Thursday, March 5, 2009

Percolated Recap: Numb3rs: Cover Me (Eppesode 516)

Who knew,that when I first met Liz over two years ago, I would be happy about a Liz-centric eppesode. We've come a long way from absolute hatred my initial dislike to viewing her as a vital member of the Fedcakes?

Correct answer to that question: Not me.

Thus, your humble recapper has learned not to judge things strictly by their first impressions all the time. For instance, I will not immediately declare that OMG STARGATE STOLE OUR EDGERTON until someone officially says this means we will not be seeing the epitome of all things enigmatic and cool anymore. (They also stole one of my picks for the Eleventh Doctor, so they'd better let Edgerton come and play with the Fedcakes every once in a while otherwise, they'll have to answer to me and I can out-whine anyone.)
Stakeout / IHOF: We switch back and forth between a stakeout, and the International House of Fedcakes. As the stakeout, David is in charge of making sure everything runs smoothly, and gets zippo reassurance from Colby. Okay, Colby, a little bit of support for your partner might be a good idea since he did, you know, trust you again after that whole spy/not a spy (or Theoriginalspy) thing.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are watching Cam, a DEA agent who I'll tell you about a few paragraphs down, and Liz, who is driving a car that would buy me an entire lifetime's worth of expensive coffee. She's also wearing an outfit which, as Colby says "I couldn't have pulled off that outfit." No shit, Sherlock.
She wants 50 kilos of drugs, but won't get it from the scumbag of the week, Ryan, unless she goes on a bit of a trip with him. (Not like that!) Getting into the scumbag's SUV, Liz proves to Cam she's not afraid of the fly by the seat of your pants nature of undercover work and gives my BFFedcake a heart attack.

The reasons for the stakeout are given by the other half of this montage of quick scenes which feature Charlie and his desire to solve all crime before it happens. In this eppesode, the crime he's decided to tackle is the war on drugs. He's identified something that sound more like a Snapple flavour, Hawaiian Ice, as the next big thing. I'm horribly depressed by the number of previous big things there have been in the land of illegal narcotics, but since this isn't totally about me, I should move on.
Charlie thinks it's a perfect opportunity to kill the Hawaiian Ice craze before it gets off the ground. He wants to disrupt the market by making some strategic buys before the drug hits the mainstream. In order to do this, Liz offers a contact, Cam, and from the way she makes it sound like he would do anything for her, I'm taking the term contact literally.

Assigned to be her handler is David, who immediately turns from rational agent into protective big brother mode. He also gets this job because he put in for a promotion. Umm, Don, are you doing this to show your trust or because you're subconsciously trying to sabotage him?
Speaking of David's big brother mode, I'm not entirely sure I like it. Usually, I associate David with all things rational and competent, which is the reason he's my BFFedcake the whole opposites attract thing. Instead, he's going over the plan with her, as she gets ready, like it's already been done 100 times before. There's being worried for a coworker, and then there's over-worrying and making it sound like the coworker couldn't handle something as simple as a coffee run. David's skirting the line on this one.

Although, considering that Liz does deviate from the plan, perhaps she needed to go over it one more time.

Charlie's so confident in the success of his plan, that he completely misses his brother's little mental tick that the elder Eppes isn't feeling the same.
Hanger: They make there way to some airplane hanger, and for half a second I thought it was the same place where the bus was kept in "Jacked" for one simple reason.
Liz repeats the offer: 50% over market value for a shitload of drugs.

IHOF: Obviously, the drug dealer needs to be the worst at something. If he doesn't take the deal, he would be the worst businessman ever. If he does take the deal, he's the worst dealer ever, because seriously, I may not even be in the drug trade and that smells like a set-up.

The acceptance of the deal is the only think reported back to Don when Rosencrantz & Guildenstern arrive back at the IHOF. Neither mention the whole Liz going off script problem. I would, because I'm not sure if it's a sign of thinking she can get away with more because David's in charge, or just recklessness, but I'd let the actual boss sort that one out. Sorry people, if someone's going to risk their life, they deserve to be reported.

