201 Judgement Call

Summary: Don and Colby investigate the connection between an Asian street gang and the murder of a judge’s wife

Original air date
: September 23, 2005 (US)


Written by: Ken Sanzel


Directed by:  Alex Zakrzewski

Opening numbers:
18: Years on the bench
947: Convictions
265: Death threats
1: Grudge
New music (composed by Charlie Clouser) and opening for season two.

Family Concepts: (character development)

  •  Don doesn’t want to put someone at risk simply from knowing him.
  • Charlie gets a new learner’s permit after losing his first one to speeding
  • Charlie knows the art of origami
  • Terry Lake has transferred to Washington DC to give her marriage a second chance
  • Rhonda Pickford had a crush on Larry in the fifth grade
  • Larry played a lot of Space Invaders as a child
  • Larry is only eating white food in an experiment in super symmetry
  • Amita’s computer user name for the CalSci network is mathgoddess
  • Colby Granger is a rookie with the FBI

Episode Quotes:

  • Charlie: The mathematically correct term would be … more.
  • Colby: What’s she gonna tell us? That the guy we’re looking for had a bad childhood?
  • Charlie: Boy, I coulda just taken the bus back to CalSci and went home.
    Don: Well, you were about fifteen seconds too late with that thought.
  • Colby: What biker gang doesn’t ride Harley’s?
    David: The urban kind.  Besides only investment bankers can afford Harley’s any more.
  • Larry: Girls in the fifth grade became 95 percent unknowable.
  • Charlie: So what’s the difference between my math and a partial fingerprint?
  • Don: I’m not dating anyone.
    Alan: So I noticed.
  • Larry: That was not clear.

Episode Synopsis:

Alison Trelane, the wife of a federal judge is murdered in her garage.  Since Judge Trelane has had a long and distinguished career both before and on the bench, suspicion is immediately places on those people he has either helped to convict or actually convicted for crimes.  The files however are numerous and Charlie offers to write a program bases on Bayesian filters to help sort out what suspects could have committed the crime.

The first candidate is Danny Phan the leader of a local Asian street gang who has been convicted of murder and Trelane is presiding over his death penalty case.  Danny swears he had nothing to do with the murder but hints that his second in command Raymond Hmong might have been involved.  David and new FBI agent Colby Granger go out the the gangs hangout to question them; Granger takes things too far in David’s mind and they leave before anything worse can happen.  Hmong however knows Danny put the FBI on him for the murder.

The FBI gets a tip that the gang plans to take out the judge after session and extra protection is put in place.  As the court adjures, and leaves the building a motorcycle comes up to the courthouse and the rider opens fire on the crowd.  The FBI fires back and the rider loses control of the bike; the rider is Raymond Hmong.  Raymond swears he had nothing to do with any murder of a judge’s wife and denies he was trying to kill Trelane outside the courthouse, he was aiming for Danny Phan for what he told the FBI.

Charlie’s filter has narrowed the possible suspects to two men, Orsen Hardee, convicted of killing a police officer named Josh Kalen and Lance Dolan a man with seemingly no connection to Judge Trelane but his name was called in to the FBI tip line.  Colby and David track down the tipster, Hector Machado who says he overheard Dolan bragging about the murder.  What he didn’t say was he had a history with Dolan: Dolan had stabbed him a year before in a dispute.

Hector helps the FBI catch Lance Dolan, buy Dolan is swearing Machado is involved in the case as well.  It turns out Dolna was hired to kill the judge’s wife, but he didn’t know anything about Trelane, he thought it was just a man wanting to kill his wife.  When pressed Machado admits he introduced Dolan to the person who put out the hit on Trelane’s wife: Erica Kalen.  She wanted Trelane to suffer the same fate she did after her husband was killed.  It turns out Trelane sent Orsen Hardee to prison for life instead of taking the jury recommendation of the death penalty; she wanted to stop the cycle of her family having to relive her husband’s death over and over again as Hardee made appeal after appeal.