The Mole is the fourth episode of the third season, and the forty-first episode overall. It was released on October 13, 2006.
The hit-and-run death of a Chinese interpreter suddenly compromises a team member, and throws the entire unit into disarray. Charlie, meanwhile, must deal with not being consulted by Larry for a paper the older man published.
It is a busy night at a club. A woman is at the bar and gets a phone call. She heads out and is hit by a car. Don and the team are at the scene. Colby tells him that the woman was Michelle Kim. She was an interpreter for the Chinese consulate which is why the FBI were called in rather than LAPD.
At his office Charlie is enjoying a cookie while doing some equations. Amita comes in. He tells her he’s trying to perfect the chocolate chip cookie so he can appease the restless undergrads. Amita is there to congratulate him on a paper that she presumed he did with Larry, but he wasn’t consulted on the project.
FBI Counter-Intelligence has a file on Kim due to her father. The background check for her when she came back into the country from Beijing was done by Dwayne Carter, an old army buddy of Colby’s who saved his life after an RPG attack. David thinks that he should go talk to his old friend.
Charlie shows up at the FBI to get some information from NASA as they have access. He sees Don’s latest case file. Don thinks it’s more than a regular hit and run. Charlie offers his help. Don accepts it. Megan comes back from Kim’s home. She was a model tenant and neighbours say that she didn’t have a boyfriend which Megan doesn’t believe. David finds out about the call she received. It was from a pre-paid cell phone. Colby comes in with her bank records. She has upwards of $100,000 in an account. Charlie is looking at Larry’s work. Amita questions him about why. He’s clearly upset that he was never asked.
Colby meets with Carter. He asks about Kim. He didn’t see anything out of the ordinary in her file. Carter offers to ask around and see what he can find out. Charlie approaches Larry about the paper. Larry brushes it off and tries to leave. Charlie asks him why he never asked him for help. Larry just needed to branch out, nothing more.
Don and Megan talk to Kaj-Jan Chen, a consulate official. He asks why she would have large sums of money in her bank account, but Chen doesn’t know. He says he will see what he can do to find out. Back at the FBI David thinks that that’s a little fishy as Kim’s credit purchases consisted of clubs, lingerie, and adult stores which goes against what the neighbours said about her. Charlie rushes in – he believes that she was murdered. The car that hit her had sped up just before impact meaning that there was intent behind hitting her.
Don and Megan go over the case the next morning. Colby comes in with a card that was found at the scene of the hit and run. Kim’s prints are on it and it wasn’t issued by the Chinese consulate or her apartment. David comes up. Techs found something on her laptop. Charlie has been called in to analyse some porn photos she has saved. He believes they’re like the photo from a previous case where a picture of a little girl was embedded in a photo of a house. Charlie thinks he can find anything encoded in the pictures.
David and Colby follow up about the card. It’s an access card for a building’s parking. He recognises Kim. She was in 15C. She had been living there for two years. Colby notices a security camera in the lobby and reviews the footage. He sees Kim leave and then sees a man come in that cheats away from the camera. Colby is distressed when he sees him.
Charlie and Larry are working on decoding the pictures. They waxed poetic on the good old days. They find some information in a picture. Charlie takes the information to Don, Megan, and David. It’s a series of letters and numbers. ‘CY615007017’. They think it could be a banking number for an offshore account. In a picture of Kim they find a Chinese character with the names Terry Evans and Richard Freeman etched into it. They were federal witnesses that were supposed to testify against Jason Ming. Then they were killed. Pictures of their bodies show that they were professional hits. The names were in a sealed file so somebody had to give those names up. Colby comes in just as Megan says there must be a mole in the Department of Justice working for the Chinese. This means that they can get to any witness they want at any time.
Colby approaches Carter at his car and confronts him with the photo of the man from the security footage. He thinks that Carter has seen Kim more recently than he’s saying. The man in the photo has his sunglasses on the back of his neck just like they were taught to do in basic training. Carter admits to sleeping with her after doing the background check on her. He figured that she was probably a spy. Colby thinks that he got the names of the witnesses in the case and gave them to her. Carter swears he didn’t do anything more than sleep with her and denies seeing her on the night she died. He uses their past to keep Colby quiet.
At the Eppes’ house Charlie is talking to Alan about the case and then about Larry’s paper. Alan gives him some advice on his Larry issue.
