Geez, I'm not making myself clear. I wonder if there's a way I can get things across quickly, and easily, and have the entire fandom instantly understand my point?
Like you couldn't see that one coming! Now, if the opening grid had five slots I would've included: 12 -- the day in October otherwise known as
In all seriousness, before we get the opening grid, we get some of the important parts from last season, like Don being stabbed, Charlie proposing, and, in something even more terrifying, Charlie being asked to write something without being given a dictionary.
Personally, I'm not too sure if all of those would've been my highlights for the season. I think I might have to go with the squee-worthiness of my OTP, the return of the enigmatic coolness, not once but twice, Liz getting her own eppesode, one of the most awesome eppesodes of all time, and the accidental haircut.
In truth, I don't mind the previouslies as they serve as a reminder for those of us who may not find themselves with 5 seasons of Numb3rs trivia roaming around in their head.
Charlie is smart enough to record his letter first, before going through all the trouble of
What? I just screencap what I see.
Charlie's musing about who his successor will be, and how said nameless successor might be asking his or her own questions. While Charlie muses, Don fangirls explode, because he's shirtless (if anyone would like a direct cause and effect lesson, this would be it). I doubt even the big honking scar would douse their ardour much, because it would just have them all offering to give him a hug. To them, I say this:
While there's already been one surprise (Charlie's office provides enough natural light to almost give us a Star Trek: Reboot-style camera flare), as we get a montage of our beloved characters doing their everyday things, one does something completely out of character.
Oh yes, and I have a question about how Artemas and Athena spend their time at the International House of Fedcakes when Don's not there.
MacArthur Park: The actual case begins almost instantly. Note the modifier "almost" in that previous sentence. Yes, in his very first line of the year, Colby says something unintentionally stupid. "Looks like you jumped the gun, Charlie. Nobody's been shot yet." Dude! That's like saying "I'll be right back" in a bloody horror movie!
Charlie promptly distracts me by making a math joke, that, for the the life of me, I cannot comprehend. Apparently, in "some circles" a phrase which here means: not in Fedcake or recapper land, Charlie is funny when he cracks jokes about spanning trees and covering sets.
I also notice something else. Don and Colby have longer, scruffier hair, making me worry about my BFFedake.
The Fedcakes are there to protect Benjamin Polk -- a rich kid who decided to save the universe by talking. Please, note my mental eye roll. Anyway, Richie Rich is holding a rally in a park and the sign he'll be carrying will be shaped somewhat like a target.
Despite all this, Charlie isn't daunted, as he's come up with ways to control the flow of people in and out of the park, using covering sets. Now, at this moment, the Fedcakes reenact what often happens in my head, when I hear a reference on the show I recognize. It's all, wait! Is that referencing the fishing net analogy from -- hell, I can't remember so that can't be it, or the brute force concept from both "Democracy," "Black Swan," and "Sneakerhead" or perhaps the dog chasing the cat chasing the mouse --
NO! My brain tells me! (My brain, in this case, being Charlie.) It's the lighthouse analogy from "Trust Metric."
Seriously, it's moments like this that hurt my brain.
Thus, my brain already smarting from not being able to instantly place the covering sets, is sent into even further shock by two facts.
Fact 2: The person shooting at them is all sniper-esque, yet I cannot hear the chariot of enigmatic coolness.
I am not amused.
Now, if I were to ever find myself in this situation, I would do two things: the first would be freak out, and the second would be to pray that there's a Fedcake nearby. Okay, so maybe I do the second thing even when I'm not getting shot at but considering the high quality of Fedcake, can you blame me?
Of course, what I, a "normal"
Well, Charlie figures out where the sniper is standing, setting off a volley of bullets between the sniper and the Fedcakes. At one point, Don is driving the Fedmobile to the sniper's position and two bullets go through the windshield. You see? Don nearly gets killed because he's following Charlie's equations.
When he Fedcakes arrive at the sinper's position, only to find a rifle, and no gunman, I realize that now is exactly the right time for calculations. Thus far, according to my calculations there has been one bullet for every 9.9375 seconds in this eppesode. All of these bullets have been fired while David was around.
And people wonder why I think we need a Be Kind To David Day.
All because Colby had to tempt the gods of fate and tease Charlie.
