Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Percolated Recap: Numb3rs: Friendly Fire (Eppesode 602)

Recapper's note: This recap was brought to you by various medications. Yes, I caught a nasty virus just prior to my birthday Be Kind To David Day. I take no responsibility if I say shit that makes no sense.
We begin with another one of "those guys," preparing for a raid. You know what I mean by "those guys;" I mean one of those actors who have been in so many things (in this case, Firefly, Gilmore Girls, and CSI, just to name three out of 12904823908 -- actual number) that it's hard to figure out exactly what to call him. Granted, he's not That Guy, the one I'm confident is contractually obligated to appear on every show ever made, but he's getting pretty close.
In this case, this one of "those guys" is named Pete, and he's about to take a team of Feds (not Fedcakes) on a raid. Just to make sure we connect with all the members of Pete's team, we have flashes of their family photos in their lockers. That, along with the music of Beck's "Timebomb" gives me a clue (a phrase which here means, hits me over the head with the dead trout of symbolism) that perhaps not all of the team is going to make it out alive.

Cal Sci: Larry and Alan are trying to turn in a late paper. Well, Alan's really the one trying to turn in a late paper, and Larry's trying to help him, through an old Cal Sci honoured tradition: making one's way through the tunnels to the prof's office. Unfortunately, this is like the blind leading the blind, since neither one of them have no idea where they're going -- despite a map and a compass.
Utterly lost, the pair is rescued by Charmita, who has been following them, just in case a rescue was necessary. They mock Charlie's father (and surrogate academic father) for being directionally challenged. Apparently, both Larry and Alan have gotten lost on the way home from a grocery store. Oh yeah, well, I'm willing to bet Larry has a one up on Alan when it comes to getting lost. I'm pretty sure Alan always knows what city and state he's in. Larry, not so much.
Larry tries to defend his sense of direction by bringing up his being in space. Yeah, well, Larry, Charlie missed an optimal chance to point out that someone else was driving, otherwise, the shuttle mission, instead of going to the International Space Station, probably would've wound up as the first manned mission to Mars -- completely by accident.

In another part of the tunnels is something more interesting than a weird tradition allowing Alan to hand in a late paper. (I notice that Numb3rs pretends some of the other ways, like getting parents to call and bitch out college professors, or temper tantrums, isn't mentioned, implying much more maturity amongst the fictional Cal Sci student body, than those in real life.) It's a bunch of graffiti work from a variety of people, including Albert Einstein and Larry Fleinhardt (not that Larry wants to talk about that).

I notice is how much Cal Sci's grafitti, looks like what I do, every week to the screencaps.
I also notice how it attempts to be funny, like my screencaps.
What isn't there though -- a shout out. Seriously, as TPTB keep producing eppesodes, I will be here asking.

IHOF: This close to Be Kind to David Day, we get an eppesode that features what has to be the best subplot, ever, featuring David, and some serious David love (not like that -- well, maybe like that). It all starts out with Nikki ragging on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (as she has nothing else to do since Liz is elsewhere this week) about how they should have a social life.

Nikki says to David, "You're handsome. You've got a good job. There's no reason why you shouldn't have a girlfriend."
David responds with some sort of comment that if Nikki applied herself to her job as much as she did ragging him about his love life, she would've caught Bin Laden and D.B. Cooper. By that logic, with the amount of obsessing I've done about how my BFFedcake isn't taken, I should've solved the Black Dahlia murder, the Jack the Ripper killings, found D.B. Cooper, stopped The Great Muppet Caper, and found out who took the cookie from the cookie jar.

Suddenly, we veer from how awesome David is, into slasher land, and I need to rewatch this scene due to the squeeing from slashers everywhere. "We're married," Colby says, indicating David.

I wait for the slashers to stop screaming.

I wait a little longer.

I make some tea.

I walk my dogs.

I thank whoever invented my PVR.

