Friday, October 30, 2009

Instacap: Numb3rs: Dreamland (Eppesode 606)

Goathart base? Does George Clooney stare at it?

Is Department 44 the American Torchwood? Although, it was created 13 years earlier.

X-files reference. The x-phile in me swoons.

Agent Mulder -- sorry Nikki, Liz would be Scully.

David needs a career day at the IHOF.

Otto Bahnhoff? His parents clearly hated him?

Otto & Floyd need their own comedy show. It could be called the Lone Punman.

I think Floyd owns Zoolander's cell phone.

Charlie's blue shirt is pretty on him.

Being blown up would kill you. It's a valid cause of death.

Well, if those contracts with aliens come up, someone tell Torchwood. If they have contracts with the afterlife, tell Ianto to not be dead!

I am not asking where Floyd kept that flashlight.

Didn't we have a faux-alien eppesode, in season 1? I recapped that!

Actually, Floyd, you apppear to be freaking nutzoid -- technical term.

It's Margaret's birthday. Take not of that, FF authors, for accurate details.

Please let Alan be hinting about Robin.

OMG, it's the aliens with the black oil! Sorry, I regress into my old x-phile.

Charlie, I applaud you for not peeing yourself.

How much better would this eppesode be if Liz were in it?

The designers are welders, the welders are blaming the electricians, and the kneebone's connected to the leg bone.

Yes, engineers are that deluded.

Strange aerial craft don't kill engineers. Engineers kill engineers.

David cannot go to DC. David cannot go to DC! DAVID CANNOT GO TO DC!


Don, listen to David. He is wise and not going to DC.

Meddling kids! Off in the Mystery Van next, and wouldn't Don look good dressed like Fred? The question is, who would you cast as the rest of the Scooby-gang?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Percolated Recap: Numb3rs: Hydra (Eppesode 605)

Recapper's Confession: For all the jumping in right in the middle of the case, unexpected twists in storytelling, weird camera angles, my uncertainty as to the reasoning behind the title, questionable science, and WTFery of things I would have to be watching Torchwood to believe, I love this eppesode.
Of course that love was only increased 300 fold when I got spoiled earlier this week about something that made me -- wait, if I say it, I'll spoil you. You wouldn't want to be spoiled? Of course not! Therefore, do not click here!

IHOF: We begin with Charlie-vision. Have we ever started with a Charlie-vision before? I don't think we've had, and to be honest, it was a trick that made me sit up and take notice from the start, so I can't fault it.
Anyway, it's all about Monet's series of paintings of the Rouen Cathedral, and how they're the same, yet different -- like a car engine. Sorry, but I think this will be the only time the works of Monet and car engine will be mentioned in the same sentence, even though they both involve oil.

Questionable Science Point 1 (QSP1): The whole point of the Charlie-vision is that each car has a unique sound (which I can buy) which the Fedcakes can use to track a particular vehicle - a vehicle containing a woman, Anne Flynn, who kidnapped her daughter, CJ. I don't know how the hell that will work in any practical way unless one is standing right next to said vehicle at the time. Then it wouldn't be so much about identifying the sound, as it would be arresting the woman who is probably in the car at the time.

Sure, Amita tries to convince me that many traffic cameras have an audio component, but I'm going to wonder on that one, since Anne has crossed multiple states with her daughter. I'm pretty sure there are better things for the states to spend money on (like say, H1N1 vaccine) than making sure traffic cameras have sound, never mind sound quality good enough to differentiate vehicles!

What makes this slightly (a phrase which here means, doesn't make me laugh) believable, is Charlie's comment about the other 11 999 999 cars and how they'll have to be filtered out before finding the vehicle in question. I may think FBI Techie Boy (official title), Matt Li may be awesome, but I don't think he's that good.

Something immediately arouses my suspicious about the father's fitness as a parent. Perhaps it's the fact he's a smoker, which, on TV, usually indicates a not-so great parent. (Before anyone gets upset and flames me, that's TV morality, which, as we all know, is not IRL morality. If TV morality and IRL morality were the same, well, just being on a CW show would give you an STD.) Perhaps it's because his hard-luck story of the "mistake" with Anne, and how he so nobly supported her, only to have her be a total nutjob, is just way too neat.
Since we've jumped right into the middle of the plot, developments that would usually be at the 20 minute mark, are still at 2 minute mark. Anne's car has been located in Encino, thanks to QSP1.

Encino: It's partner mix-up time, as Liz is with Colby, investigating an abandoned house in Encino, where Anne was squatting with her daughter. They bust in, and while they take their time searching the house, only to find it empty, the audience finds a truly unflattering camera angle for Fedcakes.
From across the road, a shadowy man in a goatee, observes them.

IHOF: Charlie's all chuffed that QSP1 was a success, even though Don's still stuck telling Rudy (whose name is Bramon, technically) his little girl is still missing. Well, Don would have to tell him, if the father hadn't taken off, suspiciously, without informing the Fedcakes.

When David and Don find Rudy in the lobby, he runs like the suspiciously, suspicious man of suspicion that he is. Just as Rudy gets into his car, Don and David catch up with him, only to be confronted by shadowy goatee man.
Title Flash.

Shadowy Goatee Man is actually Jeremiah Miller, a private security goon for the phamaceutical company Rudy works for, and jsut wants to make sure Rudy doesn't start spilling national secrets "above all our pay grades."

He thinks the secrets are above everyone in the IHOF? Will, Miller needs to met my adorkable fictional academic boyfriend. Besides, the Fedcakes, who have way more experience with kidnap and recovery, will always have one thing over any private security man.
Miller spins some yarn about being in "active negotiations" with Anne, because all she wants is money, yet his story about why she brings CJ to California, sort of negates that (something about wimpy custody laws). No matter what the custody laws are in California, I'm pretty sure they don't support 1) kidnapping or 2) extortion, unless a movie studio is involved with the latter.

Anyway, Miller provides the Fedcakes with one useful lead, Anne's Californian attorney, Carla Reed. Yes, she's a crazy woman on the run, yet she took the time to get an attorney in California.

