(S04E09) "If you're good enough to fake a comic, you're good enough to be drawing your own." - Seth Marlowe
Numb3rs finally returned to form tonight with an episode that didn't quite make sense to me. When I think of the FBI tracking down a counterfeiting ring, currency comes to mind before comic books. Regardless, this was a great episode layered with an enjoyable and overly nerdy case, some mathematical explanation from Charlie (for once!), and some great sub-plots. It got even better though. Not only did Christopher "flux capacitor" Lloyd guest star, but the episode also saw a great turn from TV Squad's very own Wil Wheaton.
Wil, who writes hilarious Star Trek: The Next Generation episode reviews for us based on his own experiences on the show, guest starred as Miles Sklar -- an arrogant comic book artist and collector who many regarded as damaging to the industry since he had made so much money. Sklar was in ownership of the world's rarest comic: Ultraworld #1. That is, until it got stolen at an industry convention in a storm of bullets that got a security guard killed.
Wil was great as the successful know-it-all that everyone loves to hate and it was too bad that he was only in the episode at the very beginning and again in the middle for a few minutes. I was hoping we'd see more interaction between him and Don or Charlie.
The entire theft and subsequent forgery sales were set up by a fellow comic artist named Seth Marlowe. He hated Sklar and simply wanted to discredit him while at the same time devalue the lone copy of Ultraworld. As an economics major myself, I loved the conversations between Larry and Charlie as they talked about the risks and rewards and who benefits from flooding a market of genuine articles with fakes. It was one of those rare occasions on Numb3rs were I was able to say, "I know what they're talking about!"
I mentioned that Christopher Lloyd also guested. He played a renowned comic artist who had inspired the careers of many younger hopefuls. His character was nothing special. The only thing I really liked about it was the very end when he started doing sketches of everyone. How great was that drawing of Larry with a super-hero cape on?
The most enjoyable part of the episode was Charlie's fame. It's continued to grow thanks to his book. I'm glad this has been explored though, rather than just forgotten about. His classes are jam packed, presumably he's still making talk show appearances, and now Vanity Fair is following him around and interviewing everyone for an article.
I liked the way it turned out. Obviously, it was set up so that as Larry, Amita, and Alan were interviewed by the author, we thought he was going to pen a real negative piece that discredited Charlie. That wasn't how the finished piece turned out, but I almost wish it had. It would have been very interesting to see how Charlie managed damage control in light of a piece that would have essentially called him a fake for offering advice on friendship when he has barely any friends of his own.
The other big sub-plot was Don. We got to see how he's been after the break-up with Liz. The short answer is not good. She wasn't in this episode. So there weren't any awkward moments in the break room between the two of them, but Don was preoccupied and distant throughout most of the episode. Normally, he's the anchor of this team so it'll be interesting to see how everyone around him adjusts to his demeanor. On an unrelated note, Colby and David are definitely back to normal again. That scene with the guy in the bath towel was hilarious.
Oh and for those of you that are interested, Numb3rs has three more episodes in the can before they run dry because of the WGA Strike.
This week's numb3rs: 26 pages, 183 panels of graphic art, 1 rare ashcan edition, 14 fakes
This week's math: Graphic
|Charlie's growing fame.||46 (23.5%)|
|Don's emotional stress.||150 (76.5%)|