601 Hangman

I’m not sure what he is except our problem for the next few days …

Summary: Don’s team is charged with protecting a political activist from a possible sniper

Original air date: September 25, 2009 (US)

Written by: Ken Sanzel

Directed by: Ken Sanzel

Opening numbers:

4: Letters
400,000,000,000: Stars
710: Meters per second
60: Stitches

Family Concepts: (character development)

  • Charlie writes his letter to the future professor to have his office
  • Charlie and Amita announce they are engaged.
  • Larry is waiting for his invitation to do research at CERN in Geneva.

Episode Quotes:

  • Charlie: In certain circles I’m considered to be really funny.
    Colby: FBI circles?
  • Larry: The Milky Way tastes like raspberries.
  • Colby: You’ve got radicals shooting other radicals for not being radical enough.  There’s got to be a moral in there somewhere, right?

Episode Synopsis:

Don’s team has been tasked with protecting Benjamin Polk, an ex-radical protester who’s changed his message from one of violence to one of volunteerism and giving back to community.  Don, David, Colby and Charlie are at the site of his next rally, MacArthur Park, when a sniper stars firing at them.  No one is injured however the sniper is able to get away without being identified.  he does leave a cell phone at the scene and calls to warn Don not to get in his way when he shoots Polk.

Charlie asks Larry for help figuring out a new strategy for protecting Polk at the rally, however Amita mysteriously does not want anything to do with the investigation.  Charlie is also evasive regarding where Amita is when Alan asks after her.  Charlie and Larry figure out an new allocation of resources, both FBI and LAPD for the rally in the park, one that takes sniper fire more into consideration.  That night at a fundraiser, Polk is seemingly attacked during his speech.  It turns out the “gun fire” was actually firecrackers set off in the kitchen.  The assailant, calls David and explains again that the FBI needs to sty out of his way.

Don tries to convince Polk the location for the rally again needs to be moved.  His earlier attempt was rebuffed, and once again Polk refuses to move the venue to a more secure location.  Security footage from the fundraiser shows a man delivering supplies to the kitchen, supplies the chef did not order, and the FBI determines that is there man.  Amita and Larry begin work on a program to piece together as many snippets of footage showing some aspect of the man’s face in order to make an identification.  They succeed in identifying Shepard Crater, a former radical protester who gave up the life twenty years ago.  There is nothing to tie Crater to Polk directly, however Don wants to hold off asking Polk about the man.

David and Colby start a systematic search of buildings around the park and while searching the seventh on Charlie’s list, they encounter Crater again.  When asked why he wants to kill Polk, Crater is evasive and mentions people dying in a Portland protest, people who trusted Polk and did whatever he told them to do.  A search of information regarding the Portland protest shows Craters son, Richard Sloan, was arrested at the protest and later killed in a prison riot.  Crater blames Polk for his son’s death.  Liz thinks Crater may have a case.  It seems Polk instigated the protest cum riot as a way to change his image from radical to his current more peaceful self.  He planned to protest to get violent and then blamed his followers for letting things get out of hand.

After a series of explosions on the way to the rally in MacArthur Park, Don cancels the rally all together and takes Polk back to his hotel room.  Charlie and Amita however realize this is exactly what Crater wants, he’s been herding Polk and the FBI toward this decision in order to finally kill the man responsible for his son’s death.  David and Colby however are able to stop Crater before he can shoot Polk, but Crater dies when he tries to shoot David and Colby.

Charlie and Amita announce they are engaged.  The reason for the odd behavior over the past few days is Amita wanted Charlie to ask her parents permission first.  Larry however figured out early on there was a proposal in the air.  Alan was told by Amita’s parents and he proceeded to tell Don; Don however states he had figured things out as well.