Saturday, June 22, 2013
Day One Hundred and Seventy-three - Numb3rs: Season 1, Episode 6, "wait... this feels more like a 2nd episode."
Maybe not quite as obvious as the Firefly and Clerks: The Animated Series debacles around the turn of the millennium, this still felt entirely too out of place showing up here instead of where it was actually supposed to be, my guess being as the immediate followup to the pilot.
Why do I say that?
Because of Navi Rawat, pure and simple.
I can only assume that they wanted to delay raising the issue of her character Amita's burgeoning sexual tension with series star Charlie (David Krumbholtz, who has his own Firefly connection). Maybe the showrunners were worried that too much romance out of the gate would unbalance the next couple of episodes, from which she is conspicuously absent, or maybe they wanted to show a more vulnerable, eccentric Charlie before thrusting a romantic subplot on him.
Honestly, I don't know, as even my gut feeling that this is being shown out of order is just that... a feeling, pure speculation, with nothing solid to back it up other than intuition.
In this episode, Charlie and Don are searching for a rail terrorist who has been sabotaging trains and recreating famous accidents in order to discredit the companies that run the system. Most of the math hoodoo in this on is basic pattern recognition as Charlie is brought in to decode the only consistent clue left at each scene, a paper covered in numbers.
Eventually, over the course of the romantic subplot between Charlie and Amita, they match most of the numbers to the recreated accidents, save for a few which point to a nasty one in the making.
As usual, most of the interesting moments in Numb3rs come from the side characters at home and the university, namely Judd Hirsch's father figure and Peter MacNichol's mentor role. They both have droll insights even as they deal with their own problems.
I especially loved this one moment at the end of the show when Don thanks Amita for her hard work solving the case away from everyone else at the Epps home. Charlie looks over with this look of, I don't know... confusion? Terror? At the thought, perhaps, of Don making a play for his potential girlfriend (their father having earlier warning Charlie that he might let her slip away if he doesn't act soon).
It's subtle little moments like that which really make me happy with the series. It's not the greatest procedural ever... but, of course, it's still better than BONES, even out of order.
Until tomorrow, Potatoes~