There are a couple of other items, like gloves, a cell phone, and an awesome guest star at the other end! It's Gary Cole! Sure, most people may know him at the new Mike Brady, but anyone who has ever seen American Gothic will agree that creepy, freaky, evil dude is definitely up Gary Cole's alley.
Creepy Gary Cole tells the Fedcakes to avoid the bullet with Benjamin Polk's name on it. You know, I'm okay with that, as long as the shooter doesn't have bullets with other names on them, like Don, David or Colby.
Charlie's Office: OMG, what is it with the overexposed lighting thus far this year. Note I said overexposed, not more, decent lighting. It's like someone went a little too crazy with the filters in hopes to mock me and my demand for better lighting.
Our intrepid professor is relating one of those cute, childhood stories that we all have. In Charlie's case, it's about how he scribbled all over his mother's picture of the Parthenon, and something about the Golden Ratio. Funny, in my family all those childhood stories are things I never want repeated. Why do only TV characters get those great stories about how freaking brilliant they are?
Usually, this would be the moment where I might share one of those infamous childhood stories, so, instead of relating something true, and embarrassing, how about we just pretended I did something witty and snarky as a three year old, shall we?
IHOF: We get to see film footage of riots inspired by Polk's words. Some people inspire great acts of social change. Others inspire rioting and arrests. I like the first type better. Sure, Polk goes on about not encouraging violence but I'm sure -- yeah, we all get the point.
Poor Polk, the right doesn't like hime because he's a "Commie, pinko agitator" and the left doesn't like him --
Since Polk doesn't know who the shooter is and is quick to deny it's a PR stunt, I wonder if there's anything left for him to say that can possibly make him more disagreeable. Thus, I decide to think about more pleasing things.
Polk refuses to change his venue and gives some long speil about being willing to put his life at risk. All right then, he can do so. May I suggest playing in traffic?
Neither Don, nor Nikki, buy Polk's altruistic act.
La Maison d'Eppes: Going over what happened at the park (Rosencrantz & Guildenstern rush off, firing, while Don hesitates) Charlie's worried that his big brother might not be totally recovered from nearly dying earlier in the year. Well, duh. Unfortunately Alan has few words to alleviate Charlie's concerns. Come to think of it, he doesn't alleviate mine either.
Speaking of girlfriends, Alan's a little concerned with the lack of Amita around the Eppes abode as of late. Well, Alan puts it the "beautiful young professor."
"I've been here the whole time," Charlie quips back.
In our very first NPALTM of the sixth season, Charlie can't come up with something even close to plausible to justify Amita's absense. "Amita has been really busy, actually. She's just been incredibly busy with classes and I've been busy too, frankly. Busy time, we're busy people."
Alan immediately calls Charlie on the awkward bullshit, as he should. Charlie can't run out of his own house, fast enough.
MacArthur Park: David's confused as to why Polk is such a douchebag. He's also confused as to why the shooter gave away his plans. It would've been much easier to spring a surprise attack and make sure Polk's dead at the end of it.
For some reason, Colby takes David's comments on Polk being a douchebag to mean they're talking politics. (Okay, David actually calls Polk "brave," but since I don't want to disagree with my BFFedcake, I'll assume brave actually means douchebag.) Sure, douchebags and politics are often discussed in the same breath, but I have to wonder why we have such an awkward segue, Where is this conversation leading to?
Well, I'm left without an answer because Colby's now focussing on the bajillion (actual number) of places where a shooter can hide.
Cal Sci: Larry is pondering a raspberry. If I wasn't watching this eppesode for myself, just reading that line would make me think I've just entered a Fench Farce or some wierd philosophical allegory. But no, it's actually Larry pondering an actual raspberry. Maybe he just realized that it's the wrong colour food.
Apparently, that means a no from CERN. That's fine. Considering what happens to fictional characters when they go to CERN, I'm all right with Larry not taking off for six months to appease some cost cutting measures at CBS.
As if I needed to be more confused, when Amita asks if Larry's heard from CERN, Larry responds with a story about how the Milky Way tastes like raspberries. I am not making this up.
I would like to scream now about false advertising because up until this eppesode aired, I always thought the Milky Way tasted like milk chocolate, nougat, and caramel.
