Numb3rs S2E11 Script

Scorched (2005)

( distorted techno intro )

( heavy electronic beat )

Hey, hey, hey

I'm the trouble starter

I'm the instigator

I'm the fear addicted

And agent illustrated

Hey, hey, hey

I'm a fire starter

Twisted fire starter

Hey, hey, hey

You're the fire starter

Twisted fire starter

Hey, hey, hey

I'm a fire starter

Twisted fire starter

I'm the bitch you hated

Filth infatuated


I'm the pipe you tasted

Then intoxicated

Hey, hey, hey

I'm a fire starter, twisted fire starter...

( explosion, car alarms beeping )

Damn. My phone.

( explosion, car alarms blaring )

( sirens blaring )

What do you say, Colby?

Hey, Don.

Friends from the Earth Liberation Movement again, huh?

Yup. So, this makes for the fourth eco fire.

You tell how you're gonna save the world by burning down an SUV dealership, you know?

Yeah, well, all I can tell you is, we got a guy over here who's not gonna be around to enjoy the fresh air.

Sean Grasso. He's 32, junior salesman.

The owner says he thinks he probably came in here early to do his paperwork.

Notify the family?

Yeah, Megan talked to his wife.

Evidently, they have a four-month old.

Don. Hey. Hey.

I got your message.

Yeah. You-You didn't have to come down, buddy.

Aah. Um, four fires doesn't provide enough data to create a hot zone, so I thought... I thought there might be something else here I can work with.

Oh, come here. It's really not much, Charlie.

It's just the burned out SUV and this booth here.

Hey, Paul. Let me see. MAN: Don.

How's it going? All right.

Hey. Colby. Paul.

Hi. I'm Charles Eppes. I'm a FBI consultant.

Paul Stevens. LAFD Arson Investigator.

Are you an arson expert?

I'm a mathematician.

You might be wondering what I'm doing at the scene of an arson.

Hey, makes sense to me.

I mean, I-I've got arson books full of equations.

Open and contained flame calculators, uh, flow rates for oxygen...

Well, the-the study of combustion is based largely on fluid mechanics.

You know, there's some amazing work done by Prandtl and Euler, Smits...

Equations are in the books, not that in here.

Mostly I work with physical indicators -- scorch marks, ignition devices, burn patterns.

Trying to build a signature.

Arsonist's M.O., that kind of thing.

So, anything?

Yeah. The, uh, SUV went up with a Molotov cocktail.


That's the same as all the other fires.

And the security booth here?

Cigarette and a book of matches.

Classic, old-school igniter.

Why bother with the booth?

Well, there's a phone inside.

Probably wanted to make sure no one called for help.

COLBY: Only the salesman shows up early and tries to make a call anyway.

Opens the door, influx of oxygen -- creates a back draft.

I mean, people underestimate the power of a fire, even a small one. You know?

What do you suggest we do at this point?

Trying to catch an arsonist by his signature is like trying to identify someone by their shadow. I mean...

I might be able to come up with a lot more if I can borrow your, uh, professor here.

Yeah, I mean, it's fine with me, go for it.

Sure. It's my pleasure.

Can I see what you're working with? Sure.

COLBY: You know, in Colorado, these guys eventually destroyed a ski resort.

They left a banner that said, "If you build it, the E.L.M. will burn it."

You know what was really concerning me is that with each fire, they get more aggressive.

We all use math every day, to predict weather, to tell time, to handle money.

Math is more than formulas and equations.

It's logic... it's rationality.

It's using your mind to solve the biggest mysteries that we know.

"There is no more open door

"by which one can enter the study of natural science than by considering the phenomena of a candle."

Faraday said that.


I wonder if Faraday ever used his insights to crack an arson case.

Oh, do my sensors detect frustration?

Yes, your sensors are correct.

Arson investigations consider seven points of data -- fuel, burn rate, scorch marks, smoke patterns, flame temperature, igniter, and, uh, oh, point of origin -- to create what's called a fire signature.