Upstairs, Charmita is discussing why a woman who spent time in mental hospitals, who hasn't seen her daughter since birth, suddenly wants to be a mom. While I could go on about how mental illness doesn't mean a lack of love, since I don't buy the whole abandonment story, as Rudy was the one to tell it, I won't because this line of conversation leads into a conversation on Alan's potential grandchildren and this week's NPALTM.

Charlie's approached fatherhood in his own unique way -- statistical analysis. Amita's done something entirely different, and thought about socialization, and come up with the magic number of 3. "Well, I'm worried that 2 might create this weird social dynamic they'd be stuck with their entire lives."

Sure, there's a veneer of reasoning behind her statement, but what makes that line this week's NPALTM is Charlie's cut through the bullshit response, "Like me and Don?"

Ouch. I mean like, catching the H1N1, only to have it turn into pneumonia and find oneself coughing for the better part of four weeks. Wait, that would just be me.

Fortunately, as Amita tries to pull her feet out of her mouth, talking around how in India, one marries the whole family, my BFFedcake saves me from having to cringe any further. "Somebody should tell Don."

David, I love you. I love you not only for making that painful conversation stop, but also for reminding me of the debate, way back in season one, if Don was actually going to wind up with Amita. (As this was pre-Robin, I was okay with the debate.)

In fact, if David hadn't shown up, the only thing about this conversation I'd want to remember is the cracking voice of surprise from Charlie when he was trying to come to grips with the number 3.

David, ever the wise man that he is suggests Charmita get a little experience at dealing with young people by joining a Big Brother / Big Sister program. Amita's thoughtfully enthusiastic, and Charlie says he's willing to go along with the idea.
Now that the public service announcement part of the eppesode is over, back to the case, and the all important question, does your company offer kidnap and recovery assistance as a part of it's employees' benefit plan? I doubt my employer would get involved if I was abducted from my place of work!

Thanks to a Charlie-vision, and the magic of sports, Charmita would be able to assign probabilities as to why the drug company is so keen to help. Sure, it's going to be a useful tool for the Fedcakes, but I do find some amusement that the same technique used for the case, is what the government uses to determine the behaviour of terrorist organizations. Take from that, what you will.

Now, as we've dealt with evil drug companies before on this show, I'm fairly sure this isn't out of care and concern for the employees.

Encino: As a transition between the IHOF and Encino, we get a picture of the missing child -- who looks damn miserable in her normal life.

Not that the squat where the child was staying is much better. It's squalid, and she had to watch films like Role Models and Hellboy 2.
I can't really fault Anne the way Liz does. Anyone who has gone to a theatre in the last 20 years knows that there are very few parents who actually pay attention to the ratings. Raise your hand if you've seen 5 year-olds going into a theatre playing one of the Saw films. *raises hand* Although, what a sad comment on parenting, if I'm not horrified because CJ wasn't watching Saw?

When Liz picks up a one-eyed teddy bear (is it just me, or are 1-eyed bears creepy? Don't answer that), she gets inexplicably emotional, but tries to pass it off as just a general disgust when they work on cases involving kids. Sure, Colby may buy that, but a klaxon goes off in the back of my brain.
Don't try to distract me from the Liz backstory, with the bloody child's sweater, PTB! Sure, I note the sweater, am appropriately disgusted, yet am more interested in getting some more character info on a woman who has given us so little in the three years she's been on the show! Yes, she may love her boots, but really, what do we know about Liz Warner? If I'm missing a few personal details about her from 3rd season, remember, she was not Robin, during that time.

Lawyer's: Carla Reed's never met her client. Not as if that's a big surprise because her client's on the run from Virginia. She also confirms what I suspected -- that Anne isn't crazy. She's paranoid because someone is out to get her -- namely, Rudy.

Let's list all the things Rudy/drug company, lied about:

  1. Anne was a surrogate mother.
  2. Anne tried going to court but was ruled a "non-parent."
  3. The Patriot Act was used to make the case a national secret.
  4. The case is sealed so there's no way the Fedcakes would know about it.
  5. Rudy is not CJ's biological father.

In conclusion, as Carla puts it, "You're being played."
IHOF: With all the new information at hand, David can do two of the things he does best: research and exposition. He's learned that Anne was paid handsomely to carry CJ, with the intent of handing over the girl to Rudy when she was born. To be perfectly honest, I thought there was going to be some pervy motive behind it, which is why I was actually relieved with the real reason.

Colby, proving he has learned much from his partner and master of exposition, one-ups David, by delivering a bombshell: the blood on the sweater belongs to one Jordan Smith, a former employee of the drug company.
Why is Ms. Smith a former employee? She's dead. There isn't much call for a zombie work force, except at this time of year.

Restaurant of Skeezebaggery: Don and Colby confront Miller with the zombie-employee, and Miller tries to smooth it over but because he's more oily than all the Monet paintings and engines mentioned at the beginning, the Fedcakes aren't buying his bullshit.

So now, Rudy's going to have to come up with a new story.

IHOF: Liz and David get some pretty important news from Charmita. Jordan Smith was Rudy's assitance, yet knew nothing about the pharmaceutical industry. Nope, instead, she was a personal chef. So, what was a personal chef doing working for an expert geneticist? Insert your own Soylent Green joke here. Well, it leads us to something more important.

Questionable Science Point 2 (QSP2): Without getting into the science, because, seriously, I'm having difficulty believing it, CJ is a clone.

Cal Sci: The teaching staff at Cal Sci continues to offer us some of the most unique guest characters on prime time. I will always love-love Ray-Ray just not-not that way-way. Lorna was definitely interesting. Hell, even Millie grew on me.

Now we get someone who might actually compete for my love of Ray-Ray. Yes-yes, it's possible. So, let me introduce everyone to Professor Russell Lazlo.
Lazlo is watching a hydra kill something. Now, knowing the title of this eppesode, looking up what a hydra is, both scientific and mythic versions, I still do not understand the title of this eppesode.

