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October 10, 2015

Numb3rs: Checkmate - VIDEO

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Apr 12th 2008 1:20PM

Numb3rs: Checkmate(S04E14) "Good morning! This is Charles Eppes. I'm in pursuit of a burgundy-ish, sort of merlot colored...um, well, what kind of car would you say that is?" - Charlie

I've got to honest, and I never thought I'd say it, but I've really enjoyed the return of Numb3rs. I can't decide if it's just because we haven't had new episodes in so long or it's because these new episodes are actually better, but I'm loving it. I even gave up reviewing Numb3rs last season because it got so stale and I reached a point where I had nothing new to say each week.

Something has changed though. It's not because the plots are unique and different, that's for sure. This entire episode pretty much mirrored last week's ep of CSI. A gang boss up for trial was sending coded messages to take out key witnesses and enemies and in each show, the ADA in charge of the cases became the next target. On CSI, the boss was using his urine to tint pages of library books with messages. Here, we had a guy using chess lessons to send out his wishes. Other than that, same plot.

Maybe it's because Numb3rs seems to have taken on a broader development of the main characters beyond just their day jobs. We saw it last week as Charlie and Amita made some huge steps regarding her parents and this episode introduced a lot more too.

I loved how Charlie went through basic FBI training. It was a riot. He couldn't drive a car, got his ass kicked during self-defense, but when he picked up a gun? Perfect aim. The guy is a natural. All the scenes were funny though, like some sort of goofy montages you'd expect to see in an episode of Starsky and Hutch or Reno 911. It was just a really well done departure from his normal activities. But at the same time, he still got his job done by having Amita and Larry do the grunt work for the case. I'm sure the comparison has been made before, but those three are really starting to remind me of The Lone Gunmen on The X-Files.

I also liked how we saw another side of David, taking an interest in that young kid who played chess at the community center. Who knew David even volunteered there? Although, with all the episodes we see him and Colby working at night, I'm not exactly sure when he has time for it. Regardless, it's nice to know these people have lives outside of the FBI.

One thing I am questioning is the return of Robin, the ADA who Don had been dating. Last time we saw her was in season two when she left town to take over a major prosecution in Miami. When it comes to relationships and Don, they always end badly. So I sometimes wonder why bother at all. I will say, that despite the bitter feelings over the break-up, the two of them made up awfully quickly. If he's going to end up with someone, I'd rather they at least bring Liz back into the fold.

Another person I wouldn't mind seeing back is Millie, if only for an episode or two. I realize Kathy Najimy was only there to fill Peter MacNicol's shoes while he was on 24, but I would like to see some resolution between her and Alan. The whole story about him "greening" the house is great, but Judd Hirsch could use a bigger role. Someone want to explain to me how his recycled rain water was "for the toilet?"

One other point: I was surprised the "Megan isn't happy with her job" plot was sort of forgotten.

Overall, another good episode. What does everyone else think? Is Numb3rs actually better, or is just because it's not a repeat?

This week's numb3rs: 64 squares; 32 pieces; 10 murders; 1 dying declaration
This week's math: Checkmate

Who would you rather see Don end up with?
Robin24 (19.0%)
Liz36 (28.6%)
doesn't matter... either one, it will fall apart66 (52.4%)

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David was GREAT! He is sexy, smart, and considerate. I love seeing more of David in a good role. Less of Charlie, and more of everyone else!

April 19 2008 at 10:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordon Werner

"Who knew David even volunteered there?"

um ... in season two ... there was an episode that dealt with the community center and a murder ... David is chastised by the person who runs the center for being all talk and no action so at the end of the episode you see him taking over the class for troubled youths from the person arrested ... ergo volunteering.

April 13 2008 at 2:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really enjoy Numb3rs but I too am concerned about some writing errors. How did the gang know to kill Bishop if he did not turn over the code book with his name in it? Why did the agent leave the sliding door open? Why did Don rely on a hairclip (real romantic) for tracking as Robin might not have used it that night? Why did Robin leave the hotel at the end with Don - presumably she would still be a target even if the Bishop connection was closed down? She should still be in protective custody. She is on for three episodes - maybe she forgets to wear the hairclip and gets killed in the end with her hair down. I love the characters and interactions, but they need to clean up the little inconsistencies.

April 13 2008 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When the is a chance of power going out, my mom always filled the bathtub with water so she could flush the toilet. So I would imagine he could fill the tank while flushing with the rain water... keep it by the toilet until needed. Water stops flowing in when the tank is full so adding water from another source wouldn't be hard and would fill the tank up faster.

April 13 2008 at 10:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Numb3rs has always been one of my favorite shows and I agree it is at its best when they highlight the character development. The concept of two brothers who are so radically different bringing two teams with vastly different approaches and sensibilities together is a great concept. Especially when each group respects and validates the other team. I have really liked the returning episodes, maybe everyone is coming back with a fresh excitement because of the frustration of being on strike.

On a side note, I never liked Liz - not loose enough to role with the team. I think Don needs someone outside of the Justice system (certainly the law enforcement side) to soften those hard edges.

April 13 2008 at 8:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Han Solo

Out of all the TV shows I watch, I am totally amazed at the quality of writing on this show. Nearly from day 1 it had a special something about it.

They really have a damn good writing staff on this show.

April 12 2008 at 10:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Blair M

I really liked Sarah Carter's character Nadine. If Don were to end up with someone, I'd want it to be either her (though that seems unlikely given her role on Shark) or...

Bring back Sabrina Lloyd's character from season one. I've always loved her, and they already have a backstory of a former relationship that could be rekindled.

April 12 2008 at 7:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Someone want to explain to me how his recycled rain water was "for the toilet?"

I assume the water would just get diverted into the supply used for flushing the toilet, not exactly hard to understand.

April 12 2008 at 4:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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