Oh, seven points.

You know, this sounds less like a signature, more like a fingerprint.

Well, see, but that's-that's just it.

It's not like a fingerprint.

Arson signatures are not nearly as accurate, nor are they as specific.

I need more parameters.

Everything that gives a fire its specific character.

All right.

What's to be done here?

Well, I've already started by breaking down the initial seven data points into several subsets, although, I'm sure there's more to follow.

Do you realize that if every vehicle in this nation averaged just 2.7 more miles per gallon, we could cut our dependency on Mideast oil?

Are you seriously trying to justify the arsonist's motive?

No, no, no, no, no, no. Hear me out.

I'm merely making the point that the E.L.M.'s goals are ecological.

They're not pathological.

Larry, I'm not really interested in the social significance of these fires.

Well, you should be, Charles.

No, I shouldn't be, actually. Yes, you should be.

Listen to me here.

As fire destroys, it also creates.

And not just heat or light, but a solid product.

Soot? Soot.

And the soot created within that fire is what gives the flame its color.

Something you can't even see, and yet it defines its entire nature.

Larry. Charles.

All due respect, I don't get it.

This most recent fire claimed a life.

The others didn't.


Keep going.

Intent and...

Intent and result.

If each arsonist approaches a fire differently, then it... then it makes sense that every fire set...

Would be as unique as the person setting it.

And not just in terms of the method used, but in terms of-of the entire character of that fire.

So, what you're talking about really is like a, um... like a fingerprint for fires.

A "fireprint."

That's ridiculous.

Why would the E.L.M. waste our efforts on an SUV lot?

Gas prices and common sense are gonna do that work for us.

Your group's connected to acts of sabotage against construction sites, and lumber mills, and oil wells...

And has acknowledged every single one.

The Earth Liberation Movement has no involvement in these fires, and we've repeatedly said so.

COLBY: So, tell me again then why it is that your logo is spray painted at all four of the crime scenes?

Anyone can put three letters on a wall.

Even an FBI agent.

MAN: We've condemned the arsons, we've cooperated with your investigation.

MEGAN Actually, you haven't.

We asked you for your membership roster, and you took us to court.

We're a national organization with 200 active members and ten times that number of associates.

We can't let you randomly harass us.

A homicide investigation is not random harassment.

WOMAN: The FBI has a history of undermining legitimate protest.

Congress of Racial Equality, Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, American Indian Movement.

That was the 1960s.

Do me a favor and check a calendar.

The fires are intended to discredit us.

In my book, that makes you people the suspects.

I mean, it's possible someone could be using their logo to throw us, right?

Maybe in one fire. But four?

Yeah? So?

Well, the E.L.M. isn't exactly a monolithic organization.

Kids float in and float out.

All right, we just keep busting their soldiers, and they'll just keep recruiting more.

Hey. Hey.

Oh, where did you get that?

E.L.M. office.

I'm positive I've seen that guy in the middle before.

You stole this picture?

Well, it must have fallen off the bulletin board and gotten stuck to my shoe.

DON: Got to do what you got to do, right?

Wait a minute. You just see that?

Look at that hat.

MEGAN: LA Center College.

Yeah, there's probably only a few thousand kids with that hat on.

COLBY: Yeah. But hold on. Look at this.

Right there.

How many of those show up at two different fires?

MEGAN: 90 percent of all E.L.M. activists are college students.

They're all young, white and male.

COLBY: Yeah, but look at that. That's a good match.

DON: Yeah, I agree.

All right, so we got a face and a school.

We just need a student ID match.

Ah, college.

Here it is -- Room B.

Hey, wait a minute.

Door's open.

Yeah, but anything we find can be subject to a challenge in court.

Why don't we try and just break one law a day?

( headphones playing loudly )

You kicked me in the head

When I'm on the ground

Stop dragging me down

Stop dragging me down... Hi, I'm trying to find Jake Eckworth.

Can you tell me where I might find him?

Uh, Jake's my roommate, but he doesn't tell me where he goes.