Luckily, Lazlo distracts me from my confusion by asking Charlie to sit by the pair of replica Dollys, immediately referencing how the original Dolly was cloned from a mammary gland.
Lazlo has a bit of a problem with internal filters -- meaning, there isn't one between his mouth and his brain. Whatever is in his head comes directly out of his mouth. I could probably do an entire recap without thinking of any cracks myself, just letting Lazlo do it for me. For instance, his diatribe on Dolly Parton, had me giggling so much, I had to rewatch the scene.

Lazlo's office is a good symbol for his mind. It's cluttered, confusing, and, at first glance, rather random, but all focused on his area of expertise. I've picked out a couple of examples to make my point.

He then goes on to talk about all the moral implications of human cloning (the cost, the still births, a reason to justify Michael Bay's The Island), only to try (and fail, epically) at not looking disappointed when Charlie doesn't want to start up a human cloning program. He does try to justify QSP2, by saying it's totally possible. While I scoff at whether or not he's telling the truth, or just a convenient story-telling plot device, he's likable enough that I'll let him get away with it, this time. That is, I'll let him get away with it as long as he promises to come back, and soon once he's done torturing Chuck.

BTW, Lazlo's description of some who would try cloning a human is a "cold bastard."

IHOF: Colby and Liz confront Miller and Rudy with the evidence that CJ is a clone. The show Rudy the picture they have of Jordan Smith, and Rudy's excitement at the similarity gives the whole thing away, despite Miller's sad attempts at claiming the identification is a lab error.

Rudy spills the whole truth, claiming pride and fatherhood, despite the whole clone thing, but I can't believe him. I'm trying to think of a way to describe how I feel about Rudy, but can't quite come up with the right words.
Plus, there's the whole misappropriation of funds used to make CJ, that were derived from government contracts. I have to admit that I was a little surprised to find out from Colby that between stealing from the government and cloning a person, only one is a crime. Seriously? So stem cell research is a hot button government issue, but there isn't any legislation on cloning people? Sadly, the screwy ways governments think, I don't find as unbelievable as QSP1 and QSp2.

The interview is ended when Miller demands to talk to the "boss," which I hope means Don, because we can always use a little more Don in our lives.

Luckily, I have Don to distract me as Miller tries to justify hiding the truth of CJ's creation. (BTW, am I the only one who doesn't believe the child's name isn't really Cynthia Jane, and is really Clone Jordan?) He also distracts me as Miller goes on about how much Rudy loves his little science experiment girl.
I think TPTB were trying to make Miller the most loathed super-evil villain in Numb3rs history, through his next tactic: trying to convince Don to leave the FBI. Uhh, no. I like Don where he has all sorts of access to Kevlar, and AUSAs, thanks.

Hold on, 200K plus perks? Unlike Don, I'm not held back by responsibility and hell, half the time, morality, so can I submit my application?

Cal Sci: Charmita is still working with QSP1 to track Anne. It's not going fast enough for them, causing Charlie to spout out some mathematical saying that sums up to "a watched pot never boils." I would record the other statement, but getting it word for word was hurting my brain.

It also isn't going fast enough to avoid another discussion on the number of children Charmita will have. Personally, I'm all for passing on those genetics, but if this eppesode is going to try and convince me cloning is possible, I say just clone Charlie and sell the clones like merchandising. I would totally forgo any shout out for my own, personal, Charlie.

Charlie's reading How To Cut A Cake, and using that as a argument against having three children. As for Amita, she's so freaked out about the amount of work, that even one is a daunting task. Thus, she thinks, if she can find a couple of hours a week, she wants to put a "toe in the water" and be a big sister. If this were a scientific principle, it would be QSP3, because I don't think this would qualify as a toenail (or even a Hydra) in the water of parenting, no mater how good it would be for the community.

Just like David saved me from finally banging my head against the wall with all this baby-having conversation, Lazlo saves me now. This only makes me like him more.

He's there not only to save me, but also to tell us about the other famous cloning incident, the Raelians and Eve. He also makes the whole, the exception proves the rule argument in the case of CJ -- since Rudy and company don't want her existence publicized, she must be a clone.

With all the reading material Lazlo dumps on the floor of Charlie's office there has to be something of interest to the case. It's Amita who finds the article on Dr. Rudy and his 100 hours a week at the lab. This means that the non-smiling CJ, must also spend 100 hours a week at the lab, getting tested and retested. Yeah, the cold bastard thing was true.

Finally, Lazlo, and his lack of filter, picks up the book on cake cutting, only to deliver one of the best lines (definitely in the top 5, if not the top 3) ever delivered by a guest star.
IHOF: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are going through the evidence taken from Encino while Colby espouses his incredulity at tracking a clone. He couldn't have imagined doing this, five years ago. Well, Colby, how about I list a few things that I wouldn't have believed 5 years ago.
Lawyer's: The evidence dig dug up the uniqueness of the one-eyed bear. It's a limited edition given to a shelter where Carla's a director. Thus, David confronts her with the whole "no contact with Anne" claim. He also shatters her belief that one person can win against a huge pharmaceutical company, particularly when the Patriot Act is involved. The only way she can have the proof she needs for her client, is the let the FBI independently test CJ.

He can't promise her a free ride for Anne, but it's certainly a fairer shot than anything Miller and his thugs are going to give her.
Carla, completely convinced by the honesty and integrity that is David Sinclair (please note that statement is meant without any of my usual sarcasm) gives away her client's location.

Cliff Junction: Liz and Colby are sent to track down Anne, only to find her hinting that she tossed CJ, off the, well, off the CJ.

IHOF: While Anne's refusing to talk about what she did with CJ, Rudy is telling Dn that he won't cry over a Petrie dish.
Cal Sci: Lazlo and his broken filter can't stop from poking holes in the developments in the case. It doesn't make sense for Anne to kill CJ if she wanted money. It also doesn't make sense for Anne to kill CJ if she loved the little girl. Plus, if the Fedcakes and Charlie believe Anne's crazy, only because Miller said so and Miller is untrustworthy, isn't that some flawed reasoning?

Plus, Anne got out after 72 hours, both times she was committed. It stands to reason that the shrinks would double-check their results when a person was admitted for a second time.

