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October 9, 2015

Numb3rs: Take Out

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Feb 3rd 2007 6:33PM

Wendell Pierce(S03E14) Well, this is what I get when I ask for things. From the very first time I wrote a review for an episode of Numb3rs (and on numerous occasions since then), I've suggested ideas for making this show less of a procedural cop drama. Numb3rs could deal to take on some ongoing storylines. This show has what it takes and I absolutely hate that a show like The Unit is filling up a Tuesday night time-slot while Numb3rs flops around on Fridays.

So this is what I get. An out-of-the-blue story that has no basis for even existing.

Don was required to see a therapist regarding the case where he shot and killed Crystal Hoyle. Remember her? She kidnapped Megan? Apparently because Don killed her while Edgerton (Lou Diamond Phillips) was present, it brought some things into question. Is he trigger happy, etc.

This whole idea is crap if you ask me. Something like this needs to be built up. We needed scenes in previous episodes that proved Don was having a hard time with his job, dealing with what he does on a daily basis. Sure, he has his man to man's with Alan, but those are generally about Don's horrible love life. Now, out of nowhere, Don is torn up thinking his profession is just a series of dirty jobs that he has to clean up. Where does that come from? It seems to me that the main case wasn't solid enough to carry the whole episode, and this side story with Don was inserted simply to fill out the hour.

You have to admit that Mexican death squads hitting swanky Los Angeles restaurants seems a little bizarre. Not to mention the fact that they were basing their targets on reviews from a Zagat guide.

Honestly, just a sloppy episode all around and definitely not what I've come to expect from Numb3rs. Some bright points popped up though. Once again, cast-members from HBO shows made an appearance. Walsh from Entourage played one of David's informants and Bunk from The Wire was Don's therapist.

Speaking of David, he was back. His character has been absent for, what, two episodes now? So where was he? Don't bring someone back and not tell us why he was gone. Larry is gone because he's in space. David was gone because he was _______. Anyone? That feels so lazy to me and it's lousy because Numb3rs is a better show than that. But the ratings are decent and there's no indication that it will move to another night, so why get try and get creative? I'll tell you why. Because fans of the show will walk away. I'm getting close.

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La Ritt

I agree with the comments, but I don't think this is the first episode this season that has been complicated and boring at the same time. It's like instead of adding some personal story to enhance the crime drama, they have all this boring personal stuff and they throw in some stupid crime to make it resemble the original premisto get arrested or anything.
Why would latin american death squads go after three kids who were witnesses to a massacre. It's not like the death squad is going to get arrested. Wouldn't robbing restaurants and killing a policeman be a lot more dangerous for them?

And the personal stuff is getting boring. Don has been angst ridden for the last two seasons. But as far as shooting someone, hasn't he shot like 10 people since the show started. Hasn't Amita been Charlie's girlfriend since day one. I'd like to see him go out with someone else. It's like watching an old married couple. Millie is funny, but not a replacement for Larry. And wasn't this a show about a math genius. Charlie used to be unique like House or Shark, now he seems average smart but uninteresting guy who does a little math to help the FBI.

February 10 2007 at 2:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Worst episode this season. I assume they used the second-string writers for this one.

February 04 2007 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well they had to come up with a crime that would let Megan work behind a desk to hide that pregnancy. They have done a good a decent job, I'm always fascinated at how they hide pregnancies.

What I didn't get, these group of mercenary soldiers from another country were targeting trendy high end restaurants for a credit card scam so they could eventually go kill a guy who rescued some kids from being killed? They were related right? They didn't flesh that crime out enough.

Sure Millie is going to be a female Larry for us with the added twist of dating Dad. They really need to do more with Amita. There was more chemistry before the two started dating then there is now.

But we have seen the whole Don thing build this season. He has seemed more tense and a few comments have been made about him having to be in control etc. Wasn't that why his relationship with the mysterious girlfriend kind of die? He then kept it quiet for weeks from his family because he had to appear like things were okay. They just haven't been throwing it in our face like they did with this episode.

February 04 2007 at 12:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This episode didn't hold my attention at all unfortunately. In fact since Larry left I've been kinda bored with the show.

February 04 2007 at 1:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael Moncur

It felt right in line with Don's character for me - he's definitely had some job stress this season and last season, and he has the "control freak" personality type who doesn't ever give himself a break - note his "I'm the only one that can do it" attitude, and his reluctance to let himself enjoy anything (i.e. dating) outside work.

It's a VERY good question why Don's always the one that takes the shot, even when a professional sniper is handy. It doesn't mean he's trigger-happy, but it shows that his inability to let go and trust someone else is pushing him to the breaking point. People like that eventually buckle under the stress, and I'm glad to see him acknowledging that.

If you haven't seen Don stressed about his job before, you've been seeing the facade the character puts up because he's scared to death to show any weakness. He's not the type to whine about his problems with work, but there have definitely been signs.

The "A" story seemed ridiculous to me - if you're a team of four soldiers with huge guns willing to kill people, why attack 4-star restaurants rather than banks or jewelry stores? - but the character moments in the "B" story were good.

Millie has even become less annoying, although it's painfully obvious that one of her functions is to be "Larry" and walk in and offer outside-the-box insight while Charlie is trying to figure something out. She has had the side effect of forcing Charlie to actually spend some time doing his real job, though, making it seem a bit more realistic than earlier times when he ignored the university and focused on the FBI.

February 04 2007 at 12:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam Cohen

Ya gotta love Bunk. Slightly off-topic, but The Wire just finished up a another fantastic season. Wendell Pierce, who plays Bunk on that show, is simply awesome.


February 04 2007 at 12:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It might help to pay attention to the show you're reviewing. Don's downward spiral has been building all season and the excessive job-related stress he's been struggling with has been referenced repeatedly.

February 03 2007 at 11:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

as for david, he and colby seem to alternately disappear for a couple of episodes at a time, as does Charlie's woman. Its rarely, if ever been explained.

February 03 2007 at 11:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Actually, Don has been having doubts about his job all season, and not just about his love life. What episode was it that he and Charlie were in the room at the end, trying to break spaghetti in half? And at a couple of dinners with Dad this season he's danced around the burden he carries. While I'm not sure why they went back to this particular shooting, as Charlie said at one point when Don said he had to see a therapist over the shooting "Which one?" He's shot at least two this season, and a couple last season. So rather than being out of nowhere, it seemed more like a delayed response to me.

February 03 2007 at 7:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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