Numb3rs s01e02 Episode Script

Uncertainty Principle

Bank robbers|are creatures of habit.
Once they develop a successful|routine, they stick to it.
Time of day, day of the week,|choice of weapon, disguise, region- these will be|the same again and again.
It's actually|a lot like these fish.
Given enough time, it's possible to discern|a distinct pattern that each one will follow.
Well, mathematicians,|they do so love finding these|patterns, don't they? Tell me,|what have you gleaned from this set|of repeated crime phenomena? An equation, for the FBI, that predicts when and where|ARROYO SECO BANK these two particular robbers|will strike next.
I told my brother,|they'd hit today Curtis, you see anything? Clear.
Keith? Clear.
at one of two locations CENTRAL LOS ANGELES|SAVING BANKS They've hit 16 banks|in eight months.
The FBI's nicknamed them|the Charm School Boys because they're|so nice and polite.
They don't use|weapons or threats.
They say "please"|and "thank you.
" They even open doors|for other bank customers on their way in and out.
Using a combination|of probability modeling and statistical analysis, I've|pinpointed the next robbery.
It's 1:30.
If these guys actually show within the time window|Charlie's predicted, it's kind of amazing.
Yeah, I know.
Want to hear something wild? When I was in college,|I played baseball.
Charlie could predict|the amount of walks I was gonna get|just by my stance.
Charles, I have no doubt|in your ability to predict the movements|of fish and men, but I would offer|one cautionary note, just colleague|to colleague.
And what's that? Don't mistake|the ability to predict with the ability to control.
Yeah, I think|I know the difference.
Oh, to be young and brilliant|and full of yourself.
Just consider.
These Charm School Guys|or Boys or whatever, they have no idea|what's about to happen to them.
But my equation does.
I have the targets.
Positive ID? Two Caucasian males,|mid- to late 30s.
Baseball cap and sunglasses.
I'm on my way.
Let's go.
Let's go.
Let's go.
Team Two Baker.
You got 'em? Got 'em.
Teller number three.
We're moving.
Everybody watch|your line.
Subject One|is asking the teller to hand him the cash drawer.
They're coming out.
David, what's your status? They're coming out, Don.
|We have to move in.
FBI! F! B! I! David, how many shooters? All units, what's going on?! Shots fired! Multiple shooters! Agent down! We all use math every day|every day to forecast weather to tell time to handle money|to handle money We also use math|to analyze crime analyze crime reveal patterns|reveal patterns predict behavior|behavior.
Using numbers, we can solve|the biggest mysteries we know.
Get down! Get down! Stay sma! Get back! Get back! Get back! You all right? Cover me.
Whatta you got? Agent down! I'm gonna go for McKnight.
You cover me with this,|all right? This is a live breaking report|from the Channel 8 News I also have a post-doc|who needs help with some references|on an article.
Maybe you can recommend|a couple of math students? Well, wait.
|Let's clarify.
This is the|redheaded post-doc? Red hair and she|rollerblades? Yeah, you know.
|Brilliant theoretician.
Well, forget|the undergrads.
I'll help her.
injured in the crossfire,|where a shootout between Federal agents and|suspected bank robbers is in progress.
I see several people are lying|on the ground Ray! Move! They're covering|their exit! Terry! Go.
Move! Get your hands|where I can see them! Get those hands up! Freeze! Don't move! Drop that radio!|Drop it! I got two suspects fleeing in a silver sedan,|license in progress,|eight-year-old female.
All available units|please respond.
Uh, this is 1-Adam-6.
Shouldn't we secure the area|before we pull out? They're in our system.
They're in our|communications system.
They're making false reports.
Any available unit,|report to Secure the area! Went that way!|Come on, come on! - You hit?|- He's got my gun! - Go that way.
|- You hit? Go that way! Where'd he go? I mean, how could we miss him? This is an active crime scene,|do you understand? Do you understand? I asked five|minutes ago and Stop right there.
It, it's okay.
Let him through.
Charlie? Charlie? Where is Don? He's over there.
Hey, Charlie,|how you doing? It's okay, really.
It's fine.
