217 Mind Games

They can’t close the border but they can definitely stop them from wanting to cross it …

Summary: A psychic is reporting crime scenes before anyone is aware there has been a crime.

Original air date:
March 10, 2006 (US)

Teleplay by: Andrew Dettman
Story by:
Andrew Dettman and Peter MacNicol

Directed by: Peter Markle

Opening numbers:

1952: Miles
275,000: Border crossings
6: Senses

No opening credits

Family Concepts (character development):

  • Megan is the youngest of four girls
  • Larry is still eating only white food
  • Charlie does not accept the idea of psychic ability
  • Colby is fluent in Spanish
  • Alan is working on a mall project
  • Don has had to defend Charlie’s math theories to the FBI brass

Episode Quotes:

  • David: I wonder if he’s psychic enough to know he just made the suspect list.
  • Charlie: What flavor of crazy Kool-Aide do they make you drink when you join the Physics department?
  • Colby: I’ve got a whole ‘nother kidding face.
  • Larry: Eppsie, I was born ready.
  • Larry: To hold to ones assumptions to exclude any and all contradictory data; that isn’t science, that’s politics.
  • Charlie: Let’s all sit down at a ouiji board and solve P vs. NP once and for all.

Episode Synopsis:

Three young Latina women have been murdered and their bodies dumped.  A sheriff’s department Search and Rescue team finds the bodies after a tip from a psychic draws a number of pictures leading the team to the site.  The psychic, Samuel Kraft is initially a suspect in the case, though he does manage to convince Don’s team he can help them with the case, in return for an FBI endorsement just in time for his book to be published.  Don turns down his offer and Kraft is let go.

Charlie is convinced Kraft is nothing more than a fraud and sets out to prove how Kraft’s ‘ability’ can be scientifically debunked.  Colby and David move forward with the investigation finding the owner of a truck with tires that match a tread found at the crime scene.  The owner, Victor Borrego, claims he is all over the near-by hills helping folks who cross the border find food, water and shelter.  He suggests the FBI look into a local citizen’s border patrol if they want to find suspects.

After the border patrol group comes up clean as well, David suggests going back to Kraft to try to find more information about the case.  Kraft tells them he sees more women coming and that they seem to be pregnant, Colby points out none of the dead girls so far have been pregnant and Kraft defends his observations as needing interpretation.

Charlie offers to give the team concrete information based on math and using a Fokker-Planck equation, determines an area where others who may have crossed with one of the women might be found.  Colby and David interview the workers in the area Charlie pin-points and finds the woman was only planning to be in the States for a few days and then she was returning home; Don realizes the women are being used to carry drugs over the border. A report sent to police departments in Mexico and Central America finally ID’s the three women and also reports that two more women from the same area are also missing.

Border Patrol alerts the FBI that one of the missing women has been found, but the other has already crossed the border.  Tracing the route the women took from El Salvador to the States, the FBI finds a link between a drug family and a pharmacy in Tecate, a pharmacy owned by the Borrego family.  Victor is arrested and the missing woman is found still alive, she is taken to a local hospital where the drugs she had ingested are removed.