Also at the IHOF is Charlie and another person from the DEA, Terry Green. Officially, she's there as Cam's handler, but unofficially, she's there to be the non-believer Charlie explains all the math concepts to.
In this case, he explains about how buying up all the Hawaiian Ice will "dirty the brand" decreasing it's value and demand by using a favourite coffee shop that gets all chintzy and starts serving plain old bagged tea and pre-ground coffee. Eventually, you get so frustrated wanting the old an yummy coffee back, you give up and never go back. Oh, Charlie, it's like you're describing a part of my life! Coffee shops turning crappy is a major plague on my existence. Umm, sorry, this still isn't about me, is it?
This is one math concept I understand because no one wants to buy shit coffee. Charlie's related it to an addiction I can understand.

The scene ends with Don explicitly asking David how things went, and David does not say, "great, until your ex got into a car and was driven away." Oh David, you disappoint me.

Stakeout: Liz is reteruned from whence she came, with promises of Hawaiian Ice and celebrates by going parking with Cam. Okay, not like that, but with the chemistry these two have, it should be exactly like that. Unfortunately, they have a history, like he had a wife and bad timing, that stopped things from happening in the past. Well, considering she's the first face from the past he's seen in the better part of three years.

They make plans to continue buying up all the Hawaiian Ice and Liz is glad that he has her back. As she leaves, he tells her it's his pleasure because "it looks like that." Usually, I'd be gagging at a line that cheesy, but, for some reason, as Cam stares wistfully (if it's possible to stare wistfully at this) at Liz's ass, I actually find it a little endearing. I'm relieved Liz does too because if she didn't, Cam wouldn't look half as pretty by the time she was done.

La Maison d'Eppes: Charlie, have you ever heard of hubris? Let me give you an example. Let's just say there's this adorkable math professor. This math professor, who has little practical knowledge of the world of illicit narcotics, comes up with a plan to stop the newest drug from flooding the market. The plan is sound and based on firm economic principles and is set into motion. Let's just say that professor starts crowing like the plan has already worked to his girlfriend, who is clearly trying to read a book. After getting emotional reassurance to jump ahead and assume the plan will go according to, well, plan, and then to try and apply it to other types of illegal sales, well, that would be hubris.
You see, Colby said it earlier, "That's the thing about plans, man. They're great, right up until the minute you put'em into action."

Alan comes home, disgusted by the Cal Sci's basketball playing ability. The team may have a high proportion of valedictorians on it, but that doesn't impress Alan. "They played like a bunch of valedictorians," Alan quips, offending Charlie and his future daughter-in-law since they were both valedictorians. I would like to point out this means Charlie was the valedictorian of his brother's graduating class. Ouch.

Charlie tries to defend Cal Sci by arguing that they get more science research funding than the college they lost to. Yeah, Charlie, stop taking a logic page out of Sheldon Cooper's book, please.

IHOF: The next day, David is trying to reprimand Liz for going off script, but Liz justifies her recklessness with her success. I guess she must've improvised when bargaining with the second dealer, because now David is pissed off enough to tell Don. Since big brother and little sister are yelling at each other, daddy has to call a meeting with all the kids, leaving the middle child to wonder, "What did I do." Yup, that's my Numb3rs, a real family show.
The family meeting doesn't go well for David, making me momentarily doubt his ability to lead. Considering even his partner sits on the fence and Don tells Liz to listen to him, while undercutting that order by asking David to give her some leeway. Okay, Don, I know you have your trust issues and all, but really, this isn't exactly throwing your support behind the guy applying to be your second in command.

What's particularly worrying David is that while 3 out of the 4 drug dealers are reasonable businessmen, the fourth guy's got a record of being batshit insane. Okay, so David doesn't say it like that but a drug dealer with a history of violence isn't that surprising, so I'm assuming some batshit craziness to justify his concern.

Colby equates this to how protective David will be when he has a daughter. Well, I would like to see that, soon, because if David were a real person, he would so be married with three kids by now.

Hotel: Liz arrives in the car that could probably pay off my mortgage to meet the final drug dealer. They're at some big fancy hotel, and Liz is dressed like an extra from Scarface. Usually, that would be an insult in my world, but somehow Liz manages to pull it off.