Finally, I see the second half of the line, which was far too long after the first part not to be a nod toward the slashers (which they've done before), is "to the job."
Deflecting, Colby brings up how Nikki managed to land Ian Edgerton. There's a couple of interesting facts here. The first is that the end of Edgerton from last season was not just a teaser, since the Fedcakes are still ribbing Nikki about it. The second is that it's not progressed anywhere since Nikki makes a bet leading to the MOST AWESOME SUBPLOT THIS SHOW HAS EVER HAD (capslock required). She bets that they all go out on a triple date on Friday. Whoever shows up alone, pays.

As Nikki walks off, smug in her ability to land a great date, Colby and David start going through the files of a dating service they busted last year.
Golden Bear Bank: I know we're supposed to care about these other team of Fedcakes, but I can't. Suffice it to say, after a pretty cool not-Gyllenhaal directed shoot out, we have to wait to find out the results. I'm more interested in how the date thing will work out.

IHOF: Artemas explains Athena's absence (she's in San Fransisco), just seconds before David arrives with the news of the shootout.

Golden Bear Bank: The Fedcakes arrive to get involved with the firefight, making me wonder how long this thing has been going on if it allows the Fedcakes to get into their Kevlar (mmm, Kevlar) and get to the crime scene, without both sides having run out of bullets.

Unfortunately, they've arrived only at the bitter end and the aftermath of the shoot out is this: only Pete and the token female are still alive. The other two, the ones with families in their lockers, have been killed in the line of duty.

As there's nothing remotely funny here, I'll move along.
Title flash.

In the aftermath, Don's the one who gets to deliver the news of the two dead Feds, Hale and Ryba, to Pete. It's clear there's some history between Don and Pete, as the latter's only recently moved out to California, to head up a team of newbies. Okay, so Pete doesn't quite put it like that but the connotation is there.

We get some flashbacks of the shoot out, this time from a different perspective. Just like the first perspective though, it doesn't give us any useful information. Neither does Petey (hey, that's Don's term, not mine) as he lays the blame on bank robber Jim Wilson. I can't believe him.
Nikki, David and Colby have come up with a few leads. The first is that the robber has to be bleeding profusely and will need medical attention. As for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, they've gotten 20 differnt stories from twenty different people. Geez, I wonder how they're going to get all the piece to fit?
Charlie compares the twenty stories / vids, etc., to the stitch assist function on my camera.
Apparently, Charlie can stitch together all the accounts. I'm not to sure how that works with verbal statements, but since I'm highly medicated at the moment, I'll blame the medication and not the show.

Cal Sci: I'm going to digress for a minute, and say I miss Charlie's old office. I miss the mess of post-its that I could vandalize in screencaps and other random objects just laying about without a purpose. There's something far too neat about this office.
Back to the plot line, as Charlie studies Larry's work from the tunnel, Amita drops a bombshell. Larry is not going to Geneva. In my opinion, this is a good thing, considering what happens to fictional characters at CERN.

As if the very mention of his name causes him to appear (a trait Larry ascribes to archaic beliefs in the devil but is a staple trope of network television) larry arrives warning of the imminent arrival of Jordan Farmar. We all remember him right? One of the two ringers used to help the Cal Sci basketball team not suck? (Apparently, they've lost every game since. Imagine being the team who lost to them? Talk about humiliation.) Anyway, he's going to let Farmar play in the shuttle simulator.

Larry is, well, Larry, and completely vague as to why he's not heading off to Switzerland. Really, there's only one reason I'd accept.
IHOF: It's an exposition scene! The entire purpose is to tell us how awesome Petey is, establish that it's awful Hale and Ryba died, and to locate Wilson -- at a vet's office. While this scene's designed to move the plot along, and fast, it also allows for something else.
Santa Monica Veternary Clinic: Somehow, between David and Nikki locating Wilson, to actually getting to the clinic, night has fallen. Considering how much time has passed, I want to know what the hell Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were doing!
As David tries to get into the locked clinic, Colby thumbs through potential actresses to impersonate a rocket scientist. Unfortunately, he's not getting them, from say, William Morris, instead from an extras agency. We all know how professional extras can be, unless someone wants to tell me that my Britcoms have been lying to me.

