Structural Corruption is the fourth episode of the first season, and the fourth episode overall. It was released on February 11, 2005.
Charlie and Larry are hiking to get Larry's mind off of a bad teaching review. A group of students hurry past the two professors and they follow to where a CalSci student, Finn Montgomery, is found dead near a bridge. It appears as though he jumped off of the bridge. Charlie brings Don to the scene to see if he can take the investigation on as he believes that Finn may have been dead before the fall.
Finn had been in Charlie's office two days before hand to get some help with an equation for his thesis. Don agrees to do what he can, but doesn't make any promises that he can do more than make some calls.
After talking to Eva Salton, a CalSci librarian, they learned two things: he got a fellow student expelled and his thesis was on the architecture of Gaar Haybridge.
Charlie goes to Finn's office to take a look at his research and meets his parents.
Brian Malone, the expelled student, is moving out of CalSci while talking to Don. He learns that Finn's girlfriend dumped him not long ago which would add to his stress.
Alan meets Don at the FBI and asks him to come to dinner at the Eppes' house because he's having a first date and is nervous. He wants to make it a couple's night. As Alan leaves Terry shows up and gives her assessment that Finn most likely committed suicide.
Don goes to give Charlie the news that they can't continue with the investigation. Larry enters as Don leaves and offers to help Charlie with his inquiries. Finn was looking heavily into one specific building. The Cole Centre. Charlie decides to investigate in person. He finds that the final building doesn't match the plans filed with the city. Finn called various people on the Cole Centre project multiple times to point out potential flaws.
Don and Terry talk to the foreman and head of security for the construction team that built the building and Don asks Terry to join him for Alan's dinner. David talks to Haybridge about this and past buildings that had issues with their designs. Don and Terry head talk to Elliot Cole. Charlie and Larry are having no luck with the simulations they run on the building.
Don and Terry talk about the case with Alan while getting ready for dinner.
Charlie and Larry continue to try to figure out the flaw in the Cole Centre. A dinner things are going badly including serving duck to a woman who owns ducks. Don and Terry are saved by the call when Charlie calls them with an answer. The building has issues with deflection in quartering winds. Cole ignores the warnings.
Don talks to the foreman again and gets all records to do with the construction of the Cole Centre. After the FBI takes a look Don gives them to Charlie to take a look at. Charlie finds that they had a shadow crew work on the building's welding. They look into medical records of patients without insurance during construction. They find the person who paid for shadow crew medical bills in his garage after being knocked unconscious by the head of security of the construction company. He admits to all charges except for killing Finn.
Finn's parents received a suicide note in the mail citing the problems with his girlfriend and his thesis.
After further investigation they find out that Rachel, Cole's assistant and mistress, was responsible for hiring the shadow crews that worked on the foundation. The solution to keep the building safe is to have a block on top of the building as a counterweight to the building's movement in quartering winds.
At dinner at a restaurant Alan and Don talk about an upcoming date Alan is going to have with the butcher that sold him the duck. Charlie is brooding that he didn't see that Finn committed suicide.
- 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
- David Hunt as Elliot Cole
- Gibby Brand as Dr. Michael Sabello
- Alyson Reed as Eva Salton
- Douglas Sills as Gaar Haybridge
- Annika Peterson as Rachel
- Michael Bryan French as Finn's Dad
- James Immekus as Finn Montgomery
- Devon Michaels as Brian Malone
- James Joseph O'Neil as Bob Mazzelli
Both endemic disruption, and the tendency of systems to promote perpetuation and sustenance, even with critical, integral flaws.
[This appears on the beginning of the episode] 150 feet, 15 mph, 04 seconds to impact, 1100 College Suicides per year