Cam is there to brief her before they go into the kingpin's bungalow. The first thing he has to tell her is that he's told everyone they're dating.
He neglects to tell her what is obvious to every viewer, he's also Jonesing for a hit. Somehow, bringing a junkie to a drug deal isn't exactly the best plan. Considering he ditches her, in a room, alone with the kingpin, Pritchard, within a couple of minutes of meeting the baddie, Cam makes my point for me.

Despite Cam's flaking out, Liz sticks to the plan this time. She presents the offer, makes small talk about not inviting Pritchard up to Seattle, considering he hates it, and plays hardball. Things are going really well for her, until Pritchard makes a request for the ratings that hits all levels of creepy. She's got to take her clothes off.

I admit, she deal with this far better than I would. When Pritchard asks her to take off her top, I would've run out of the room screaming, despite his gun (literally -- I'm betting the other one isn't that spectacular). Liz, with aplomb, behaving as if this is just another way to secure a drug deal, does strip, and while I should be shocked by the way she's being objectified here, I can only think one thing.
What? It's a perfectly valid question? Who doesn't do their mental shopping list by finding outfits they like on TV?

All Pritchard wants is to make sure Liz isn't bugged and that gives me a huge sense of relief once I recover from my highly inappropriate moment of lingerie envy.

Proving Liz is 328 times more professional than I would ever be, she doesn't pull Cam's eyeballs out through his nostrils for leaving her alone with superbaddie. Instead, she's reasonably upset and shaken. She's also not too shaken to finally realize that he's using. Sure Cam tries to claim it's a part of the job, but Liz is not going to tolerate his bullshit, as a colleague or as a friend.

IHOF: Charlie's ego is being fed as the recent crime stats prove his theory. The price of the drug has gone way up, because just the idea of a panic will create a panic. I'm a little surprised that the obvious analogy isn't used here.
Charlie's ego is instantly deflated by Liz, who leaves Charlie hanging for a high five. Oh, hee -- Liz, thank you. It's not intentional meanness, but sometimes Charlie needs reminding that he's not the be all and end all of everything.

Liz reports all the successes of her last stint undercover, leaving out the uncomfortable almost nudity. Don clearly doesn't believe that everything went smoothly.
So as the plan moves forward, don has a quick word with David (who suggests Liz wear a wire at all times) about keeping a closer watch on David. Obviously, not as close a watch as Pritchard had, but something close enough that won't require binoculars.

DEA's: Liz goes to talk to Terry about Cam's well-being. There's a whole bunch of inter-agency politics, and Cam does come through with setting up the buys, but really, Terry's opinion can be summed up in one sentence.
Underground Parking Lot: Showing the less than exciting side of undercover work, Liz is more worried about her empty stomach than anything else, which she promptly complains about to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern over the mic in her necklace. Her banter is quick and clever, until Cam arrives and she goes into secretive mode. I have to admit, for my 180 on Liz, I start heading back from which I came, to see her pull a dumb stunt like cover the mic with her hand so that David doesn't find out about the forced striptease. Oh Liz, don't be a dumbass. This is something your handler should know!

She lets Cam apologize (since it's irritatingly trite, I won't record it in detail to save you the pain) and then puts the necklace back on. While I'm irritated at her, she distracts me like she did last time.
The deal goes down smoothly with 50 kilos of Snapple Hawaiian Ice exchanging hands. Now Liz can get something to eat. This is good since there are moments I wish Liz would eat a sandwich.

Throughout all of this, David and Colby are left in the van, watching and wondering why she needed a private word with Cam.
Cal Sci: Charlie's attempt to save the planet, one crime at a time is interrupted a couple of times. The first is by his pretty girlfriend, who, if the promos aren't building it up too much, will be in what might possibly be the most awesome eppesode of the season. No pressure.