They weren't violent.
There were two of them.
Why 16 robberies|exactly the same, and then this? I mean, first of all, nobody|ever tried to stop them, right? And it wasn't just two guys.
You know, they had four|backing them up.
We had no way of knowing|till we confronted them.
That's it.
|You're good to go.
Nothing to Dad,|right? Charlie.
Don't say anything to Dad.
I'll take care of it, okay? You heard me,|right? Charm School Boys.
I mean, I'm sorry, they|came prepared for war.
We've got people looking at the security tapes|from the previous robberies to see if the same accomplices were present at those|incidents as well.
And there's no doubt|in my mind that was a detailed|ambush-and-escape plan.
And didn't hesitate to kill.
Well, from what I understand,|in the last five years, this office has lost|only two agents in the line of fire? McKnight's parents are|flying in from Denver tonight.
I'm gonna go talk to them|at the hotel.
I mean, I don't know|what you say to a parent about their dead son.
All right,|what have we got so far? Um, we think their crew consists|of at least six individuals.
From the firearms,|use of explosives, the false 911 calls, we're assuming it's a team with extensive|training and experience.
The gunman David|shot was identified by his driver's license|as Malcolm Stapleton, 36.
Video game designer.
- No criminal record.
|- How does somebody go from no criminal record|to firing on Federal agents with an assault weapon? That's the question|we need to be asking.
We need to know a lot more|about this dead guy.
- Already on it.
|- That's the first thing we need to know, and we have to assume with|their planning and preparation, they're not gonna hesitate|to hit another bank.
So even though we're looking|at this guy, Charlie's equation, that's still|our best lead.
Well, he was able to predict|today's robbery.
He should be able to tell us|where they're gonna go next.
Charlie did you hear what I said? Oh, I'm just, uh thinking.
Understand this is|an entirely new problem now.
The pattern I was working from|was a false pattern.
No, no, not so much false|as incomplete.
You were able to accurately|predict today's robbery.
Right, but there's|new factors now, okay? They aren't two unarmed guys.
So the assumptions|we made about them are invalid.
Okay, all right,|all right, look, so you take the new factors,|and you make - a new equation, right?|- It's not that easy, man.
It's not that easy because, uh there's something else|that has to be considered.
Like what? Heisenberg's|Uncertainty Principle.
Heisenberg noted|that the, uh, the act of observation|will affect the observed.
In other words, when you|watch something, you change it.
And, uh|for example, like, an electron.
You know, you can't|really measure it without bumping into it|in some small way.
Any physical act of observation requires interaction|with a form of energy, like light,|and that will change the nature of the electron,|its path of travel.
All right, all right,|hold on, hold on.
You know I got, like,|a C in physics, so just take me through how this relates|to the case.
Don|you've observed the robbers.
They know it; that will|change their actions.
Okay, so they change their MO, but we don't have|to go back to square one.
We know some things about them.
We have a basis|for making some conclusions.
Good, but I, um I can't help.
I can't do this.
Charlie, you feeling okay? Yeah, it's just my stomach's|been bothering me.
That's normal.
|Happens to a lot of us after something like today.
Really? I was the|only one I know who was throwing up|at the crime scene.
Look, buddy, come here.
|Turn around.
Charlie, listen to me:|what you saw was-was bad, okay? I know.
Trust me.
It takes a while|to process that.
So what I want you to do|is go home.
Come on.
Put that down.
|Give me that.
Charlie, you go home|and you get some rest.
Just go, and when you come up with|something, just call us, all right? Charlie, call me|if you want - to talk about anything, okay?|- Charlie We're counting on you, buddy.
What do you got? The explosive in the|car bomb was C-4.
Check into that batch.
How are we doing on|the fake 911 calls? Two individuals using|cell phones with scramblers.
We're preparing|voice prints.
We got any hits on crews|with similar MOs? No, so far it's|unique to these guys.
And we should be checking|into armored transport, and-and jewelry,|fine art, right? I mean, they could've started in any one of those|and, uh, moved on to banks.
I should be looking|at mug shots, right? Did you get a good look? Yeah, definitely.