After a stereotypical standoff (I have no way of escaping, but I'll threaten to kill this poor innocent), David gets off a shot, taking Wilson down. David's got a better, and safer, way of capturing this baddie -- taking the weakened criminal out with a cat tranquilizer gun.
IHOF: Wilson accepts responsibility for the deaths of his crew members, but refuses to accept responsibility for the deaths of Ryba and Hale. He even offers to take a polygraph, leaving Don, stumped.
Later, using the second video game of the year, Charlie and David confirm Wilson's story.
Petey is a liar. Dun dun dun!

After the commercial break, we learn that Petey is the closest thing to Edgerton, since, well, Edgerton, according to his CV. The problem is, that, unlike Edgerton, Petey's career took a serious downturn by accepting to go on the hunt for Wilson.

David and Nikki are trying to be surreptitious when looking into Petey's background, since there's a serious connection between Don and the man in question.

Although, Don's willing to tell everyone all about it -- including reminiscing about some photos taken in the past.
In fact, Don's so confident in Petey's innocence, he shurgs off Nikki's suggestions that perhaps his mentor is a big liar, liar pants on fire.

Outside the tech room, Charlie's discussing Larry's behaviour, with, who we can safely assume is Amita, even though we can't see who is on the other end of the phone. As for Colby, he's far more interested in getting a better look at what happened, which charlie promises will happen, thanks to one of his Charlie-visions and laser scanning.
Target Practice: In a part of the Fedcake training I don't think we've seen before, Don is introducing us to an important set for later honing his skills by competing against automatic cardboard baddies. As weird as that sentence is, it's the the truth, and not a medication induced halluncination.
Don is caught by Petey's paintballs (which sounds dirty, but isn't), before Petey is caught deflecting all of Don's questions. He lays the blame back on his green agents, training tactics, and anything and everything else (including protecting the dead agents' pensions), but it's clear Don's stressed and doesn't believe him, no matter how calm he's trying to sound.
Cal Sci: Charlie has two things to worry about. The first is Larry's behaviour and refusal to call the dean, and the second is Jordan Farmar looking quite intently in Amita's direction. Not to bash Charlie or anything, but Farmar is pretty darn cute. He solves the second problem by ushering Farmar out the door and towards the space shuttle simulator.
Nikki finds Farmar as cute as I do, and hands Charlie over some information adding that "friends help friends." First Edgerton and now Farmar? I have to compliment Nikki on her fine taste.

Hospital: The only member of Petey's team who is still alive puts the same codicil on her statement that I put on this recap: if it doesn't make sense, blame the drugs. We get her flashbacks of the event, but they're as useful in telling us what happened as the rest of the shootout images thus far.

She deflects any challenging of her statement from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, by sniping that perhaps they partners would've been more useful if they'd been there, in person, to save her teammated. Funny how she gets defensive the second her word is challenged. What happened to her excuse of the drugs made her foggy? Trust me, that doesn't go away.
Space Shuttle Simulator: Jordan Farmar may be a great basketball player, but he sucks at driving the shuttle. If he were the pilot, Apollo 13 wouldn't have had such an uplifting ending.

Farmar thinks he can pilot the shuttle because he's seen the Star Trek: Reboot three times. Larry's response to that I found particularly hilarious, and I don't think that was due to DayQuil.
Unfortunately, the worst place to try to talk to Larry about what's going on in his life is while Jordan Farmar, as cute as he is, is crashing the space shuttle.

IHOF: There's a brief moment where David and Colby are clearly trying to bluff Nikki about how their great date search is going, before finding out Petey's sexual habits. Apparently, he likes to harass coworkers. Well, at least we now know why his career took a serious downturn.
Cal Sci: David's off to play more Grand Theft Auto with Charmita, and the game plan shows something's off in Agent Gordon's statement.

Hospital: Why, Agent Gordon lied! I'll try to work up some shock, as she claims she was protecting Hale. She says it was Hale who shot Ryba, if by accident.
IHOF: Petey's far too ready to accept responsibility for what happened on his team. It's a moment that's supposed to show how dedicated a trainer he really is, but something stinks.

