Portrayed by: Ryan McPartlin
Show: NBC’s Chuck
Awesome—how appropriately titled for Chuck’s Devon Woodcomb. This isn’t the first time I’ll say this and it’s most certainly not the last, but Devon Woodcomb is one of the most underrated characters to ever exist on a TV series (or rather in any form of media).
Initially, when we were introduced to him in the Pilot, I didn’t think he was a character who’d make it to the end, and that is exactly what makes him so remarkable. He is written and presented in such a way where the audience could instantly assume he’ll be stereotyped into nothing but a pretty boy jock who’d leave no impression, but as the seasons progress, he proves (and in the most effortless of ways if I may add), that he is in fact, so much more.
Devon Woodcomb is a number of things—ridiculously smart, empathetic, thoughtful, but most importantly, he’s supremely noble.
Devon Woodcomb and His Choices
Here’s the sad truth, normally in the world of entertainment media, a person who looks like Devon (and isn’t the main character) is generally perceived as a dumb jock. He would be written as nothing but a pretty boy who’s also most likely, a heartbreaker. Often times on television, writers have a tendency to categorize good-looking jocks as either jerks or idiots and their pretty girlfriends tend to be ditzy or obnoxious.
However, what Chuck has done marvelously is taken such figures and written them as the exact opposites. Debunking the conception that jocks and or pretty girls can’t be doctors and or genuinely kind people. Devon valued his appearance and took great care of his body, but at no point was he depicted as anything but a kind and loyal man. Ellie was beautiful in every sense of the word, but what was often highlighted about her character was her mind.
As a doctor, Devon quickly showcases that his mind is not only put to excellent use, but he has a genuine desire to be good in the world. And Devon’s wisdom isn’t only apparent in his career, but rather his understanding of the world—his means of communication with people and the advice he chooses to give them, which easily plays a role in uplifting and changing their lives.
He didn’t choose to become a doctor for the money, but rather the passion, the innate, heartfelt desire to help people. Whether he’s ceaselessly encouraging his wife to embrace her emotions without feeling guilty for whatever she’s facing, or whether he’s encouraging his brother-in-law to embrace all that’s within him—Devon’s choices in life have showcased the fact that he’s a figure who’s always choosing to extend a helping hand by using his life’s experience as proof of success.
The Empathy and The Loyalty
Devon’s empathy and loyalty are such crucial aspects of the show that the only way to miss them is to not pay attention in the slightest. Whoever it is, whatever they’re facing, he’s often chosen to find the good in them. But it’s most evident with his family members, specifically his wife.
Devon’s empathy and thoughtful approaches with Ellie never fail to floor me. His attention to detail, likes, dislikes, and mood changes have made him the perfect partner to walk alongside her. Consistently making sure that she is reminded of how exquisite and capable she is. Devon never misses the chance to compliment his wife or voice his adoration. He never misses the chance to tell her how much he believes in her. And that kindness is easily reflected in his attention towards others as well—when Devon doesn’t understand someone, he isn’t taken aback by it, but rather approaches with ease and empathy.
But most importantly, Devon Woodcomb’s nobility is unmatched. My absolute favorite part of his and Ellie’s relationship was the tremendous guilt he felt anytime he had to lie to her. That immense guilt is the ultimate showcase of his nobility, for even the smallest lie that would benefit her was too much for him.
He believed in the fact that those he cares for deserve complete honesty—his wife especially. His desires are so incredibly sincere that he’s literally the world’s most awful liar. I mean, let’s simply look back at him telling her that he was out strangling a bear instead of the truth, which is that he was working with Chuck in the C.I.A. Devon’s inability to lie is the very authentication that his intentions are honorable in every area of his life. When he vowed to marry Ellie, he vowed to remain truthful to her, and we can be certain of the fact that until his final breath, he will be.
There are a number of actors that could have brought Devon Woodcomb to life brilliantly, but I’m certain that no one would have layered him as remarkably as Ryan McPartlin. McPartlin brought so much heart to every emotion Devon felt, and he did so with intricate humor and charm. He managed to convey a plethora of emotions from confidence to fear and confusion to love. Whatever Captain Awesome felt, McPartlin made sure we could feel it, too.
I’ve rewatched Chuck way too many times to count at this point, and each time I’m stunned by how much adoration runs through Devon’s veins. I imagine it to be a good amount, but I’m always in awe of just how compassionate and empathetic he is.
He is a remarkable father who tries so incredibly hard to be perfect, it’s adorable. And he’s an extraordinary husband, but that’s a fact we’ve already established. Finally, raise your hand if you now refer to Las Vegas as Las Vecas? To be frank, Las Vecas sounds way better. Why isn’t it real?
Captain Awesome today, Captain Awesome tomorrow, Captain awesome forever, and for the win.