Thus, Lazlo makes a valid point.
IHOF: Liz has difficulty believing Anne's guilty of murder, but David has some really sad statistics about moms killing their children to back up his negativity. He's also astute enough to pick up there's something personal going on with Liz. I suddenly get a clue and cringe at the idea that Numb3rs is about to make a wrong turn into stereotypical land (I had a baby, gave her up, and now I'm sad because I need character development).

Before I find out what's up with Liz, we inexplicably switch to the break room. It's an unnecessary, and yes, I will go there and say it -- wishy-washy moment, where Don sounds like he would consider a job about the FBI. He's musing about his brother getting married, and the diversity in Charlie's career, as if that's a) normal and b) something he'd want. Can you magine Don writing a book? What would he call it? 22 Ways to Wear Jeans? Kevlar God? Donnie Darko: the True Story?

In fact, I think the most truthful thing Don says here is that all he ever wanted was 30 years and a condo on a hillside. Sure, he's been reevaluating his life since he was stabbed, but really, I can only think of one addition to his life's wants.
Besides, I really, really want to get back to the Liz backstory.

In the interrogation room, Liz tries to bring Anne out of her shell, by asking what it felt like to kill CJ. Just as Liz suspected, Anne didn't hurt the girl, but feels too connected to her, to give her back to Rudy. Since Anne refers to CJ as "a part" of her, and Rudy calls CJ a "Petrie dish" I'm more likely to think Anne's the fit parent.

Also, Anne isn't going to be as easy to crack as Liz thinks, as Athena can't possibly understand what it's like to have momma bear feelings. If anything, Alan would be the best one to get through to Anne, but he's not in this eppesode.

I just have to add that Anne is really getting my sympathy here with the crying. It's the "I'm trying not to cry, yet the snot keeps running out of my nose" crying, which is a lot more realistic than when Visine is used to help the crocodile tears along.

Liz Backstory: Yes, it is important enough to get it's own tag. With David watching, Liz makes a confession to Anne about her own miscarriage while she was in college. In the midst of everyone congratulating her for not having her life ruined, Liz felt nothing but misery and despair. She then cut herself off from everyone and tried to move on. Well, that would certainly explain why Liz is so less than forthcoming about her personal life. When she went through a personal tragedy, no one supported her -- so why share?
As if to make a point of how little she plans on sharing, when she leaves the interrogation room, and David follows from observation, when she tells Colby that CJ is with Carla, there's barely a vocal quiver of what she just recalled. Liz, you've just impressed me. You've also made me slightly doubt the whole story.

Whether the story is real or not, Liz got the information. Anne gave CJ to Carla, who is supposed to give the girl to one of Anne's cousins at some truck-stop somewhere. While the Fedcakes don't know which truck-stop, they do know the route.

In fact, throughout the whole pedaconference, all Liz and David share, considering the emotional upheaval she brought out in the interrogation room, is a significant look.

Highway: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern find Carla's car because some black SUV is trying to push her off the road. Well, I guess the whole subtle approach to get CJ back went out the window. Over and over again, the SUV rams into Carla's car, until Colby does his own fancy-schmancy driving.
Once the SUV is incapacitated, and the baddie driving arrested, Carla announces it's all for naught. There were two cars (as per the report the partners received but didn't comment on when they saw only 1 SUV) and the other one took CJ.

After the commercial, we find out that it's all Carla's fault. Even though she knew her phone was tapped, she didn't suspect the pharmaceutical company would tap Anne's cousin's phone. Honey, the Patriot Act was invoked. That means they can wiretap your freaking hairdresser and justify it!
Fortunately, in an attempt to stay under the radar, by doing everything by the book, the filing of a flight plan for the pharmaceutical company's private jet, lets the Fedcakes know where CJ is going to be.

Cal Sci: When I see it's Lazlo looking at the flight route, I know that somewhere, in the back of his brain, is a never to be implemented plan about trying to prove CJ is a clone. Okay, so he doesn't say it, as the character has demonstrated he might, but I think Charlie's talking actually prevents it.
Getting another line into te top en of best guest star lines, Lazlo comments on Charmita's FBI work. "When do you find time to teach? I've skipped like four classes since I met you guys." Hee! Lazlo's all meta. He has graduated, in one eppesode, to the level-level of Ray-Ray.

Charmita can't react to any meta right now as they've narrowed down the number of hotels where CJ could be kept by the baddies. This cnfuses Lazlo even more, but the couple justify their conclusions using QSP1, and the missing SUV.
Plus, Charmita and the Fedcakes, beside being a great tribute band name, have to stop Rudy and CJ before they get on the plane, because, technically, Rudy owns his Petrie dish. In other words, as the whole hotel probability and QSP1 issue was confusing Lazlo, they're trying to help Anne get CJ back. Now, Lazlo wants to know which hotel it is.
Fairtel Plaza/ IHOF: While Liz may want to help get CJ back, she's where she doesn't want to be -- alone in a car with David. Yet, David, because he is all levels of awesome, topped with awesomesauce, instead of digging for details which OMGIWANT, simply asks if she's okay.

Liz is okay, and more importantly, by not denying the story, confirms it.

At that moment, the Fedcakes' luck changes, as Rudy steps outside for a smoke. See, not only does it indicate bad parenting on prime time (although, calling your kid a Petrie dish is definitely worse), but also it gives the good guys a chance to screw you over! Ha!

At the IHOF, Miller can't talk his way out of this one. All he can do is disavow all knowledge of the attack on Carla. Hmm, how about we make him like one of those things in Mission Impossible, where it gives the mission, and then promptly self-destructs. I'm all for that.
No wonder the pharmaceutical company needed Miller. Their other employees have no concept of security. Colby literally strolls past Rudy into the hotel.
As the Fedcakes rush the hotel room where CJ is being kept, Miller tries to talk Don into a job and pulls out the old adage that possession is in 9/10 of the law. He then goes on to threaten Don, albeit subtly, by implying that if he makes a mistake, he'll find himself transferred to Fairbanks, Alaska.

