chuck Bartowski: The mission’s over dad.

Steve Bartowski: It’s never over, There’s always another one and another. And… the reason a spy has to have one of those is because every mission they go on could be their last. For every spy, there’s someone who cares about them. Someone who has to open that box, read that message, and mourn their loss. This is a bad business. And I don’t want my family any part of it!

The truth also would come out of Orion on how dangerous the Intersect 2.0 was and would also spark the reason for Justin and Shaw’s motivation in luring Orion back to Burbank.

So, Orion knew about the problems Dreyfus talked about. Thus, Orion who created the intersect knew ways to help counter these measures. He created a device called the governor.

Chuck had to learn about it the hard way, and also show his father why he downloaded the Intersect to help people. It made his father proud, but it also was a gravely decision that Orion would make, and it ultimately would be his last one.

After Ellie placed the tracker on her father, Justin sent his men to go after Orion.  The men were looking for the very governor that Orion was building, but before they can seize it. Chuck would come to the cabin.

They seize Orion

Chuck captured by ring men Sarah waiting in the wings Chuck telling his father why he dl 2.0

After seeing what his son’s intentions were with the Intersect. Orion made it a mission to make Chuck the best spy he can be, but he told him the risks and what he developed.

Orion: I don’t know how the Ring found my cabin. But I do know what they what they came for. I call it the Governor ’cause it sort of governs the Intersect. See, I realized through the years that that, just like a computer, that th-the, the Intersect can overheat.

Chuck: Is that what is happening to me?

Orion: Yeah, see, your brain is like a circuit, and when you flash, it releases a surge of electrical energy, but if it’s not controlled, it can lead to dementia a- a-and insanity, maybe even death, but I’ve been working on a fix a- and this is the closest that I’ve gotten to one. See, I-It, um, it governs my neural network and helps control the power of the Intersect, almost like a, uh, like a pacemaker would for the heart.

He would finish the conversation by saying he would build one for Chuck, and while he said that. Justin’s mission complete, he would call Shaw, and tell him it was time to resurface.

In our first chapter of our new series, we can see even minor villains like Tommy and Justin could impact the lives of not only Team Bartowski and families.

Their impact would either force the team to work together or grow stronger, but the impact is hard not to notice.

The next chapter will be about two baddies that are on my personal mount rushmore of villains in Chuck. I hope you liked the first chapter in the Impact Players


The Return of Shaw

Stay tuned.


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