Toxin is the ninth episode of the second season, and the twenty-second episode overall. It was released on November 25, 2005. When lives are lost and more are threatened by product tampering, Don Eppes and his team must head up into the hills to talk to a man with the community, though not the law, on his side, and no reason to be helpful. They run into Ian Edgerton, who has a mission of his own, which happens to dove-tail.
A family is at a pool. Dad dives in. He has an asthma attack. Mom gives him his inhaler. He gets out of the pool and has a seizure. Don arrives on the scene as he dad is taken to the hospital. Megan and David bring him up to speed. There have been multiple cases similar in nature to do with various over the counter medications.
After some discussion, Megan doesn’t think the suspect is a homicidal maniac and that they’re trying to communicate with the world. Charlie arrives. He can shed some light to the methods of the killer. Using Megan’s assumption that they’re trying to communicate he reminds them that there are four, not three medications in these attacks. The three prescriptions, and the contaminate, a drug that was discontinued after poor clinical trials. Megan and David talk to a man named Taylor Brindell who is the CEO of the pharmaceutical company that creates all the medications targeted, Greybridge. Megan suggests they pull their products and he refuses.
The FBI has put a media blackout up around this case. Don doesn’t like the fact they have to keep quiet about what's going on. Alan understands it and the risk assessment behind it. Don thinks that the attacks are random, but Charlie thinks otherwise. It can’t be completely random. There are boundaries for everything.
Megan and Colby are looking at security footage of a store. Don comes in and tells them that a media blackout holds. David comes in with a tabloid with the ‘Toxic Manifesto’ as the front page story.
Greybridge apparently knew the risks involved with the discontinued drug, but the FDA let the trials go ahead anyway. David and Colby enter a bar. It’s where the tabloid is printed from. They enter the back where a man is rifling through documents. They stop him and find that he has a gun (he hasn’t drawn it however). He claims he has a permit for it, but Colby cuffs him anyway. They talk to the paper editor. Colby wants all of the documents that go along with the manifesto. Reluctantly the editor hands them over. David is looking into the other man who is from a security firm. He is working for Greybridge. The editor doesn’t want to press charges so they let him go, however if he goes near the investigation again David says he’ll arrest him himself. Don drops off the manifesto with Charlie. He doesn’t know if he can help. Larry sees the manifesto and they discuss.
Megan calls Don with where the manifesto was mailed from by an unknown black man. It was the same town where a Marshall got killed the year before. Bob McHugh (a white man and so not the same man who mailed the manifesto) shot the Marshall and has been on the run since that day. The man who mailed the manifesto is looking for McHugh. They send David and Colby to the town. The boys arrive to see Ian Edgerton there. He’s also working the McHugh case. Colby is a bit awestruck after meeting him as he was a legend in Afghanistan. They swap information about McHugh and the manifesto man. McHugh is a bit of a folk hero in the area. Edgerton has been having no luck with McHugh, but does have a picture of the manifesto man.
In LA Larry and Megan discuss the case. He had been looking it over and had thoughts. This man knew his chemistry, and had to be a scientist that feels as though he is fighting a monster. He’s looking for McHugh because there is a link to him and Greybridge. Megan uses this information to narrow the search to people who have a high IQ and a grudge against Greybridge. She found Bratt, a scientist that worked for one of their subsidiaries that matched the sketch and was fired for being a whistleblower. He talks about McHugh in his manifesto. They’re trying to figure out why he’s fixated on McHugh.
McHugh was selling tainted beef. Officials came by and he locked himself in his home. A stand-off ensued. After three days a news crew was able to get a camera phone in the house. McHugh says that his beef is not tainted and that he’s always followed government regulations. He feels there is a conspiracy against him as his beef is safe. He knows because he's eaten it for his entire life.. The next day the negotiator from the Marshalls was shot.
David and Colby found Bratt at all four places where the drugs were bought from. They don’t think he’s coming back to LA though because he was heading to where McHugh is from. They decide to look for both Bratt and McHugh in hopes of finding both of them.
Don is pouring over maps in the garage. He’s trying to figure out where McHugh could be. Charlie can help him narrow his search and offers to go with Don to the town the next day. Megan looked into who made the antibiotics that McHugh gave to his herd and Greybridge is the company that made them. The Eppes' brothers meet with Edgerton and he takes them for a hike in the woods while he tries to track McHugh. Charlie takes note of the inefficiencies of the tracking model. David and Colby continue to look at security footage. Bratt is being followed by Yardley, the hired security that Greybridge employs.
Charlie and Don are working at the hotel room. Megan calls Don and brings him up to speed. They realise that Greybridge knew about the tampering almost immediately, but kept quiet. She wants to pick up the CEO right away, but Don says to wait. She also lets him know that the warrant for Bratt’s computer came through and they’re going over it. Somebody from the Sheriff’s office lets him know that Bratt’s body has been found and that they’ll know more about his death in the morning. Yardley is watching Don and Charlie’s hotel room with a rifle.
Megan tells Don that they found e-mails from Bratt informing Greybridge of the problems with their livestock antibiotics and that it would show up in the bloodstream of anybody that ate the beef. Bratt wanted McHugh so he could get a blood sample as he had been eating his beef all of his life. Charlie and Edgerton are at a map and Charlie has been plotting out McHugh’s most likely paths. He keeps going back to his ranch.
Don and Edgerton go to talk to McHugh’s wife. She is not happy and slams the door in their face. They go over the stand-off. Don notices a bullet hole in the awning of McHugh’s house. There was a second gunman that shot the Marshall, most likely hired by Greybridge. Charlie goes back to the hotel as Don and Edgerton track McHugh. They spot him taking a rest. Don approaches McHugh and Edgerton catches up to Yardley. Edgerton fires at Yardley when he won't stand down, taking him out. McHugh runs and Don tries to catch up to him. He runs into an ammo dumpsite used by the National Guard. McHugh has a lit flare and threatens to drop it. Megan shows up with Charlie. They come up with a negotiation tactic and Megan goes in to talk to him. She tells him about Greybridge and is able to bring him in.
At the Eppes’ house Alan, Don, and Charlie join Larry in the living room. Alan is saddened that Greybridge has been shut down because they did create a lot of good medicine and could create a lot more. Charlie spills the beans that Larry has been having lunch with Megan, but Larry doesn’t give them any details.
- A poisonous substance produced within living cells or organisms. Etymologically, this derives from the Ancient Greek 'tokson' meaning 'bow' (as in archery), the favored way to deliver a poison in battle.
The plant shown in the last scene is *not* a pot plant but a Schefflera or Umbrella Tree.
At the end of this episode, Allen Charlie Don and Larry are having a discussion in the living room area and it appears to be a pot plant over Alan's right shoulder.
As Megan and Larry are walking down the hallway, she shifts some of the papers she is holding so that they are perpendicular to the rest of the papers. When she is shown from the front they are all lined up, but when she is shown from behind again, they are offset.
Around 20m, we see that Larry's FBI pass says, "Escort required" and yet he had no escort when he approached Special Agent Reeves.
The rifle scopes used by Agent Edgerton and Yardly would be useless if used in real life. Both scopes lack any sort of central reticule for aiming, and neither scope has any sort of rangefinding capability- which is absolutely essential for precision shooting.
[This appears on the beginning of the episode] 375,000 Medications, 675 Billion Dollars, 4 Drugs, 1 Manifesto