(S04E07) "You could move in with me but I don't live anywhere." - Larry
Calling all nerds! Kind of an odd choice for this show. I know for a fact that my folks and many of their friends love Numb3rs, but after watching this episode, they had no idea what an MMO, an ARG, or an MMORPG were and as a result were lost as to what was going on. I'm not saying I know all there is to these games. World of Warcraft is something that I gave up playing a long time ago. But when it comes to the demographic that this show is trying to reach, I'd be willing to bet that only about 50% of that group knows what an MMO is. Most would probably describe this episode as being "something about computers" (as my Mom put it). But if this episode proved one thing about MMOs, you never know who's behind the avatar.
Online games, alliances, spawned alternate realities... and prize money. The more things change, the more they stay the same. If there's money involved, then greed, deception, and murder usually follow on a crime procedural.
The story itself was very enjoyable as it gave literal meaning to the idea of "catching an online predator." A new MMO (Massively Multi-Player Online game) had started a spawned ARG (Alternate Reality Game), where players had to walk away from their computers and search for clues in the real world. Clues that would lead to a million dollar prize. If that sounds confusing, then stop reading because it isn't going to get any easier. A better description can be found at our MMO themed sister-site Massively. They talk about the games. I talk about the TV.
I think CSI: NY recently had a similar episode so maybe this stuff is becoming more ubiquitous that I know. On Numb3rs though, it was just another case. I think a lot of cast developments were made here. Charlie and Amita's relationship reached new levels as he asked her to move in. I think her involvement with the case was great too. It was only a matter of time before Amita got in harm's way and this episode proved to be the perfect venue since she played the game in question.
Once again, we had missing cast members though. David was MIA and Liz was presumably taking the day off since she was still stewing over Don lying to her. I know I've complained about this before and I know people have brought up the fact that perhaps some of the actors are only signed to do x-amount of episodes in a given season, but the more I thought about it, the more that bugs me. No other crime drama out there has cast members just disappear for episodes at a time unless it directly impacts the story. No one is ever just "gone" in an episode of the CSI shows or Criminal Minds, or L&O: SVU, or NCIS. It's just weird to me that Don's team is so fragmented in that regard.
OK, back to the episode. I also liked how Alan made some progress here too. The possibility of him buying a condo seems to be back on the table and he also appears to be doing well in his class. It looked like her made some sort of little device or robot that actually worked. Anyway, more from him is still needed and that starts with Millie returning rather than just being one of those characters who's name gets mentioned occasionally.
The other thing that needs to happen is some sort of consequence to Charlie's fame. His book hit the Top 100 on Amazon and he's hitting the talk show circuit. He's got fans. That much is clear. It's only a matter of time before one of those fans becomes an obsessive stalker, right? This story just seems like such waste if something doesn't come from it. Hopefully we see more episodes like this one where personal involvement is paramount to the case.
This week's numb3rs: 100,000,000 avatars, 6 billion dollar industry, 54 alternate realities, 2 technoutopian visionaries
This week's math: Primacy