Numb3rs (2005–2010)
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Chinese Box 

David is held hostage in an elevator at the F.B.I. building, and Don keeps brushing aside Charlie's suggestion to save David as an all-out assault is planned.


Dennis Smith


Nicolas Falacci (creator), Cheryl Heuton (creator) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview:
Rob Morrow ... Don Eppes
David Krumholtz ... Charlie Eppes
Judd Hirsch ... Alan Eppes
Alimi Ballard ... David Sinclair
Dylan Bruno ... Colby Granger
Diane Farr ... Megan Reeves
Clifton Powell ... Max Devane
Chris Bruno ... Tim King
Joseph Lyle Taylor ... Jonas Grover
Megan Gallagher ... Sarah Blakely
Aya Sumika ... Liz Warner
Enrico Colantoni ... Ben
Tymberlee Hill ... FBI Tech (as Tymberlee Chanel)
Breon Gorman Breon Gorman ... Older Woman
Alexander Wells ... Guard


Ben, who we learn is a laid-off FBI wiretapping subcontractor, runs through the metal detector in the lobby and shoots the agent who let him go. He then grabs a woman as a hostage and backs into an elevator, where David Sinclair confronts him at gunpoint and trades himself as a hostage if Ben will let the woman go. While Ben and David talk at gunpoint in the elevator, stopped between floors, Charlie Eppes tries a number of times to explain the "Chinese Box" theory to the agents dealing with the hostage situation. Meanwhile, the agents discover that Ben's seemingly paranoid story that he has been under surveillance turns out to be true. When agents try to quickly move and open the elevator, Ben manages to take David's pistol away and keep the elevator closed. Charlie convinces Don Eppes to let David call the shots to resolve this situation by showing Don the "Poison Cookie" game, implying that this also relates to the "Chinese Box" problem. Ben gives David his pistol back and tries to ... Written by KOakaKO

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

14 December 2007 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Enrico Colantoni, who plays the hostage taker in this episode, began playing the regular role of a hostage negotiator on Flashpoint (2008), which was also broadcast in the USA by CBS. See more »


At the end, inside the elevator David pushes the "LL" button to get the car moving. Moments later, the elevator stops at the lobby "L", not the lower lobby "LL". See more »

Crazy Credits

[This appears on the beginning of the episode] 25 years 500 hours of video 2.4 gigahertz 2 player game See more »


The Underdog
Performed by Spoon
See more »

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User Reviews

total waste of an hour
18 February 2018 | by sandcrab277See all my reviews

The writers must have been empty to come up with an episode waster like this one...better time would have been spent exploring don's love life....makes you wonder though where such an elevator could be tied up for filming such garbage.. perhaps the entire cast was tired of learning lines each week, or they weren't agreeable to go on strike for better wages so they just stood there for a bye week... david and don show their weaknesses and cave to the manic-depressive

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