Season 1 Episode 9

Sniper Zero

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Apr 15, 2005 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
228 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


The city is in a panic as a sniper goes on a shooting spree and randomly kills several people, including a postal worker. The investigation reveals that more than one shooter is at work. As Charlie works the case, he's frustrated by a sniper expert Don brings in to assist him.


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  • This episode clearly shows the difference between Don and Charlie's characters.

    This episode is a great example of the well written structure and story ideas of the show. While the episode mainly concerns itself with the sniper in the Los Angles area it also uncovers further layers of the relationship between the Epps brothers as well as their relationship with their father. Charlie dosen't understand Don's reasoning and thinking and Alan is concerned that Charlie is being put in danger while working with the FBI and his brother. Alan's concern is also voiced in other episodes in the series and is an underlyining theme conveyed through Alan's concerns, Charlie's feelings of being inadequate and Don's concern that he might be standing in Charlie's way. All around this is a great episode especially in relation to character development.moreless
  • Very exciting episode...

    I love this show. It was intense. For me it was logical that there was more than one sniper. What a terrible and frightening situation. It was totally understandable that Don and his father were worried about Charlie. Now, Charlie... The character is exciting and passionate. His whole explanation about the virus and the houses was very interesting. Seeing him questioning himself like he can never get enough is delightful.

    I admire Don and Charlie´s relationship. It´s very solid, even when sometimes they don´t know aspects of their lives.

    I have to say that every moment was exciting, there were no boring seconds that makes you want the episode to end.

  • Review

    I guess Ill have to give up on the fact that this show wont follow up on the personal experiences of some of the characters. Mainly the Charlie and Anita plot line in particular, I just think that the show should do better then that.

    I really like Allen Epps participation in this episode as a concerned father figure. Going down to the police station and telling Don hes worried about Charlie, its good to see some personal connection amongst all the chaos.

    I thought the cases were interesting as well. With there being more then one sniper in several of the cases. I thought it was another solid episode, but nothing spectacular.moreless
  • A serial sniper has been terrorizing Los Angeles, but Charlie comes to realize that while some of the attacks are by one shooter, the rest are copy cats, using the sniper as a cover for their own acts of violence.moreless

    I love this episode!!! Charlie finds himself questioning his methods. Nothing wrong with the math, but the sniper expert from Quantico (the always on-target Lou Diamond Phillips) makes Charlie wonder if his cerebral approach is equal to the task when comparing himself to the real life experience of Philips character. Don, as always, is torn between protecting his little brother to respecting Charlie's right to gain experience ouside of the classroom, especially when it is something Dad might find objectionable. Dad finds out about Charlie learning to shoot a gun, but the brothers do manage to keep quiet about when Charlie was put at risk - something sure to freak out the father if he ever were to learn about it. The drama, the mystery and most of all, the family ties that weave the stories so well abound in this tale. Highly recommended!moreless
  • Don realises he's putting Charlie in danger and a new kind of sniper attack.

    This episode was loaded with brother moments, highlighting Don's concern for Charlie ("We've got an agent on him all the time."), the father's concern about Charlie's need to please Don ("Charlie can never say no to you.") to Charlie's certainty that Don would never let him get hurt ("If I *were* in any real danger, Don wouldn't let me go, you know that."). But the highlight of the brotherly moments is definitely when Charlie almost gets shot and Don runs into the open and then drags Charlie into his arms. I love it when they focus a bit on the brotherly aspects of their relationship!

    The sniper story was fascinating. A series of sniper shootings, most of which turn out to be copycat killings, with people thinking they'll get away with it because of the rest of the killings, not realising that several of the killings were done by people who thought the exact same thing.

    Interesting to see Don teaching Charlie to shoot, Don's overprotectiveness in action. And then the brothers wisely decide not to tell their father about Charlie almost being shot. Good choice!

    Nice to see Lou Diamond Phillips, he suited this role nicely.