Do you mind if we take a look around your room?

So, is Jake a geography major?

World history.

What are you studying?


Oh. Cool.

You're not going to find anything. He nukes the history.

COLBY: Really?

And how do we know that?

Well, because they're probably good friends, Granger.

I'm sure he uses your laptop, sometimes, right?

Sometimes, yeah.

You know, you should really wait until Jake gets back.

Hold on a second, you said he deletes the history, so what if I run a system restore.

You're going to mess up his software.

Just use the hard drive trace.

You can backdoor it from the desktop, instead of trying to drop through the C drive.

( computer beeping )


"Glendale Chamber of Commerce?"

MEGAN: There's some notations on the map around Glendale.


Look at this: "Verdugo Ridge, Glendale, California."

"Private, luxury living space, opening fall 2006."

This could be our guy.

100 units being built on mountain habitat.

Well, that fits the profile for an E.L.M. target, doesn't it?

It certainly does.

Thank you.

It's pretty up here.

That's his car, that blue Honda.

Yeah, I see it.

Colby, we go his car, you ready?

COLBY ( over radio ): We're on the access road.

He leaves, he has to come past us.

All right. We're moving.

You guys take this side.

( creaking )

Jake, FBI -- don't move.

Jake, wait!

Jake? Jake!

Colby, he's coming your way.

COLBY: Copy that, Don!

FBI! Freeze!

Freeze! Drop the bag!

Get your hands up. Get them up!

I haven't done anything.

Wow... cigarettes, lighter, spray paint.

Thought you guys were all about clean air.

I didn't set any fires.


Cause the local news puts you at two E.L.M. fires in the past three weeks.

E.L.M. is being set up.

What, Jake, you don't want credit?

Why's that, cause someone's dead now?

E.L.M. events are carefully planned to protect human life.

MEGAN: Yeah, but then... accidents happen, right?

DON: What are you doing here, Jake?

I'm just meeting a friend.

MEGAN: Really? Because your roommate says you've been coming up here a lot.

Who's that, Ethan?

Ethan's a wannabe, he doesn't know anything.

Who's your friend?

Just a concerned citizen.

MEGAN: Concerned with what, Jake?

Setting fires in Glendale?

Oceans can absorb two gigatons of carbon yearly.

We're putting four times that into the atmosphere with developments like this.

How about this guy?

How much carbon you put in the atmosphere burning a 32-year-old father?

Why don't you take a good look at that.

Go ahead. Hmm?


My only involvement with the E.L.M. is to forward information to the media.

I'm not, and have never been, involved in any illegal activity.

I am aware that you can't hold me here without evidence.

So, either release or get me a lawyer.

Kid knew exactly what to say.

Yeah, well, I used to be smarter than everybody else, too.

Yeah, arrogance fits the profile of a political arsonist perfectly.

Well, we definitely don't have enough to hold him.

So, we're letting him go?

No, we'll put him under tight surveillance, which will at least keep him from lighting another fire.

All right. I'll check his phone records and credit cards.

Try and connect a few dots.

I think the roommate knows more than we got out of him.

Yeah, if he hears Jake bad-mouthed him, might be a little more forthcoming, too.

CHARLIE: So, were you able to determine what caused the booth to explode?

Like I thought: back draft.

The igniter was shoved under a seat cushion, creating a high level of heat in the booth.

Limited oxygen.

Door opens and "boom."

So, let me get this straight.

The arsonist throws a Molotov cocktail to start one fire, but not the other.

Molotov cocktails are tricky.

I mean, if you want a structure to burn, a simple fuse ignition source is easier.

Gives a better shot at success.

Well, right now I'm working on a principled components analysis to give us a more accurate arson signature.

Well, great, but how do you do that with seven data points?

Oh, no, Charles is considering using over 600.

Six hundred?

CHARLIE: Well, you're looking at rate of heat, time span and weather, right?

Yeah, that's right.

Right, so I'm just calculating you know, heat absorption, the rate of fuel burn, and the torching index.