Agent Eppes.
That piece of evidence|you found at the scene- - we know what it is.
|- Excellent.
It's an ultra-thin|plastic mask that you can peel off in a second, wad up - and throw away.
|- Right.
A micro-mask.
The CIA uses the stuff for covert operations.
That explains how he was able|to just disappear.
He could alter the shape|of his face, his nose, making him unrecognizable.
So much for mug shots.
I'm gonna find out where|you can get one of these things.
Charles? Charles? Oh.
Listen, I just stopped by.
Amita said that you|weren't gonna be coming to campus tomorrow, and I don't know,|surely you remember you're giving a presentation|to my graduate seminar.
Larry, I'm right|in the middle of a significant|line of thought.
Right now really isn't the best|time for me to be entering in on a discussion with anyone,|no offense.
No, no, no, none taken-|it's just that Amita said that you also said that you wouldn't be coming|to school for a while? And I just think, uh,|you know, considering|your teaching schedule, the upcoming semifinals, I mean,|it struck me as rather odd, - just kind of entirely unworkable.
|- Well, maybe so, but I'm close to a breakthrough|on this three-set, and so I-I need|to follow through on this line|of current algorithms now while I have a fix on it.
- Donny.
|- Hey, Dad.
- You all right?|- Yeah, yeah, I'm okay.
I'm fine Ow, ow.
Look, my arm's a little sore.
I got a-a scrape|during an incident.
- A scrape? From what?|- Well, a bullet, if you have to know.
But it's not Dad,|please, listen to me, okay? Just relax|We had an arrest go bad, and we lost|an agent, okay? And three people died.
Now I'm looking for Charlie.
|Where is he? He's out in the|garage with Larry.
He's upset.
|I can see why now.
What's he doing|in the garage? He's just working on|that problem.
You know.
- What?|- That problem he can never solve.
The P versus P thing? - Yeah, yeah, that's the one.
|- Aw, man.
Li Li Where you going? I got to talk to him.
|I need a new equation.
Wha You know that it's considered unsolvable? Well, certainly people|who have failed to solve it|might think that.
But we all know,|Minesweeper Consistency is an NP-complete problem,|so I believe that there is an answer|in here somewhere.
Minesweeper? What are we|talking about, computer games? Yes, but if you keep|talking to me, I'm going to lose|my train of thought, so please don't|talk anymore.
'Cause I-I need to follow|through on this-this-this line of-of adjacent|vertices.
Look, please don't do this.
Don't do what, Don? Go ahead, go ahead,|try and tell me what it is that I'm doing.
You don't even know|what it is I'm doing.
No, actually I do; the thing is,|I don't think you do.
I'm gonna go contemplate|the koi pond.
Charlie, look, you helped us find|these guys once before.
You can do it again.
Come on.
Why, so you can get shot again? No, buddy.
|Look, understand, I appreciate|you care about me, but it's not gonna happen.
Statistically,|you're dead now.
You understand|what that means? A man aimed a gun at|your head and fired.
The fact that you survived|is an anomaly, and it's unlikely to be|the outcome - of a second such encounter.
|- Listen to me.
We don't have|many leads, okay? If you can help us|predict when and if these guys are gonna|hit another bank, this is the only|shot we got.
Please understand, sometimes I can't choose what I work on.
I can't follow through|on a line of thinking just because I want to or or because it's needed.
I have to work|on what's in my head And right now this is what's in my head.
This is the license|we got off the guy that David shot, which IDs him as Malcolm Stapleton, right? - All right.
|- This is a duplicate license of Stapleton we got|from the DMV.
So if the one we got off the body|is a fake, then who is he? His current neighbors|recognize that guy as Stapleton.
Let's go talk to the neighbors|of his former residence.
- All right, that's a good idea.
|- Yeah.
Hey, how's, uh,|how's Charlie doing? I don't know,|he's just working on some famously|unsolvable math problem, which is not a good sign.
At least it's not binge|drinking and strip clubs.
That's true.
You're sure this isn't|Malcolm Stapleton? Yes, I'm sure, because|that's Malcolm's brother.
