Numb3rs, Season 4 -- Episode 06, first showed on November 2, 2007.
James Morrison plays the role of gang task force officer, Commander Chris Frederickson
Charlie Epps is a mathematician genius who helps out his brother Don in FBI cases using his math skills. The show straddles a line between being an FBI crime show and a family drama with Don juggling his biological family and his team ‘family’ at work.
"In Security" starts with Don on a date with a beautiful woman. He drops her off at her home and heads to the place his father shares with Charlie. Charlie is opening the boxes of his new book. Don is reluctant to say where he was.
As the books are being unpacked, back at the house of Don’s date an FBI badge knocks on the window. A gunman enters the home and starts firing. The woman dies on the stairway, but her son makes it to the bedroom, setting off an alarm and hiding under the bed.
FBI Agent Sinclair enters the house to find U.S. Marshal Tricia Yaegger looking for answers. The dead woman is Leah Wexford, a federal witness under protection. Don was the only person from her old life she’s seen since she went into the program. Don is devastated when he thinks he led a killer to a secured witness. He and Leah had an affair 5 years earlier when she first entered the program. He was censured and the records of his involvement were sealed.
The investigation uncovers the killer as Benny Natale. The twist is that Natale was also in the Witness Protection Program, giving evidence against the same mobster Leah was. The team asks the Marshall how she could protect a man like Natale who’s continued to get a free ride from his crimes even while under protection. The Marshall says the ends justify the means, catching the big crooks is more important than holding Natale accountable for all of his actions.
Charlie uses Math formulas to predict why Natale was in town for other reasons than to kill Leah. Natale is back in his old business buying guns and Charlie surmises that he’s doing business with a street gang called AP47. Don teams up with a gang task force officer, Chris Frederickson (Morrison) in order to arrest Natale. They decide to put the deal under surveillance and arrest both parties at the same time. One, the gang Chris has been working to take down and two, Natale.
The deal goes bad and Natale is killed while surveillance watches. The AP47 are arrested and taken in for questioning. They claim to have been set up to kill Natale because he was going to kill them.
With no killer and the protestations of AP47 ringing in their ears, Charlie and Don continue to look for who had motive. They discover that the task force officer, Chris Fredrickson has accessed the Witness Protection Database. His position doesn’t require that kind of access and Don and Charlie realized the gang was right. Frederickson used Leah as bait. Natale gets a chance to take out a threat to his old boss and put himself in a position to reclaim his old life and more importantly to Frederickson, he trusts him. Frederickson uses that trust to fulfill his ultimate goal, bring down the AK47.
The team arrives at Frederickson’s hotel room in time to stop the AK47 from killing him. Ironically, Frederickson’s end goal is met when they’re arrested for his attempted murder. Frederickson reluctantly enters the Witness Protection Program to save his own life and take down the gang.
Note: James does his usual good job in a much too brief appearance as a federal officer who’s taken the slogan the ends justify the means too much to heart. He rounds out a flat character to a remarkable degree giving Frederickson more than the lines on the page would give us.
With the format of Numbers being split between the family dynamics between Charlie and Don and the FBI use of Charlie’s math, unfortunately the guest roles are often marginalized and this happened to Frederickson’s character. For a Morrison fan, obviously it wasn’t enough screen time, but that aside, this was a complex character with an agenda that made sense to him and it would have been interesting to see a little more of that developed rather than seeing the angst of Don fretting over his choices.
With Frederickson’s character being in the Witness Protection Program, there is a slight chance of a repeat visit but it doesn’t seem likely.
This review and captured pictures is provided solely as a record of James Morrison's work as an actor, and does not intend or imply any infringement of any copyrights or trademark.