They toss a bunch of puns about drug use around, like "High," "addicting," and "OD" which is so adorkable that I can't believe I'm okay with them making a bunch of drug puns.
The second interruption is from Papa Eppes, who reveals that the Cal Sci basketball team hasn't won a game since 1986. That's 283 consecutive losses. Umm, yeah, Cal Sci, that's not a record, that's a suckingly sucktastic Guinness Book of YOU SUCK record. In fact, I can only think of one failure record that might possibly rival that one.
Amita suggests using math to help the team win once game, and Alan picks up the ball on that idea, pleading, "Is one win asking too much?" I think the answer here is yes, Alan. Just file it in the same place you put the hopes of Charlie ever getting an athletic scholarhip

Charlie, because he can save the world yet not give me my shoutout replies, "Well, as much as I hate to indulge this new found dark side of yours, my drug plan's pretty much on auto-pilot, I seem to be on a roll, so yeah, why not? And for the record, I was a pretty awesome swimmer." Okay, for that level of faux-humility and assuming one can put the whole drug trade on auto-pilot, I'm sorry Charlie, you win this week's NPALTM, just for sounding so full of yourself.

PS, Charlie, you're forgetting we all saw you flail about in "Charlie Don't Surf." You see, this is the problem with me being your recapper. I have a really, really good memory and years of recaps to back it up.

Hanger: Back with Ryan, Liz and Cam are waiting outside to make a deal. Sure, there's dramatic and suspenseful music, which belies the easy tone of Liz.

All hell breaks lose when masked men arrive in a dark SUV, shooting at everyone. How one of the Fedcakes (as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern join the firefight) isn't injured, I don't know. Sure, I could've been more worried about this scene than I am, but really, since that spoiler leaked out about what's coming, I'm quite confident in the health and safety of everyone in this scene. If you don't know what spoiler I'm talking about you must've lost your internet connection I will leave you blissfully unspoiled.
While all the bad guys are dead, David, Colby, Liz, and Cam are confused but unscathed.

The aftermath reveals that one of the shooters worked for Pritchard and somehow, the meet was compromised. Since it's too early, Liz's immediate assumption that it Cam (whose hidden out of sight in the hanger) gave them away screams out as a red herring. While it's emotional, as Cam looks devastated, I simply cannot believe it. PLus, if he did have anything to do with that, how awful would that be for Liz. I mean, anyone after Don would be a comedown, but when the next (potential) guy turns out to be a junkie traitor, well, let me just say I don't think TPTB are that cruel to Liz.
Math Garage: To get in the spirit of sports, Amita's donning a basketball jersey and Charlie's pretending he's a foot taller than he actually is, by imitating genuine basketball moves. With Alan, Charmita is trying to come up with a list of things Cal Sci must have in order to have an advantage. I'll even offer a few of my own.
Charlie thinks Larry with his physics background would also be able to help but the jovial nature of the scene dissipates when Charlie receives the call about the shootout. That's what happenes when you get too confident you can control the world, Charlie; the world often doesn't want to comply. Plus, Charlie isn't quite Evil Overlord material.

IHOF Garage: While the vehicles from the shooting are being scoured for evidence, Don is fulfilling David's usual role of exposition man. Another Hawaiian Ice dealer was killed the night before, so now Pritchard has a monopoly on the drug.

Enter Charlie and his guilt at being unable to control everything on the planet. Okay, Charlie, you're adorkable, I will always love you, and I'm glad your hair is growing back beautifully after the "accidental haircut" but now you're getting annoying. Finally, someone states the obvious, by someone, I mean David. "But drug dealers don't react in a normal fashion."

Still convinced the plan would work, Charlie insists that a single buy would still dirty the brand. Sure, Liz's cover isn't blown, but since the other drug dealer was blown away, I don't think dealing with Pritchard is the safest option.

Oh, yes, and the red herring from earlier is quickly rectifid when Colby finds a bug in the dead dealer's car. Okay, so that exonerates Cam but that leaves me with another question.
Because Liz reveals that she accused Cam, big brother needs to have a talk with little sister upstairs, now. She confesses all -- the freaky stripping, the junkie DEA agent, and is quite contrite.
Despite all this, she still wants to go through with things, because even though Cam is a risk she owes it to him. Yeah, Liz, you owe him an apology and a basket of fruit, risking your life, not so much.

