Season 4 Episode 16

Atomic No. 33

Aired Friday 10:00 PM May 02, 2008 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
133 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Don and the team must investigate a religious cult after scores of followers are poisoned.

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  • Childish treatment of cults combined with ridiculous notions about US legal system, e.g., you have to abandon faith healing to get listed as a real religion!

    Childish treatment of cults combined with ridiculous notions about US legal system, e.g., you have to abandon faith healing to get listed as a real religion! Silly use of network theory.

    Why in the world does my review need to be 100 words to be "valid"?

    Why in the world does my review need to be 100 words to be "valid"?

    Why in the world does my review need to be 100 words to be "valid"?

    Why in the world does my review need to be 100 words to be "valid"?

    Why in the world does my review need to be 100 words to be "valid"?moreless
  • A religious cult episode handled excellently.

    A religious cult which refuses medical help is not unusual, but what is unusual is their leader – not only does he allow paramedics entry but states the attack was a hate crime instead of the usual - trying to attach religious significance to it. Then he grants complete access to church records. A very unusual leader. The possibility of an outsider spiking the coffee is slim, these people just wouldn't trust outsiders. Chances are it really is an inside job, people drawn to cults easily become fanatics on the subject – this was probably an attempt to provide 'proof' of their teachings. Or given the infighting – an attempt to discredit Reverend Ezra.

    Larry, uncharacteristically passionate, becomes deeply offended by Susan, to the point of argument. This episode touches on dangerous ground – the ancient battle between religion and science. Some - like Larry – use science to reinforce their faith, while others – like Susan - follow the extreme of either science *or* religion.

    The twist in the tale comes from the motive: not the obvious religious one, but simple greed. A long con designed to rob the cult blind indefinitely.

    On a side note, I haven't watched this since season 1 and I have to say I'm impressed, it's gone from good to excellent. I'm definitely going to catch up with my watching. Absolutely love the visual effects, beautifully done, very effective.

    A potentially controversial episode handled extremely well, an all around excellent episode.moreless
  • Liked this episode . . . but not as much as I could have. Liked Robin. Liked one-liners. Liked light-heartedness. Disliked lack of family love. Disliked lack of maths. Disliked fairly straightforward plot.moreless

    This eppy is certainly keeping with the high standard that 4th season is setting, but there was just that special something missing.

    A lot of focus was directed on Don this episode - which I whole-heartedly agree with! But it was pretty much between him and Robin, and as much as I like her, I LOVE interaction between him and Charlie. It was very sweet, but we need a little brotherly love ya know! Not to mention that the other characters were just background.

    The plot, although it had a few twists, was not one of their best, and was not given a lot of attention, and the maths explained was minimal and not particularly interesting. Even Alan was shunted to the side except for other characters development. Fair enough, Larry got a lot of well deserved screen time but overall I felt like this eppy was drifting a little. It had a lot of the elements of a great episode but none of the real substance, maybe it's because of the writer's strike and the big break, but I can't wait until we get the big juicy plotlines and maybe a little magic of the first season again!moreless
  • great episode...

    I really liked this episode. I thought the story was interesting and so were the guest characters. The whole religous "cult" was very interesting and the conflict between Larry and one of the members was interesting. I wasn't expecting him to react that way; it was great character development. Reverend Ezra and his son were apparently con-men and were trying to take all of the church's money. Interesting, I thought it was Ezra, but I wasn't expecting his kid. That was a good twist. Overall, great episode. It would have been perfect if Don hadn't had the whole girlfriend story line. I'm tired of his love-life stories. They're boring.moreless
Michael O'Keefe

Michael O'Keefe

Reverend Joseph Ezra

Guest Star

Steven R. McQueen

Steven R. McQueen

Craig Ezra

Guest Star

Jill Eikenberry

Jill Eikenberry

Susan Doran

Guest Star

Michelle Nolden

Michelle Nolden

AUSA Robin Brooks

Recurring Role

Leslie Silva

Leslie Silva

M.E. Ridenhour

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • As Larry and Charlie revise their theory, just after the mother's confession, Larry looks at a board with calculations that faces the wrong way. After the camera changes to Charlie for some seconds, the board now faces properly to Larry.

    • Alan: (to Larry) Not everyone has the emotional and intellectual resource to search for God in a supercollider.

      Though Alan was directly commenting on Larry's search for God in a religious context, he was also alluding to the work Larry does at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. As a scientist, Larry assists in searching for the theoretical Higgs boson, also known as the God particle, using the D0 (pronounced D Zero) supercollider.

    • Opening Numb3rs:
      1137 MEMBERS
      30 YEARS
      2 FAMILIES

    • Don Eppes' favorite movie is Sullivan's Travels (1941), a comedy that stars Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake. AUSA Robin Brooks doesn't particularly like chocolate—her favorite candy flavor is watermelon.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Don: (while chasing the suspect) Not sure where you're going, buddy!
      David: Pretty sure the top of this tower doesn't come out in Mexico!

    • Larry: I wouldn't so readliy discount the thousand psychopaths theory. I mean, what kind of mindless cretins [cre-tins]...
      Don: Cretins?
      Larry: (continuing)...would blind themselves to the gifts of science? How else would a Creator reveal Himself but through His creation? And to deny the mind of that creation is to deny the mind of God!
      Don: (to Charlie) Isn't it cretins [cree-tins]?

    • David: I hate to break this up, but I was about to pass out from the marker fumes.
      Amita: Ah yes, that would be the lemon. I told you it was too much.
      Charlie: I like it.
      David: It smells like a urinal cake.

    • Charlie: Oh boy, that's the fourth security camera we passed since they buzzed us through the gate.
      Larry: Extremist in Orwellian paranoia as well as stunted religious beliefs.

    • Larry: You, with your job, so many horrific things that you hear people say or do, I mean, how do you shrug that off?
      Don: Alcohol?
      (later in the conversation)
      Larry: Pascal's wager: One lives as if God exists. If He does, your gain is infinite; if He doesn't, you've lost nothing.
      Don: Think Vegas gives odds on that?
      Larry: You don't feel any emptiness is this?
      Don: Hence the alcohol.

    • M.E. Ridenhour: We all have normal levels of heavy metal like arsenic or mercury in our bodies. Hair shows abnormal dosages.
      David: Even a year later?
      M.E. Ridenhour: They dug up Napoleon and it worked on him, so yeah, I think we still got a window here.

    • Charlie: We're neutral, you know. Just scientists.
      Doran: You're brick layers; paving the path to hell with good intentions.

    • (Robin and Don are watching Sullivan's Travels)
      Robin: You know every line?
      Don: Not on purpose!

  • NOTES (2)


    • Title: "Atomic No. 33"
      The episode's title refers to the element "As", or arsenic, on the Periodic Table of the Elements. Arsenic's atomic number is 33, and its atomic weight is 74.9216.