Season 1 Episode 10

Dirty Bomb

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Apr 22, 2005 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
209 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A truck carrying radioactive material is stolen, and the thieves threaten to set off a dirty bomb in L.A. in 12 hours if they aren't paid $20 million. While Don attempts to track down the truck, Charlie tries to come up with the most likely location where the bomb may be detonated to inflict the most damage to the population.moreless

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  • Review

    A truck carrying radioactive material is stolen, and the thieves threaten to set off a dirty bomb in L.A. in 12 hours if they aren't paid $20 million. While Don attempts to track down the truck, Charlie tries to come up with the most likely location where the bomb may be detonated to inflict the most damage to the population. I thought the highlight of the episode was the part of Charlies Risk Assestment math equations. Watching Charlie be able to use math to break suspects we were unwilling to talk was great. I thought that the infiltration at the end of the episode was great too.

    There remains to be no more personal involvement in the series, which remains to be the only downfall of the series. Good episodemoreless
  • A tuck with a toxic chemical on it is stolen and the cops think a dirty bomb is going to be set off.

    I thought this episode sort of seemed like a pilot becuause it showed off how good all of the characters are at their jobs

    - Don was really good with calming the truck driver down. He was just good with his job in general too.

    - the dad was good with helping charlie and larry

    - charlie and his math was really cool in this ep. I loved how hes just doing all this math in front of the criminals like its completely normal. It was funny how he defended that it wasnt just crazy numbers at the end. When he was trying to figure out how big the explosion could be and he just pulled the equation off the top of his head, I thought it was really cool.

    - Larry was really good as a scientist and all in this ep.moreless
  • Story of this episode was boring.

    I didn't enjoy this episode.

    I thought that the only interesting part of it was the small twist that they used the threat of the dirty bomb to force and evacuation of an area.

    It was very Die Hard 2: With a vengence, with the misdirection.

    I didn't really see the point in Charlie or the physics prof (who is one of my fav characters). They just seemed preoccupied with the maths while the Dad and Don solved the case by themselves.

    I hope the next episode is better.moreless
  • Nuclear waste gets hijacked. The kidnappers threaten to let a 'dirty bomb' explode in a crowded part of L.A. if a they don't get paid a ransom. The bomb explodes and the officers find out, the ransom was not the goal of the theft of the nuclear waste.moreless

    Nuclear waste, that is transported through any countries' landscape, is a threat. But not because it may be stolen by ruthless gangsters or terrorists. The way the hijackers get hold of the nuclear material here is not believable at all! I admit I don't know for transports of nuclear waste in USA - but for germany I can honestly say that this kind of 'amateurish' loss of nuclear waste can not happen. And I don't believe, that's different in the US. So that's the main flaw of this episode: nuclear waste is not at hand to terrorists/gangster this easy... that's it and if such an unrealistic thing is the basis of a 'supposedly realistic' series, that's a big spoiler for me. Officers running around trying to solve a total mindgame-fantasy, is not funny, not exciting and not a motivation to pay closer attention.

    The policework is fine like always, but the math involved is just ridiculous - there's no need for one - Charlies mumbles something about variables as always, scribbles some formulas on his blackboard and *swoosh* the solution is at hand. As I watched this, I couldn't help but think the producers are running out of ideas concerning the integration of mathematics into this series. This episode was just 'unoriginal' and got me a little disappointed. You know that feeling, when You watch a movie/series, You've been looking forward to and You feel empty afterwards, because it did not reach Your expectations at all? That's what I felt after watching this episode. Nevertheless it's a solid episode with good acting, nice little quotes and a solid choreography, even if there is practically no character developement at all.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • Opening Numb3rs:
      20 kg EXPLOSIVE
      400 THREATS
      1 DIRTY BOMB

    • The Math:
      Prisoner's Dilemma
      Radioactive Decay
      Game Theory – A mathematical method of decision-making in which a competitive situation is analyzed to determine the optimal course of action for an interested party.

    • The electronic code to get into the vault is 5-4-8-9-6.

    • The opening figures refer to "500g of Nuclear Material." These are the wrong units to determine the hazard level in a radiological sample. The "Curie content" describes, roughly, how much radiation will be given off, and is not tied directly to the sample's mass. 500g of Cesium-137 (the isotope being discussed in the episode) could well be less radioactive than 1g of a different isotope.

    • Charlie: It's game theory.
      Game Theory is a topic taught in mathematics classes such as applied combinatorics, and in economics classes such as industrial organization. It involves searching for the best strategy contingent upon what another player will or will not do.

    • Alan: You talk like a meteor is about to hit the earth!
      We hear Larry talk about near-Earth asterioids. In general, these are asteroids whose orbit intersects Earth's orbit and may, therefore, pose a collision danger as well as being most easily accessible for spacecraft from Earth. In fact, some near-Earth asteroids can be reached with much less delta-v than it takes to reach the Moon. The most famous near-Earth asteroid was 433 Eros that was visited by NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous probe.

    • When the trashcan bomb first goes off, a firefighter is engulfed in the flames. However, when the camera moves to the wider shot to catch the fireball, there's no one there.

    • If the backup car has two people with two radios, why don't is there no feedback between the two, or at least the sound of one man's voice on the other radio?

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Charlie: In the first place, uh, we-we're not even sure that there, that there is a bomb, so....
      Alan: Bomb?
      Charlie: Well, we don't know where it's gonna go off.
      Alan: Well maybe not, but I would suggest that people quickly taking a ride out of town in an easterly direction might be of help right now.
      Larry: Well, possibly not with these current wind conditions.

    • Don: Look, what you hear stays in this room.
      Larry: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
      Don: A truck carrying three casks of this stuff was hijacked this morning.
      Larry: Oh, that's not optimal.

    • Alan: Listen, Charlie, if you've got one failing it's only that you don't think like a criminal... 'Course what does that say about me?

    • Charlie: So for instance... umm. Say two people were to commit a crime. Now, if neither of them talk, they each get a year. If one of them talks, he gets no time at all... and the other gets five years. If both of them talk, they each get two years. So you see, unless they can trust each other not to say anything, talking is the best strategy.
      Don: Yeah, but I already told you, they're not talking.
      Charlie: Well, maybe that's because none of them realize how much the others have to lose.

    • Charlie: Look, an evacuation without information will lead to mass public panic!
      Alan: Well, speaking for the huddled masses, I'd rather not have some government official making that decision for me right now, thank you very much.

  • NOTES (4)


    • Larry: Perhaps it would be best to inform your father of the impending Armageddon.
      When Alan questions Larry about meteors, he replies with a reference to the 1998 Michael Bay film Armegeddon that is about redirecting an asteroid before it collides with earth.