The Enemy

Many of us have made reference to the fact that we know very little about the enemies in Chuck, so I thought I would start a new thread to analyze what we know so far.

Fulcrum is comprised of people from various backgrounds.  They recruit spies as well as scientists like Jill and computer genisuses like Roarke.

Roarke had RIOS, the Roarke Industries Operating System, which seems to have been designed to serve as a trojan horse to gather information.  Roarke also worked on designing a new Intersect and had a history with Mr. Stephen Bartowski, aka Orion.  In Colonel, he was ready to try and transform Fulcrum agents into Intersected spies.  Their training facility in downtown LA was full of visual propaganda, ala previous Fascist/Comunist regimes.  We also know they recruit and have members in different countries spy services.  Cole Barker was working to get after Fulcrum agents in Beefcake and Lethal Weapon.

The Ring is comprised of multiple different different groups.  We also learn that they never lose (vs. Ring).  They are seeking an Intersect, they have sophisticated communications equipment (those fancy phones), and they are very aggressive.  We know that in Angel, they wanted to keep the status quo be eliminating the dictator before he made his announcement of democratic elections.

So what is their agenda?  I’m curious as to what you guys think and how Team Bartowski will go about defeating them.



About amyabn

My name is Amy and I'm in the active Army as my profession. I love the show Chuck and want to see it succeed for many seasons to come. My twitter handle is amyabn.
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34 Responses to The Enemy

  1. jason says:

    the ring has a device to donwload chuck, then upload the intersect back to ring agents. they know about chuck and sarah. their plan is to kidnap sarah, and force chuck to voluntarily come in to save her. shaw and the general know the plan, and will use sarah as bait, to bring down the ring (hence the general’s we should tell them, they need to prepare in episode 2 & the spoiler shaw will do anything to take down the ring) shaw does not want them to know, as he knows chuck would not go thru with anything so dangerous to sarah. Shaws plan for chuck’s accelerated spy training is to prepare him to be able to enter the ring headquarters alone when the trade is being made, and help shaw bring down the ring.

    • amyabn says:

      Jason, are you spitballing or have I missed an important preview?! Sounds exciting either way!

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I was spitballing on this a while back. In Pink Slip we are lead to believe, but aren’t sure that the assassin Javier was after Giles, Sarah’s mark. But, consider that when Javier had both Chuck and Sarah he kept expressing interest in “the girl” and threatening Chuck that he’d make him tell him everything about her. So consider the possibility that Sarah is on The Ring’s radar. She was part of the team that brought down Fulcrum and she was after all heading up the Intersect 2 project with Bryce Larkin. When 6 Ring agents were sent to steal it none were ever heard from again, and Sarah showed up a few weeks later in Lisbon to burry Bryce’s ashes. Why would The Ring NOT be curious about her? I have the feeling that the Ring sees Sarah as a key player in the Intersect project, possibly as the Intersect? In any case, it is fun to think of scenarios.

    • amyabn says:

      It does beg the question: what is it that Shaw doesn’t want Beckman to tell Team Bartowski? I really like your idea about Sarah being used as bait.

  2. herder says:

    One of the things that I had wondered about were all the european references, Bryce being treated in eastern europe, Cole Barker and Ilsa Trichina investigating, Sasha Banichek knowing things and of course Chuck’s training in Prague. Is the Ring some sort of Old World shadow organization that has spread into the New World, in other words, some sort of clandestine agency that has been around for centuries influencing world events for their own benefit.

    So far this year we have had references to Prague (Chuck), Mexico (the Pink Slip), an english bad guy (Stromberg), a fictional latin american country and another english bad guy (Costa Gravas), Paris (First Class), Bahrain (Natcho Sampler) and let’s not forget Lisbon. The scope of the Rings operations seem much more international than Fulcrum’s, in fact Fulcrum’s international aspects could be them acting their part in the Ring.

    • amyabn says:

      Fulcrum seemed to be a component of the Ring, which leads me to guess that the Ring is an overarching organization, with many supporting organizations (like real life with groups aligning themselves with Al Qaeda).
      It really makes me wonder what their goals are. If they are an insurgency, what is their endstate?

    • joe says:

      And Dubye, too!

  3. joe says:

    Amy, you’ve got a great question.

    Okay, here I am, Mr. “It’s all gonna be good” about the show. But if there’s any one aspect that’s left me unimpressed so far, it’s been The Ring. Started out great threatening Deven in Op. Awesome, but they seemed far less imposing in First Class and although present, barely a factor in Nacho Sampler. Clearly, two intersected people are too much for them to handle.

    So far, they hardly seem invincible. Fulcrum with their misguided patriotism and insider status (Tommy!) seemed more dangerous, if less blood thirsty with their class room indoctrination.

    • atcdave says:

      I agree Joe, hopefully we’ll learn something about objectives, capabilities, history, in the next few weeks. I really don’t even have a handle yet on if they’re a long term threat or not. Maybe they’ll be eliminated in 3.13. Or maybe they’ll be like Specter or KAOS and be with us for years to come.