That's a little beyond what we're capable of in the fire department, I'll tell you that.

Can I also see all the arson records for L.A. County that you have access to for, like, the past year?

That's several thousand fires.

Mm, that's a pretty limited sample.

You know what?

Make it the past two years.


MEGAN: He's a 17-year-old sophomore.

And I did some checking.

He published a paper in the International Journal of Civil Engineering.

Oh, at 17, that's impressive.


I, uh, want you to talk to him, see if you could get me some insight on him.

That's your field, Agent Reeves.

Yeah, but he's a young genius in college with older kids, so I'm guessing he's feeling some of the same social pressures you did.

I'm looking for a button to push.

Are these seats taken?

I don't have anything to say to you.

What's the matter?

You told Jake I spoke to you.

Yeah, but I didn't tell him anything you said.

Who's this?

A friend.

Ethan, Jake's headed for a fall, and he's not the kind of guy you want to be near when he goes down.

Let me guess -- prom queen?


Excuse me?

You don't know what it's like.

The ones that don't ignore me make me feel like a freak.

Scared of you... because they'll never catch up to you in the classroom.

Only talking to you when they want your help.

And when they do let you sit with them, they have conversations that go over your head, and nothing's supposed to go over your head.

Jake talks to you.

You wonder if he's the first and last person who ever will.

Jake says he's innocent.

Well, okay.

Well, the best way to prove that is to help Agent Reeves.

Help her get to the truth.

You don't understand.

May I?

C sub h = NA sub 1 plus MA sub 2 where N = M.

Single wall carbon nanotubes.

Potential applications include artificial muscles, combat jackets... and a space elevator.

I understand.

What do you want?

I want the name of the person that Jake was meeting in Glendale.

He has these friends from Oregon.

He talks to them online.

I have to go.

I guess it does pays off sometimes to be a know-it-all.

A back draft is a fascinating phenomena.

We can demonstrate it with this candle.

It's also called a smoke explosion.

The flame causes the hot gases rising from the candle to... reignite.

Somehow I missed the fact that the CalSci Engineering Department had a combustion lab.

It's pretty neat, huh?

We converted it from an old laundry room.

Well, thank you, Professor Waldie, for setting this whole thing up.

"Bill," please, and you don't have to thank me.

Creating the conditions for a back draft, that's just way cool.

Well, here's our booth.

And, as noted in the arson report, we have: insulated compartment, combustible ceiling.

Now, this geometry will starve the fire just enough so that when this door is opened, oxygen will rush inside, creating a gravity current of cold air and hot gases and, boom, smoke explosion, aka, a back draft.

All we need is the heat source.


That would be me.

I thought we could use the same brand that the arson investigator found.

And you're ready to go.

Where'd you get a cigarette?

I know a guy.

Okay. So.

Stevens said that the arsonist probably placed the igniter near some fuel, like a seat cushion.


This type of foam is an excellent hydrocarbon-based fuel.


( lights match )

Temperature's rising.

When the temperature inside reaches 600 degrees, we'll open the door and add oxygen.

Okay, well.

If the scorch marks and flame indicators were recorded correctly for a 5:41 AM start time, then wind and outside pressure are a check.

And at 600 degrees we should be good to go on a back draft.

We're almost there.



Did we ventilate the booth properly?

According to my calculations, yeah, we did.

Heat release, burn rate, air, time.

There's no error in your math.

No, no.

That's a statement, not a question.

The booth fire couldn't have been caused by a back draft.

All right, so if it wasn't a back draft, then what was it?

Given the speed of the flame, the heat, the fire must have been assisted by some sort of accelerant.

The lab came back negative for any accelerant.

But some accelerants, when used in small amounts, often easily evaporate.

Like hydrogen peroxide, for instance.

STEVENS: High concentrate hydrogen peroxide might oxidize the fire enough for enough for an explosion and not leave a trace.

But that's difficult to obtain, legally anyway.

MEGAN: Are we talking about the hydrogen peroxide in my medicine cabinet?