"Fairbanks," Don muses, "Never been there."
As Liz finds CJ hiding behind a couch, all I can thing is suck it, Miller, because look whose got possession of Rudy's Petrie dish now!
The whole point of the interview with Miller was to keep hm distracted while the Fedcakes arranged for Anne to escape with CJ. It's great when the random fed gives Don the Thumbs up from outside interview, letting him know that he can tell Miller how he was bamboozled by people making about 1 1/2 times less than Miller.

As Miller has one last moment thinking he's hooked Don, he asks the chief Fedcake what he wants.

"A couple more years with my mom would be nice," Don replies. "You can't give me that, can you?" Aw. I would get all teary-eyed here, except there's one better answer to the offer of what someone wants in the history of entertainment.

Don did, on the other hand, give a few more years to one child with her mom.

Airport: Now, if this were scientific, I would say this was QSP4, because where the hell do the Fedcakes get a private plane on such short notice? Seriously. I mean, I know Colby was offered any favour he wanted at one point in season 3, but that's the only place I can think of where a private jet would be conveniently available. I know I will often forgive plot holes but this one is just so huge, that one could, say fly a plane through it.

IHOF: Sure, Miller tries to threaten Don, but what is he going to say? The Fedcakes stole my Petrie dish? Someone took my clone? Well, after misappropriating government funds to create a clone of a personal chef, the FBI arranged the clone to be abducted by her surrogate mother?

Really, that phone call would be just as unbelievable as QSP1 and QSP2, multiplied by 10.

Cal Sci: Charlie finds out that he's practically the only one who isn't a big brother. Don and David are both big brothers, and there's a joke in there about Charlie being a little brother, but damned if I can find it. Thus, he agrees, but again, like most things in Charlie's life, I think it's only because he wants his actual big brother to be proud of him.

Lazlo arrives with the "beer of professors," scoffing at Charlie's beer. Even though he may have the beer of professors, he also has the pain of disappointment, since no one will ever know if CJ is really a clone. Cue the unfiltered tirade of inappropriate things to say. Seriously, if we can't have Ray-Ray back-back this season-season, could we please have some more Lazlo. At least, when he doesn't have to work extra shits at the Buy More?

Charmita keeps bringing up how much trouble Don will be in, and no matter how much Don tries to brush it off, I can't help but think one thing.
The couple's persistence at insisting Don will be in trouble smells of a season -long subplot -- just as long as we don't have to see Twitter McGowan!

When Don laughs at the idea of being in trouble and makes a comment about not being a lifer, someone's expression on the screen mirrors mine.
Again, Lazlo saves me from conversations I don't want to hear, by lamenting about the loss of the CJ for science. Realizing he sounds like a cold bastard, he admits he's happy CJ will have a happier life.

Even if she does grow up to be a stormtrooper.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Percolated Recap: Numb3rs: Where Credit's Due (Eppesode 604)

We'll just let our opening grid recover from some early Friday evening imbibing and move on to the actual plot.

We begin with a couple out geo-caching, something I'm a little surprised Numb3rs hasn't featured more often, considering all the math that has to be involved in it. Well, the girl is out geo-caching. The guy thinks heading out to the same place where I think they filmed "High Exposure" might get him some, well some high exposure.

Except the guy is screwed over in an ongoing motif of this eppesode: odd ways of cock-blocking. In this case, it's a mummified dead guy in a wooden crate.
Cal Sci: Amita's come to Charlie's office with the same purpose as the guy in the desert. She closes the door, and, to be honest, I was too distracted by something else the first time I watched this eppesode to notice that there are actually two things that might cool the mood.
The second thing is as logical as say, turning one's phone off (which is definitely Don's worst habit), lock the bloody door!
Well, Larry still hasn't decided where he's going (or he's running from the law, trying to fool them with multiple destinations) as he's bought tickets for Greenland, Australia, Greece, Alaska, and Italy. I think it's time to play Where in the World is Larry Fleinhardt, a game we haven't played since second season. Oh yes, and Larry's planning to fly out of Las Vegas, as he doesn't want to say goodbye from home. His logic escapes me, to be honest, so I'm thinking he's really going to clean some casinos out of some cash to help fund his journey.

Liz, who is lucky enough to have finally returned from San Francisco before Larry's farewell, has brought something for Charlie to watch. No, it's not porn; it's the horror film Bixel Street. Now, this is not to be confused with the Bixcel Street Boys (or Family, depending on the eppesode), even though it screamed some sort of inside Numb3rs joke to which I am not privvy. The eppesodes in question weren't all written by the same people. Hell, even the spelling (if the props are accurate) is slightly different but I'm thinking I've missed something like the word of the day, and all of us in the fandom are supposed to dance, scream, or throw toast, or something, whenever we hear the word Bixel/Bixcel on the show.

Anyway, someone's bootlegged a pre-release copy of the film, which I'm sure is a reference to the Wolverine scandal, (and an excuse for me to mention Hugh Jackman), and Liz would like Charmita's help with tracking the bootleggers.

Liz says her goodbyes to Larry, and I can only thin one thing throughout most of this scene.
"High Exposure" set: The coroner who is not Claudia, is there examining the corpse that was hung, shot, and stabbed. There's an overkill pun to be made here but damn knows if I can find it.
Anyway, Colby gets all the information, and how it'll be next to impossible to figure out the details of the death because the corpse has been all mummified, leading to a more important question. Why hide everything, only to lead the couple from the beginning right to it?

La Maison d'Eppes: Amita must find Bixel Street extremely terrifying because she's crawled into Charlie's lap for security.

Wait, in yet another example of how to ruin the mood -- sitting in the next room is Alan, who is frustrated by some computer program he has to learn before he gets a job. Don is also there, but he couldn't ruin the mood, just inspire some really, really, kinky fanfic. Trust me, it's out there.

Amita has a quiet word with Charlie about helping out Alan, and Charlie, wisely, is staying out of it. We don't need the reemergence of the infamous Eppes House War to start just prior to Charmita's marriage. Imagine the shit Alan would pull then (although, none of it would involve the prevention of grandchildren, I'm sure).