The raspberry conversation, and the ruining of a precious, and tasty childhood memory, is ended by a text from Charlie. I believe the text message probably says "Halp!" but Larry translates that into mathematics for us. Larry also translates Amita's reticence to tag along to help out her adorkable professor as more drama for drama's sake in the Charmita relationship. It's enough to send him running and screaming from the room. I, on the other hand, translate Amita's expression as something else.
Active Activists: Liz gets the job of interviewing the activists. Considering the history of actresses who play activists on this show, I pay very close attention to Wanda, only to get completely nostalgic about Joan of Arcadia.
Wanda thinks Polk is as big a douchebag as I do. She's also not guilty of anything because she's of the belief that Polk will be the cause of his own downfall and she's willing to wait for that, instead of taking matters into her own hands.
IHOF: The Brothers Eppes, along with Colby and Larry, are playing SimCity, just like Artemas and Athena were at the beginning. Except, instead of building cities, or rebuilding after earthquakes, they're more focused on keeping Polk from being perforated by a projectile.
Next comes the debate on whether or not the sniper is a psycho, or a psycho with a weird conscience. he's not against shooting at the Fedcakes, just not keen on killing them. Okay, so maybe they don't toss the word psycho around, but really, he shot at the Fedcakes and Charlie. I don't have to be nice about him.
In our first Charlie vision of the sixth season, we get the Unexpected Hanging Paradox explained to us. It's supposed to be all about how even though Mike Brady doesn't want to kill a Fedcake, the Fedcakes aren't safe. Well duh, particularly if David's around, as he's a favourite of bullets -- having been shot not once, not twice, but three times.
Polk's Party: At some nameless hotel, Polk is giving a speech about how so many people's lives sucks, while he stands there and talks about ho people's lives suck. Speaking of lives that suck, Artemas, Athena and Rosencrantz are stuck guarding Polk -- a job mad infinitely more difficult by the sound of gunfire.
Surprise! It wasn't gunfire! It was a whole bunch of firecrackers meant to scare the Fedcakes, followed by a phone call which I think was supposed to be all dramatic, but really comes across as the potential killer being all "Na-na-na-boo-boo" at the Fedcakes and Polk.
Now, while I should little respect for Mike Brady and his sparklers (which sounds like some weird alternative band), I have plenty of respect for the Fedcake forced to deal with the follow-up phone call, David. Making himself more of a real person to the potential killer, David introduces himself, and tries to connect. I have to say, in a debate once in the fandom, a bunch of us asked the question David or Colby (not like that)? Who would you pick in a time of danger?
Many people when with Colby, because he'd make sure we're all out of danger. For me, I'd pick David as he always tries to end things peacefully. I find it sad that Polk's hypocritically preaching what David is practicing.
The psycho doesn't appreciate David's awesomeness, and just promises that the next time will involve a bullet. Oh the dramatic irony, considering how this eppesode ends.
Cal Sci: After the commercial break, I think that the plan is to blow the budget on lighting in this eppesode, in mockery of me. Yes, I guess I'll have to say sorry if they don't have a penny to spend for the rest of the season.
Continuing to dictate his letter, Charlie talks about how he disagrees with the concept that "in mathematics, you don't understand things, you just get used to them." He thinks it gives people a better understanding so that events can be changed, but, I think the whole idea of just getting used to and not understanding is exactly how I manage the math in Numb3rs.
IHOF: Liz and David pedaconference about how little they actually know about the suspect, other than the basics of age range, race and education. Luckily, Larry and Charlie have much more to offer -- like film footage of the suspect and a chance to try and figure out exactly what he looks like.
You may have noticed that I brushed over the shared Charlie and Larry vision. Why? I don't get it. If someone could explain how a barber pole relates to the face of the suspect, I'd be more than happy to hear it.
Anyway, getting the image of the suspect would be a lot easier, if someone, say, someone named Amita would help. This suggestion sends Charlie rushing from the room because "something just occurred" to him. That's the most lame-ass excuse Charlie has ever come up with, and no one could ever accuse Charlie of being an excuse-maker extraordinaire.
Making the mistake of trying to talk about Charmita, Liz and David are banished from the room, by a traumatized Larry.
Hotel: Polk is still refusing to be rational about not dying. This would be the point where I'd walk away, but not Don (although, I think, if asked, Nikki would side with me), no, Don has to try and convince Polk not to be suicidal.
