208 In Plain Sight

These big operations like to play it legit …

Summary:  A child pornography case hits too close for Charlie who becomes obsessed with finding a young girl who has been exploited.

Original air date:  November 18, 2005 (US)

Written by: Julie Herbert

Directed by: J Miller Tobin

Opening numbers:

167: Metric tons
5.4: Billion dollars
1.3: Million meth users
2: Girls

Family Concepts: (character development)

  • Megan has never lost anyone under her command before
  • The episode Uncertainty Principle happened “about 10 months ago”
  • Charlie had a childhood friend named Jessica Cartman
  • Colby is driving a black Ford California license: 2GEE645

Episode Quotes:

  • Larry: Women have two ‘X’ chromosomes.  Men have an ‘X’ and a so-called ‘Y’.
  • Don: What’s the deal?  There’s more people here in the middle of the night than at ten in the morning.  It’s like the FBI.
  • Larry: Curiosity. Not great for cats but very good for scientists.
  • Megan: He gets the girl, skips to Mexico, this guy’s got some set on him.

Episode Synopsis:

Don’s team is working a meth lab case; they think they have the lab in a chrome shop, but when they go in, there are supplies but no lab.  At the same time in the office, Megan traces a call made from the shop to a residence.  She takes team to the house, but before she can stop them, they go in and the house blows up, killing an agent.

A search of the house turns up a tunnel where a man Megan saw just before the explosion in the house had to use to escape.  Among the thing found in the house is a computer, Charlie and Agent Stendhauser find a picture of the house on the damaged drive, Charlie takes a copy of the drive back to school to see if he can find anything of use in the picture; what he finds is a picture of a young girl.  Not only is the man Megan saw a drug kingpin but he’s also into child pornography.

Charlie becomes obsessed about the picture, he needs to find the girl to save her.  He tells his father about a girl he knew growing up, Jessica, that he knew was in trouble when they were children but he, Charlie, didn’t do anything to help her.  As Charlie gets more worked up, he and Don start to argue over how the case is being handled, Don is focused on catching a criminal first, Charlie insists he find the child.

Charlie and Larry go back to the hard drive and find a partition that was previously hidden.  A search of the data reveals the man is a member of a local gun club and a search of the club’s records brings up a picture and a name, Derrick Lamberg.  Charlie is shocked to realize he has seen Lambert before, he was actually in the FBI offices reporting hi daughter missing.  Megan realizes he is using the FBI to find the his daughter, Libby, the same girl in the picture Charlie found.  Megan realizes Lambert won’t leave the country until he has Libby back.

Megan and Colby track Libby and her mother to a motel but get there just a few minutes too late, Lamberg has already been there and the girl and her mother ran, stealing the manager’s truck.  Megan knows Lamberg has no reason now to stay in LA or even the US as the FBI now has Libby safe.  Charlie points out Lamberg might be at the train station.  Megan and Colby stake out the train station and arrest Lamberg as he is ready to board a train to San Diego, he planned to walk across the border to Mexico.

Charlie and Megan talk about the case and Charlie resolves to try and find his childhood friend Jessica and see how she is today.