25 Inimitable Men 14/25
Devon Woodcomb (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 anywhere. Initially when we were introduced to him in the pilot, I didn’t think he was a character that’d make it to the end and that’s exactly what makes him remarkable. He’s written and presented in such a way where the audience will 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’s in fact so much more. Devon Woodcomb is a number of things — ridiculously smart, empathetic, thoughtful, but most importantly he’s supremely noble.
Here’s the thing, normally in the world of entertainment media, a person who looks like Devon is generally perceived as a dumb jock nothing but a pretty boy who’s also most likely a heartbreaker. As I had mentioned before: “Society and thereby, often times television, 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’s done remarkably 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.” And I’m guilty of assuming this because of what we’re constantly shown on television — how unfortunate is that? I feel bad to have assumed, but I’m so thrilled to have gotten to know this character. He’ll be appreciated forever here — lesson learned we never stereotype or assume.
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 showcase the fact that he’s a figure who’s always choosing to extend a helping hand by using his life experience as proof of success.
Devon’s empathy and kindness is such a crucial aspect of the show that the only way to miss 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. I’ve said it before when discussing the two of them for the #25LoveStories portion, but Devon’s empathy and thoughtful nature with Ellie never fails to floor me. His attention to detail, her likes, dislikes, mood changes have made him the perfect partner to walk alongside her. Consistently making sure that she’s reminded of how exquisite and capable she is. Devon never misses the chance to compliment his wife or voice his adoration towards her. He never misses the chance to tell her how much he believes in her. And that kindness is easily reflected in his confusion towards other people — when Devon doesn’t understand someone, he isn’t taken aback by it, but rather approaches with ease and empathy.
But most importantly, Devon’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 faintest 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 recall 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, 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 Devon 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 with how much adoration runs through Devon’s veins. I imagine it to be a good amount, but I’m always stunned at just how compassionate and empathetic he is. He is a remarkable father who tries so incredibly hard to perfect, it’s adorable. And he’s an extraordinary husband, but that’s a fact we’ve already established. He’s also pretty darn healthy and we could learn a thing or two from him because the lifestyle he’s chosen is one that benefits the human body significantly. 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 for the win.