Later, Don catches up with Terry, which is sounding a little first season, but not, asking for her to reach out to Pritchard. In order to get this favour, Don has to promise a full share of the bragging rights for the bust.
The arrangement is made for Liz to return to the bungalow to complete the deal. Even though David offers her an out, she won't take it.

Recapper's Note: The next two scenes are intertwined in the editing process and I chose to separate them, which was a little like unravelling yarn, considering the timing.

Cal Sci: We get a break in the tension by some lighter discussion in Charlie's office on the NBA and their ugly orange balls and the ABA and their pretty white red and blue balls. Wow, that sounds dirtier than it is.
The discussion of why the pretty balls are no longer in use (that still sounds dirty) was because the NBA swallowed up the ABA and their balls. (Okay, so there is no way to save that sentence.)

Charlie realizes that Pritchard has no intention of selling. He wants to control the whole market so Liz and Cam are walking into a trap. Charlie's on the phone to Don, but not soon enough.

Hotel: I'm still pretty sure this is one of those hotel bungalows, so until someone shows me the deed proving that Pritchard owns the place, I'm not budging on my assumptions.

The roles from the last time Liz and Cam were at the bungalow, are reversed. This time, she's apologizing to him. I do have to appreciate the grase with which Cam does accept the apology. Okay, so he's a junkie but he's a nice junkie.
They head inside with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern keeping watch. Unfortunately, Charlie's call comes too late, and Liz and Cam find themselves on the wrong side of another ambush.
David and Colby are left in the dark about the goings-on inside the bungalow, so when Cam emerges, without Liz, only then do they find out that there was an ultimatum attached to the ambush. Cam has one hour to get back with thedrugs they've already purchased, to give Pritchard absolute control of the brand, or Liz dies. Okay, so the last part isn't explicitly stated, but I don't think an ultimatum works unless something bad is the second half of it like offering world peace and a pony.

Oh, and the one hour or something bad happens thing, haven't I seen that somewhere before?
So their list of problems increase becasue Cam's all super shaky from trying to stay clean.

In one hour, the mobile command and SWAT are there and the sun has set totally. Talk about a busy hour. Oh yes, and the sun sets at 5:38pm in California? Really? Yes, I think I caught Numb3rs having a wee bit of a math problem.

Charlie's arrived on scene and the debate is between Terry and the Fedcakes, because she wants to pull Cam and run, since no one wants to share the blame in an officer involved shooting. Okay, there was a bit in there about her doubting Charlie's findings, but we already knew she was wrong so it's unecessary. Finally, Cam stands up as a hero, insisting he can't leave Liz, because then we wouldn't have a new 'ship to celebrate.
He uses the same tactics she has all along. He threatens all those lovely career building cases Terry has used Cam for over the last three years, and Terry folds like a house of cards at a windfarm. Okay, actually she walks away in a huff, but really, that was just to save face.

Now the conflict is within Charlie and the Fedcakes. Charlie isn't certain that telling Pritchard he's surrounded by SWAT is the best plan, as it ruins their element of surprise. He compares it to Odysseus announcing the Torjan horse was full of soldiers. Well, that's slightly less flawed than Monty Python's plan.
Don, on the other hand, wants to surround the place with SWAT. Since this is called Numb3rs, and not SWAT, I can predict which plan they're going to go with.

Inside the bungalow, Liz is proving her mettle as I would be in the fetal position calling for my mother. Calmly, she's trying to subtly tell Pritchard that he's going to be blown to kingdom come by some angry Fedcakes if he doesn't let her go, but Pritchard, proving he's good in business but not in reading people, is more interest to know how Liz and Cam hooked up.
Speak of the devil, it's Cam with a duffel bag worth of drugs, demanind Liz be released. As Pritchard goes to check the product, a flash bomb goes off, giving the Fedcakes the time they need to rush the bungalow. During the shootout, David takes out a henchman and Pritchard, disproving what some people in the fandom seem to think about my BFFedcake, so yes, I'm both proud and smug on his behalf.

Unfortunately, David doesn't get Pritchard before he shoots Cam in the chest. At least Cam followed the Fedcake rule of always looking good at shootouts by wearing the very latest in kevlar fashions.
David checks on his charge while Colby checks that the dead guys are actually dead. That's the great thing about this partnership; they know what needs to be done.

