416 Atomic No 33
Family Concepts            Episode Quotes         Episode Synopsis

Instead of cyanide in the kool-aide it's arsenic in the java ...

ImageSummary: Don's team investigates the poisoning of a religious cult
Original air date: May 2, 2008 (US)

Written by: Sean Crouch

Directed by: Leslie Libman

Opening numbers:
1137: Members
30: Years
2: Families
1: New Religious Movement (NRM)

Family Concepts: (character development)
  • Don's favorite movie is the Preston Sturges comedy Sullivan's Travels
  • Robin's favorite candy is watermelon (she is not a fan of chocolate)

Episode Quotes:
  • Ridenhour: We all have normal levels of heavy metals: arsenic, mercury, in our bodies.  Hair shows abnormal dosages.
    David: Even a year later?
    Ridenhour: They dug up Napoleon and it worked on him, so yeah I think we still got a window here.
  • David: Sorry to break this up, I was about to pass out from the marker fumes.
    Amita: Yes, that would be the lemon.  I told you it was too much.
    Charlie [sniffing marker]: I like it.
    David: Smells like a urinal cake.
  • David: I was going to wait for the fire department to get here, but Granger here made me look bad by running in there.
    Colby: Right the reluctant hero.  At least you got the carry the girl.
  • David: I'm pretty sure the top of this tower doesn't come out in Mexico!
  • David: Seriously, I bet Colby $20 he would blame Susan.

Episode Synopsis:

Following their religious service, members of PATMOS gather outside for coffee and discussion.  Within minutes of drinking the coffee several members of the church including Craig Ezra, Reverend Joseph Ezra's son, become deathly ill.  The church does not accept traditional medicine instead believing God will heal them.  When Don finds out an anonymous 911 call came from within the church compound, he cuts the locks keeping paramedics outside.  In the end, two church members died and several others were very sick due to arsenic in the coffee.

Megan and Colby are trying to figure out of the poisoning was from within the church congregation or from the outside thus being a hate crime.  Since the church compound is securely locked and well covered with security cameras evidence is pointing to someone inside.  Megan thinks it could either be Susan Doran the widow of the founding reverend of PATMOS or possibly Reverend Ezra poisoned his flock as a way to show them modern medicine is good for the congregation.  When Megan discovers Susan's husband died of a heart attack she requests his body be exhumed as arsenic poisoning can be misdiagnosed as a heart attack.  A test of Reverend Doran's hair shows a concentration of more than 70,000 parts per billion of arsenic still in his system. 

The FBI goes back out to PATMOS to search Susan's house due to the results of the exhumation and a social network analysis by Charlie showing Reverend Ezra usurped Susan's power within the church.  It's possible she poisoned the coffee and her husband in a bid to regain her standing within the congregation.  Testing shows concentrated levels of arsenic in the house and Susan is arrested.  Before she can be led away, the church itself is blown up with Reverend Ezra, his son Craig and Susan's daughter Audrey inside; Craig and Audrey are rescued however Ezra is killed in the explosion.

Megan questions Susan about the arsenic in the house and points out if she didn't poison the coffee it had to be Audrey, and the FBI already has a statement from Craig the Audrey was not with him the entire time and she handed Craig a cup of the coffee but had none herself.  Susan immediately accepts blame for everything as a way to protect her daughter. Charlie and Larry aren't convinced Susan is guilty and they go back through their analysis of the relationships involved.  David has been doing some digging of his own and has discovered "Joseph Ezra" is really William Boone and Craig isn't really his son.  The pair are working a con on the church to get tax exempt status and then steal the church funds, a figure that could amount to millions. David convinces Audrey of Craig's role in the deaths and the explosion and with her help, the FBI is able to arrest Craig.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 17 May 2008 )
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