STEVENS: Charlie's talking about industrial grade.

Yeah, but Larry gets it for his intro class every year.

So a student could get their hands on it.

COLBY: Hold on a second.

If he uses gasoline for the SUV, why not use it for the booth?

That would have been easier.

It's more like choosing a poison that wouldn't show up in an autopsy.

So you're saying they intended to kill whoever opened the door?

You know, Larry posited that the character of the fire will reveal the character of the person who set it.

Yeah. Larry's right.

And the person who set this fire is a murderer.

The security booth fire is an intentional homicide.

The E.L.M. has no history of murder.

Yeah, but these nuts hide five-inch spikes in the trunks of trees.

If nobody dies, that's just luck.

I'm not defending their methods, but the E.L.M. has stuck to environmental targets -- construction projects, chemical pollutants.

The injuries have been unintentional.

Well, not that dealership fire, right?

I mean, that was designed to kill.

Yeah, so either that wasn't the E.L.M. or...

Or else their membership just got a hell of a lot less exclusive.

The roommate said Jake was in touch with people from Oregon, right?


Yeah, but I checked his e-mails, I.M.'s and phone records, and I didn't find anything.

What about chat rooms?

Find out who their I.S.P. is, and subpoena their records, all right?

Used to be this garage was for laundry and parking a car.

Sorry. All my cognitive emergence theory work's over there, so we had to expand out.

My God.

You're pretty sure you can identify a single arsonist?

I'm not trying to identify a particular person.

I'm using Principle Components Analysis and I'm inputting 600 variables to quantify 5,000 fires to create a database that links the fires to the people that set them.

We're calling it a fireprint.

What's the next variable?

Piloted ignition temperature.

Piloted ignition what?

It's describing a fire that needs a spark to ignite itself.


It's like a fuse being lit.

The match and the fuse together both pilot the fire.

How else does a fire get started?

Spontaneous combustion.


A gas being heated to the point of producing a flame without there being an outside source.

And that would be an un-piloted fire, right?

Yeah, but you have this one described over here as a piloted and un-piloted fire.

You know, the S.U.V. fire was started when gasoline was ignited by a flame -- piloted.

But the booth fire was caused by heat rising to the point of oxidation -- un-piloted.

That's right. The explosion of flame was caused by the combination of hot gases and the oxidation of hydrogen peroxide.

That's a very complicated way of setting a fire.

It is.

Well, I mean, shouldn't they be considered two separate fires?

I mean, for this to be considered a fingerprint, then shouldn't every fire have only one set of fingers?

That's exactly right.

One fire designed to kill, the other isn't.

There's two different agendas.

Two different arsonists.

Hey. Hey.

So Jake Eckworth's Internet service provider downloaded everything from his I.P. address.


Well, turns out, he was using two different screen names and passwords.

First one was fairly straightforward.

EarthAvenger. His password was his birthday.

But finding the password to the second screen name has been an entirely different story.

Yeah, it looks like Eckworth used a Diffie-Hellman Encryption Code.

( whistles )

Basically, impossible to crack.

And I'm guessing we're gonna find all the good stuff behind that encrypted password.

His second screen name is NanoTube?

Yeah. Sounds like a nerd porno star, huh?

Shows me where your head is at, Granger.

It's a technical term.

I heard it used the other day... when I was interviewing Ethan Powell.

How sure are you?

Mathematically, I'm almost positive.

You see, when fires are being investigated, several elements are studied, elements that form together to create a fire signature.

But unlike handwriting, elements of the fire signature are more general and less individually specific.

Elements like scorch marks, rate of burn, accelerants, gas, acetone, kerosene, alcohol.

So, I created a more specific analysis, just like I did with the theory of fingerprinting.

I thought you didn't like fingerprinting.

I don't.

The points of comparison aren't standardized.

Now with fingerprints, it's generally believed that no two are the same.

Well, that level of specificity allows you to find matches with as little as seven points of commonality.

My fireprint analysis uses over 600 precise variables projected down to a 15-dimensional hyperplane.