Cal Sci: Alan finally gets something out of Larry, in regards to the latter's behaviour. Larry is searching for clarity (and he's upset he didn't get to personally taste the raspberry-flavoured Milky Way). In the monastery, he was too much trouble. In space, there was too much between himself and the stars. Now, he sees that everything in his life is obscuring his path. I guess there's only one way to put it.
IHOF: Nikki's found another problem with Petey -- he pays out a lot of money to informants and gets very few results. The way she sees it, to get away with even more crap than Donnie!Darko would get away with back when he needed some help back in seasons 3, Petey must have naked pictures of someone.
David's found something else, this time on Ryba. The dead agent was only a desk jockey -- until he was assigned to Petey's team.

Math Garage: Oh, it's been so long since we've seen you! While Alan points out that it's used for everything but a garage, Don's been digging out more pictures from the past.
Don's also reflecting on how good agents go bad. First Bloom, now Petey, and Don's thinking about his own career as an agent, repercussions from the stabbing, and, essentially, how he's worried about his own future. (He also laments not beating Colby and David in a foot chase, and I'm not touching that one.)

Never fear though, because Alan has some words of wisdom. He tells the story of a park he designed and his favourite pond in the park. Eventually, everything grew around it, obscuring what he thought was his favourite element, until he looked around and appreciated the beauty that had sprung up. Sure, Don is the chief Fedcake, but he's got to appreciate all the wonderful developments -- Colby, who isn't as stupid as we once thought, David, who is made of awesome, Artemas and Athena, hell, even Megan, and his new relationship with Charlie, has all sprung up around him. That's got to be worth appreciating.
IHOF: Colby's all excited and David hopes it means that they've got dates with a judge (and her sister) for Friday (or the sushi chef and her niece). Even I can tell by Colby's face that neither option is the case.
What Colby's found is that Ryba was actually internal affairs, about to file a report against the pilfering Petey.

La Maison d'Eppes: All right, I need to pay some special attention here. I need to grovel at the pattern of something so stalwart, so supportive, that I'm sure it'll forgive me for paying it no notice last week.
We get a weird conversation that starts out with me thinking that Larry's calling Don stupid. (It's something about his simplistic view of the world, etc.) and ends with Larry saying he'd rather go yodel on a mountaintop (okay, so the yodeling is my take on it -- but imagine, Larry yodeling, and tell me you don't find that funny) than be stuck underground at Cern.

Eventually, the conversation ends with the recommendation we act more like cavement and use our instincts instead of technology. Um, huh? Is it just the drugs, or do I have a right to be confused?

Fortunately, the conversation ends due to a call from Charlie. He's sent Don the newest simulation from Grand Theft Auto, which show that Gordon shot Ryba.
Hospital: Confronted yet again with being a big fat liar, and having an affair with Petey, using Fed money to have said affair, and being unable to keep her stories straight, she becomes one big run-on sentence of screw ups.
She tries to justify it with the whole argument that Ryba was a rat. Well, no one needs to rat you out if you don't do anything horrifically wrong, bitch.

Cal Sci: Larry's finishing up all he needs to do before he heads out East to visit a former Fedcake before taking off to God knows where. One of those things is returning Charlie's books.
He also needs to make things right with Charlie. Larry needs to tell Charlie why he's running away from everything he knows. Yet, he can't quite explain his reasoning, even when Charlie begs for a place to send the wedding invitation. Sadly, I can explain it all.
IHOF: Charlie's arrived with some even worse news. I think we can all figure out what it is.

Target Practice: Don's gone to pick up some shell casings Petey left behind, as it's clear that Don's mentor was also involved in the shootings of the two Feds. As soon as he picks up the evidence, he hears Petey, taunting him from above. Thus a cat and mouse game begins, where the student has to best the teacher, or die.