Don attempts to do this by telling the old adage of the guy refusing all the help offered to him in a storm, because he thinks God will save him, thus refusing all other assistance. In a nice subtle reference to Don's spiritual journey, when Polk makes a crack about Don being God (so not touching that one), Don replies that he's the guy in the boat, wondering about the moron refusing to be saved.
Nikki makes a valid point. If Polk's all about volunteerism and helping others now, why would someone want to shoot him?
MacArthur Park: Charlie's just come to an important realization that the shooter must've already scouted the park, before taking aim at the Fedcakes. Colby, rightfully so, points out that Charlie was in the line of fire -- a point I think Charlie hadn't fully grasped until now.
The second part to Charlie's realization is that the shooter wouldn't have fired from his favourite spot -- as he plans to use it to spread Polk's brains all over the stage. Thus, Charlie and Colby are going to be thematic cartographers, and figure out all the best spots from which to shoot. All right, I hate to point out the enigmatically cool elephant in the room, but wouldn't this be an excellent time for Edgerton to show up?
This turn more personal (definitely not like that) when Charlie tries to confide in Colby about Amita. For all of Larry's dramatic reactions, Colby's assurances he can keep a secret because he was a spy (not Theoriginalspy), only to completely reject any involvement in the Charmita debacle, is priceless.
Oh, and this next screencap is strictly for the very mature reason of because I can.
Because I know how this all turns out, the second
IHOF: Geez, Larry won't even permit a conversation to occur if it might possibly tinge onto Charmita. Obviously, he doesn't know how this eppesode ends. Luckily, Amita wants to talk about how weird it is that the suspect is all about showing the Fedcakes what they're doing wrong, yet not wanting any of the glory that comes with being identified as a crazy man with a gun. Usually that's because you often get your middle name in the press. Who wants that?
What's hilarious is that Larry almost breaks his first rule about Charmita, just moments before they program is finished reconstructing the baddie's face.
A short while later, I take back what I said about the middle name.
David, who will always win the award for best supporting exposition man, tells us all about Crater: a former radical who got scared straight for some reason, became a high school science teacher, and never married. The only interesting thing is that Crater hasn't been to work in three weeks.
All right, to be fair, Liz helps with the exposition, a little. I say this because she's stealing the thunder of my BFFedcake, by honing in on his job of exposition man, and looking so damn hot, that I freaking hate her.
Recapper's Rant: What is it with this show and teacher turned bad? We all remember Crystal Hoyle and her special brand of crazy. How about Leonard, the gambling addict? Let's not forget the faceless, nameless teachers who totally missed what happened to Karen! I could bring up the Kindergarten teacher who commits crimes for her brother. Okay, maybe that last one is a stretch, but for a show that so prominently features educators, the lack of respect towards those who teach the elementary and particularly secondary is appalling!
*climbs off soapbox.*
It's time for Charlie to share what he did with Colby today. (No, this is not fanfic, people!)
They've made an assassination map. You know, for something that expects people to try and kill other people, it's certainly made up of some bright and cheery colours.
Since Liz and David, by necessity of giving the Brothers Eppes a few moments alone together, have found excuses to take off, Don and Charlie discuss the original hangman analogy. Well, they Would've discussed it, but Charlie got a little distracted by something.
It's time for the abrupt subject change. Don, unlike Larry and Colby, wants Charlie to talk about it. "It" of course, being the surprise at the end of this eppesode. Upon closer viewing, a phrase here which means -- examining Charlie's espression with more scrutiny than is natural, I realize this should've given it away.
Now, the closer viewing should've given me some relief, but no. NO IT DID NOT. IN FACT, IT'S MADE ME COMPLETELY FREAK OUT. YES, CAPSLOCK IS APPROPRIATE. SO IS BOLDING THIS, AND UNDERLINING IT.
IT IS THIS LEVEL OF WORRISOME!
Since our boys are talking about relationships, Charlie turns it back on Don, asking the elder Eppes if there's anything he would like to talk about.
Dear Numb3rs PTB,
Is there something I need to know. Something, say, about my OTP? Do I need to remind you what happened the last time? You are well aware that I dedicated 525 days to whining, the last time. I am not afraid to do it again.
PS: A shout out, world peace, and a pony, will not be enough to save you from my wrath if I'm not needlessly worrying.