    • amyabn says:

      Another thought that just popped in to my head(thanks to Jeff’s best friend, beer: Why is the Intersect so important to Fulcrum and the Ring? What do they want to achieve? They seem to have world class spies on their payrolls yet keep chasing a technology to what end? Yeah, the possibility to imbed info into spies is cool, but I really think they’ve killed the premise by showing any old spy being lined up to receive the Intersect. Maybe they aren’t planning on downloading as much info as Chuck got, but I think they jumped the shark on how easy it is to receive the info. All of the guys in Suburbs were made vegetative or killed, so they need to decide what the effects are and be consistent.

  4. BDP says:

    The Rings agender… I assume its the same as everyone’s. Money and/or Power through any means.

    There just more global about it.

    Broad i know but its probably what it boils down to..

    or they’re a collective troup of breakdancers and are quietly eliminating all the competition from other countries erstwhile trying to recruit the usa’s best breakdancers to keep ahead of any “Friendly” competition… there special breakdancing move is called the ring… anyone… no… just me then… fine… spies make good breakdancers too you know

  5. Big Kev says:

    Love Jason’s theory. I’ve thought for a while now that Sarah will be on the Ring’s radar, somehow or other.
    We also know, from one of the extended promos, that Sarah tells Chuck he’s going to be trained “to become a top assassin” – so that part also fits.
    But I have a question to throw in here – do we know for certain that the “Fake Name” in Ep 8 refers to Sarah? If it does, then DeLorean puzzles me. Chuck flashes on Jack Burton in DeLorean – and if he has the intel, presumably he would know if “Jack Burton” is an alias. Nothing is mentioned. So I’m still thinking there’s a chance that Burton is genuinely Sarah’s last name – unless part of the reveal is that Jack Burton isn’t her Dad, but I can’t see how they could carry that off.
    So my (admittedly half baked) theory is that the name reveal in 8 is actually Shaw – and the back half is Chuck and Sarah using that piece of intel and working together to piece together Shaw’s plan – including Sarah having to get close to him to try to prise out his secret, and Chuck “pretending” to be jealous to make Shaw believe that his plan to come between them is still working. That’s how she finds out that the plan is to use Chuck to assassinate all of the elders of the Ring – and ep 13 is Chuck (and Sarah) deciding to accept the mission and be Carmichael (the other guy).
    Probably not even close – but speculation is half the fun!

    Oh, and Joe – can we start another thread to see how people think the “Fake Name” reveal will play out?

    • joe says:

      I’m sure we’ll have a thread on that, Kev. I do believe that Fake Name airs on March 1, so we’ll have plenty of time to speculate.

      I start to like Jason’s idea too.

      As to what we know, I’m pretty sure that everything we think we know about the title is guesswork. Sarah’s real name was certainly what they wanted us to think about!

      Everybody tried to guess about The Three Words and I saw the people on the boards come to “I Love You” almost out of resignation. They were right!

      Lord knows what The Beard, The Tooth and The Tic Tac are going to be about. I sure don’t!

      And wasn’t the name of The Fake Name going to be The Nose originally? Hey! Maybe it’s the name of the episode that’s fake!

      • Erin says:

        Well, Ausiello reported that we would be finding out Sarah’s name in the first episode after the olympics, and im pretty sure zachary levi said that “The Beard”, which he directed, is a morgan centered episode.

    • atcdave says:

      They often like dual meanings. As Erin pointed out, there are many spoilers indicating we will learn Sarah’s real name in this episode; but that doesn’t rule out other meanings also. My thought on “Jack Burton” is just that its such a well used alias (like Charles Charmichael or Sarah Walker) that it has a life of its own, and that’s what Chuck flashed on.

  6. OldDarth says:

    The Ring seems to be the season’s McGuffin. From what the season is about, Chuck becoming a spy, it is quite possible the purpose of the Ring may not even been touched upon the final episode of this Season.

    This maybe where the next major twist will be revealed at the season finale.

    Plus there must be more to the new Intersect than we are aware of. An ability that would allow Chuck to access the InterNet and bypass software security could lead to some tasty possibilities.

    • joe says:

      Yeah. You’re right about the McGuffin. What did Javier say to Casey about their purpose? “You can’t imagine”? or words to that effect?

      Maybe finding out more about The Ring will be a large part of the back 6.

  7. wdm0744 says:

    This doesn’t really answer any questions, but I keep thinking about the words in the final scene of “Chuck vs. The Ring”. I think Bryce said them (or maybe it was the main bad guy who said it) –

    “Fulcrum’s just part of the ring”.

    Obviously we should take that as meaning that The Ring is a conglomerate of organizations that are willing to use nefarious means to accomplish their goals. Like someone else in the comments said, this seems a bit like Al Qaeda in real life.