Sure, it's all drawn out, as Don confirms the details (Petey used the unregistered back up, and killed Hale) and Petey tries to justify himself (in the same, it's all the FBI's fault, not mine, that Bloom was infamous for) while bullets are exchanged. Trying to give his mentor a way out, Don confronts Petey only when the latter is out of bullets but Petey doesn't want it. What he wants is to commit suicide by cop -- or more specifically, suicide by Don.

All this does, is cause Don even more grief and probably another round of therapy. In short, while I think I'm supposed to feel that Petey was a tragic character, I can only feel one thng as Don sinks to the floor, crying, "Ah Petey."
He should go see Robin, because, clearly, he's in need of a hug.

Restaurant: In the conclusion of the best eppesode subplot ever, Nikki greets Farmar, sure she's got the bet in the bag. That is until Farmar remembers they've met before. The problem is taht he didn't meet the new, mature Nikki, but the angry, judgmental one I loathed at the start of season 5. Apparently, she arrested his friend, who had food poisoning, mistaking it for drunk and disorderly. Having nothing to say to defend herself, Nikki can only watch as Farmar walks out.
Warning: The level of awesome in the latter half of this scene might be too much for some slashers people.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern arrive just in time to see Nikki's embarrassment but she thinks as they've arrived without women that they've all lost the date.

Oh, so not true! In fact, if anyone won the bet, it's Colby. He's brought the best date (David came second). Let's see if we can work out who this date might be.
Yes, Colby brought the recently promoted, Fedcake extraordinaire, and excellent marriage material, David Sinclair, as his date. The entire time, Colby behaves as if David would be the best possible option, and I thoroughly agree.

Now, I know, of late, TV shows aren't afraid to acknowledge slashers. (Hell, NCIS's advertising campaign in Canada was practicially based on it. Also, can we say House/Wilson?) But the fact that this isn't done with a tonne of irony, or the stereotypical homophobic undertones of "we're not really gay, tee hee hee," is what makes it so awesome. They could've played it that way, but no, playing it straight (pun totally intended) made it better. David is the best option, and he would be quite the catch, for anyone. Thus, Colby has won the bet, fair and square, made slashers everywhere happy, and made me applaud our show with being so awesome.

Awesome like David Sinclair, that is.

Nikki, on the other hand, needs a drink.

Cal Sci: Back in the tunnels, we found out what Larry was doing when he was living down there.
In the middle of all the work is a Hindi sign reading "all for son." Larry's left everything to Charlie. As if the poor, adorkable professor didn't have enough on his plate.

IHOF: Don is alone, putting Ryba and Hale's pictures on the wall of martyrs.

Stepping back and looking at those who fell in the line of duty, Don is shaky, literally, and I'm left offering him a hug.

Unless Robin would like to offer it. I'm totally cool with that.


  1. Okay, l (also) love NClS, l need details of what in their Canadian advertising was slashy!
    Mannnnn, this episode SUCKED for Don, though in a randomish note, l do love that there is never even a hint of him considering covering for his old mentor. He hears Fox likely was a killer, he immediately goes and collects the evidence to prove it. l love that it's treated as a simple fact that Don would do the right thing. Hurrah for plain old heroes, not this current tv thing of anti-heroes!
    Awwww, l am going to miss Larry all to heck.
    l . . . the David and Colby thing brought me such glee. l love this show. l love the emphasis on bonds and care - slashy or not :P.

  2. Larry's gone?? Nooooooooooo!

    (As ever, love your recaps!)

  3. I was so, so, so sad at the end. Donnie! Where's Robin? Why is he alone? And now Charlie will need some cheering up, too, but at least he has Amita.

    I adore your recaps. Thank you for putting a laugh in my heart each time I read them.


  4. I am wondering where the hell Robin is.Is that true that, Michelle Nolden left the show? I am really sad poor Don :((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

  5. i really mised her

  6. So, I know I'm very late to this, but I just have to ask: They said that Hale shot Ryba, but then again said that he wasn't killed by friendly fire. Then they said the female officer killed the Internal Affairs guy, but somehow Petey's flashback at the end had the one guy accidentally shooting the other, then Petey giving of a shot and then the female officer mowing down the agent that was already hit. Can someone clarify?