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.


  1. Another great recap

  2. While not one of my favorite eppesodes, your recaps are always great. The producer was boring, but there was a minor squee moment here since she was played by Jessica Lundy, who played Don's (Joel's) former fiance, Elaine, on Northern Exposure.

  3. What? No one has helped you out with your 'grip' question?

    In the U.S. and Canada, grips are lighting and rigging technicians in the film and video industries. They make up their own department on a film set and are led by a key grip. Grips have two main functions. The first is to work closely with the camera department, especially if the camera is mounted to a dolly, crane or other unusual position. Some grips may specialize in operating camera dollies or camera cranes. The second is to work closely with the electrical department to put in the lighting set-ups necessary for a shot.


    And let me join you in Squeeeeee!!!!! :D

  4. Sorry if this is a really dumb question, but in the picture of Colby reading the script, I can't tell what is the "cool subtle continuity." What is in that picture? thanks in advance.

  5. Thanks for the recaps, Spy. To the previous anonymous, I clicked on the picture. It's the one of Colby and the Chinese spy guy in Afghanistan.

  6. Great Recap as always Spy! I think I did hear that Canadian squee all the way down here in Colorado when Don said Robin's name.

    And THANK YOU to the anonymous person up thread for pointing out where I knew the producer from; it was bugging the hell out of me. Too bad there were no scenes with her and Don together, would have got it then.