NUMB3RS Episodes

2005, TV Show

NUMB3RS Episode: "Checkmate"

Season 4, Episode 14
Episode Synopsis: An imprisoned gang leader is suspected of passing secret instructions to a teen chess prodigy about which gang members should be killed. Don investigates and crosses paths with a former flame, Robin Brooks, he suspects is leaking information. Also, Charlie goes through FBI training to learn how to protect himself.
Original Air Date: Apr 11, 2008
Guest Cast Tequan Richmond: Bishop Marcello Thedford: Heavy D. Michelle Nolden: Robin Brooks Michael James Reed: Stephen Tommy Schrider: Jimmy D. R.F. Daley: Gary Bell
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Season 4, Episode 14
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Aired: 4/11/2008
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"Checkmate" Season 4, Episode 14

This was (Alimi Ballard's) Sinclair's episode, and a mostly (if not subtly) comic episode for Charlie (David Krumholtz), in rougly equal measures, and falls to the middle range for the series, despite some nice setpieces in Sinclair's attempts to encourage a bright young man to reconsider becoming a bright young thug. And this episode marks the (temporary?) return of Robin Brooks (Michelle Nolden), Don's short-term flame in the US Attorney's office. The episode begins with three attempts at murder of witnesses, two essentially successful (albeit one victim survives long enough to give a dying declaration to Robin, who's prosceuting the case in question, against a resourceful gang lord). In the third, the would-be hit man is killed instead. (In the one immediately successful case, the hitwoman makes a point of explaining that she's pulling on gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints in a car that she's already handled without gloves; avoiding gunpowder residues on her hands would make more sense, but, onward.) Megan, in briefing Don on the case, asks if she should take the lead, if working with Robin will be awkward for him; he demurs, but the interaction between Robin and Don is indeed immediately awkward. It becomes moreso when the search for an information leak, using an algorithm Charlie suggests to Amita and Larry in a break from failing the various physical tests he's put to in the sampling of FBI training he's going through, shows Robin's computer is the probable source of leaks to the gang. Don gets a warrant, much to Robin's disgust, but the team soon determines that the ex-wife of a gang member, working as a computer repair technician, has been responsible for the leaks; while the technician had managed to save her ex-husband at first, soon after, both he and she were executed by the gang. Meanwhile, the gang leader has been visited weekly in prison by a figure with no ID in the system, a Levi Holt; he turns out to be a 14-year-old chess hustler, who does business out of the recreation center where Sinclair has volunteered in the past. Sinclair approaches him, and becomes impressed against his better judgement by the boy's intelligence and potential, despite his devotion to the gang leader, who's been grooming Holt as a protoge of sorts; their weekly meetings are all about chess games, which Levi notates in standard chess code in a small notebook. Further investigation into the witness murders suggests that Robin is the next likely target, so she's relocated to an expensive but improbably insecure hotel. Robin and Don discuss why their romance was so shortlived, and decide that they are both afraid of commitment. Round-the-clock FBI details don't discourage the Albanian hitwoman from entering the apartment and successfully stabbing the agent in the living room, but he's able to warn Robin and call for help while the assassin chases Robin out onto the docks near the hotel. Just as the killer is about to stab Robin (holding her knife incorrectly while she's about to do so, when she had held her knife correctly in stabbing the agent a few minutes before), Don shoots the attacker. Asked how he knew where to find her, Don reveals the nostalgic gift of a hairclip he'd given her earlier had a tracking device within; the assassin had likewise located Robin through tracking her GPS signal in her Crackberry. The academics, even with Charlie's distractions in his training session, manage to determine that the chess game notations are a code instructing the gang leader's underlings who needs to be killed next; they also determine that Levi is the other next target along with Robin. They determine this last while Sinclair is standing next to Levi at the rec center, having just convinced the boy to turn over the notebook. Just as they determine this, the gang lieutenants arrive to retrieve the notebook, and presumably to kill Levi, who is late in delivering this week's instructions. They face off with Sinclair, who threatens them with the consequences of killing an FBI agent, since he is woefully outnumbered and outgunned; Levi, meanwhile, takes the point that he is now utterly expendable, and worse, to the gang he thought of as friends and mentors. FBI reinforcements arrive and arrest the gangsters as they begin to leave. Charlie, having proven that at least he can shoot at least as well any of the FBI agents in the training session, returns bruised but mildly triumphant to his usual haunts, Robin and Don take advantage of the room that had been rented for her protection to consummate their restarted affair, and Sinclair begins to bond with Levi, asking him to teach him how not to be fools'-mated so easily. And there's a last little joke at everyone's terror at the notion of Charlie brandishing a gun. Darryl Theirse as the driving instructor does a good job grounding that bit of slapstick, early in Charlie's training scenes. Producer Robert Port's script has some bugs that could've been worked out (particularly involving the hitwoman) and, again, not the lightest touch in the comic segments, but again wasn't either the best nor the worst I've seen in the series. For more on Numb3rs, please see our Online Video Guide. show less
This was Alimi Ballards Sinclairs episode and a mostly if not subtly comic episode for Charlie David Krumholtz in rougly equal measures and falls to the middle range for the series despite some nice setpieces in Sinclairs attempts to encourage a bright young man to reconsider becoming a bright young thug And this episode marks the temporary return of Robin Brooks Michelle Nolden Dons short-term flame in the US Attorneys officeThe episode begins with three attempts at murder of witnesses two essentially successful albeit one victim survives long enough to give a dying declaration to Robin whos prosceuting the case in question against a resourceful gang lord In the third the would-be hit man is killed instead In the one immediately successful case the hitwoman makes a point of explaining that shes pulling on gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints in a car that shes already handled without gloves avoiding gunpowder residues on her hands would make m read more

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Premiered: January 23, 2005, on CBS
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (969 ratings)
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Premise: An FBI special agent in Los Angeles teams with his mathematical genius brother to solve crimes. Don, a veteran investigator, relies on hard facts and evidence to catch crooks, while his younger brother Charlie, a brilliant university professor, analyzes mathematical equations and statistics to provide case clues. Sibling film directors Ridley and Tony Scott serve as executive producers.



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