So we have 15 numerical coordinates to match that level of specificity.

Now... these are the fireprints from the two fires set at the S.U.V. dealership. Mm-hmm.

They're not the same.

Two different patterns.

When I ran these comparisons against other fires set in L.A., I found matches.

The S.U.V. fire was nearly identical to three other previous E.L.M. fires.

But the security booth fire was extremely dissimilar.

So someone else set that fire.

That's the theory.

All right, so two arsonists.

CHARLIE: Yeah. When I ran the security booth fire against my database, I found 17 identical fires going back almost five years.

Five years?

And none, not one of them, had any environmental agenda or even the remotest connection to the E.L.M.

So one guy sets a typical E.L.M. fire in the S.U.V...

And the other guy sets the security booth fire, only that one is intended to actually kill somebody.

A leader and a follower. It's Leopold and Loeb.

Leopold and who?

It was the most sensational murder of the 1920s.

These two guys killed a little boy simply to prove that they could.

Loeb was the dominant personality, and Leopold looked up to him.

Jake Eckworth. Ethan Powell.

( cell phone rings ) Eppes.

Yeah. On our way.

Okay. Another fire.

How is that possible?

Eckworth's been under surveillance.

Yeah, but Ethan hasn't been.

( sirens blaring )

It's arson. E.L.M. again.

The fire was contained to the sixth floor.

What's up there?

Oil exploration company.

They have bids in to drill in Alaska.

What exactly happened?

Standard teams went in, got up there, flashover hit six guys before they had a chance to get out.

What's flashover?

When everything in the room ignites at once.

CHARLIE: What might have prevented the entire building from burning?

Fire doors must have done their job.

Lucky for us, huh?

Fire doors, my ass.

That fire wasn't meant to burn the building, it was meant to hit those men.

Let's say the arsonist, or arsonists, plural, know how to engineer a back draft.

Then doesn't it stand to reason that they could create a flashover?

Well, look, we're talking about a serial killer now, right?

Yeah. Who's using fires as a weapon.

CHARLIE: So they're saying the fire doors were able to contain the blaze to the sixth floor.

Okay, which supports Megan's theory that people were the arsonist's real target.

How did he do this?

Likely, used an accelerant.

STEVENS: There was no accelerant.

Hang in there, man.

I double-checked the thermodynamics myself.

There was no accelerant.

If you don't mind -- this is me just being me --

I'd like to recheck those calculations.

Please. I am just about at the end of my rope.

How long were the men up there?

No more than a few seconds.

And that was sufficient to cause all this?

It shouldn't have been.

Continue, please.

Well, this was a fairly typical fire.

I mean, given it was a high rise, it presented certain logistical problems, but nothing that these guys shouldn't have been able to handle.

I mean, they hooked their hoses to the standpipe, okay?

What is that, the standpipe?

The building's water supply pipe.

It's firefighter use only.

And it was functioning properly?

The truck's computer said it had all the water it needed.

This fire should have been out in a few minutes.

Then why didn't it go out?

That's the same question I have six families asking me right now.

That's it.

It's all there.

So you set all the fires?

Your buddy Jake had nothing to do with it, huh?

Yep. It was all me.

First degree murder, that's life in prison if you're lucky.

That's a big weight to carry alone.

You still don't think I'm capable of it, do you?

My I.Q. is over 160.

What I didn't think you were capable of was being this stupid.

You need to sign it the bottom, initial each page.

( sighs )

Maybe he's telling the truth.

Charlie's fireprint proves that there were two different arsonists at that car dealership.

And one of them is intentionally trying to kill people.

I don't think Ethan has that in him.

Press Relations has already issued a release saying we found our guy.

You know, 300 years ago, London burned to the ground, and the guy that confessed to it wasn't even in London the night of the fire.

But they didn't realize that till two days after they hanged him.

Sometimes, people say things to be noticed because sometimes, being ignored is worse than being blamed.

CHARLIE: Steven's calculations were correct.

