Numb3rs

Thursday, 5 February 2009, 9:00PM on ITV3

After recognizing numerological patterns in the Bible verses that the killer leaves behind, Don and his team are able to track the killer’s movements but are one step behind when a gripping twist brings the chase to an end.

 

Continuing on Five this week is the fifth season of the Los Angeles-based crime drama series. Numb3rs follows the work of FBI agent Don Eppes and his brother Charlie as they solve complex cases using mathematics. In this episode, the agents join forces with the police to investigate the fatal shooting of eight people in a coffee shop.

Colby, Nikki and David are called upon to assist the LAPD in its investigation of a multiple murder in a downtown coffee shop. “It looks like Fallujah in there,” says Colby of the scene, where eight people – including off-duty police officer Jerry Lowe – have been gunned down execution-style. It quickly becomes evident that robbery was not the main motivation for the attack – one victim is still wearing his gold Rolex and there is $500 in cash still in the till.

Later, LAPD detective Jon Schmidt arrives on the scene, accompanied by Charlie who is now working for the police. While the lab results are being processed, Charlie uses a profiling technique to surmise what took place in the café. “An aggregation model filters through characteristics of the victims and searches for their strongest attributes,” he explains. Using the model, Charlie is able to assign each victim a seat in the shop – except for one Benito Alvarez, who appears to have been roaming around the café. When the ballistics results come in, they corroborate Charlie’s theory – Alvarez had enough gunshot residue on his hands to have gunned down seven people.

It transpires that Alvarez was a police academy dropout from 16 years earlier – and a former classmate of Lowe’s. This leads Nikki and Don to speculate that perhaps Alvarez had an old score to settle with Lowe. But the theory that Alvarez attacked Lowe and then turned the gun on himself falls flat because the murder weapon is missing from the crime scene. Even more baffling for the agents is the discovery of police-issue shells in the coffee shop.

Then a revelation from Jon fleshes out more details of the case. “At the time of his death, Alvarez was involved in sensitive operations,” admits Jon. It turns out that Alvarez was working in police intelligence and liaised closely with Lowe. Jon also reveals that the LAPD already has a suspect – one Derek Broxton. Lowe and Alvarez were both involved in Derek’s arrest and sentencing for bank robbery. After serving seven years, Derek was released, but skipped bail and went into hiding in Brazil. “We picked up his little girlfriend last night,” says Jon. “And if she’s here, he’s here.”

Armed with this new information, the agents descend on Derek’s canalside house. In the raid, Derek leaps into a small motorboat and attempts an escape. However, David pursues the suspect and is in the process of arresting him when Jon appears on the bank and fires a single shot. While Jon claims that he acted to immobilise Derek, a furious David thinks that the situation was in hand. Back at HQ, David wants to open Jon’s file to see whether he is a trigger-happy cop. But Nikki steps in and points out that Jon’s suspicions about Derek were right – the murder weapon was found inside his house.

Meanwhile, Charlie becomes suspicious of Lowe after carrying out further data analysis on the cop’s movements. He explains to Nikki, David and Don how Lowe responded to a 911 callout at the same address on a weekly basis over a series of weeks. After each visit, Lowe would go on a lunch break with Jon at the same coffee shop where the murders took place. Nikki begins to wonder if maybe David was right about Jon after all. Was the detective involved in dodgy dealings with Lowe? “That’s a great theory,” agrees David, “but how the hell do we prove that?”

Continuing on Five this week is the fifth season of the Los Angeles-based crime drama series. Numb3rs follows the work of FBI agent Don Eppes and his brother Charlie as they solve complex cases using mathematics. In this episode, Nikki puts her life on the line to help track down a gang of kidnappers.

The FBI agents are called to an inner-city street where a young female office worker has been gunned down by a mystery assailant. “What are we doing here?” asks Nikki. “This seems like a straight- up LAPD shoot.” David explains how the deceased was the victim of a team of career kidnappers. After putting in a ransom call to the woman’s husband, the men forced their captive to withdraw money from a series of ATMs across the city. CCTV images reveal that the woman fled after one of the transactions and was pursued on foot by her killer.

It transpires that five kidnappings with the same modus operandi were carried out over seven weeks. “They’re called express kidnappings,” says David. Each target – always a middle-income woman in her twenties – is snatched from the street and held for a few days while being forced to slowly drain her bank accounts at a number of cash machines. An interview with one of the victims helps the agents flesh out an image of the gang – three men working together on street level with a fourth overseeing the process.

When news of another kidnapping reaches the agents, the investigation gathers momentum. The latest victim is 25-year-old office manager Janet Gerber. Back at headquarters, Nikki is able to pinpoint activity from Janet’s bank cards using an ATM tracking program called Spider. When fresh activity is registered, Colby and David rush to the scene of the transaction. While Janet is nowhere to be found, the agents’ attention is drawn to a man loitering near a van. When the crook breaks into a run, the pair pursue him in their car. During the high- speed chase, the man is struck down dead by another vehicle. On searching the deceased’s van, the agents are disappointed to find that it is empty. The following day, Janet’s body is found by two homeless men. At the scene, Nikki and Colby find a bullet wound in the back of Janet’s head. “They were trying to get rid of her in a hurry,” notes Colby. The agents resolve to step their search up a notch in the fear that the kidnappers will strike again.

