Season 5 Episode 17

First Law

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Mar 06, 2009 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
128 votes

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Episode Summary

The team's prime suspect in the death of a scientist is a super computer. Meanwhile, Charlie considers a compelling job offer.

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  • Well written Numb3rs episode

    First of all, I have to say-I'm so glad to finally see Larry back! I didn't realize I missed the guy THAT much =) Though he wasn't a lot in the episode, his role was once again important to the whole plot.

    The things I enjoyed most about the episode : * The computer kicking Charlie out =) that was fun

    * Don and Larry being all protective of Charlie and his brains

    * Charlie and Amita working together

    * Alan being all passionate about the b.ball

    * The whole concept of the episode. It was interesting and though I kinda guessed from the beginning that the wife is the killer, I never would have guessed that the guy and the tech. were actually lovers. Well written and well acted guys

    The things I didn't like...well there were none. I know I maybe should miss Nicki (or however her name is written) coz she wasn't once again in the episode, but truth is, I just don't really like her character that much. Megan was so great (and even Terry in the first season), that I don't really see any need in another female agent (and we already have Liz as a regular). So, I'm willing to give this episode the whole 10 points coz that was a great, well written, interesting episodemoreless
  • A.I. Not...

    I love the concept of artifical intelligence. To me I think it's very believable with the way technology is advancing. But how the episode was written it was very well done, especially given the government a basis for it's research. I thought it was a clever twist having Karellen not only offer Charlie a job but she is a link to Larry. I think the only thing that had me shaking my head was the true motive behind the scientist and his assist's murders. I found some pretty powerful scenes throughout the episode. Amita's disappointment is AI not truly being established as well as Larry and Don's confrontation of Karellen in efforts to protect Charlie and do what's best for him. I'm glad to see Coach Ebbs taking the reins of the CalSci basketball team and can't wait to see what he does.moreless
Nancy Travis

Nancy Travis

Jane Karellen

Guest Star

Liane Balaban

Liane Balaban

Jessie Robertson

Guest Star

Barrett Foa

Barrett Foa

Andrew Gibbons

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Math used in this episode:
      The Turing Test

    • Jane Karellen is one of Larry's former flames, whom he also worked for many years ago.

    • Baley reveals that Amita was born on June 10, 1975 at 6:31 am at Cedar Sinai Hospital.

    • Opening Numb3rs:

    • Having an incomplete Artificial Intelligence controlling any vital systems in a laboratory is simply not possible. The AI would be on a self-contained system until it was operational, and then it would be connected to outside systems such a fire extinguishers or let alone the internet.

    • The Turing Test is for measurement of intelligence, not for life. Since plants are incapable of conversing with the interviewer, they would automatically fail the Turing Test, but that does not mean they are not alive. The repeated statements of "an new life form," however eloquent they may have been, is wrong, and both Anita and Charlie should have been the first to point this out.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • (Don and Charlie are talking about a job offer for Charlie.)
      Don: I think you can do better.
      Charlie: For instance?
      Don (shrug): Today's FBI.

    • Charlie: You wanna check out a supercomputer?
      Amita: Be still, my beating heart!

    • Alan: It's not how you play the game, it's whether you win or lose!
      Larry: That doesn't sound right...

    • Karellen: You know, I've been following your brother's work, his papers, I've noticed a precipitous drop off in the last five years.
      Don: What?
      Karellen: Perhaps Charlie could be doing something more productive. And you, of all people, should know that Charlie only has so much time before his genius is wasted.

  • NOTES (2)


    • Character Name: Jane Karellen

      Allusion To: Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke

      In Arthur Clarke's novel Childhood's End, Earth is taken over by aliens who at least appear to have the well-being of humanity at heart. The only alien with whom any human ever speaks is named Karellen.

    • Daniel's Password: Olive, Daniel R. ...
      Computer name: Baley

      In the series of novels by Isaac Asimov, R. Daneel Olivaw (R. for Robot), a humaniform and almost sentient robot, partners with human detective Elijah Baley in solving crimes and mysteries. They first appeared in the story The Caves of Steel

    • Title: "First Law"

      Alludes to the first of the Three Laws of Robotics created by renowned science fiction author Isaac Asimov:

      (1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

      (2) A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

      (3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.