Season 4 Episode 10

The Thing About Heroes

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Nov 28, 2007 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
264 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

While in Chicago Mac uncovers more clues about his stalker and reveals his troubled past. Meanwhile, in New York the rest of the team is in danger. The hunt is on to figure out the identity of the 333 stalker before time runs out.

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  • The 333 Stalker is revealed and Mac is kidnapped

    In a brilliant conclusion to the 333 stalker we find out that Mac's stalker is Stella's stalker Drew.Mac in his home town Chicago plays hangman with a dead man and while he is in Chicago the CSI's are in danger when they board a crime scene on a train and it turns out to be a trap.Mac also finds that the motive behind the 333 stalker is that he was a brother of Mac's friend who got beaten to death and Mac had a chance to shoot him but he couldn't do it and Mac's friend died and Drew the 333 stalker blames him.The reason he is called 333 is because the apartment building number when Mac's friend was beaten to death was 333.

    The best part was the final part when Mac is kidnapped and the whole storyline is revealed.moreless
  • The story of the 333 stalker concludes with Mac finally getting the answers he has been searching for since the start of the season. A tragic incident which happened during Mac's childhood in his native Chicago comes back to haunt him.moreless

    I had a little trouble buying how the 333 stalker managed to remote pilot a subway train and also how he managed to smuggle a dead body into the Chicago Tribune building. Despite this big flaw I think this episode was very well done. The story certainly keeps you guessing from the beginning as to how it will resolve itself. The whole story of 333 is told in a way easy for the viewer to follow and is very plausible. I also think the change of scenery was a high point of this episode. Three cheers for Chicago!moreless
  • One of my top five favorite episodes.

    In this episode, Mac goes back to Chicago to track down the 333 stalker. He finds a body in the Tribune Building which eventually leads him back to New York City. Stella figures out that the 333 stalker is Drew Bedford. When they go to find him at his office, he is nowhere to be seen, so the team spreads out to look for him. While Mac is looking around the wine racks, Drew comes out of nowhere and hits Mac in the back of the head with a gun and knocks him out with some drug. When he wakes up, he is in a chair surrounded by lasers. The rest of the team works frantically to find him, and when they do, Drew ends up getting shot, but he doesn't die. The family has lost enough, Mac told Flack.moreless
  • We learn who is the 333 stalker and the significance of the numbers 333.

    First of all, I liked how the episode starts and ends. Very exciting.

    It was a surprise to learn Drew Bedford - Stella's love interest this season - was the 333 stalker. I wasn't expecting him to be the stalker, but I did like Kerr Smith's portrayal of Drew because he showed how angry Drew was at the time.

    My sympathies are with both Drew and Mac. Like Drew, I would have felt angry if my sibling was killed and my friend didn't do anything to prevent it because they were scared. Also, I would have felt scared to shoot someone, even if it is for self-defense.

    In the end, I think it was wise for Mac to wound Drew and not kill him. A true hero wouldn't take another person's life. Also, Mac did make a point when he said at the end of the episode, "Not today. The family has already lost enough." It is true because Drew's family did lose enough already because his brother was already killed.

    I think Drew went to far with his clues.moreless
  • awesome episode

    Everything from the previous episodes finally ties together and we find out who Mac's stalker is and why the numbers 333 are important. When Mac was young, he witnessed his friend get beaten to death and he couldn't pull the trigger of the gun to stop it. The younger brother of the one that died wanted revenge and set up an elaborate stalking plan to get Mac. He kidnapped Mac, but it turned out bad when his older brother turned up and got shot. This episode was great because it developed all of the character, especially Mac when we learned about his past. I also liked the guest characters in this episode - you couldn't help but feel bad for them. Overall, great episode with a great culmination of little clues in previous episodes.moreless
Anna Belknap

Anna Belknap

Lindsay Monroe

Carmine Giovinazzo

Carmine Giovinazzo

Danny Messer

Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise

Detective Mack "Mac" Taylor

Melina Kanakaredes

Melina Kanakaredes

Detective Stella Bonasera

Eddie Cahill

Eddie Cahill

Detective Donald "Don" Flack, Jr.

Hill Harper

Hill Harper

Dr. Sheldon Hawkes

Bryan Becker

Bryan Becker

Bobby Toole

Guest Star

Dave Marlin

Dave Marlin

Young Jimmie Davis

Guest Star

Eddie Driscoll

Eddie Driscoll

Hal Weylon

Guest Star

A.J. Buckley

A.J. Buckley

Adam Ross

Recurring Role

Mykelti Williamson

Mykelti Williamson

Chief of Detectives Brigham Sinclair

Recurring Role

Robert Joy

Robert Joy

Dr. Sid Hammerback

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (14)

    • Goof: Hawkes says that the DNA from the prints in the train and the vic (Drew's) are a match to the blood in the puzzle (Drew's) and Mac says that the blood in the puzzle (Drew's) has common alleles with the blood in the shirt (Will's). Makes sense since Will and Drew are brothers. However, it is said that the DNA on the cigarette (Jimmy's) is not a match to the blood in the puzzle (Drew's) but a filial match to the shirt (Will's). However, Jimmy's DNA should also be a filial match to the blood in the puzzle since all 3 Drew, Will and Jimmy are brothers.

    • Mac tells Det. Brennan that he grew up in Chicago. He seems to be emotionally and physically detaching from the city not phrasing it something like: I'm from here or this is my hometown. He doesn't mention if he has family in the city either.

    • Drew's plan was for the subway to crash and only leave Danny to save Mac and hence be shot and dead in the attempt. If it would have worked, it would have destroyed Mac's entire team, his family somehow.