I'm worried enough, that even Don's assurances to Charlie, about hesitating in the park, not the security of my OTP, don't make me feel better, but for posterity's sake, I'll post it here. Don hesitated because he's realized his own mortality, not because he's in pain. I'm sure that will make some people feel better.
Street: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, despite agreeing not to talk politics, talk politics. Did they learn nothing from Fight Club? That's not the way they should pass the time while looking for Crater's hiding spot.
Colby asks that if he were running for office, would David vote for him. This question, in a Fedcake partnership, is the equivalent of asking if your ass looks big in a marriage. There is no right answer, and there is no right amount of time to hesitate.
Needless to say, I'm not surprised when David isn't instantly supportive of his partner's fictional campaign for office. Sadly, Colby is. David wants to know what Colby's running for, but before we can get into some truly hilarious suggestion (dog-catcher, Miss America, American Idol, etc.,), the whole potential gem of a conversation is cut off by a cheap govenator joke.
Well, that and the trek into a place that will be prophetic for the rest of the season.
Once in the basement, they find a stash of weapons and Crater finds Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. We head into commercial with a gun pointed directly at David's head.
There's a brief stand-off where Crater, in typical bad guy style, talks about why he's doing what he's doing. It has something to do with sacrificing people, Portland, and David being better than most men. Well, that last one is usually the case.
Trying to talk Crater down, David isn't about to get shot for a fourth time and gives Colby cues to be ready to shoot. There's an exchange of gunfire, and I tried to get an accurate count but could only confirm 37 shots fired. Thus, by my calculations there have been 2.46428571 bullets fired for ever minute of this eppesode all of which were fired while David was around.
IHOF: Liz provides us with the motive for Crater and his shooting / bombing ways. In something that was obviously kept back by the computer during Crater's background check until it was absolutely necessary by the plot, Crater had a son. Said son was killed in a prison fight after being arrested during the Portland riots.
The rumour is that Polk planned the violence, only to denounce it later to become this bastion of peace, love, and douche-baggery. Finally, they have something to hit Polk with that isn't a bullet from Crater.
Cal Sci: Charlie's making a phone call and gets an answering machine. He declares it "no big deal."
Larry wanders in with a bowl of the flavour of the cosmos, and I love how Charlie doesn't find this the least bit weird.
While Larry muses about life, the universe and everything, Charlie is practically popping his buttons to tell someone about what is happening with Amita, but Larry, in an attempt to throw off the audience, and distract us from yet another goofy grin on Charlie's face, gives us an incorrect assumption. That assumption is that someone proposed (correct, as we saw it), and that Charmita isn't ready for the "outcome of said proposal."
IHOF: Polk is put under pressure by Artemas and Athena -- two women I would always bet on. Whether it be their combined brilliance, or beauty, no man is safe with these two. Hell, even Edgerton fell under Nikki's spell.
Okay, so it's all brains here, as they confront Polk with the evidence not only from blogs, but also from the video. It's quite clear Polk's giving a cue for the violence to begin during his speech. Thus, Polk used the blood of other people to get out of being the radical andturn into the rich boy philanthropist he is today.
Finally, Polk's threatened to be shut down. It's not the greatest of tactics because saying no to a rich kid will, inevitably, get daddy involved. In this case, Polk invokes the mayor and the governor, implying that if there's a riot because the rally doesn't happen, all the blame will be laid on the Fedcakes. This is one of those moments where if they "accidentally" tossed Polk out the window, I'd see it as justified.
Outside the IHOF, Alan is getting back to the roots of his character -- feeding people. This time, it's David. Unlike his sons, who get fancy deli sandwiches, or home cooked meals, David gets a hot dog. Even though Alan passes it off as a joke about the economy (even though we know damn well he made a pile of dough off his son in the sale of the family home), I'm still slightly offended for my BFFedcake.
I totally forgive Alan when the impromptu lunch isn't only out of concern for Don. Sure, last season, Alan asked David to be the one to watch out for his eldest, but now Alan's showing the same concern for David, and the promotion that is almost never mentioned. Offering David a sympathetic ear if necessary, I forgive Alan for the hot dog.
