216 Protest

The more things change …

Summary: An Army recruitment office is bombed killing a man, was it part of an anti-war protest or something else?

Original air date: March 3, 2006 (US)

Written by: Cheryl Heuton and Nicolas Falacci

Directed by: Dennis Smith
Opening numbers:

5,000,000: Vietnamese killed
58,226: US troops KIA
3,000: Bombings
0: Arrests

Family Concepts: (character development)

  • Charlie has done some remodeling to the house, namely, redoing the entry way to the original design with arches and shelves
  • Alan was involved with Californians for Peace in the 1970’s
  • Alan has an arrest record for participating in two sit-ins (one of the arrests was in front of Don when he was three) and also has an FBI file as a result.
  • Don didn’t really remember anything about Alan’s arrests until it came out during Don’s entrance to the FBI.  He knows about the file on Alan but hasn’t read much of it.
  • Margaret was very organized
  • Trivia: the fictional book Essays on Revolution was ‘authored’ by Cheryl Heuton and Nicolas Falacci

Episode Quotes:

  • Larry: The constant quandary of crime analysis: to get more data, you need more crime.
  • Colby: With Sterling dead that effectively eliminates him as a suspect in the current bombings.
  • Colby: Blasting gel is more powerful than dynamite, but it’s a lot more stable, too.
  • Don: Commie.
    Alan: G-man.
  • Charlie: Red meat, let’s eat!

Episode Synopsis:

An army recruitment vehicle is blown up outside the recruitment building killing an innocent man nearby.  Soon after the FBI gets the case Don and his team is visited by Thomas Lawson an retired FBI agent who investigated a series of bombings in 1971 that included various CalSci buildings and an ROTC building where two young men were killed.  Lawson is convinced that his suspect from 1971, Matt Stirling, who has been missing since the ROTC bombing and thought to be undergroud for the past thirty-five years, is responsible for the new wave of bombings, though Don is still open to the idea of a copy-cat.

While talking to Charlie and Alan about the case, Don finds out that Alan knew Matt Stirling and never believed he was responsible for killing anyone.  Don tried to explain about the evidence Lawson has on Stirling, but Alan doesn’t want to hear it, he knows his friend Matt was a good person.

Don is also under attack from Agent Lawson who doesn’t think Don is doing everything he can do to find Stirling, namely he hasn’t talked to Alan about the past or the people they both knew in 1971.  Don goes back to Alan to get the information where Alan confronts Don on the FBI’s tactics and wants to know if he is now a suspect as well.  Don tried to convince Alan that the FBI is a different place now and that Alan can trust Don to find the truth.  Alan says he’s not worried about trusting Don he doesn’t want to see people from his past assumed guilty be association, though he does give Don a box of information about the Californians for Peace.

Colby, David and Megan cull through the files and discover Sarah Kemple, a friend of Matt Stirling had the means and motive to bomb the ROTC building in 1971, she admits she did it when Don and Megan go to arrest her, but swears she made up the bomb recipe herself and no one else knew about it.

Charlie builds an analysis using Social Network Analysis to determine who the leaders of the group were in 1971 to try to see who would trying to bomb targets today. His analysis though shows the closest association for the Californians for Peace was actually the FBI.  When Sarah Kemple is questioned further she reveals that a least part of the bomb idea for the ROTC came from someone named Cisco. Don corners Lawson about Sarah being the ROTC bomber and asks about Cisco, but Lawson is evasive.  When he is pushed, he states he, Lawson, was Cisco and he was acting under orders to investigate the group.

Colby finds out that the material Sarah stole to make the ROTC bomb was a lot more than the amount she actually used; Megan asks her where the rest is and Sarah says she hid it at a family cabin but when she went back for the materials a few weeks after the ROTC bombing, it was gone; she said Matt was the only other person that knew about the materials hidden at the cabin.  Tracking along roads that existed in 1971, the wreck of Matt Stirling’s car and human remains are found, Matt Stirling had been dead since 1971.

Investigating Matt’s other associates, Colby finds records of Jack Bennett giving money to a radical group, his construction company would also be a way to buy explosive making materials without causing suspicion.  When questioned Jack denies he has anything to do with such groups nowadays.  His son however is very active and it turns out he is the one setting off the new explosions thinking he is following his father’s example.