104 Structural Corruption

 A scholar’s research continues to speak long after he’s gone

Summary: Charlie doesn’t believe the death of a CalSci student was suicide and asks Don to investigate; was the boy murdered because of what he knew about the construction of an LA high-rise?

Original air date
: February 11, 2005 (US)

Written by: Liz Friedman

Directed by
:  Tim Matheson

Opening numbers:
150: Feet
15: MPH
04: Seconds to impact
1100: College suicides per year

Family Concepts: (character development)
  • Don’s favorite date ever was pepperoni pizza in a laundromat (first date with Terry)
  • Don and Terry had a relationship ~10 years ago, at the FBI Academy
  • Charlie has been observed to be disorganized and he talks too fast
  • Charlie has taken classes from Larry
  • Charlie is a Professor of Applied Mathematics
  • Alan has his first date "in over 35 years"
  • Alan was a city planner
  • Alan’s wife made him promise to meet new people after she died
  • Terry is a Forensic Psychologist
  • This case is the first suicide by jumping David has seen
  • Larry has been teaching for 20 years
  • Larry’s students feel he is boring and intellectually inaccessible

Episode Synposis:

Charlie and Larry are out hiking when they come across a scene of a student who died falling from a bridge.  Charlie knew the student, Finn Montgomery, and is convinced he was murdered; Don isn’t as sure but offers to look into the case as Charlie has helped the FBI in the past.

Terry and David talk to the coroner and discover the autopsy isn’t conclusive about Finn’s death.  Meanwhile Charlie goes to Finn’s office to look at his research.  Finn was studying the architecture of Gar Haybridge and specifically the Cole Center Building.  Don breaks the news to Charlie that the FBI cannot investigate anymore as the case looks to be a suicide.  Charlie doesn’t accept that and takes Finn’s research to look for another explanation.

Alan has started dating again and for this first attempt he would like some company in the form of Don and a date.  Don tells him he’s busy and won’t be meeting anyone and suggests a low key evening.  Alan insists on Don attending and sets the date and time.  While having supper with Alan and Jill, Don gets a call that Charlie has discovered the problem with the Cole Center:  high winds.

With a possible motive to kill Finn, Don and Co start an investigation of the construction company and the building’s backer, Cole.  The investigation shows the construction company used different construction methods than those called for in the plans as well as using a shadow crew to do the welding.  It turns out, Cole’s secretary and the security chief for the construction company were pocketing the difference.

Finn’s father brings a suicide note Finn had mailed the night before into the FBI office.  It turns out Finn just couldn’t cope with the pressure of his thesis, his personal life and the fact that he had stopped taking his medication, and as a result he jumped off the bridge.  Charlie is impressed Don knew Finn had committed suicide even though there was contradictory evidence.