      It is pretty sure that Drew wanted to destroy all of Mac's "family", but there was no way for him to positively know they would all get on the subway except for one.

    • Mac is 44 years old.

    • The abandoned City Hall subway station exists for real. Train #6 used to loop through it after making its final downtown stop and had to turn to start the trip back uptown.

    • Mac decides not to act according to procedure and doesn't shoot to kill Drew. He just hurt him in the arm. He doesn't want to be responsible for any more deaths.

    • Goof: Stella realizes the 333 stalker is Drew because the piece of the puzzle that she found under his chair had blue crosses (it belongs to the puzzle they haven't received yet) instead of green ones. However, Stella goes back to the lab and places this piece in to the puzzle to complete it.

    • The real puzzles we see in this episode never came with colored X's; instead they were printed with red dots on the pieces you were supposed to remove. This fact was changed in order to be able to realize who the real killer was.

    • The 'anthrax' view in the microscope is the same used in episode 2x16, Cool Hunter, where Hawkes examines a suspect's DNA sample.

    • The Chicago detective asks Mac for his prints and DNA for elimination purposes but I would expect that they will be on file considering his job.

      Note: It's true that they would be in the NY database and the Military database because of his history, but they were in IL so unless the Chicago PD had access to both of those databases or Mac's prints were in the Federal database, they still would have needed elimination samples. Also, DNA is not something that is normally stored for PD employees.

    • Goof: In the flashback to 30 years earlier, Bobby Toole can be seen holding several twenty dollar bills in his hand. Based on the design of the "20" in the corner, it appears that the bills are from the 2004 series. Thus, the bills from the flashback would not have existed in the 1970s.

    • We learn the significance of 333 being the room in which Mac could not shoot the man assaulting his friend's brother when he was young. As Mac said in 4x01 Can you hear me now?: For some, the greatest sin is to turn away and do nothing. Mac's sin is that he was unable to act. He was unable to pull the trigger in order to shoot Bobby Toole and save Will's life.

    • Goof: They should have a reference sample of Drew's prints and DNA already; Drew touched the puzzle with his bare hands in the previous episode. To exclude him from the investigation, Stella would have asked for his prints.

    • Goof: Mac tells Flack that he and Jimmy were fourteen when they tagged along Will. Later on, they show Andy following them, all alone. That would make the age difference between Andy and Mac give or take five years. Believing this is quite difficult with Kerr Smith's youthful appearance and the fact that he is seventeen years younger than Gary Sinise.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Jimmy: (To Mac after being accused of making the 333 calls) You don't know a damn thing.

    • Jimmy: (To Mac, about Bobby Toole's death) We swore we were never gonna talk about this.

    • Sinclair: (To Mac) There's a fine line between foolishness and loyalty.

    • Stella: (About Drew) That's what he wanted. Oh my God, I was part of his plan... and I kept resisting. I mean, I knew. Something in my gut told me it wasn't right. Lindsay, he was using me to get to Mac.

    • Jimmy: (To Mac) You didn't lose a brother. Your family didn't fall apart. You didn't watch your father cry for the first time in your life. You didn't watch him crumble to his knees.

    • Jimmy: (To Mac) You look like your old man.

    • Danny: So, this is what was used to hijack the train. He attached an MP3 player to the control panel; the sick bastard.
      Stella: Ya, well that sick bastard is Mac's stalker.

    • (Mac attempts to make a call and his cell beeps continuously...)
      Brennan: Bad reception down here.
      Mac: There's bad reception everywhere.
      Brennan: Ok, I deserve that.

    • Mac: You wanna take a ride?
      Flack: As long as it's not on a subway.

    • Danny: It could be a woman.
      Lindsay: Women don't get up at 3:33 in the morning to make anonymous phone calls, Danny.
      Danny: You sure about that?

    • Mac: This is crazy, Andy. The only thing you are gonna accomplish here is getting yourself killed.
      Andy: Yeah...I can live with that.

    • Flack: He holds Mac responsible for losing someone in his family.
      Lindsay: So what? Now he wants Mac to lose someone in his family?
      Stella: Yeah. One of us.

    • Flack: A little out of your jurisdiction, aren't ya?
      Mac: When you called me, I thought you were in New York.
      Flack: Sneaky like that. Plus it made it easier to find you.

  • NOTES (5)

    • Erin Daniels, who plays Det. Brennan, also appears in the C.S.I. episode The Descent of Man. Eddie Driscoll, who plays Hal Weston, also appears in the CSI: Miami episode In Plane sight.

    • Spanish title: Lo Malo de Ser un Héroe, meaning The Downside of being a Hero.

    • Music Featured:
      Troubled Son by Working for a Nuclear Free City.
      Train to Nowhere by Savoy Brown.

    • International Air Dates:
      Norway: Wednesday, February 20, 2008 9.35 pm on TVNorge.
      UK: March 15, 2008 on Ch5.
      Venezuela: Thursday April 17th, 2008 on AXN.
      Turkey: May 5, 2008 on CNBC-e.
      Spain: May 6, 2008 on AXN Spain.
      The Netherlands: May 7, 2008 on RTL4.
      Australia: May 19, 2008 on Network 9.
      Denmark: April 7, 2008 on Kanal 5.
      Greece: November 19, 2008 on SKAI.
      Finland: May 20, 2009 on MTV3.

    • This ep is Also Known As Train to Nowhere.

      When information first surfaced on the ep, it was originally called Train to Nowhere, based on a song and an event in the episode, but was later changed to The Thing About Heroes.