509 Conspiracy Theory

He gives us civic investigators a bad name …

Summary: Rumors abound when the FBI investigates the bombing of a charity headquarters.

Original air date: December 5, 2008 (US)

Written by: Robert Port

Directed by: Dennis Smith

Opening numbers:

4 Bombs +
5 Bullets +
2 Criminals
= Conspiracy

Family Concepts: (character development)

  • Amita was once arrested at a Pink Floyd concert because her boyfriend was caught with a joint.
  • Colby and David disagree on the Kennedy assassination.  Colby agrees with the lone gunman being Oswald, while David thinks there was a larger conspiracy.

Episode Quotes:

  • Amita: Two words everyone needs to remember …
    Larry: Plausibly deniability.
  • Larry: Of course Paul McCarty dying in 1966 and being replaced with a look alike, that of course is pure fact.
    Charlie: What?
    Larry: Oh yeah.  Check out the cover of Abbey Road, the clues are all over it.
  • Larry: Wait a sec, did you just call me a moron?
    Charlie: HL Mencken did.
  • Charlie: Simpson’s Paradox.
    Colby: I love that show.
    Charlie: Not Homer, Edward.
  • Don: They pay me to keep secrets.
  • David and Colby [to Roy McGill]: Shut up!
  • Colby: Jonze spent his last day visiting a prostitute and his buddy in prison.
    Liz: Two different stops I hope.

Episode Synopsis:

The FBI is investigating a possible terrorist attack on a non-profit called Global Enhancement Organization (GEO) when a second, larger explosion rips through the building.  Most of the personnel were able to clear out in time, however two rescue workers were killed.  Another casualty is a camera the FBI found during the first phase of the investigation.  Don and Liz are able to pull a photo of the man who set up the camera and presumably the bomb as well, however most of the footage is damaged after the second explosion.  Liz talks to Charlie about how to find their suspect using the cities traffic cameras.

Looking at information online, Colby discovers the GEO has been the target of conspiracy theorists.  The conspiracy websites accuse GEO of being a new world order set up among other claims.  Many of the sites also accuse the FBI of various conspiracy theories.  Don and Robin have a talk with Brett Hanson, the president of GEO and the owner of the building where the bombs went off.  Hanson states the GEO is a purely charitable organization that helps third world countries.

Charlie is able to track the suspect back to his house and Colby and David go pick up one Roy McGill.  McGill tries taping Colby and David during his arrest, but in the end goes rather quietly.  When Don and Robin confront him with the bombing, McGill denies he had anything to do with the bombs, he was taping the GEO as part of his expose on the group.  Neither Don or Robin really believe him.  Colby and David meanwhile are at Roy’s apartment and find McGill is a serious conspiracy theorist, making claims about the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations among other things.  However there is no evidence McGill was making bombs in his apartment.

Things get even more confusing when David’s car, Charlie’s office and the house are all burglarized. Charlie’s office and house are obviously searched, but nothing taken.  The only thing all three locations might have in common is McGill’s video footage of the bombing.  So is the bomber and the burglar the same person?

McGill goes back to the bombed building in search of his other camera and Colby and David find him there. While talking to him, someone on a roof across the street starts shooting at the three of them.  David is able to distract the shooter long enough for Colby to shoot back allowing all three to escape the building unharmed.  They find a remote setup and a rifle mounted on the roof and realize the shots were never meant to hit anything but act as a distraction; when the three go back to the bombed building, Roy’s camera is gone.  Roy however surprises all of them by pulling a third camera from a bookshelf.

Looking at the new tape Liz and Robin think they have a clear enough image of the bomber to try and make an ID and arrest.  Roy however is in the room with them and saves them the effort of searching databases when he recognizes the man in the film as Jeff Jonze, a fellow civic investigator and one the other investigators are afraid of. When the FBI tries to arrest Jonze outside a bar, Jonze runs for it.  Liz chases him into an alley and is surprised by Jonze.  She is saved however by a mystery man who kills Jonze but flees the scene. Jonze house and clothes test positive for bomb residue.

David figures out the bomb pattern fits someone who wanted to make sure the building was going to collapse or have to be torn down.  Apparently, Brett Hanson lost a bid to have the building removed from the California Historic Places listing and he is photographed by a civic investigator at meeting with Jonze.  Hanson bombed his own building in order to remove it and build a high rise on the valuable land.  Don also has a meeting inside the FBI building with Brady, the mystery man who saved LIz.  He was also responsible for the burglaries and shooting a Colby, David and Roy.  He was ordered to make sure a particular member of the GEO was not seen on any of the video footage Roy shot and is satisfied.  He tells Don they are all on the same side, though Don suspects Brady works for the CIA.