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 in the 5th 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 the final year for Numb3rs, and you get the whole last season on 6 discs.
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 earth tones 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.
Coming Full Circle – The Final Season: (25:41) This is a typical final-season reflection. It focuses on the last episode which was also directed by show creator Nicolas Falacci. Cast and crew talk, some teary-eyed, about the end of the series.
The Woman Of Numbers: (11:04) A look at the women characters and actors on the series.
Pixel Perfect: (15:09) The series was shot on digital instead of the still-traditional film. This feature looks at the cinematography of the series from that perspective.
For most of its life Numb3rs lived on what we call “The Bubble”. Every year it was either going to continue … or not. But, that decision usually came at the last hour. It amazes me that it lasted as long as it did. It’s not because it was a bad show. It really wasn’t. The math approach just never quite reached my comfort zone. And so finally their number is up. Maybe the future is in movies. Why, you ask? You do the math. “610 MOVIES ANNUALLY, 40,000 THEATER SCREENS, 28 BILLION BOX OFFICE REVENUE.”