At Charlie’s suggestion, Amita and Larry advise the FBI to plant several decoy victims on the streets of the city for the criminals to target. “You create conditions that make them more desirable,” explains Charlie. After Amita and Larry set about identifying several optimal zones for kidnappings, they further enhance the chosen locations by dimming streetlights and diverting traffic. All their analysis produces a map of 43 prime snatching zones. As an FBI agent who fits the target profile, Nikki volunteers to work as a decoy on the street corner that is statistically the most likely to be hit by the gang.

Once she is fitted with a bug, Nikki begins to prowl the street. It is not long before a van pulls up and she is hauled inside. Back at HQ, Don receives a ransom call from one of the captors. Meanwhile, Nikki is dropped off at an ATM to withdraw $460. This atypical amount sparks Larry’s interest and he and Amita theorise about why the crooks would want such a relatively small sum. Then the audio feed from Nikki’s bug reveals another useful clue – one of the kidnappers is running Spider on a laptop. Could the gang members be laying the groundwork for a larger robbery?

Now that they have the information they need, the FBI agents call off the sting and raid the van. Three of the crooks are arrested, but the gang leader is still at large. Can the agents track him down before he recruits new henchmen and continues on his crime spree?

Thursday, 29 January 2009, 9:00PM on ITV3

A series of secrets and blackmail involving a young up and
coming actor are exposed when Don and his team investigate the murder of a young woman in his Hollywood Hills mansion.

Thursday, 22 January 2009, 9:00PM on ITV3

A typical morning at a coffee shop turns into a nightmare when a car collides into it, leaving one person dead and many injured. But what appears to be a car’s accidental loss of control is soon exposed to be much more.

Thursday, 15 January 2009, 9:00PM on ITV3

Agent Colby Granger lands in prison after the discovery that he was a mole within the FBI, but he escapes, and it’s up to Don and his team to track him down and uncover the truth. Val Kilmer guest stars. Feature film director Tony Scott makes his network
television directing debut.

Premiering on Five this week is the fifth season of the Los Angeles-based crime drama series. Numb3rs follows the work of FBI agent Don Eppes (Rob Morrow) and his brother Charlie (David Krumholtz), as they solve complex cases using mathematics. The opening episode sees Charlie being called upon to help with a double murder case.

The special agents head to a popular climbing spot where two extreme sports enthusiasts have been found dead. The discovery of a gunshot wound in one of the men’s bodies confirms that he was murdered. Further evidence of foul play comes to light when an uncut diamond valued at $500,000 is found inside his backpack.

Agents Colby Granger (Dylan Bruno) and David Sinclair (Alimi Ballard) interview the victims’ friends to try and determine how the thrill-seekers got hold of such a valuable gem. The detectives learn that the climbers had come across a plane crash in the area the day before they died.

Colby and David travel to the airport to follow up on a lead that appears to be connected to the case – the disappearance of Los Angeles diamond merchant Kenneth Bryce of Bryce and Sons Jewellers. The businessman had booked a charter flight to New York to deliver 30 jewels but never arrived at his destination. The agents locate Kenneth’s car in the parking lot along with his lifeless body.

Assuming that the crash is linked with Kenneth’s murder, Dr Larry Fleinhardt (Peter MacNicol) and Agent Amita Ramanujan (Navi Rawat) set about finding its exact location. They are able to identify the flight number of the missing craft, but cannot pinpoint exactly where it went down. “More small planes have disappeared over the continental US than have vanished in the Bermuda Triangle,” observes Larry. While the pair are poring over a topographical map, Charlie drops in to suggest that they use radar signals to determine a probabilistic flight path. This off-the-record information leads Special Agent Ian Edgerton (Lou Diamond Phillips) and Don straight to the site of the crash to find the dead pilot and a ransacked diamond bag. Tests on the pilot’s body reveal that the plane went down because he was drugged.

It emerges that no one but Kenneth and his brother and business partner Bill could have possibly known about the diamond delivery. Bill has an alibi, so Colby and David begin to speculate that the jewellery store was bugged. A visit to the shop confirms the theory.

Back at HQ, Larry and Amita set to work trying to trace the origin of the bug. Amita realises that a satellite dish on the shop roof was relaying the jewellers’ phone conversations to a receiver on the ground. By analysing the tilt of the dish, Larry is able to determine the approximate location of the receiver. However, it soon becomes clear that a geometric analysis is required – a field in which Charlie excels. “I know how to get it done,” says Larry, before going to find the mathematician. While an earlier case of misconduct means Charlie is banned from doing any official work for the FBI, Larry manages to fox his friend by phrasing his question as a matter of “particle physics research”.

After Charlie unwittingly calculates the coordinates of the receiver’s likely location, Larry dashes back to the lab so Amita can run the figures through the database. Her search throws up the address of one Alex Rezar. The agents storm the house and find the thief’s den, but on interview Alex and his associates are unwilling to talk. As dissension grows amongst the accused and several questions about the case remain unanswered, the agents begin to suspect that there is a mole within the trio’s number who will lead them to the rest of the missing diamonds.

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