Do you believe that a numbers wizard can predict the most random of human actions with mathematical equations so accurately as to know where and when such a person will be? If so, then I suggest you put down that letter you are writing to Santa, finish eating that egg a bunny left for you, go to your pillow and pull together all of the loot you got from the tooth fairy, and plunk it down on season three of Numb3rs. No, that’s not a typo, apparently they believe that letters aren’t good enough to stand on their own, so they inserted a 3 where the e should be. Aren’t they so clever? Not. In the fairy tale world of Numb3rs, all you need is an almost obsessive knowledge of math and the crooks don’t stand a chance. It’s almost unfair, isn’t it? Those poor criminals go about their carefully plotted crimes, unaware that everything they do is controlled by math. They live their lives oblivious to the fact they are at the mercy of a diabolical equation which forces their every move. In fact, I suspect some clever attorney somewhere is already preparing the “math made me do it” defense at this very moment. Soon our justice system will be forced to account for this undeniable force on our very destinies. I would go on, but I can’t… must… fight… numbers…
Don Eppes (Morrow) is a decorated FBI officer in charge of a unit of the local field office of the FBI. His brother, Charlie (Krumholtz) is a math professor at CalSci. His brilliant mathematical mind is called upon to help the Feds track killers and rapists. No matter how complicated the trail gets, when the going gets rough these guys call on Charlie. Agent David Sinclair (Ballard), the smart tough guy, and Agent Colby Granger (Bruno) the young upcoming agent. Charlie has professor Larry Fleinhardt (MacNicol) to guide him through his struggles. Both of the geeks are socially inept, and we are “treated” to their constant struggles to relate to others, particularly women. Why can’t they write an equation to fix that? Navi Rawat is Amita, a student of Charlie’s who remains to take a job at CalSci, possibly to remain near Charlie. Judd Hirsch is the father to the Eppes brothers. A new agent is added to the mix this year in Nikki Betancourt, played by Sophina Brown. The show is produced by brothers Ridley and Tony Scott, who have had far better luck on the big screen.
It’s another year for the numerical detective and his brother’s happy gang of FBI agents. In this 6 disc set you’ll find 23 episodes. Some highlights include: The return of Henry Winkler as Agent Bloom in Jack Of All Trades. Bloom’s on a personal hunt for a con artist he has been unable to bring in for years. In Charlie Don’t Surf, the brothers watch a friend die. The death is ruled an accident, but the boys don’t think so. In Arrow Of Time Don must deal with his own dark secrets after a criminal breaks out of prison looking for revenge. Guilt Trip provides a case of jury tampering. What happens when it looks like a computer is guilty of murder? You call in Charlie. Well, you can’t. You just have to watch First Law. Maybe the equations aren’t so perfect after all. Charlie messes up big time, and it almost costs him his brother in The Fifth Man. So what does Charlie do about his near fatal mistake? He goes after a serial killer. And I thought these math guys were smart. In Disturbed you’ll see how that works out for him. And look for Agent Bloom to get in everyone’s way in Greatest Hits. It’s all yours for the watching, if you’ve got the coin. Another little math problem CBS and Paramount would like to work out with you.
Each episode of Numb3rs is presented in its original 1.78:1 broadcast format. The transfer is pretty nice. The show appears to be mastered in HD so looks pretty good even with this SD release. Colors are pretty much realistic, if a bit soft at times. There appears a real effort to use a lot of toned down earthtones for this show, so don’t look for any brilliance out of the colors. Black levels are fair and consistent. There is a bit of compression artifact and grain, but they really don’t interfere with an overall sharp picture that easily beats the broadcast versions.
The Dolby 5.1 track is nice, but this is a very much dialog driven show. I go into a trance when Charlie starts explaining his math equations, so maybe I’m missing something there. The music is usually subtle except for the occasional montage moments which come off nicely in the sound department. Don’t look for much sub action; Hell, don’t look for too much action at all. This is a pretty quiet show overall, so the presentation doesn’t have to work all that hard. There isn’t much in the ambient sounds, so this would likely sound as good as a stereo mix.
There are a very few select commentaries and deleted scenes found with their episodes. Disc 6 provides the rest of the special features.
Crunching Numbers – Season 5: (29:44) Cast and crew talk mostly about the grind and hours of doing 5 years of a series. The 100th episode is talked about as well as the cast change.
Celebrating 100: (14:59) Go behind the scenes to the party. There’s cake.
The only numbers I’m interested in here is money. You’ve got to ask yourself if 5 seasons at about 40 bucks a pop fit into your own little equation. If you’re a fan, then absolutely the problem balances out. If not, you have to reduce that equation by looking to another shelf for your solution. I would. Numb3rs did reach an all important number in season 5. 100. The show reached 100 episodes, pretty much guaranteeing an afterlife in syndication. You would define it as follows: “7,636 MISSING PERSONS. 2,260 MURDERS. 6 UNSOLVED SERIAL KILLINGS…100 EPISODES”