What happened to him? He was involved|in an accident.
What's the brother's name? Bill Stapleton.
He showed up a|few months ago, said Malcolm had gotten|a job back East and wouldn't be coming back.
Did Malcolm ever talk|about having a brother, or say anything|about getting a new job? No.
Never even said good-bye.
Okay, well, thank you|for your time.
Thank you.
Okay, so our dead|guy is the brother of a man who was|an only child.
- Right.
|- Where do you want to start? I'm thinking if he never said|good-bye, maybe Malcolm never moved from here.
Let's talk to|the manager.
The super said contractors|came in to do work down here, but the owner|never ordered the work.
Check this out.
Looks brand-new.
That's good.
Let me look.
See that? Looks like we just|found Malcolm.
We found a body identified by|fingerprints as Malcolm Stapleton.
We think the man you shot killed Stapleton|and stole his identity.
I'd like to be there|when you talk to the ME.
All right.
Malcolm Stapleton died from massive blood loss|after his carotid artery was severed.
The killer knew|what he was doing.
How so? Well, the thing is,|most people don't know how|to slit a throat.
They think you pull back|the head like this.
But in this position, the windpipe provides|some protection to the major blood vessels.
However, tilt|the head forward, the arteries are exposed.
The cut was made away and down from the assailant,|minimizing blood splatter.
The weapon was|an extremely sharp, wide-blade knife.
Somebody with medical training? More like military experience.
You know, the victim in|the robbery or the guy in the boiler room had his|throat cut exactly like this.
The wound on that body|was very similar.
But here's something new.
|Look at this.
Electrical burns.
This man was tortured|before he was killed.
All right, so they kill efficiently, they use torture,|and they can execute - a coordinated escape.
|- You're thinking military? I'm thinking Special Forces.
We're on our way.
Charm School Boys|just hit another bank.
Let's go.
All right, thanks.
Same MO, same two guys.
Asked for cash,|didn't show a weapon, but when the assistant manager|followed them outside and pulled out a cell phone,|they shot him.
You realize this breaks|the pattern of two weeks between robberies.
|Excuse me.
Uh yeah,|actually I think you might have|the right number.
Ma'am, my name is Don|Eppes with the FBI.
There's been|an incident.
Are you at home? Can you please stay there? We're going to come see you.
What's your address? That's my gun.
Classic psych-ops|technique: he's trying to get|inside your head so you don't think clearly|and dispassionately.
Well, we need to look beyond|conventional military.
Start concentrating on Delta|Force, Navy SEAL units I agree.
Have you shown any of|the new data to Charlie? No, he's not|working the case.
Just that crazy math|problem day and night.
Last time he pulled|one of these is when our mother|got cancer.
They were close? Yeah, but when|she came home from chemo, he couldn't deal,|just stayed in the garage didn't spend any time with her.
What are you|thinking? That he can't stay|in the garage forever.
You know,|Don and Charlie, they graduated high school|on the same day.
Thank you.
|Don's mentioned it.
A few times.
Kind of puts an edge|on that sibling rivalry thing,|you know? I'm sure it does, but having a kid like Charlie had to put some unusual|pressure on the family.
How old was he when|you first realized he was exceptional? I think he was three when he multiplied four-digit|numbers in his head.
By the age of four he needed special teachers,|special classes.
My wife I mean, his mother and I, we put a lot of time|into his education.
It was Don, he was|the one who had to get used|to taking care of himself.
Well, he might|have gotten used to it, but I'm not sure he's as good|at it as he thinks he is.
Well, it's hard for him|to ask anyone for help.
It's really hard|for him to ask Charlie.
We think they have special|military training, and now they have|struck again and killed another|innocent person, Charlie.
Charlie, please don't do this.
Do you understand the stakes|we're dealing with here? More bloodshed, people's lives.
I mean, if I have to do|this on my own, it's going to put me|and all of my people at greater risk;|is that what you want? Their old pattern's gone.
|I told you that.
Then there's got to be|a new pattern.
Doesn't there? Isn't|that the way it works? You incorporate|whatever's going on? Ow I'm sorry.
