307 Blackout

The whole system could come crashing down …

Summary:  An accident may not be all it seems when a blackout causes several problems for the FBI.

Original air date
: November 3, 2006 (US)

Written by
: Andrew Dettmann

Directed by
: Scott Lautanen

Opening numbers:

436: Substations
93,000: Miles of cable
22,000,000: Megawatts
1: Witness

Family Concepts: (character development)

  • Larry tried to live for a year without power while in grad school to impress a girl, Sandra Darwinkle
  • Don and Liz Warner have one date
  • Don and Robin broke up “about a week ago”
  • New license plate on the Suburban: 4PCI086

Episode Quotes:

  • Colby: That’s cool.  I could use the overtime.
    Megan: We don’t get overtime, Granger.
    Colby: Yeah, I know and it’s a shame cuz I could really use it.
  • Charlie: Coincidence is after all an absolutely valid mathematical occurrence.
  • Charlie [to Larry]: They had electricity when you were in graduate school?

Episode Synopsis:

While on a date with Liz Warner, Don gets a call to investigate an accident at a local power substation where a worked died, Homeland Security wants to know if this is a terrorist attack or a prelude to an even larger attack.  Colby and Megan think it’s more likely the attack was by a group of striking power workers in an attempt to discredit the company, this theory is even more plausible when they discover this was the second substation to be attacked,

Charlie offers to figure out where the next substation attack will be based on the idea that whoever is orchestrating the attacks wants to cause a cascade failure of the grid.  David and Colby stake out the substation Charlie thinks will be hit, but it turns out to be wrong, another station is hit instead, one that doesn’t belong to the company in the labor dispute.

The new attack does have a link to a Lyle Donahue who was jailed a few years ago for creating blackouts to influence the energy market.   The FBI starts tracking Donahue and finds a bar where his credit card was used, unfortunately, the card had been stolen.  The kid who had the card leads Megan, David and Colby back to a car where they find Donahue dead.

Charlie starts to work on a new idea that the blackouts themselves might be the whole reason for the power station attacks, instead of a side effect.  He is able to narrow things down to an area of downtown LA by seeing what areas were affected by the power failures.   That doesn’t narrow things down enough and Larry suggests looking at the stations that weren’t attacked as well.  This new result points to the Rice Building as the target; the Rice Building also happens to be the federal detention center for LA.

Megan is able to narrow the possible target within the detention center to Ivan Tobakian, the crime boss in the race track killings that was also into drug running.  Don points out there’s no reason for someone to break Tobakian out of jail as he already has a deal to help catch the drug runners, Colby points out they could be breaking in as well as trying to break Tobakian out of jail; the drug cartel is trying to silence Tobakian before he can testify.  Don and his team go into the detention center and manage to foil the attack on Tobakian.