Season 1 Episode 11


Aired Friday 10:00 PM Apr 29, 2005 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
199 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A senior computer-science researcher working on a classified government project is found murdered in his Hollywood Hills home and data has been stolen from his computer. The investigation reveals the victim was going through a bitter divorce and was trying to keep his wife from getting his money. Charlie also learns the project on which the man was working might have involved baseball.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Review

    The case was okay, but it wasn't one of the better ones of the season. I thought the only thing of real note in this episode was the surprise twist at the end that Hookes assistant was involved in the whole thing. Episodes like this tends to be a little less interesting, as there is no infultration or action scenes... anything of that sort. Charlie just figures out some formulas and then they arrest the bad guy at the end without any big dramatic action-adventure scene. The episode was slow paced, but it was still good from the math angle of the show.moreless
  • A murder causes Charlie to rethink the consequences of his own consulting work.

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt did an excellent job this episode in playing a sort of "Charlie-gone-wrong" type of character. Scott was who Charlie might have been had he not had the support he has and had he been put in trying circumstances without that support system.

    Of course, the dead guy Hoke also serves as a "Charlie-gone-wrong" example. He is what Charlie might become if he only thought of the numbers and not of the real-life situations and exceptions. Once again Charlie is saved from this fate by his support system. Larry and Don will never let him forget the real-life factors.

    So Charlie is left thinking about how much harm his work for the NSA has caused. A valid concern, if simply so that in the future he knows to ask. The episode does a great job of showing Charlie that not everything is black and white.moreless
  • A fine example of how I like this series. It's inspired, believable and just well written.

    A software engineer is stabbed. Charlie is able to retrieve the work on the engineers harddisk, although it has been carefully wiped out.

    The whole episode revolves about scientists ethics. The punchlines are well and the characterdevelopement believable. Although I would have placed the job of restoring information from a wiped out harddrive more in the hands of a computer scientist, the role of mathematics is still plausible here. It's a pleasure to watch.

    Just the only tiny flaw, that killed the perfection for me: when David and Don return to the apartement to look for a trace of surveillance equipement, I just could'nt understand, why this trace would'nt have been found much much earlier. When there's a piece of cable sticking out somewhere in a victims' apartement, I don't think proper policework will not find it...moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Larry: Real science is discovery, Charles, it's not invention. The truths are there whether we find them or not.

    • (Charlie is surprised that his parents almost split up when he didn't notice anything wrong.)
      Alan: Charlie, that's how parents argue in front of their children. They disguise big things as little things.

    • Charlie: Einstein said that one has time for either science or family, but not both.

    • Charlie: Mathematics can be much more lucrative than most fathers think.

    • Scott: What'd you want?
      Charlie: I'm trying to figure out how you could kill a man. How you could kill a fellow scientist... to steal his work.
      Scott: Is that why you think I killed Dr. Hoke? For money?
      Charlie: You weren't jealous of his accomplishments.
      Scott: His accomplishments. Is that was you call them? I grew up in West Oakland. Anyone I grew up with, who isn't dead or in prison, is flipping burgers or driving a truck. And it's not too difficult to guess what Dr. Hoke's formula would have said about putting a computer lab up in my high school. That computer lab saved my life. And next year it's going to save somebody else's.
      Charlie: And killing Dr. Hoke accomplishes that? You think it stops there?
      Scott: Well, in the last century, the Nazis used the theory of eugenics to stop the poor from reproducing. Eventually, they justified just killing the sick ones.
      Charlie: You can't compare that to this.
      Scott: Actually, that's a perfect comparison, 'cause what Jonas was doing was taking away a person's chance at life. It's taking away someone's hope, and I did what I had to do to stop that before it started.
      Charlie: That makes you a murderer.
      Scott: Have you ever thought about your own work?
      Charlie: ...What about my work?
      Scott: Well, you consult for the NSA, don't you?
      (Charlie nods slightly.)
      Ahh, of course you do. So you gonna tell me that everything you do will be used for good, all the time?
      Charlie: What's your point?
      Scott: Well, you're asking me how I'm gonna live with myself... look in the mirror. Ask yourself the same question.

    • Charlie: ... Only Hoke wasn't measuring life expectancy, he was measuring human potential.
      Don: What do you mean like, predicting success?
      Charlie: Almost from birth.
      David: That's not possible.
      Charlie: Baseball teams use sabermetrics to determine which players to play. He was using sabermetrics to determine what people were worth investing in.
      Don: So no one gets left behind, they just don't get started to begin with.

    • Alan: What do these formulas tell you?
      Charlie: The ones I've recovered indicate that the Dodgers are not on the right track to win the pennant next year.
      Alan: Like you needed math to figure that one out, huh?

    • Larry: It was that old saying: applied physicists are from Venus, theoretical physicists...
      Charlie: ...Wonder why it rotates in the opposite direction.

  • NOTES (6)

    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt was dressed to look like a younger Charlie (including his hair) so the underlying relationship between the two would look more personal for Charlie on camera.

    • Sabrina Lloyd left the show during the production of this episode. However, her character did appear in one scene. She appeared in no episodes filmed after this.

    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt co-starred with David Krumholtz in Gil Junger's 1999 film "10 Things I Hate About You".

    • International Airdates:
      Czech Republic: August 4, 2008 on TV Nova
      Slovakia: October 20, 2009 on JOJ

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: Oběť (Sacrifice)

    • Crew Clarifications: Walter 'Bud' Scott (1st Company Grip), Isabel Harkins (Head Make-Up), Liz Radley (Video & Computer Playback Supervisor), Blake Smith (Assistant to Brooke Kennedy).


    • Charlie: In World War II, submarines were equipped with bathythermographs...
      Bathythermographs are designed to find warm water because the difference in acoustical properties of warm and cold water bend the signals of sonar making them less accurate. A submarine could hide below a layer of warmer water in an attempt to avoid being hit by accurately dropped enemy depth charges.

    • Don: What was that one book? About the Orioles GM...
      Charlie: Moneyball.
      Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game was a successful book that looked into the use of sabermetrics and how it was used to create ball clubs.

    • Charlie: ...Hoke was developing a pretty sophisticated application of Sabermetrics.
      Sabermetrics is the analysis of baseball through objective evidence, especially baseball statistics. The term is derived from the acronym SABR, which stands for the Society for American Baseball Research.

    • Tech: It was an antenna.
      Charlie: A Van Eck phreak.
      Tech: ...but at a far more sophisticated level.
      Van Eck phreaking is a form of eavesdropping in which special equipment is used to pick up telecommunication signals or data within a computer device by monitoring and picking up the electromagnetic fields (EM fields) that are produced by the signals or movement of the data. This electromagnetic radiation, with the proper equipment, can be captured from computer displays that use cathode ray tubes (CRTs), from printers, and from other devices.

    • Scott: Well, in the last century the Nazis used the theory of eugenics to stop the poor from reproducing.
      Eugenics is a social philosophy which advocates the manipulation of human reproduction for the purposes of attempting to improve the human species over generations in regards to hereditary features.