Season 5 Episode 13

Trouble in Chinatown

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Jan 23, 2009 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
123 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The team goes into Chinatown's black market to find a missing undercover agent.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • NIce ep, but could have been better

    The episode was good orverall, and I think it's important to show from time to time the human-weak part of Charlie, who can't reason with everyone and their mathods (just like when he was in the FBI training). The death if the psychic was maybe unnecessary, since it didn't really mean anything, but it made sense. While Simon seemed very oblivious and patient about anyone not liking his methodes, it made sense he only wanted to prove himself to others and by that promote himself. However, the part of creative math was quite low this time...moreless
  • So Charlie hates psychics

    In the next installment of season saga Charlie Epps' atheistic, science trumps all, character development we bring back the psychic Charlie loves to hate. This time there are Chinese girls disappearing and a shootout at a Chinese restaurant. The psychic is drawn to the case after drawing the dragon emblem of the restaurant. Then he sees two dead Chinese girls inside a dragon. They turn up inside a costume dragon. Then he leads Don & co to a cemetery where he predicts more bodies are to be found. Sure enough, they find the ghost brides buried in graves. All his predictions are proving correct and how does the team handle it? They freeze out the psychic and rely on Charlie's idiotic noise filtering of a call for help left by an abducted girl.

    Charlie, in true time-wasting form, can't just suppress the frequencies of loud noises or rely on a database of sounds. No, he has to take hours and days recording his own collection of sounds. The dumbest collection involves exploding chinese firecrackers on the steps of the FBI building where surprised agents mistake the noise for gunfire and pull out their guns. But Charlie can chuckle to himself because he made the psychic jump. What is he... 12?

    The story devolves from there. The psychic is seen wandering about chinatown on his own following his visions for the location of more missing girls. Does the team maybe look at some of those places themselves, or at least keep an eye on him to see if he's up to something. (They suspect him of being part of the crimes so why not tail him a bit?) No, they go off in a huff and wait patiently for CHarlie to finish his boy scout sound experiments. Meanwhile the psychic finds the next victim girl, videotapes her abduction and gets killed in the process.

    So how do we end the story? With Charlie thumbing his nose at the now dead psychic insisting he is the smarter guy because he relies on numbers and isn't dead. Way to ruin a character writers! This is the problem with trying to portray atheists in fiction. Too often they come off as coldhearted jerks.moreless
  • Nice one.

    It was a good episode overall. I get that Charlie being a math genius and believing numbers are the answer for everything but his rivalry with the pshychic was a little bit too much.. He died.. :( I liked John Glover. He added an interesting point of view to the cases. Hoped he'd become a recurring like the sniper dude.

    The supposed good chinese guy.. lol.. I did not see it coming. Amidst all the ghost brides thing, illegal immigrants slaved by some.. I thought they were gonna show that not every chinese is a bad person or doing any kind of illegal stuff.. but oh well..

    Some say Numb3rs is going downhill.. I disagree, I think this show is one of the best around and has kept a high level for 5 years!moreless
  • Another good episode centered around Chinatown.

    I enjoyed this episode, but did not think it was a great or truly special effort. First off, I was happy that Kelly Hu's character was not responsible for the crime. A few times early in the show, special agents that were brought in to assist with the investigation ended up being guilty of the crime. I also liked the focus on the Chinese culture. It was a nice change-up from the usual hostage, money grab, murder, etc type cases. I thought bringing the psychic back was unnecessary. I found the circumstances of his death hard to believe. He knew that van was coming right for him and did not make an effort to get out of the way. Finally, I missed Judd Hirsch.moreless
  • Three women are abducted off the street in Chinatown. As Don and his team investigate they are joined by a Chinese immigration agent who tells Don that one of the abducted women was a fellow agent working undercover.moreless

    This is a good episode but I find it a bit too eerie for me to give it a very high recommendation. The whole "Ghost Bride" aspect of the story is very unsettling. I can't explain why without giving away too much of the story. As always it's great to see Charlie, Amita and Larry help Don and the team crack the case. Another reason I can't give it too high a recommendation is the appearance (thankfully the last) of Mr. Samuel Kraft. I found that character to be dislikeable. Not to mention that he's a fraud. A mediocre episode.moreless
Kelly Hu

Kelly Hu

Alice Chen

Guest Star

Keone Young

Keone Young

Walter Yoon

Guest Star

John Glover

John Glover

Simon Kraft

Guest Star

Leslie Silva

Leslie Silva

M.E. Ridenhour

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Amita: Imagine Alan in high school - hanging out by the bike racks, snapping towels in the shower...
      Charlie: Thanks for the shower image, I appreciate that.

    • David: Looks all right.

    • Charlie: I will fall on my slide rule if anyone can prove to me that Simon Kraft had extrasensory abilities.
      Larry: Alright. What inner power led Simon to the killer's van precisely at the moment of kidnap?
      Charlie: Oh, you mean the same power that failed to warn him that he was about to be run over by that van? Help me out here!
      Don: Hey, you know, I have to say, uh, I'm in the undecided column!
      (Charlie turns to Amita)
      Amita: I am going to read my book in peace.

    • (Larry reads about Ghost Brides from an encyclopedia)
      Amita: No, I see what he means, in an Eastern sort of way. Two total strangers locked in eternal embrace, joined only by their connection to the stars.
      Larry: Eh, like my department at CalSci.

    • Larry: You know something? I wanna phone a friend.
      Amita: Who?
      Larry: The librarian at the monestary. Not only is he Chinese, he knows numbers.
      Amita: Better than Charlie?
      Larry: Well, I don't think this involves math, but magic.

    • Charlie: (to Amita, after Simon Kraft shows up) Think I should call Don? Or am I overreacting?
      (Amita makes a surprised face)
      Charlie: (reaches for his phone) You took too long.

    • Charlie: (to Amita) It's too quiet with my dad away. Drop a spoon or something.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Larry: You know something? I wanna phone a friend.

      This is a reference to one of the lifelines on the TV game show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? In the show, contestants answered a series of multiple choice questions, each with an increasing value of prize money. The questions got harder the higher the value, and contestants were allowed three "hint" options, called lifelines. They could use a 50-50, which took away two incorrect answers; Ask the Audience, which polled the audience and hopefully the majority knew the correct answer; or Phone a Friend, which allowed the contestant to call one person from a previously selected list of acquaintances.