I need your help,|you understand? I don't think I can,|that I can Charlie, I know it's hard|for you, I understand that, but it's hard|for everybody.
You know, I don't know|how I got in a situation where I need your help|to do my job, but I sure|as hell have.
I wish you would just snap out of your precious bubble|for once.
Dad I've been working|on a problem.
P versus NP-|it can't be solved.
I think you knew that|when you started.
I could work on it|forever, constantly pushing forward,|still never reaching an end.
You know, sometimes|you want to think that things don't end.
But they do.
When Mom was sick, I couldn't stop working on it.
I know.
I didn't get it.
Uh, not then.
And your brother sure|doesn't understand why you spent|the last three months of your mother's life|working on a math problem.
But Charlie, your mother-|she understood why.
Because she knew|how your mind worked.
Malcolm was|a top-level programmer.
He worked in our division|that handles tracking software.
Tracking what? Financial transactions, mostly used by banks|for data processing.
What were the circumstances|of his leaving the company? He was on vacation, called|to say he was quitting.
He had a new job.
All right, thanks.
We'll talk to you soon.
You're welcome.
All right, so Stapleton had high-level access|to bank software; he's tortured;|he's murdered, and his identity is stolen|by a guy who's a member of a bank robbery crew,|right? That doesn't seem|like a coincidence.
And consider how|careful they were to make it seem like|he was still alive.
Right, 'cause you figure|they're going to want to avoid a murder|investigation so no one knows they have|access to his work.
Maybe they're using|the software to track when banks have large|amounts of cash on hand.
Yeah, but the takes|are varied, you know? I mean, you got a couple|hundred thousand dollars in one, and then a hundred|dollars in the next.
Don, Captain|Joe MacNevish, - Delta Forces.
|- How are you, sir? Our John Doe's|fingerprints turned up a match|with the Army.
Former Delta Force member Master Sergeant|John Anthony Galbraith.
Galbraith received an honorable discharge|four years ago.
That's the guy I shot.
One of his associates|was a Robert Gordon Skidmore.
I'm sure the Bureau|has a record on him.
Robert Skidmore,|convicted of robbing a cash shipment coming|into an Army base.
Yeah, that's the guy|who took my gun.
He was partners with|the guy I shot, Galbraith.
All right,|well, we got two names.
Let's start|building a crew chart.
All right.
Well, I was|heartened to hear that you've shifted your|focus off P versus NP.
So tell me, what is it|that I can help you with? I failed.
I failed to notice|something significant.
These robberies display certain highly eccentric|characteristics.
Okay, well how so? Many were conducted|in under two minutes, but in many cases, the perpetrators|remained on the premises far longer,|despite having the money.
Why would they wait around? Don't know.
Leaving quickly would seem to be the essential strategy|when fleeing a felony.
You see this game, Larry? You've got to clear mines|without blowing any up.
Each time|you've cleared a square, a numerical value is revealed.
That number tells you exactly|how many squares containing mines are directly|adjacent to that square.
This allows you to predict where the next mine|will be located.
And then,|the more boxes revealed, the more accurately|one can predict the location of the mines.
The pattern used|in these bank robberies is similar to this same type|of problem-solving pattern.
These robbers|have used the banks they've been robbing to tell them|which ones to rob next.
To what end would criminals be|playing Minesweeper with banks? I don't know.
Right, no, I don't|think that's smart.
- Don.
|- Yeah? I'll call you|right back.
No, I will.
Hey, Charlie.
I have some findings for you.
I'm sorry I couldn't|get to this sooner.
No, now's good.
|Come on in.
Did you rework the equation? No, I think you need|to be looking at a whole other line|of investigation.
Like what? What's inside a bank|that's more valuable than money? Information?|Financial data? Exactly.
This case-|it isn't about robbing banks.
Everything they did made it seem|like a typical bank robbery, but while our Charm School Boys were at the teller's window|creating a diversion, they must've had a third man|accessing the bank's computers.
The question is, why? Are we sure this is the only|machine that they messed with? As far as we know.
Why risk robberies? Why not just hack|into the bank's computer? From an outside source, it's almost impossible.
