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 Numb3ers. 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 Numb3ers, 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. The FBI office is also manned, or womaned as the case may, be by Agent Megan Reeves (Farr), who is the profiler of the group, Agent David Sinclair (Ballard) , the smart tough guy, and Agent Colby Granger (Bruno) the young upcoming agent. Charlie has professor Larry Feinhardt (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? Anyway… Season three brought us a few new characters to add a more feminine side to all those macho numbers. Navi Rawat joins the cast as Amita, a student of Charlie’s who remains to take a job at CalSci, possibly to remain near Charlie. She adds a dimension the show was lacking. No, not romance. As the creators point out themselves realistically, as if it matters, Charlie would have not had such vast knowledge of all aspects of math. Amita now picks up some stories as an expert in her own fields. Charlie also gets a female boss who ends up hooking up with the show’s single standout, Judd Hirsch as the father to the Eppes brothers.(although not a new cast member) The show is produced by brothers Ridley and Tony Scott, who have had far better luck on the big screen.
If all of this is starting to sound like a soap opera, it is. There was less of this hooking up in the first two seasons, so that now if the math doesn’t come off too tedious, the office romance will. Lou Diamond Phillips returns this season as bounty hunter Edgerton, and his appearances are really a much needed spark when he’s there. The opening two-parter isn’t bad television drama, but there isn’t an episode of this show yet that I’d want to watch a second time. Therefore, if you can, rent it if you’re curious. If not, it’s still on, and likely will see life in syndication as well. No reason to spend your money on DVDs when there are some really good sets out there to watch.
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 6 discs are in a standard fold out with those annoying overlap trays.
The extras appear on discs 4,5, and 6
Eppes Central: If you are not only a math fan but also in love with architectural design, this is the feature for you. This is one of two features on the actual house the Eppes men live in during the show. Comparisons with the actual house used in the first year and the set constructed for year two and beyond last about 12 minutes total. And I thought math was boring.
Set House Tour: The three Eppes men take you on a room by room look at the house set used in the show from year 2 onward. The feature is a little better than the previous one, as the three actors provide a little banter that, while obviously forced, was somewhat entertaining.
Blooper Reel: Here’s 6 minutes of the mistakes and missed steps which come out more like Missed Takes and Axle Dents.
Here’s a treat for all of you fans in L.A.:
Tomorrow, Wednesday September 26th, NUMB3RS star David Krumholtz will be signing DVDs at Borders on Hollywood & Vine in Hollywood, CA. The event will take place at 7:30pm. Attendees will also have the chance to win a walk-on role on NUMB3RS!