Charles Irving "Chuck" Bartowski is the main character of the American fiction television show Chuck on NBC. He is portrayed by Zachary Levi.
At the outset of the show, Chuck Bartowski is presented as a twenty something underachiever who works at a dead end job at the local Buy More in its Nerd Herd division (a fictionalized Geek Squad). Chuck's life stalled after his college roommate, Bryce Larkin, planted test answers under Chuck's bed and then reported him to the officials, which led to Chuck's expulsion from Stanford University (where he was a scholarship student) in 2003 — only twelve credits shy of completing his bachelor's degree. For a long time, Chuck hated Bryce for his betrayal, but he later learns that Bryce got him expelled to protect him from being recruited into the CIA because he knew Chuck wouldn't survive in the field. He also lost his college girlfriend, Jill Roberts (Jordana Brewster). At some point over the next five years Chuck becomes the Nerd Herd supervisor.
That's his job at the time of the pilot, when the viewers are introduced to the key people in Chuck's current life: his older sister, Eleanor Fay "Ellie" Bartowski, M.D. (Sarah Lancaster), her live-in boyfriend, Devon "Captain Awesome" Woodcomb (Ryan McPartlin) and Chuck's best friend since childhood, Morgan Grimes. Very little else is known about his family. His mother left when Chuck was in the fifth grade and his father was "never really around" even before he also left (roughly eleven years ago), so Chuck and Ellie increasingly had to fend for themselves.
On his birthday in 2007, Chuck opens an email from Bryce Larkin that causes Chuck to download into his brain the full contents of a CIA/NSA supercomputer known as the Intersect, which has served as a database for their combined collected intelligence. Unbeknownst to Chuck, the Intersect computer has been destroyed, making his brain the only location of this top-secret information. The government learns that Chuck Bartowski was the last known person that Bryce Larkin contacted, so both the CIA and NSA (independent of each other) send agents to find him. The CIA dispatches field officer Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) to retrieve a copy of the Intersect, while the NSA sends then-Major John Casey (Adam Baldwin) to capture Chuck. The two agents eventually cross paths, and Sarah fends off Casey. They then discover that Chuck is a human version of the Intersect who sees a rapid-fire series of images (or "flashes") of intelligence from the Intersect database whenever his brain recognizes a bit of related information with his own eyes or ears. The two agencies conclude that Chuck must be protected and assign Sarah and Casey jointly to the task.
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