After the creepy, weird-ass crime scene, Colby's in need of some support.
Thus, he consults Don. The problem is that Colby's consulting the wrong brother as that clip that we saw at the beginning, was, in fact, not the discovery of the body, but a clip from the film, which was duplicated out in the desert, by some couple we didn't see. probably because it saved them the money of having to film it twice.

Title Flash.

IHOF: Since the movie was duplicated, they've only go a suspect pool of everyone who downloaded it, which would be just about everyone with a working broadband connection and a basic knowledge of torrents.

Wait, or not, since it's only been five days, and in internet time, that may be an eternity, but in hanging/ stabbing/ shooting / mummifying time, that's far too soon. At least there's always a Charlie-vision to help things along. This time, it's about how to calculate the rate of the mummification, which he compares to feeding (and feeding and feeding) a stray hungry dog. It's all about how the rate changes depending on how hungry the dog is. Charlie has clearly never met my dogs. They would never slow down with their eating.

As Charlie is heading off to et some of Larry's help before he heads of to Greenstrareecaly I'm also left with another conundrum.
Colby points out what everyone's thinking. Considering the publicity stunts pulled these days (can we say balloon boy?) how ridiculous is it to think this might be some marketing ploy?

CBS's Back Lot: Come on, like we all don't know that's what it is. So, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are sent to talk to the producer and writer of the film. The producer bores me, but the writer makes me applaud. It's Delahoy! Okay, so I may have ben the only person to watch The Unusuals earlier this year, but I loved that quirky little show. Therefore, even though the writer's name is actually McNall, I'm calling him Delahoy.
Delahoy and the producer aren't very useful for the case, but are great when it comes to tooting their own horns. While hundreds of people may have known the details of the script well enough to copycat it, since it was such brilliant idea in the first place, the Fedcakes will never catch the killer. Yeah, well, Delahoy, I hate to break it to you, but you haven't met our Fedcakes yet.

Cal Sci: Yay! A Charlie and Larry experiment! They always do the most hilarious shit, including playing with plumbing, sledgehammers with beds of nails, and run across jello. Right now, their mummifying a banana peel, steak, a sponge, and apricots (just because Larry wants to).

Of course, now would be the perfect time for Larry and Amita to bug Charlie about helping Alan with his computer difficulties. Charlie caves to the pressure, which irritates me, but he does assure his fiancee and mentor that it will "end in tears."

IHOF: Six years of continuity points floating about in my head are rewarded by scenes like this. Here's Don, bringing up his favourite film, Sullivan's Travels, and asking his little protege (that being the phrase -- I'm not implying Colby is in any way, little) if he's seen it. (He hasn't. He keeps moving it down on his Netflix cue. Anyone want to guess on what got moved up?)

Don's using the debate in his favourite movie (should movies be art or commerce) and pointing out that in Bixel Street, it's clearly all about the commerce. Does it have hot starlets kissing in it? Do people get slaughtered in the grossest ways possible? If so, it's definitely going to make money.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have been doing what they do best -- research for exposition purposes, with a little hilarity thrown in. Apparently, there are a lot of weirdos and shady characters that go into show biz. While I've paraphrased that line, because even though it's not a candidate for an NPALTM, it is a candidate for the most obvious statement ever.
Yet, it's candidacy is blown out of the water when Colby discusses another guy who is, "A grip, whatever that means." I've been on sets in the past (oh, my misspent youth and excuse to miss school) and I have no idea what a grip does either. In face, I've never met anyone who knows the exact duties of a grip. While I'm sure someone's going to tell me, in the comments, what a grip does, unless I've met you in person, my statement still stands.

Luckily, because David wouldn't have a purpose unless it's to deliver important information or talk someone down from doing something stupid, unless general awesomeness is a purpose he has the identity of the victim. The mummy is one Brent Fuller (or Brett, depending on who is pronouncing it, and the scene where it's said), a producer of some pretty crappy films. Conveniently, one of the weirdos and shady characters Colby's been looking into, Victor Stokes, has worked on some of those films.
Stokes' Residence: Believe it or not, Victor Stokes, a fat old dude, actually tries to run from Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Athena. I think this guy automatically wins the stupid criminal of the season award.

He also tries to justify why he has a bunch of creepy-ass mannequins (one of which is a mummy) hanging around his house. But wait, there's more! (This is like an infomercial on how to be a moron.) He spent prop money at a massage parlour and has a bunch of weapons without a permit.
So what makes this really sad is the truthful commentary he makes on Fuller, who Stokes last saw a year ago before the producer headed off to some shoot in Malaysia. "The guy was good at talking people out of their money. Anywhere else you'd call him a conman. Here, he's called a producer." While this is both truthful, and sad, it's the second time Numb3rs has had an eppesode dealing with the frailties of Hollywood. Considering all this show has to offer, I'm not keen on it covering the same old ground.

Stokes does move the plot forward by telling the Fedcake trio that Fuller was supposed to be the original producer of Bixel Street. That is, until he decided to have a cameo in the publicity.

Cal Sci: Just as predicted, the computer lesson from son to father aren't going so well. In fact, unlike the last time Larry interrupted, I'm fairly confident Charlie's pleased to see his mentor.

Thus, Alan sends his youngest off to check on his "dried fruit." If that isn't a euphemism for something, it should be. I'm taking suggestions.
IHOF: Well, just like in Hollywood, no one would miss you if you aren't famous. No one reported Brent Fuller missing and no one gave a crap about it until he showed up as the grossest publicity opportunity in history.

Well, actually, Fuller's mummification process was at least nine months long -- before the movie was made. I hope the dried apricots were wort it, because I don't see how the things used in the experiment could even come close to approximating the time. For instance, just because I call Colby a beefcake, I would use a steak to fiure out how long he -- wait, I couldn't come up with anything that wasn't so dirty, even I wouldn't type it, so I'll just leave that to your imaginations.