David is going through the security footage from Kim’s second apartment. Colby comes in. Charlie comes in and offers his help in identifying the mystery man. Megan joins them with the news that LAPD found the SUV that hit Kim. They go over. Colby goes in first to assess the situation and then David brings in a SWAT team. Tyler, the man who runs the chop shop uses Colby as a human shield and puts a gun to his head. Colby tells David to just shoot him, but then disarms him. Afterwards David tells him that he’s noticed he’s been distracted the last couple of days. Colby brushes it off and heads out which doesn't sit right with David.Charlie arrives at the FBI with a result from the face recognition algorithm and shows Don. It’s Carter.
The next morning Don comes in. Megan and David are already there, but Colby hasn’t shown up yet - he’s on his way. David thinks there’s a good reason for Colby holding information back. He also thinks that they should wait to go into Carter’s home, but Homeland Security wants more information on him. Megan tells him that the source of Kim’s substantial money is still a mystery. Colby arrives. Don takes him into another room. Colby admits that he had a feeling Carter might be the person in the footage. Don ends up suggesting that there may have been a money exchange between him and Carter which Colby denies. Colby tells Don about the conversation that he had with Carter in the parking garage and Don kicks him off the case.
Megan and David get into Carter’s apartment and start looking around. They plant a bug and pull some information off of his laptop as Carter starts to come back to his apartment. Megan and David exit just after Carter gets back in.
Larry arrives at the Eppes’ house to talk to Alan. They discuss Larry’s paper. Alan gives him a bit of advice.
David tells Don and Megan that Carter has been tipped off by his bank manager that the FBI was looking into his bank accounts. He is in the wind. They think that Carter may be meeting a handler since he had a bunch of meetings that couldn’t be explained. She takes the information to Charlie to see if he can narrow down a location for a possible meet of Carter and his handler. Amita is there and will be able to help them with the problem. They find a post. Don and David are at one of the sites that Charlie and Amita found. He sees Carter meeting with Chen briefly and then leaving. The team they have go after Chen while Don and David go after the cab Carter is in. He goes into a tunnel and they close off both ends to box him in. The cabbie exits the vehicle and hey move in to take Carter down, but it’s a mannequin in the cab.
Chen won’t talk and the State Department won’t intervene for their own reasons. Carter’s photo has been distributed to ports of exit in and out of the country. Megan suggests bringing Colby in, but Don can’t trust him right now, so he’s not sure about doing that. Carter is getting a boat ready to leave. Colby comes up to him. Carter uses their past to try to get him to come with him. Colby presses him for information. Carter admits to giving her what he calls useless information. She blackmailed him to get higher level intel. He admits to killing her to stop the blackmail and keep himself out of prison. Colby tries to get him to turn himself in. He refuses. Colby reveals he’s wearing a wire and Carter pulls out a gun. The FBI rolls in and Colby walks away. Don tells Colby that if he does anything like what he did in the case again he will be going to jail.
Charlie and Larry talk about the paper again. He would like Charlie’s advice if he’s willing to give it. He tells him it was good, but could have benefitted from his input which Larry takes in stride.
- Rob Morrow as Don Eppes
- David Krumholtz as Charlie Eppes
- Judd Hirsch as Alan Eppes
- Alimi Ballard as David Sinclair
- Peter MacNicol as Larry Fleinhardt
- Navi Rawat as Amita Ramanujan
- Diane Farr as Megan Reeves
- Dylan Bruno as Colby Granger
- A commonly used term in spy fiction to denote a double agent, one with twisted loyalties and an internal rationale. Turning or 'flipping' moles is often crucial in the uncovering of enemy spies within one's own network, and thus a vital element of counter-espionage.
At the end of the story, Larry and Charlie are playing with a Gordian's Knot Brain Teaser toy.
Amita enters Charlie's office at 6:20. She is wearing a blue on blue striped shirt with a black t shirt underneath. After first panning to Charlie, when they cut back to Amita at 6:34 she is still wearing the blue on blue striped shirt but is no longer wearing the t-shirt underneath it.
While closely studying an off screen picture, Larry is talking to Charlie about the Oort Cloud and Comets. We then see that he is actually looking at a picture of a Galaxy. Comets come from the Oort Cloud which surrounds our Solar System, these are an infinitesimal detail when compared to a Galaxy.
[This appears at the beginning of the episode.] 2000 Foreign Operatives, 1200 Targets, 200 Counter Intelligence Officers, 1 Mole