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Think Tank
Season Four, Episode Fourteen
4.14
Air date: February 24, 2010
Guest starring: Chris Sarandon
Bruce Davison
and Miguel Ferrer
Written by: Steve Franks
and Andy Berman
Directed by: Stephen Surjik
Episode Guide
previous:
Death Is in the Air
next:
The Head, The Tail, The Whole Damn Episode
"Think Tank" is the fourteenth episode of season four. Shawn and Gus are recruited into a think tank to help prevent the murder of a business tycoon, but once the group has disbanded, they realize that one of the members plans to use the assassination ideas they brainstormed to kill the client instead of save him.

Plot SummaryEdit

In 1989, Henry finds Shawn finishing a book report on "Charlotte's Web" despite not having read the book, and chides Shawn on making conclusions based on incomplete information (proven by Shawn thinking Charlotte is going to live). In the present, Shawn is wrapping up a case at a pizza parlor, breaking it down for Vick, Lassiter, and Juliet in front of the suspects and a room full of witnesses, when Henry rushes in and quietly tells Shawn he's got the wrong guy. Shawn realizes Henry is right, and must switch suspects mid-stream. Vick overhears Henry talking to Shawn about how much his son comes to him for advice, but she's not the only one there interested in Shawn. Walter Snowden, a man who runs a private security firm, wants to hire Shawn to be part of a think tank working with billionaire businessman Ashton Bonaventure to prevent his assassination.

Shawn and Gus arrive at the security offices where Snowden tells them he has provided everything for them off their contract rider, from bubble gum to an air horn. They meet the other members of the team - Fred Collins Boyd, a retired Secret Service agent, Svetlana Progoyovic, a former hit woman for the KGB, and Alan Zenuk, a crime statistician. Snowden gives them a brief bio on Bonaventure, who is in town to give a speech to his board of directors. His hostile takeovers and layoffs have made him many enemies, and the attempts on his life are getting closer to success. There are holes in Bonaventure's security and the team is supposed to spitball ways to kill him, in order to prevent such an assassination. Snowden then connects with Bonaventure over a satellite cam, who thanks the team for participating. Shawn jumps in to pitch him a product idea, but he doesn't respond and then the link goes down. As the team starts brainstorming ideas, Shawn realizes he is outmatched. Desperate, he starts to read the people in the room. Snowden's wedding ring on the right hand means he still cares for his wife who is no longer with him, and Svetlana's new key means she recently moved. The team is not impressed, however, with his parlor tricks. Snowden calls a recess and Gus tries to talk Shawn into leaving or calling Henry for help, but Shawn refuses. Back in the room, Snowden shows the group a schematic for Bonaventure's hotel. Wanting to prove himself, Shawn throws out the suggestion of shooting the target from below. The team scoffs at that plan and Snowden ends the session for the day. Out of ideas, Shawn and Gus head to the police station to get inspiration from Lassiter, who refuses to help them. He is working with Bonaventure's security team already, but he has never heard of Snowden. Shawn, then, sees Bonaventure on TV in a live interview and notices his hair is much longer than it was earlier on the satellite link at Snowden's office. Shawn realizes that the link was fake and so was the think tank, but when he and Gus return with the cops, the place has been stripped.

The police can't find any record of Snowden, but the other team members check out and they are being brought in for questioning. Shawn, Gus, Lassiter and Juliet rush over to Bonaventure's hotel, where Shawn talks his way onto the security detail. As they walk Bonaventure down to the parking garage, Shawn takes pains to avoid all of the possible assassination scenarios that were pitched earlier at the think tank, but there doesn't seem to be a threat anywhere. Then Shawn remembers his own idea and pushes Bonaventure out of the way of a bullet coming from a vent in the floor.

Back at the police station, the other team members have given a description for a sketch of Snowden. Bonaventure recognizes him from a wrongful death lawsuit he settled, and Shawn, remembering the ring, realizes it was Snowden's wife. Bonaventure, regrettably, can't remember his real name. Since Shawn saved his life, Bonaventure wants him running point on the investigation, and Shawn decides to reconvene the think tank. They take a look at the schematics of the ballroom where Bonaventure will give his speech. Boyd suggests they move the cops away from the back wall to fortify the access points and they all agree. At the hotel, Shawn tells Bonaventure that they know for sure his assassin will be in place when the speech is scheduled to start, so Shawn goes on stage first to throw the attacker off and give the cops time to catch him. Once on stage, Shawn sees that the air conditioning is off and tells the police that Snowden must be in the vents. Lassiter and Juliet find him, but discover he's wearing a microphone. Snowden has a partner. Shawn asks where they found him, and when Lassiter says a vent in the back wall, Shawn realizes the partner is Boyd. Lassiter and Juliet rush to catch Boyd, as Shawn scrambles to get Bonaventure safely out of the building and into his car. But once in the limo they discover Boyd has replaced the driver. Snowden's wife was Boyd's sister and, disgusted that Bonaventure put a price on her life, they used the settlement money to try to kill him. Trapped with a gun pointed at them, Shawn uses the air horn from his contract rider to distract Boyd as they both jump out of the car, and find the cops surrounding them with their weapons drawn. Back at the police station, Vick has been thinking about Henry's participation in Shawn's cases and offers him a job in the department to help liaise with their external division - in other words, he'd be Shawn's boss. Henry, intrigued, ultimately declines.

TriviaEdit

Shawn's Skittles issue is presumably a shout-out to the infamous Van Halen contract rider concerning the presence of M&M's and the absence of brown ones, also raised by Shawn when he was trying to distract Ewan O'Hara in You Can't Handle This Episode.

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