There was no accelerant and the computer read-out on the truck was functioning properly.

Yeah, okay, small fire, no accelerant, a sufficiency of water.

The fire should have been extinguished in minutes.


And reality agrees.

The fire goes out.

( Alan clears throat )

You know, I'm not even going to ask.

Okay, look, there was another fire, and, apparently, a signed confession does not satisfy Professor Eppes' standard of guilt.

CHARLIE: I sort of understand what it's like to be this kid, Ethan Powell.

You know... my freshman year at Princeton, there were times I where pretty desperate to fit in, any way I could.

ALAN: What are you saying?

That you are who you are because of just dumb luck?

That you were just one roommate away from being a pyromaniac?

No, of course not.

That's clearly not what I mean.

ALAN: Good.

Because that wouldn't say much for the time that your mother and I put into raising you, He makes a good point, Charles.

You know, there's just something I don't understand.

Dad, you know about fire suppression systems.

You know about standpipes and sprinklers.

ALAN: Yeah, of course.

That was one of the highest priorities and one of the biggest headaches for a city planner.

So answer me this.

How could firefighters have adequate enough water pressure and still not be able to put out a fire?

Let me show you.


Turn the water on, okay?

High. Yeah.

ALAN: All right.

Now turn it lower. Okay.


Not off.

That's it.


Dad, that's Pascal's Principle.

Water distributes its force uniformly, There's no way to tell how much water volume there is based on the pressure.

Fire hoses... have nozzles that automatically maintain high pressure, just like your thumb just did.

And the pressure created by the nozzle hid the actual amount of water flowing through their hoses.

So they were fooled into thinking they had normal amounts of water.

Which means between the water supply and the fire fighters on the sixth floor... the actual water volume decreased.

Which suggests that someone tampered with the standpipe.

Dad, who would know how a building's standpipe system works?

Contractors, plumbers, firemen, engineers.

I got to go talk to Don.

Yeah, but I still have to take a shower, you know.

No, thanks. Okay, all right.

The arsonist tampered with the standpipe and reduced the water volume to a point that the firemen couldn't detect.

The water pressure seemed normal when they turned their hoses on.

Which would take a pretty sophisticated understanding of engineering.

Which Ethan certainly has.

Now, there are other factors, as well.

Remember, he character of the fire...

Should match the character of the person that set it.

And whoever set the booth fire was clearly expecting a fireman to be the first responder.

Firemen were clearly the targets at the high-rise, as well, so your second arsonist is setting traps for firefighters.

Which doesn't fit Ethan.

He's trying to impress Jake, and the E.L.M., and his peers.

Doesn't that give us only half the team?

Yeah, well, he ain't talking, so...

Because he wants to take full credit for this.

He doesn't understand what he's taking credit for is murder.

Why did you bring me back here?

MEGAN: Because I want the truth.

I already told you the truth.

You only told me part of it.

You think this makes you cool?

You think this is gonna make other people look up to you?

Look, I told you everything I'm gonna tell you.


That's why I brought someone here for you to talk to.

What are you doing here?

They told me what was going on.

Well, thanks for coming down, but I got it under control.

I don't think so, dude. I don't care what you think.

I think maybe you do care.

I think maybe you care too much what I think.

Don't flatter yourself, Jake.

You know, sometimes, you can be a real jerk, Ethan.

You have any idea what it's like to be around a kid who thinks he knows everything and usually does?

This guy you're protecting? He used you, Ethan.

He wanted your engineering skills to help him create more elaborate fires.

I don't know what you're talking about.

Don't lie to them anymore, Ethan.

You set it up for me to meet him in Glendale, remember?

Dude, he wants to kill people.

You're wrong.

What happened to that salesman was an accident.

When have you ever made an accident in engineering, Ethan?

I mean, come on, you had to have some idea what this guy was doing.

You wanted to join the E.L.M., right?

You wanted us all to think that you could handle what we're all about.

Then show me now you can handle it, and tell them what they want to know.

