Chuck Versus the Gobbler

Chuck Versus the Gobbler
"Chuck Versus the Gobbler"
Chuck episode
Volkoff extracts the Hydra database.
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 12
Directed by Milan Cheylov
Written by Craig DiGregorio
Original air date January 24, 2011 (2011-01-24)
Guest stars
Episode chronology
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List of Chuck episodes

"Chuck Versus the Gobbler" is the twelfth episode of the fourth season of Chuck. It originally aired on January 24, 2011. Sarah Walker sets out on a perilous undercover mission by assisting Mary Elizabeth Bartowski (Linda Hamilton) in a bid to finally crush criminal mastermind Alexei Volkoff (Timothy Dalton). Meanwhile, Ellie and Devon Woodcomb bicker over baby names.



Main Plot

The episode begins in medias res, with Sarah Walker and John Casey fighting.

Two days earlier, Casey and Morgan Grimes converse about the reputation Sarah has built undercover as a rogue CIA agent. They reveal that she has finally drawn the attention of Alexei Volkoff (Timothy Dalton).

In Moscow, Russia, Sarah enters Volkoff Industries looking quite different. She and Volkoff discuss why she decided to turn on the CIA. When Volkoff asks why he should trust Sarah, his guards hold her at gunpoint. Sarah easily dispatches the guards and takes aim at Volkoff, telling him the reason he can trust her is because she chose not to kill him when she had the chance. As Volkoff and Sarah toast, Chuck's mother Mary (Linda Hamilton) enters and protests his acceptance of Sarah, warning that Sarah will betray him. Volkoff explains how Sarah could be useful and suggests that she breaks Yuri Gabrienko (Matthew Willig), nicknamed Yuri the Gobbler because he eats his victims, out of jail.

Later, Mary secretly reveals to Sarah that Yuri was Volkoff's most trusted bodyguard, but she suspects he is involved in a project called "Hydra" which is a database of weapons buyers, sellers and Volkoff's entire infrastructure. Mary also expresses her concern that Sarah may change while undercover. Sarah disables the surveillance system at Castle so she can discuss her plan to break Yuri out of jail. This involves Casey and Morgan posing as prison guards and Chuck as a prisoner. Morgan and Casey distract the other guards with birthday cake as Chuck initiates a fight with Yuri. Yuri tries to eat Chuck, but Chuck flashes and hits him in the head with a weight. Chuck enjoys a few minutes of being "top dog" before another prisoner challenges him. Sarah knocks him out when she comes to retrieve Chuck.

Volkoff initially welcomes Yuri back, before expressing his disappointment and shooting Yuri in the head. It is revealed that Yuri was given the Hydra database as a fake eyeball replacing one of his real eyes. He then removes Yuri's eye and places it on a device, causing information to download into his personal database. Volkoff decides that the device is unnecessary and destroys it with a paperweight. As Mary secretly retrieves a portion of the eye, Volkoff tells Sarah he has a mission for her and they exit. Volkoff, posing as Sarah, sends a message to Casey telling him to meet her alone. At Trident Tower, Volkoff orders Sarah to prove her loyalty by killing Casey, warning her that he will be watching on surveillance cameras. Mary escorts Sarah upstairs to Casey and sneaks her a fragment of the fake eye.

At the apartment, Chuck expresses his concern for Sarah and Casey, and Grimes reveals that he saw where Casey was meeting Sarah. He arrives at the tower, only to be caught by Volkoff's guards.

Casey and Sarah begin to fight, all while discussing how they will fake his death with Volkoff watching. He first tells her to shoot him in the shoulder, which she refuses to do, so instead they agree to push him out the window onto a window washer's platform 40 feet below. As Sarah sneaks Casey a fragment of the fake eye, Chuck arrives and Volkoff tries to convince him to join them. He leads him upstairs just in time to see Sarah push Casey out the window. Casey lands on the platform as planned, but the platform breaks and he falls to the ground. Chuck looks on in disbelief as one of Volkoff's men knocks him out. Sarah tends to him, but leaves when Volkoff asks her to.