CBS's Back Lot: Like I'm ever going to believe this is actually Zenith Studios! Anyway, Delahoy hits on Liz, by saying she would've been perfect for some ex-gymnast, criminal-mastermind with the handicapped son. Well, Liz shoots him down by saying she does "Yoga and I have an able-bodied hamster."
Neatly, Delahoy refutes the Fedcakes' claims that Fuller was dead before the movie was made (in this show, doubting Charlie's math is always bad) and dismisses any insinuations that he either did it, or knows who did, by making a crack about how much he'd cost to help write this fiction.
IHOF: During a pedaconference between David, Colby and Liz, David does something that hurts my heart: he doubts Charlie's math. What makes me even sadder, is that no one scoffs at that suggestion. Instead they dicuss new avenues to investigate.
Cal Sci: In a scene that confuses me as to its purpose. Don is in Charlie's office, talking to Larry about where he's going next. Sure, Larry waxes poetic about seeing the stars, without the use of technology (which is a clunky bit of foreshadowing) but then he asks the question, "in an infinite universe, how is some new corner better than our own?" I can answer that questions -- it isn't (since Gallifrey was destroyed). I have the proof in the screencap below.
As Charlie arrives with the news that his father and fiancee are mad at him over the computer stuff, and it's Amita's turn to suffer next, we get back to the case. Delahoy isn't just a screenwriter. No, he also advertises Cine-pal -- a computer program that will help you write a blockbuster. Umm, yeah, okay. bullshit
Fuller's House: The victim's pad has been taken over by his assistant, Tyson. Somehow, didn't think 60 grand in cash and 10 months without hearing from your boss, is weird. Either that, or he's in on it. Although, it's not like Tyson's standards for living are that high. Take a look at his equation on what equals heaven.
The only useful info he can give Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is a receipt from a lunch Fuller went to with Delahoy and someone named D.W..
La Maison d'Eppes: Amita's receives as big of an epic fail as Charlie did at trying to teach Alan about the computer program.
Okay, so it doesn't end in a fight, but it does end with Alan feeling dejected about his chances at finding a job, thus it's a failure, in a different way.

Charlie arrives with his own copy of the Delahoy-endorsed Cine-pal, and while Charlie may marvel at a screen-writing program, I feel safely smug that no one could ever write a program to do what I do. Probably because only serious nerds spend this much of their mental energy on 6 seasons of minutiae.

CBS's Studios: This time, we've moved inside where Delahoy is giving an interview about how awesome the studio is. Hmm, someone has a multi-picture deal in the works. Anyway, he scoffs at the new evidence when he's confronted by David and Liz. A receipt proves nothing, Delahoy claims.

David responds by calmly laying out his theory of the cime: that Delahoy did it and the writer is "a twisted arrogant ass." Sure, it sounds harsh coming from David but his reaction is much more matre than mine would've been in the same situation.
IHOF: No one can scoff at David and get away with it so we get a quick Fedcake conference, where we learn Delahoy took 120000 grand out. With 60 of it still unaccounted for, they find another connection -- a Deborah Westbourne, who has a very convenient set of initials.
To be honest, I've been trying to work in a D.W. Griffith joke ever since the initials first appeared. Sadly, I failed, and for some reason needed to mention it. Although, as justification, considering what pictures he's famous for, perhaps a joke would've been in bad taste. Like that's ever stopped me before.

Westbourne Entertainment: The first eppesode after Be Kind to David Day demonstrates why we need Be Kind to David day. My BFFedcake thinks, for a minute, that he's responsible for the hanging of Deborah Westbourne. The door was rigged that when it was opened, it would cause her body to hang.

I say her body, because Liz saves my BFFedcake from going any further on a guilt trip, by pointing out that Westbourne has been dead for a while. The whole scene is another copycat from Bixel Street.

IHOF: After the commercial, we have another Fedcake brainstorming session about the murders. While Colby makes a valid point about about Delahoy beind a "smug psychopath," but since he's the obvious suspect and it's way too early in the eppesode to know the answer, I'll have to dispute the Fedcakes' belief that the writer is guilty.

Liz's theory is also valid: Delahoy killed his former backers to take advantage of some big studio money. Well, actually, he killed Westbourne to hide any connection to Fuller.

Again, I look at the time, realize it's too early for the solution, and wonder what exactly is the purpose of this scene. Sure, I love seeing Fedcakes in their natural habitat, but I don't like seeing them be totally wrong.

La Maison d'Eppes: Larry's certainly making the rounds of goodbyes in this eppesode. First Liz, then a final philosophical discussion with Don, and now a farewell chess game with Alan. I have to admit, Alan gives the most valid reason for Larry to stick around: the prevention of any father / son chess games.
Out in the math garage, Charlie is watching some of Delahoy's previous screen gems ( a phrase which here means, Razzie Award-worthy). Apparently, Cine-pal helped Delahoy write 11 crappy films. I wait for Charlie o get to the point, but Amita wants to talk about something else.

She's worried about Alan. While I really should be paying attention to ll the details about how Amita wants Alan t continue living with them, even if it means they can't have random sex in the weirdest places in the house, whenever they want.

Yet, I can't because like they haven't christened everywhere in the house already whenever Alan was out of town because of one little factoid Charlie drops in the middle of the conversation. The big event, Charmita's wedding, is still a year away. That means a couple of things. The first is that this event would have to take place in season 7. This gives me hope that there will be a season 7. The second is that I have to apologize for calling Amita a bridezilla last week. With only a year to plan, she has every right to be looking at invitation layouts.

Charlie though, is thinking about other things. He's thinking about recreating the moment before Larry walked into his office at the beginning of this eppesode.
But Charlie has a bit of a problem.
Sure, Larry has an important call from Don to deliver, but I think Charlie has a moment there where he thinks Larry can't leave town fast enough.

IHOF/ Field: Charlie's got to help David and Colby, who are in the field, find the wily writer. I'm feeling a bit defensive of my Fedcakes right now, because I resent Delahoy being quick enough to lose them.

With some quick calculations, Charlie's able to locate Delahoy via his cell phone. I have a moment of disbelief that Charlie's quicker at this than someone like, say, our favourite techie, Matt Li.