    Anyway, I was re-watching “Chuck vs. The Predator” this weekend and I saw the scene where the guy from the Mummy comes to report before a mysterious group of bad guys all seated at darkened, semi-circle table.

    I’m probably way off base here, but I started thinking that maybe the fact that they were seated at a semi-circle table was significant.

    The room they’re in is large and dark. What if there are other semi-circle tables surrounding the room, all forming one big giant ring? If this were the case, then are we to assume that this one table was given to the leaders of Fulcrum?

    But then again, at the end of “the Ring”, we’re told that Fulcrum is beaten. Roark and presumably all the leadership were destroyed, right?

    If this is true, then perhaps there is only one table in that darkened room, but the different people seated there represent different organizations making up the Ring, and not just Fulcrum leadership? If this were the case then Mummy dude may have been an agent for the Ring as a whole and not just Fulcrum.

    Like I said – I’m not sure this really gets us anywhere, but it is cool to watch this scene and imagine the larger implications.

    • atcdave says:

      I think you’re right on the money; we assumed at the time Agent Imhotep was speaking to Fuclrum leadership, but now it seems more likely it was Ring leadership. They even refered to Fulcrum in the third person “Fulcrum believes…” or something to that effect (proves nothing, but does tend to suggest…)

      • atcdave says:

        Funny, the very night after I wrote this we saw that’s exactly what this was. Good thing this isn’t the NBC forum, I would have been kicked off again!

  8. Yeefiver says:

    Regarding Shaw not having Beckman tell Team Bartowski (At the end of The Three Words);
    I always thought it was regarding false intel Shaw was maybe planting regarding Devon as a super spy. (If you remember Devon said Sydney knew everything about him and Ellie. Do you really expect an organization like the Ring to be so off on their intel unless it was deliberately fed to them?) Beckman was worried and felt Team Bartowski needed to be informed about what Shaw was doing because he was going to deliberately use an inexperienced civilian in an operation.
    And now for something completely different;
    Did you notice that Sarah appears to be losing some of her skills as a fighter? (She lost her fight with both Sydney and a Ring agent in Dubai.) In both instances, she was saved by Chuck.
    Just wondering if she is losing her skills due to her feelings slowly surfacing from within her and therefore putting her at risk (remember what she told Chuck in The Three Words about the need to bury his feelings deep within himself or else his feelings will get him killed.)

    • joe says:

      Hi, Yeefiver. Nice to see you here.

      You may be right about Shaw & Beckman using Devon that way. But I’m still thinking that we don’t know what it is she was talking about. My gut says Shaw has a surprise up his sleeve still, and it’s not going to be pleasant.

      Yeah – Sarah hasn’t been invincible with her fighting skills, but that’s really more realistic than, say, her fight with Colt in S2. (Well, except in Op. Awesome when she overpowered the two armed military guards by herself). Can’t say that she’s lost skills, though. It’s that in combat, sometimes you get lucky, and sometimes you don’t. Sarah was lucky to have Casey and especially Chuck w/intersect to pick up the slack!

    • wdm0744 says:

      Good thoughts. Having Shaw plant the evidence about Devon would solve the problem that many brought up concerning an experienced espionage syndicate like the Ring getting things so wrong with picking up Devon instead of Chuck.

      i don’t know if it will play out that way or not, but it seems like a clever twist to me.

  9. jason says:

    you guys think this beckman sarah conversation from 3.1 will play into 3.12 / 3.13? not sure how it fits, but seems somewhat odd with what we have seen so far, which is somewhat mild physical flashing skills?

    “In Castle, General Redhead tells Sarah that she needs her to help keep Chuck’s emotions in check, because he’s unstable. Sarah asks if she thinks he’s dangerous, and she says he is, but it’s worth the risk. She says they’ve protected Chuck from the world for two years, but now they have to protect the world from Chuck”

    • Waverly says:

      Initially they had to protect the vulnerable Chuck from the bad guys.

      Clearly they don’t need to protect the bad guys from Chuck. But they do need to protect civilians and the good guys from the unreliably capable Chuck 2.0. As Lester found out (“Boom boom pow!”) in Operation Awesome.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Hmmmmm… Will they unleash the Chuck?

    • Mike B says:

      I don’t think Chuck will ever do anything that will threaten the world. I think it was a line they just threw out there. Just like when JS said the traumatic reset in “Pink Slip” was “really really cool”. Did anyone think Pink Slip was really cool? Anyone? Buehler?

    • Faith says:

      I actually think that line is a foreshadowing of the darkness that will envelop Chuck in his eagerness to save the world.

      In a way it’s really why he needs Sarah with him, to keep him from going fully into the dark side (a la Darth Vader lol).

      • Yeefiver says:

        I agree with the premise that as we continue to watch Chuck mature as a spy (especially a super spy), his story will parallel that of Annikin Skywalker.
        Sarah is his Padme. But unlike Padme, Sarah will be able to help Chuck to return from the dark side.

      • Anonymous says:

        Fear leads to anger anger leads to hate hate leads to suffering.

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