As the bodies are carted away, David sits in the courtyard, watching a fire. I'm sure, in his mind, it's symbolic of his career aspirations but fear not, dear Rosencrantz! Don has new that you shall be the second in command, which you should've been all along anyway, even though Megan somehow wound up with the position.
Don jokes about taking some more long weekends but that leaves me torn. While I'd be more than happy for him to have some quality OTP time, it better not mean a reduction in Don's role.

Rehab: As the sun rises, Cam is more than willing to go with the symbolism of a new start, as long as Liz will be there when he gets out. I might have to squee. Trust me, that's a compliment.
Math Garage: Alan is spending time explaining basketball strategy to Amita but this isn't really about basketball, it's about bonding. She wants to spend more time with Alan and wants to learn all about the Eppes' family obsessions (beyond food, work and brooding) like basketball, with the hopes of becoming part of the family some day.

Alan assures her that she is a part of the family, even if his son can't work up the courage to officially ask her. Wait! What's that in the air? Could it be possible there is a force Charlie can't defeat?
When Don comes in, both father and future daughter-in-law hide their schemes, in case Don might warn his younger brother. For Amita and Alan, it's collusion I can get behind.

La Maison d'Eppes: Inside the main house, Don finds a forlorn-looking Charlie, sulking over his inability to solve everything with math. The news is making Charlie feel worse, since every story is about drug-running.

Don can offer nothing more than simple platitudes and promise to listen to other ideas like this in the future, but that isn't enough, so there is only one way to get Charlie out of his blue funk.

OMGSOOOHAWT. Sorry, I found that way hotter than I probably should have. Oh, I haven't explained what that is yet? To properly make amends, I'll just use pictures.


  1. I totally noticed the whole thing with the sun setting earlier too, and thought it weird. I think the best name for Liz and Cam would be Lizam. I also loved the pillow fight at the end, it was amazing. Thanks for the recap.

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  3. There were so many awkward lines! Pretty much everything that came out of Pritchards mouth was horrible.

    I think that Rob Morrow did a great job directing though.

    I am so siked about the whole Cam and Liz thing! They make a really cute couple!!!

    And as always a wonderfully hilarious and snarky recap!!

  4. singingupines, I had the same thought: Lizam! I like that much better than Camiz.... and it sound kind of super heroish.

    Spy, I'm wondering if the bug had selective transmitting? They had all that happened around that SUV going on. Cam was tucked away, but Liz wasn't. Then they are discussing things and Colby find the but. I guess they just stopped listening when they got the info they wanted. No need to hear if their plan was still great once put into action...

  5. Yay! Someone for liz other than Don!. But where was her partner? (And is she Artemis or Athena?) That pillow fight was the cutest thing I've ever seen.

    On a completely different note I was looking over your old recaps and came across Convergence. So they not have frisbee golf in Canada?

  6. Okay, Liz=Athena Nikki=Artemis
    I have never seen frisbee golf in my life until that eppesode.

  7. Awesome recap as usual! ;-)

  8. Squee! Another recap by Spy!(Yes, Spy that squee was for you)

    About the Hawaiian Ice thing, I watch Dog the Bounty Hunter on A&E (yes, it's total escapism tv, I admit it). It's about Dwayne "Dog" Chapman, who's a bounty hunter in Hawaii. Every once in a while, he and his people will bust someone who has been smoking or doing or shooting 'Ice'. So, ice is a real drug.

    And SQUEE! (again) Love the recaps Spy!

  9. People willing to pillow fight are good people.

  10. Yeah Charlie is not Evil Overlord material but he does have the ego.. ....I love that you got a cap for Charlie and coffee!


    the EOL who can not remember her password to sign in since it is 5 am...

  11. Does the sexual objectification in this episode not bother you. There was no point or reason for it. Why did Rob Morrow not have a problem with the sexual objectification in the plot, I mean sexual objectification and sexism affects women. One would think being the father of a daughter he would be more conscious of that. This was just a really stupid episode and one which was very offensive on so many levels and not to mention how disappointing that Rob directed this.