There are six firefighters in a hospital, fighting for their lives.

Dude, it's okay.

( sighs )

I don't know his name.

We only talked online.

MEGAN: Then give me your password to your second screen name, and we can trace him from your account.

Ethan, you have to help us find him before he hurts someone else.

I've got a line on the kid's ISP, which is giving me a back trace to his chat room buddy.

Links up to a computer at 200 Anaheim Street.

DON: Anaheim Street. Where's that?

Station 117 firehouse.


Specifically, the Arson Investigation Squad.

How do you know that?

Remember I said that the one fireprint linked 17 fires over 5 years.


Guess who investigated all 17 of those fires?


Perfect -- he sets fires he knows he's going to investigate.

Yeah, because it's easy to look smart when you know everything about the fire.

Because you're the one who set it.

He was using me all along.

MEGAN: Serial arsonists have a driving need to prove they're smarter than everyone else.

Stevens applied for the Los Angeles Fire Department eight years ago, and didn't pass the screening.

He got a job at a smaller city and then worked his way back to L.A.

We got two teams up at Stevens's house.

CHP, PD, and Sheriff's Department have all been alerted, but there's no sign of his car yet.

Megan, do you think he's the type to run?

No. He's enjoyed this too much to let it end with a ride to Mexico -- he's gonna need to teach us a lesson.

Every fire he set required days, really even weeks of planning.

Plus, he definitely saw us talking at that last fire, so he knows we're close.

Which makes him dangerous and in a hurry.

He was going to meet Jake at the Glendale development.

COLBY: That's right -- now, why there?

Unless he's planning a strike. Yeah. All right, you come with me.

We need tactical and fire prevention units up to Verdugo Ridge, ASAP!

MEGAN: Okay.

I don't see why he needed Ethan.

He wanted bigger and deadlier fires, Charlie.

Ethan's engineering skills could help him do that.

By pretending that he needed my help with the arson investigations.

He did need your help, Charlie.

Serial killers will often contact the police if an investigation stalls.

They know they're going to keep hurting people.

They want someone to stop them.

May I?

You did good.

( tires screeching )


Stevens, it's over!

You hear me?!

MEGAN: We know what happened to you eight years ago.

We know that the Los Angeles Fire Department turned you down.

STEVENS: They said I wasn't good enough.

MEGAN: I understand.

We know better -- we know what you're capable of.

Paul. White phosphorous.

If this hits the air, it explodes. Okay.

Kind of fire that really makes an impression.

Okay, let's just take it easy.

Okay? Paul, just listen to me. Back up.

Paul? Back up!

I'm backing up.

Everybody back up. Slowly.

We're backing up -- just relax.

Trust me, I know what I'm talking about.

Let's just talk.

Paul, don't.

Whatever you're thinking, don't do it.

I'm getting out of here.

Don't do it! Ow!

( grunts ): Damn it.

Dad, Dad, Dad.

Oh, boy. Hey, guys.

What, you got, plumbing problems again?

More like one of Charlie's hands-on investigations.

I used the shower for a standpipe.

Now we're having a hard time un-using it.

Hey, that kid took a plea bargain.

He did? How many years.

Three years.

Boy, one wrong decision, his whole life's almost ruined.


Well, sometimes, that's all it takes.

CHARLIE: You know, I know what it's like to be that kid.

I wished that I was a normal college kid sometimes.

Kind of tough when you're still in puberty.

ALAN: Yeah, well, I'm sure there were plenty of kids who wished they were you.

Uh, during midterms, certainly.

At keg parties, absolutely not.

How about at shop class?

What do you mean?

I mean, how about we call a plumber?

Dad, I can... give me the wrench.

Give me it. You can't do it.

And we're sending the bill to the FBI.

Here, give it to me, I'll do it.

Here. All right.

Come on, put your hand on this valve. Okay.

( grunting ) Okay.

I'm telling you this, if the toilet goes, you're on your own.

Just hold it. Oh...

Just hold it. Ow. That's my hand.

All right. That's my finger!