At the corner of Plumber and Orion, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern find Delahoy sitting outside at a pretty shifty looking cafe. He doesn't stay there long, and zooms off on his motorcycle.
Thus, Charlie (who conveniently brought Larry along) is needed to focus on keeping the Fedcakes in the field apprised of Delahoy's location, so Larry has to read all of Delahoy's text messages. 6 of which are very, very important.
While Liz, Don, Larry, and Charlie look at the blackmailing text, David and Colby are held up in their pursuit by stereotypical LA traffic. What is surprising is that there's somewhere in LA that's a cell dead zone. Who knew?

So the Fedcakes have lost Delahoy and I'm starting to lose patience with the way this plot is plodding along.

Fortunately, Liz saves the day by remembering a scene in Bixel Street that took place at Angel Point. It's a scene about finding a dead hooker but Charlie points out the problem with the dead hooker scene; it doesn't fit in with the story structure of Cine-pal.

Meanwhile, our favourite set of male partners, and sometimes dates, (no, that will never get old, and yes, I will mention it whenever I have the chance) have arrived at Elysian Park to find Delahoy's bike, and the corpse of the producer we met earlier, on a cement pergola. Geez, I wonder if that's a comment on what we're really supposed to think about the now dead Ms. White.

While David and Colby are distracted by the corpse, Delahoy gets away.

After the commercial, and into the evening at the IHOF, Liz is trying to figure out what's been going on. The blackmailer was the one who sent Delahoy to the park in the first place, yet the assumption all along is that Delahoy is the killer. Plus, with Delahoy's previous films being craptastically awful, like Masters of the Universe- level bad, nothing makes sense.

That is, as always in this show, it doesn't make sense until Charlie explains it, or, should I say, Liz has the best meta-line ever, pushing Charlie to solve the problem.
Perhaps Delahoy didn't write Bixel Street, which means the assumption all along that it was the writer is correct. The problem is that they didn't know the true identity of the writer.

Delahoy's Delahouse: David and Colby are stuck babysitting the place, because, since Delahoy is such a predictable writer, he'll e predictable and go home.

Well, just like this entire case, nothing's that predictable and somewhere between Angel Point and his home, Delahoy picked up a gun. Or perhaps he just stole it from the now struck set of The Unusuals. When he takes a couple of shots in the Fedcakes' direction, I can only think one thing.
In the first truly smart thing Delahoy's done this entire eppesode, he, and his rejected 70's hair, surrender, simpering his apologies.

IHOF: Because the speed at which this plot is moving, I'm going to speed it up. Delahoy is a douche, trying to justify shooting at Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. He uses his research from a movie he wrote that was to star David Schwimmer, to defend himself. Uh, yeah, that might've held some serious weight, in 2004.
After some banter, none of which on Delahoy's side is witty, but Don comes up with a neat Dial M For Murder analogy, Don brings out the big gun, Charlie. That sounded way dirtier than I intended, but you get the point. So Delahoy confesses that he didn't write the script because he sucks and has a bad imitation of the haircut from My Name Is Earl (okay, so I added the last part) and that the real writer is the only other person of note we've met in this eppesode, who isn't dead, Tyson the mooching assistant.
Fuller's: David and Colby's arrest of Tyson goes really smoothly. In fact, all Tyson wanted was credit for writing Bixel Street. He even looks forward to his time in prison where he can spend all his time writing when he's not being someone's bitch. The only thing concerning him is the script he's working on not get taken. This compels me to say something.
IHOF: Liz is trying to rustle up some company for the midnight showing of Bixel Street. She asks Don first and


Sorry, let me translate that. I mean that Don refuses to go with Liz becasue he plans to curl up and watch the travel channel tonight, with Robin.
Next, Liz tries both Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, but they both refuse. David's done with all things Bixel Street because he's had to live it the past few days, while Colby is going to finish Tyson's newest script.
Liz decides to go on her own because it's better than staying at home with Hamermonspto (for lack of a better name for her hamster). And this is where my suspension of disbelief breaks down. Like Liz couldn't just stand in the middle of a street and get a date. (Uhh, I didn't mean it like that.)

In the most hilarious moment of the eppesode, Colby tells David what the new script is about: a prison break. Presumably, it's a lot more realistic than say, Prison Break, because David snatches it out of Colby's hand, with the intention of sending it to the detention centre where Tyson is incarcerated.

Coly's pissed he couldn't finish the script first. Perhaps it ends in a disappointing fashion where the main character, who we've cheered for since the beginning, gets himself dead.

La Maison d'Eppes: Alan's given up on the program and is now beating the computer at chess. Oh yes, the nice framing of the subplot with Alan and computers, with Alan, beating the computer that's spent so long kicking his ass.

Well, Charmita wants to talk about something extremely important.

They don't want Alan to feel he has to leave La Maison d'Eppes because then the show writers would have to find excuses for him to drop by all the time a la Don so they want Alan to stay, even after Charmita's wedding.

Ah, yet Alan has a few surprises in him yet. He has a job -- with the people who wrote the program that was confounding him. He went to their conveniently located head office in Pasadena, to cuss them out, only to walk out of there with a job. He's going to help them make the software more user-friendly. So Alan will be able to afford to move out to let his son and future daughter-in-law work on giving him grandchildren.

Amita protests (not about the grandchildren), insisting that they meant what they said about Alan living with them, giving her fiance the prime chance to win this week's
NPALTM award.

"She did, anyway." Ooh, Charlie, passive aggressiveness is so not your strong suit. His litle "I'm kidding," afterward, does not lessen the awkwardness of that statement. If anything, it heightens it.

Only after not joking around with his father, does Charlie notice that Larry's bags have gone. Larry has left the building.

The Middle of Freaking Nowhere: Like many good exits, Larry does his with style. He's driving to the music of Tom Waits, uncertain of where he's heading. Well, he's uncertain until he stops in the middle of freaking nowhere, to remember his own foreshadowing, and the tickets, symbolically, fly out of the car.

He stops and stares up at the stars, none of the city lights obstructing the view. He sees the worst realty sign in history, only to realize that he's found where he wants to go.