Casey is shown to be at a hospital in critical but stable condition; Sarah ceases communication with Team Bartowski.

Chuck and Sarah

At the Buy More, Morgan and Casey express their concern that Chuck may become depressed with Sarah undercover. However, Chuck enters the building with a spring in his step, smiling and acting quite chipper.

At his and Morgan's apartment, Chuck eats cereal and listens to a series of beeps and tones. He explains to Morgan that since Sarah is undercover, the CIA developed the tones as a sort of language for he and Sarah to communicate.

Chuck later arrives at Trident Tower just in time to see Sarah push Casey out the window. As Chuck sits at a hospital in disbelief, he sends Sarah an encoded message, which she declines after Mary tells her that it gets easier with distance.

Morgan and Alex

Off screen, Alex McHugh (Mekenna Melvin) asks if she can borrow a t-shirt and enters wearing Morgan's "previously unworn, original issue Zemeckis-authenticated Back to the Future t-shirt". She proceeds to messily eat pizza and drink orange juice. Chuck tries to get Morgan to save the shirt, but Morgan stays calm and has the epiphany that he's in love with Alex.

When Casey confronts Morgan after seeing Alex leaving Morgan's and Chuck's apartment that morning in one of Morgan's shirts, Morgan initially attempts to deny the sexual component to his relationship with Alex but eventually explains that he cares deeply about Alex; Casey then releases his grip on Morgan and explains, "That's all I wanted to hear." Despite his love for Alex, Casey is uncomfortable expressing it in words and admonishes Morgan likewise to show it with actions rather than stating it in words.

Alex later tells Morgan over Casey's injured and comatose body that, while she's only known Casey a short time, she loves him very much; Morgan assures her that Casey loves her more than she can know.

Ellie and Devon

At the apartment courtyard, Ellie tells Chuck that she and Devon cannot agree on a name for their unborn baby. She wants Chuck to encourage Devon to name the baby "Grunka". Devon is horrified by the name and has the Buy More staff use various planned responses to Ellie's name suggestion, including Lester Patel's claim that he lost his virginity to a "filthy" grandmother named Grunka.

After Devon and Ellie discuss baby names again, they finally decide on "Clara". Ellie later reveals she was never serious about the name Grunka; "Grunka" was the name of spoons she recently bought.


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.



  • Chuck flashes to defend himself against Yuri.

Cultural references


Critical response

Eric Goldman of IGN gave this episode a score of 7.5 out of 10, praising Dalton's performance. Goldman, however, felt that the episode was "a bit messy and rushed", writing, "At the beginning of the episode, Morgan and Casey talk about the reputation Sarah's been building over several weeks, in order to get on Volkoff's radar, and it felt kind of disappointing that we couldn't see any of that."[1]

HitFix writer Alan Sepinwall noted, "And while there were a lot of good things in 'Chuck vs. the Gobbler,' overall the episode felt like it was racing to get all the pieces into place for next week's episode..." Commenting on the scene of Yuri's murder and the extraction of the Hydra database, Sepinwall said, "Chuck doesn't usually dabble much in graphic imagery (unless it involves Jeff), so I was a bit surprised by the scene of Volkoff scooping out Yuri's eyeball, even though it was shot in a way where you really didn't see any of what he was doing. [2]

Steve Heisler of The A.V. Club gave the episode a C-, stating, "Thus, we get 'Chuck Vs. The Gobbler,' a wobbly episode caught between joyful camp and high-stakes ruminations on the mental capacity of Sarah Walker." Heisler also questioned the ease with which Volkoff downloads the database, "At what point did he notice he was doing too many eyeball data downloads to warrant some sort of plug-in attachment, and decide a permanent fixture was necessary?"[3]


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