These databases are guarded|with intense firewalls.
Besides, by actually robbing|the banks, they were able|to gain any capital they might need|in the meantime.
More important, the data|seems to be location-specific.
So when they're accessing data|at one bank, it leads them to data|at other banks.
Here you go.
It's the YDS software.
The program was accessed|using Stapleton's pass code on the day of the robbery.
Dollar amounts? Believe so.
Bank routing numbers? That's what they are.
The routing numbers|are all the same.
The cash in this list|is all going to the same bank.
Which bank? That's a special Federal Reserve|routing number for the Federal Reserve Bank|of San Francisco.
Specifically,|the Los Angeles branch.
He helps us on financial cases|all the time.
And I tend to remember numbers.
So these heists are diversions.
They're distractions.
And that's why Stapleton|was tortured, for his confidential pass codes.
The exact same computer program|was accessed at all the banks hit by Skidmore's crew.
How does this factor|into the Federal Reserve? The program tracks cash|being removed from circulation.
Old currencies,|either worn or ripped, and it's retired cash is taken out|of circulation at local banks.
Every few months it's taken|to the Federal Reserve Bank then to a secret Treasury|location where it's destroyed.
And that retired-cash data|is collated by the YDS software, which allows the bank robbers to locate other banks|with the same software.
So once they have enough data, they get a fix on the shipment from the Federal Reserve Bank|to the Treasury.
Each shipment is maybe|a hundred million dollars in untraceable cash.
Right, I got it.
That was the Federal Reserve|Bank in Los Angeles.
They got a shipment|of retired currency going to the Treasury|in six hours, okay? I want to know|what the security is what the route is, what|the procedure is, right? Let's go.
Just one thing.
Heisenberg|and his Uncertainty Principle.
Do me a favor.
|Hold this.
What about it? Remember|I told you how the act of observation|will ultimately affect that which is being observed? Yes, you did.
These guys know|you've studied them.
They know you're trying|to outthink them.
Charlie, it's all right.
Tell Heisenberg we're all over this.
We'll be at Ontario Airport|in about 20 minutes.
Almost there.
No! Unit One, Unit Two, Code Red! Unit One, Unit Two,|come in! All right, Unit Two to Unit One,|come in.
Unit Two to Unit One? Unit One, Unit Two, Code Red.
Unit One to Unit Two, come in.
They're jamming our radios.
I'm not getting any response.
What do we do? We'll stick with the plan.
You want to live? Drop your guns.
Where's the money? In the bank.
Drop your weapons! Get on the ground! Back off! Bridge team, green light.
Drop your weapon! - Get your ass down!|- Get down on the ground! - Get down on the ground!|- Get your ass down! Get your hands|on your head! Don't move.
FBI! Do not move! Do not move! Get that other hand|on the wheel right now! Get it up! Do it! This is mine.
Get out of the car.
Get out|of the car! Get down on your face! Billy, cuff him! Here you go, Pop.
I got it.
Now you got it.
Thank you.
- Hello.
|- Donnie! Wow, it's good to see you.
Oh, you guys ate.
|I'm starving.
There's plenty.
|Come on.
Yeah?|Did Terry call, tell you guys what happened? Yeah, she said you arrested|every suspect.
Only one shot fired, huh? One? How'd you|pull that off? We knew roughly where'd they'd|try to hit the next shipment, and I knew they'd have|an escape plan.
That's very clever.
I guess I was inspired|by Mr.
just like Charlie here|suggested.
Heisenberg? You mean, the physicist? Yeah.
Your brother goes into|a dangerous confrontation with heavily armed felons,|and you prepare him with a lecture|on the movement of subatomic particles? Yep.
It worked, didn't it? Yes.
|I guess it did.
I'm telling you, if your mother could see you|two guys now, she would be so happy.
How you doing|on your P versus P thing? NP? Sorry.
I'm not pursuing it anymore.
No? I got plenty of problems|to work on, ones that I think|I can actually solve.
Glad to hear it.
What, no mustard? I knew you'd ask.
He forgot.
What's up? What's up?