Uncertainty Principle

Season 1, Ep 2, Aired 1/28/05
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  • Episode Description
  • Charlie accurately predicts where a band of bank robbers will strike next. But when Don and his team confront them, a massive shoot-out occurs leaving four people, including an officer, dead. The outcome disturbs Charlie and he retreats into the family garage to work out an unsolvable math problem that he also plunged into after his mother became ill a year earlier. But Don needs his brother's help and tries to get Charlie to return to the case.moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Judd Hirsch

    Alan Eppes

  • David Krumholtz

    Charlie Eppes

  • Peter MacNicol

    Dr. Larry Fleinhardt

  • Alimi Ballard

    David Sinclair

  • Rob Morrow

    Don Eppes

  • Fan Reviews (11)
  • This is definitely one, if not the best episode ever. It really shows the premise of the show.

    By numb3rsgirl13, Jun 23, 2009

  • good episode

    By Fwirrel, Oct 13, 2008

  • Really awesome episode!

    By sweetysmart0505, Sep 12, 2008

  • My favorit3 3pisod3.

    By Kali2006, Jan 28, 2007

  • Review

    By cavanagh15, Jan 27, 2007

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (8)

    • Charlie: The FBI's nicknamed them The Charm School Boys, because they are so nice and polite, they don't use weapons or threats. They say please and thank you. They even open doors for other bank customers on their way in or out.

    • Charlie: Dad, uhm... I've been working on a problem. P vs. NP. It can't be solved.
      Alan: I think you knew that when you started.
      Charlie: I could work on it forever. Constantly pushing forward, still never reaching an end.
      Alan: You know, sometimes you want to think that things don't end. But they do.
      Charlie: When Mom was sick, I couldn't stop working on it.
      Alan: Yeah, I know. I didn't get it. Uhm... not then. And your brother sure doesn't understand why you spent the last three months of your mother's life working on a math problem. But your... your mother. She understood why. Because she knew how your mind worked.

    • Alan: Well, it's hard for Don to ask for help. It's really hard for him to ask Charlie.

    • Don: Wanna hear something wild? When I was in college I played baseball. Charlie could predict the number of walks I was gonna get just by my stance.

    • Larry: Don’t confuse the ability to predict with the ability to control.

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    Notes (10)

    • The opening shootout scene was unusually big and difficult to produce for an episodic TV show, but Davis Guggenheim was able to pull it off. At one point, Rob Morrow slipped and fell. Rather than stop the scene, he just started crawling as fast as he could along a wall. A short burst of that shot remained in the final cut and made it seem very real. The scene was shot at a courtyard outside an office building and is used in a lot of TV and movies. One movie was Collateral Damage with Arnold Schwarzennegger.

    • All the scenes by the koi pond were originally intended to be in other locations. Originally, Charlie and Larry were in an observatory. Later, they were on a rooftop. The producers were looking for locations that captured the idea of observing things from above. However, the producers couldn't get those locations to fit into the shooting schedule. Due to the big action and number of other locations, they couldn't even do any college locations. So they had to make nearly all of those scenes happen at the Eppes house. It was the director, Davis Guggenheim, who thought of having Charlie and Larry watch the fish.

    • It wasn't explained why Charlie already has access to Don's office without any backstory. This episode was meant to play 4th in order, and didn't explain that Charlie already had clearance. This was revealed in Vector.

    • The episode was originally due to air 4th, but CBS decided to push it up in the playlist. This was due not only to the high action in the episode, but also as a decent follow-up to the Pilot.

    • This episode was originally titled Cause & Causality.

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    Trivia (12)

    • Opening Numb3rs:
      2 SUSPECTS
      $2700 AVERAGE TAKE

    • The Math:
      P vs. NP – an unanswered computer science problem whereas it is easy to use a computer to check the solution to a problem, but impossible to formulate the program for the computer to do so.
      Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle – an aspect of quantum mechanics which states an object cannot be observed without changing what is being observed.

    • Don and Charlie graduated high school on the same day.

    • When he was three, Charlie could multiply four digit numbers in his head.

    • Alan's wife died of cancer (type unknown).

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