Sacrifice is the eleventh episode of the first season, and the eleventh episode overall. It was released on April 22, 2005.
Dr. Larry Fleinhardt's friend from college days Jonas Hoke, a senior computer-science researcher, is found murdered. He was in the process of developing a classified program to evaluate government projects for Robert Oliver's firm, the Lorman group, with gifted college drop-out Scott Reynolds. Data was stolen from his computer, which only contains a coded program for analysis of baseball statistics. Hoke's financial divorce complications seem irrelevant, although his wife had a relationship with their security system installer Lucas Grant. However, Charlie deduces that Hoke actually used the same kind of advanced statistic analysis and performance prediction on other data, cleverly masked under meaningless baseball numbers: Hoke applied this cutting-edge method to calculate human performance prospects in real life, based on various governmental and other data, a potentially far more valuable application...
Two cops respond to a home alarm and find a man dead. Don and David arrive at the scene and are greeted by John Reacher from the Bureau Security Division. The man killed was Jonas Hoke had high national security clearance and was part of private think tanks. Men from one of the private think tanks are combing through his computer for sensitive information. Don isn't happy about this and kicks them claiming jurisdiction. Hoke has been dead for two days upon his discovery and had been stabbed multiple times.
An FBI tech determines that the person that killed Hoke knew what he was doing because they didn't copy any of the data off of the computer and they destroyed the data by 'flipping' the 1s and 0s of the binary code multiple times. If he can find the program that was used to destroy the data then Charlie can reconstruct it.
Hoke was going through a divorce. He and his wife separated a few months ago, but everybody seemed to like him. The alarm was tripped two days after he was murdered and not at the time which confuses Don and David. The place had been ransacked, but nobody can see why definitively.
David talks to Gail Hoke, Jonas Hoke's wife. They were in dispute over money. They hadn't spoken in a few weeks. She was at home with a friend named Lucas Grant.
Reacher is glad that nobody got the information on Hoke's computer. It turns out Hoke worked with the Department of Defense on a satellite program. This information wasn't the focus of the hard drive wipe however. One section was wiped with a data scrubber that looked like sabermetrics (baseball statistics used to evaluate player performance). Charlie believes he can find the missing data.
Don talks to Hoke's boss, Robert Oliver, and tells him that the FBI will need to get a consultant in to look at his computers to see if they can find why he was killed. Oliver takes him to Hoke's office where his research assistant, Scott Reynolds, is checking e-mails. He hadn't seen him since the day before he died. Don asks them about a baseball connection, but they don't think he was really into the sport. Charlie thinks that maybe sabermetrics is a hobby. Charlie agrees to go and take a look at Hoke's work station after a lecture. Larry overhears Charlie mention sabermetrics and questions him about why due to his skepticism of the practice. He finds out that it's related to Hoke's murder and Larry tells Charlie about the funeral service for him that the physics department was informed of.
At the FBI David asks Don how it went at the Lorman Group. They find it odd that nobody missed him for two whole days. While Don was out of the office David found out that Gail Hoke had a $2 million insurance policy out on her husband. It seems as though Hoke's potential earnings was a hot topic in the divorce proceedings as he didn't want to give her any. It turns out that her alibi has a record for assault and battery.
They go and talk to Grant at his work. They accuse him of killing Hoke which he denies. David tells Don that he thinks that Gail was going to go back to Hoke based on how she acted.
Reynolds sees Charlie at Hoke's workstation and goes to stop him. When he finds out Charlie is with the FBI he backs down. He is leaving the Lorman Group as Hoke was his mentor and doesn't think that he could continue there. He's also thinking of going back to school to finish his degree in econometrics as Hoke had urged him to do. Charlie asks him about Hoke's work and sabermetrics.
At the funeral Larry is the only one there. Charlie joins him. They discuss the sadness of the situation.
Alan asks about Hoke's work. He mentions that Don is looking at the wife for the murder. They talk about the merits and pitfalls of divorce and Charlie finds out that there was a time that Alan and Margaret considered it when she accompanied Charlie to Princeton as a trial separation. He says that parents disguise the big things as little things to make sure the kids are ok which gives Charlie a brainwave for the case.
Charlie explains to Don and David that in WWII American subs would find pockets of hot water in the sea to hide from enemy radar. He uses this as an analogy for what Hoke did with his work in baseball statistics. He was trying to use sabermetrics on the average person to determine human potential from birth to deem what communities government money should be spent on. Reynolds has no idea what the work is. He directs them to Lorman Group information that Oliver wouldn't give Hoke access to.
They start to suspect the Lorman Group had something to do with Hoke's murder. They look at the crime scene again and find that a surveillance devie had been removed from the home alarm system keypad. Don thinks that the removal of the device was why the alarm was tripped. Don and Terry go to the Lorman group and ask about the surveillance device. Don threatens their government contracts. Oliver says that the idea to use sabermetrics to quantify general human performance started in the Lorman group and that Hoke wouldn't turn over an algorithm until he would get a percentage of the profit from the resulting software. Oliver refused to be extorted, but didn't use any surveillance device as he already technically owned the information.
Don pulls Reacher into his office. Reacher knew what Hoke was working on and Don is disgusted at the implications. He asks Reacher about the surveillance device. Reacher denies that they did it. The alarm keypad has no prints, but it was installed by the company that Lucas Grant works for. Don and David go and talk to him again, but about the bug this time. He admits that Gail Hoke's lawyer had him install a wire in the alarm system and they arrest him. David goes to talk to her about the bug. As it was her house her lawyer says that she didn't do anything wrong if she did have one installed. She admits to finding Hoke's body and taking her device, but not to killing him.
The FBI tech finds a digital video file gathered by a sophisticated antenna as it was the only thing that could get around his firewalls and other security measures. They see when the files were being erased. The killer knew Hoke's passcodes and had access to his home. Charlie examines the typing rhythm of both of Hoke's computers. He uses two different pianists playing the same song to illustrate how this can help them find the killer. He finds matching rhythms on both of Hoke's computers; both samples are from after Hoke was killed
Don goes to the Lorman Group with other FBI agents to arrest Reynolds for Hoke's murder. Charlie is waiting outside and asks him why he did it. Reynolds grew up in a lower income area of the city where not a lot of people have fared well, Hoke's research would have cut funding to things like computer labs - the very thing that saved him - to schools and reduced the chances of anybody from there and other similar areas from succeeding. He compares Hoke's work to what the Nazis did with eugenics which Charlie balks at. Reynolds then questions what could be done by the NSA with Charlie's work.
Larry and Charlie muse over Hoke's work.
- Rob Morrow as Don Eppes
- David Krumholtz as Charlie Eppes
- Judd Hirsch as Alan Eppes
- Alimi Ballard as David Sinclair
- Sabrina Lloyd as Terry Lake
- Peter MacNicol as Larry Fleinhardt
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Scott Reynolds
- Stacy Edwards as Gail Hoke
- Corey Stoll as Agent Reacher
- Ross Gibby as Lucas Grant
- Elizabeth Dennehy as Ms. Ford
- Bruce Davison as Robert Oliver
- Susan Beaubian as FBI Computer Tech
- James Sie as FBI Tech
- Arnell Powell as Security Patrol #1
- In 1999 David Krumholtz and Joseph Gordon-Levitt co-starred in "10 Things I Hate About You".
[This appears on the beginning of the episode] 91 Think Tanks, $2.7 billion Government Funds, 13,104 Research Analysts, 8 Stab Wounds