John Doe

Season 1 Episode 17

Doe or Die

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Mar 21, 2003 on FOX
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Ken Rothman, an ex-police officer that Avery got fired for beating a suspect, gets into the police HQ by faking his death and he and his men quickly take the station and most of the staff. Only John can stop him before Rothman carries out his true plan.moreless

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  • Interesting- Goes down Hallways or Airways you never expected

    Once Again this Show does push the edge. You never really know where it is going- it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Long story short Someone disappears into the Heating Ducts. Several are held captive- But good old John figures a interesting way out. Just when you think you know who did it. You Don't. The ending twists and turns. Its very interesting and worth watching
Patricia Idlette

Patricia Idlette

No-nonsense Officer (Brenda)

Guest Star

Kris Pope

Kris Pope

Coroner's Assistant

Guest Star

Tony Plana

Tony Plana

Captain Ruiz

Guest Star

David Parker

David Parker

Detective Roosevelt

Recurring Role

Rekha Sharma

Rekha Sharma


Recurring Role

David Lewis (IV)

David Lewis (IV)


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (14)

    • Sure, John made a decent effort to sing "Ja må hon leva" in Swedish, but for a guy that knows everything, he fails to get all the words right.

    • Doe's chlorine gas mixture (Bleach & Ammonia) in the lightbulb is an interesting idea, except he should have put the bleach into one bulb and the ammonia into another. Then when he threw them together they would mix and produce chlorine gas. This technique was also used by MacGuyver in the 80's using spray bottles.

    • The mirror should show a reversed view of the hallway behind Rothman. However, it clearly shows a non-reversed shot of the hallway with the door at the end on the original (right-hand) side.

    • Why didn't Rothman see himself in the mirror even though he could see Doe standing right behind him?

    • The terrorist wouldn't have been shocked because he wasn't grounded to anything. Even if he were shocked, he wouldn't have turned "electricity blue." He wouldn't have been immediately knocked out (and stayed out long enough for Doe to gas the other terrorist and tie them together) from only 120 volts. Why would all of this destroy the metal balls?

    • Doe is shown hurling the shocking device from the ceiling grate. The next shot shows the device wrapping itself neatly around the terrorist's arm. Nice toss.

    • Doe goes to a lot of trouble to get the meditation balls for his shocking device. It seems that he could have found something as effective, or more effective, somewhere else in the building.

    • How did Rothman figure out the cameras were active? There's no active light or anything. For that matter, how did John shut down the active light from a distance?

    • Wouln't Doe have wanted some kind of insulation between himself and a coffee cup containing a mixture that hot? It even appears to be running down his hand in the close up.

    • The coffee pot apparently has soap in it - shouldn't that interfere with John's chemical drain cleaner/lemon acid mixture?

    • In one shot we see a black van going down a street. There are white banners on the lamp posts - those are banners promoting Olympic awareness for Vancouver's 2010 Winter Olympic bid - not very likely in Seattle.

    • At the end it sure looks like Lt. Avery's name plate says "Jame".

    • Shouldn't Rothman's men have spotted the CDC forces moving in? They report about the area being clear earlier. A better question - why does the CDC come in sirens and lights going?

    • They can't seem to decide if the Captain's name is pronounced "ru-EEZ" or "ru-EHZ" - different people pronounce it different ways.

  • QUOTES (5)

  • NOTES (3)

    • Music: "Ready Steady Go" - Paul Oakenfold (Doe crawls through the venting system, Doe makes a phone call)

    • This is the second episode where a very short scene is just a repeat of another from a different episode. When John is up in the air vents, just after he has picked up the phone, he hooks it up to call out and it shows him twisting two wires together; that scene is actually the one from "Manifest Destiny" when John is fixing the wiring in the lower part of the plane that was damaged by water.

    • William Forsythe doesn't appear in this episode.


    • Brenda: You could be Joe Millionnaire.
      Another Fox show.

    • Die Hard: A guy in the ventilator shafts, an elegant terrorist...
      Numerous allusions to the Bruce Willis movie, right down to the authorities showing up and telling the hero's black partner that the hero needs to get out of the way and let the pros handle it. Also the communication between the hero and the villain over a portable communication unit, the authorities willing to kill the hostages to get the bad guy, and the whole plan being a diversion. The final bit with the escape by ship seems a lot like the end of Die Hard 3.