Season 3 Episode 24

The Janus List

Aired Friday 10:00 PM May 18, 2007 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
293 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

In the midst of investigating a serious bomb threat, Don and Charlie uncover a secret that could change their lives and the lives of the team forever.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Thrilling and Phenonmenal

    Very likely the best episode across the previous three series - and there have been some superb episodes to choose from.

    Fantastic opening act sets the pace and drama of this highly intensive action/intrigue oriented episode. From this explosive start we are taken on a rollercoaster of emotions as old enemies are brought back from a couple of earlier linked episodes to bring to a conclusion the story-line of the Chinese espionage multi-part story arc.

    Unlike so many middle acts in tv shows that dont do enough to keep the pace and intensity of the story cranked up, this episode uses the emotion of the team well. As we find out along with them that Colby one of the best liked characters, a real son of uncle Sam isnt one of their own and worse hes a traitor, you will join the rest of us in feeling your guts churn around in your belly. How could he!

    Every scene, every dialogue keeps the must-see-factor right up there. So many nervy moments keep us off-balance as we are torn between wanting Colby to escape and wanting him to be caught. You just wont know which side you want to win. Here lies the beauty of the plot - it keeps you wanting to root for both sides, even if in reality neither side can win in this henious and treacherous situation!

    In what is a truly worthy ending, the good guys win - but only just. But that is only the beginning! The real viewer satisfaction is in the trepidation of asking - what next? What will happen to the team in the next series? How will each team member cope?

    And is this the end of this of this particular story?

    Well theres always next season.

    A true not-to-be-missed episode.moreless
  • colby is found out to be a triple agent and his life is in a list of double agents is told

    i love this episode .it helps develop Colby's character and his status as an agent .so Amita helps the team when the case involes an alternate reality .but when Amita ,Charlie and Colby go to investigate a clue then Colby's life is put in danger and he is washed down the dam and it takes Charlie to pull him out . I'm just glad that he didn't get seriously hurt or worse drown but i do think that he should have gotten more injuries . I mean just his hands .you would think that with those stone walls he would have hit them at least oncemoreless
  • Wonderfully plotted and great finale for season 3.

    Don't miss this finale. This is why I love to watch numb3rs. This episode was amazing and wonderfully plotted. Who would think of an old man on bridge can start off bomb blast? I am totally caught unprepared with the plot.

    How on earth this old man knows Charlie and Don? Hmm really keep me thinking throughout the show. Well guess he is just trying to test Charlie's intelligence. What is his problem anyway. (Cannot understand why this old man want to sacrifice his life for).

    I am happy to see Megan is back to the show. Really missed her for the past few episodes.moreless
  • An amazing episode

    The Janus List is by far the best episode of Numb3rs so far and may very well be one of the greatest TV episodes of all time. The plot details were amazing and it will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire episode. The revalation of Colby as a double agent is a perfect setup for the start of season 4, and brings yet another underlying story line to the series. Whether you are a fan of the show or not this is definately one episode that is a must see. Be sure to watch it before the start of season 4!moreless
  • Review

    To begin - let me say that this epsiode certainly lived up to the hype that it deserved. Second, I thought the first half of the finale was a much stronger effort then the second half. I think the first twenty minutes with the man putting Charlier through the test was very fun and pressure pounding from the beginning. I liked the Janus List mystery which was kept until the final couple minutes of the episode to keep us in suspense. The math in this episode was all like a puzzle and I did like the part where Don stepped up and saw the music note in the bridge design. The only part of the finale that seemed slow for me was Colby's friend and the 2-3 scenes that he was in. While they were important the the story, it kind of took away from the pressures of the episode which is why I simply could not give this episode a perfect ten though it is one of the best episodes that the show has ever done. Very happy that numebrs finnaly did a good finale - giving people something to take about on the way to season 4.moreless

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • When David visits Dwayne alone at the prison, the US flag filling the screen has 48 stars, so it is pre-1959.

    • Math used in this episode:
      Straddling Checkerboard
      Bacon's Cipher
      The Wheat and Chessboard Problem
      Knapsack Algorithm

    • The license plate on David's red Jeep is 5WHGO61.

    • This is the first time we see a Don vision when he sees the G major scale pattern on the bombs on the bridge.

    • Opening Numb3rs:
      6 BUGS
      7 BOMBS
      2 DAYS TO LIVE

    • Charlie cited 2^64-1 as being 18,446,744,073,799,551,615 but it is actually 18,446,744,073,709,551,615; by changing one digit, he added 90 million. Charlie did not detect the error and wrote it correctly on the wall later, so it was probably just a mistake on David's Krumholtz's part while reading out the number, perhaps because it was hand-written so the zero looked like a nine.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Ashby: If you find The Janus List, trust it!

    • Charlie: Hey Don, what's going on?
      Don: I don't know, you got me. But we're about to find out.
      (Don turns on outward bound communications to Ashby)
      Don: This is Agent Don Eppes.
      Ashby: What was your Junior Year batting average?
      Charlie: .293
      Ashby: That would be your brother. I'd really like to meet him. Professor Eppes is out here in 7 minutes or the next bomb goes off.

    • Charlie: (trying to move Ashby when he sees a mystery man) So I have an FBI... you know, I work for the FBI.
      Lois: Can you protect him?
      Charlie: Well, actually I'm a mathematician.

    • Charlie: You know I'm always ready to help you no matter what.
      Don: So a face to face with this guy crosses the line?
      Charlie: Frankly, yeah.

    • Ashby: I'm a speed dial away from collapsing this bridge.

  • NOTES (4)


    • Don: He screamed something about a "Janus List."
      Allister: It's an old spy fiction--a master list of double agents and traitors.
      Megan: Janus, the two-faced Roman god. But how do you know it's a fiction?

      As stated, in Roman mythology, Janus was a two-faced god, and it was from Janus that both the name of the month January and the term "two-faced" originated. In this episode, the Janus List refers to of U.S. agents who are actually double-agents working for other governments. Despite Allister's claims of it being merely a fiction, it turned out to actually exist.

    • Alan: "Light many lamps and gather round his bed… "

      The lines quoted at the end of the episode are a slightly abbreviated version of the last two stanzas of Siegfried Sassoon's "The Death-Bed." The writers omitted the last three lines of the first stanza below.

      Light many lamps and gather round his bed.
      Lend him your eyes, warm blood, and will to live.
      Speak to him; rouse him; you may save him yet.
      He's young; he hated War; how should he die
      When cruel old campaigners win safe through?

      But death replied: 'I choose him.' So he went,
      And there was silence in the summer night;
      Silence and safety; and the veils of sleep.
      Then, far away, the thudding of the guns.

    • The bomber Taylor Ashby's poisoning was rather clearly an allusion to Russian agent turned dissident Alexander Litvinenko, whose poisoning made quite a few headlines in late 2006. The Russian government was suspect but never proved to be his assassin when Litvinenko a former KGB agent turned dissident attempted to publish a book critical of Vladimir Putin.