Not one to refuse help, David asks Alan about a father's perspective, if he'd lost his son. As that's a thought Alan had to deal with last season, he's able to give David some really important insights. The first is that a father's life would stop until his son received justice, but that not all men out to get justice for their children are killers.
MacArthur Park: The rally is about to begin and even the Fedcakes are divided. Nikki sees the purpose in using one's mistakes to turn one's life around and lord knows, she has no right to judge. Liz is just frustrated with everything.
Even Polk is feeling pensive, as he comes as close as he's ever going to admit that he planned the violence in Portland by using the old sacrifice one for the many line. As for Don, well, he's feeling something other than pensive.
Liz spots a discrepancy in the plan -- all the mailboxes and garbage cans were to be removed. Seconds later, they all go up in smoke. Smoke is the correct term, because this is all more like a fireworks display than actual damage. The explosions, though not life threatening, are enough to have Don call off the rally.
IHOF: It's our first, Charmita scene! The lack of awkwardness between the two of them, as they go through the whole idea that all the rules Crater set may not be what he's playing by, should've been a big clue for me, but I missed it.
To make it worse, there's this whole discussion about "imperfect information" and how Crater knows what's going on, but since we only see things from the Fedcakes POV, we don't understand the strategy and behaviour. In short, replace the Fedcakes with the audience.
They know what's going on while we, the audience are left wondering what's up with all the weird secretive strategies and behaviours.
If you've read my recaps for a while you know how much I love this type of meta plot-goodness. I think I love it so much because I can usually see the connections while watching the eppesode, so I get to feel all smart and clever. This time, Numb3rs totally got one over on me.
Excuse me while I go bang my head into the wall. I blame the summer rusting my meta-sense.
Now, off the meta and back to the plot, Charlie realizes that the plan, all along, was to get Polk away from the rally.
Rooftop: Watching Polk on his penthouse hotel balcony, Crater preapres to shoot, only to be confronted with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. In a completely not funny scene, crater explains how he feels responsible for what happened to his son. First, he made his life as a radical sound heroic, then, when his son followed in his footsteps, Crater couldn't get his son bailed out of jail quick enough to save the boy.
Really, the person Crater wants shot on that rooftop is himself. Unfortunately, no amount of talking by David, using the information he gleaned from Alan, is going to stop Crater's ultimate goal. After telling the story of the death of his son, and how Polk planned all the violence, Crater's has accomplished all that he wanted. His son died needlessly, so, in his place, Crater becomes the matyr for the cause against Polk.
Crater may not be a killer, but he is suicidal. Once he's done telling his story, he turns the gun on Colby, who has no choice but to kill the distraught father.
As Crater lays dying, he passes his torch, and his son's story, to David, a man with far more influence. Crater's death is almost peaceful, considering how much violence surrounded it.
Thus, there's only one thing left for me to say.
Cal Sci: Charlie is transcribing his letter. It's supposed to be a moment all about pondering your own existence and change but I'm left with one overwhelming question.
La Maison d' Eppes: Charmita has a very important announcement to make. Amita wisely decided not to risk the wrath of fangirls, and snag one of the Brothers Eppes. As for Charlie, he admits all his awkwardness was due to trying to get a hold of Amita's parents, to ask their permission.
Amita find this family tradition charming, but considering other family traditions include trying to marry her off to an asshat banker from Goa, and a gay family friend, maybe she might want to give up on the traditions.
In a turn of events, reflecting the whole imperfect knowledge analogy from earlier, Don and Alan already knew of the engagement, as Amita's dad called Alan. Wow, intercontinental gossiping inlaws. I wonder if Charmita knows what they're in for?
Charlie talks about how hard it was to keep the secret, but really, he was helped out by everyone NOT WANTING TO KNOW. Out of everyone, he picks Larry (okay, slightly sensible) but Colby? For advice? On women? I think there needs to be an algorithm calculating the infinitesimal chances of Colby having good advice, on women.
Anyway, it's time to break out the bubbly and this eppesode to end.
We get a montage of Charlie finishing his perfectly spelled letter. We get flashes of Polk being a douchebag and Nikki being disheartened. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern share the story of the dead father and son activists.
The Eppes family celebrates getting another member. I smile in glee at the idea of watching Charlie being driven insane by wedding plans. We know seating charts alone drive him batty.
Charlie finishes his letter with a question, one that has a very simple answer.