    An excellent episode.moreless
Heather Lee

Heather Lee

Big Mama

Guest Star

Don Fischer

Don Fischer

Agent Walter

Guest Star

Arabella Field

Arabella Field

Susan Meyers

Guest Star

Navi Rawat

Navi Rawat

Amita Ramanujan

Recurring Role

Lou Diamond Phillips

Lou Diamond Phillips

Agent Ian Edgerton

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (11)

    • Opening Numb3rs:
      1 SNIPER
      3 RIFLES
      4 DEATHS

    • The Math:
      Exponential Growth
      Projectile Motion - The science that deals with the motion, behavior, and effect of projectiles.
      Tipping Point - A sociological term used to describe when something unique becomes common. Reversion to the Mean - A statistical concept that numbers will average out over time.

    • The movie being shown at the theater at which victim number five is shot is Sorry, Wrong Number.

    • Terry was once married.

    • When Don and Alan are eating lunch, the position of their water bottles change several times, though they never touch them .

    • In the scene where Charlie and Amita talk about the corrupt data not being corrupt, Charlie draws a pair of axes. He then labels the horizontal axis "Y", when the horizontal axis is supposed to be labeled "X", and the vertical "Y".

    • When Sinclair looks at the body of the mailman, Sinclair says the victim was shot with a single gunshot wound to the chest. Yet it's clear that he had his back to the sniper, and was walking away when he is shot, so it should have been a shot to the back.

    • The clothing and equipment worn by the letter carrier killed by the sniper used the old U.S. Postal Service logo, which has not been used for years. The logo appears on the carrier's jacket and mail sack.

    • With everyone clearing the street, why would Sinclair be standing out in the open just talking on a phone? Wouldn't he be looking for cover?

    • The area where victim number five is shot does not match the area where Charlie and Edgerton come out. Also, why would David and Terry need to get out of a car when they're only a few hundred feet away? One can see this scene was filmed later in the day by looking at the sunlight on the area.

    • If Wayne Osborne were really planning on shooting just the postman, why did he bother pointing at the woman and her child? Wouldn't he be looking for his specific target instead of looking like he's trying to choose?

  • QUOTES (8)

    • David: Reminds me of snow days back home. School shuts down. Everybody stays home.
      Terry: Except nobody is having any fun.
      David: Yeah.
      Terry: Called my ex-husband this morning.
      David: Yeah?
      Terry: Yeah. No real reason. The thought just occurred to me, what if I never got another chance to talk to him?
      David: How did that go?
      Terry: We got in a fight.

    • Edgerton: It's my job to put my head inside the mind of a killer. Your brother's, too.

    • Charlie: Exposure to actual events helps my statistical model.
      Alan: It's the exposure that I'm worried about. Come on, there's a crazy guy out there still shooting people.

    • Larry: Children are wormholes.
      Amita: Wormholes?
      Larry: Yeah, they're portals into the unreachable future and unattainable past. No, as things stand now they exist only in the theoretical realm.
      Amita: Well, I could see why you might have some trouble selling a woman on the idea of carrying your wormhole.

    • Charlie: I am an exceptional basketball player.
      (He tosses a wadded up paper towards the wastebasket and misses.)
      Charlie: But let's say for the sake of this argument that I'm, that I'm not.
      Don: Yeah, I think I could argue that side a little better, Charlie.

    • Charlie: Tell your aunt that statistically she's more likely to be mauled by a bear.
      Larry: Actually, statistics favor the bear being mauled by my aunt.

    • Don: Not bad. A great deal of beginner's luck there.
      Charlie: Beginner's luck is not empiric. It's counter-intuitive.
      Don: Yeah? First time I golfed, I parred four on the first nine.
      Charlie: That's just a function of regression to the mean.

    • Don: Anything else?
      Edgerton: Yeah, he's going to do it again.
      Charlie: How do you know that?
      Edgerton: The thing about snipers... we love it. And that's not a guess either, that's a fact.

  • NOTES (4)