Sunday, January 24, 2010

Percolated Recap: Numb3rs: Arm in Arms (Eppesode 612)

Recapper's Really, Really, Ridiculously Repetitively Repetitive Reminder: Have you sent your letter to CBS? Sure, we may have learned two weeks ago that Numb3rs is in contention for renewal next season, but that's not a reason to let up! We need to change that in contention to a definitive yes! Keep sending those letters, baking those cupcakes, trying to make Numb3rs Trend on twitter, whatever or any other suggestions you may have. Also did you go on IMDb and look, or even add to, the Numb3rs page, to have its star meter rating go up? Finally, have you signed the petition?

This eppesode finally cemented the need to for a special tag. See if you can spot it.
Warehouse: We begin with a deal involving Belgian goods -- which are not chocolate, nor waffles. Nope, these are much more deadly - by that I mean there are 1100 ways to kill you a minute and I'm not talking calories. Do you know what this means?
Well, actually, it's time to shoot at dirt. No, I am not making this up. The guy with the gun says "it's better than sex." Dude, if you're shooting at dirt, and you think it's better than sex, let me just assume you're doing it wrong. I mean really wrong. We're talking wrongness of the wrong here. As much as I would like to declare that line the NPAL™ and be done with it, something much more painful, and awkward, is coming.

In a classic follow the bullet shot, we trace the bullet's path a ridiculously scary distance, where it hits some poor innocent victim. Okay, so we don't see said innocent victim, but it's a pretty safe assumption.

Don's Loft: Hey, Don moved! He no longer lives in some bachelor apartment that we've seen now for the past few seasons. His new place is seriously swanky and has something most guys I know would really like in their apartments.
Okay, so I squeed. They're both just freshly out of the shower, so I can safely assume my OTP was doing something that could only be shown on HBO.

They're talking about Charlie's wedding and bachelor party and Don, in classic big brother mode, thinks taking Charlie golfing is a good idea. Yeah, trying to whoop someone's ass on the course shortly before marriage screams brotherly love, doesn't it?

Anyway, Robin's having difficulty finding clothes -- which I'm guessing Don probably doesn't think is that much of a problem. In fact, when Robin starts griping about splitting time between places, and such, Don reponds, "You could always move in here."

"I'm a little old to play house, honey," Robin replies, not realizing something really important.
So now there's that all important question, that if Don is serious about the offer, what does this all mean? Well, for me, it clearly means my OTP is on the right track, and I can stop worrying about --

So, I posed that exact same question to people, and took some important statistics, (a phrase which here means, the people who answered the questions in the 5 minutes I paid attention) and came up with this official looking pie chart. (As I said last week, pie charts are serious business.)
Therefore, considering Don's previous issues with the phone, I must now declare that DON IS PERMANENTLY BANNED FROM THE PHONE. If you would like to reach him in the future, please call David, Colby, Liz, Nikki, Alan, Charlie, Amita, or, hell, Larry, as Don cannot be trusted to use a phone properly. (Yes, I would trust Larry more with a phone, and that says a lot.) There are studies saying this constant need to answer the phone is a major source of stress. Think of all the good this can bring for my sanity Don's health.

"I swear you made it do that," Robin says, heading back up to the loft. Oh, Robin, look at you going all meta on me. It just makes me love you more.

To make it worse, the phone call wasn't even for Don. No, they want the adorkable professor. yeah, well, you know what? CHARLIE'S GOT HIS OWN PHONE.

Victim's home: The innocent victim we didn't see earlier we get to see in all his dead glory (a phrase which here means, ew). All Charlie has to do is come up with the reverse trajectory. Sounds simple, right? Of course it isn't, because Charlie lists quite a few things he would need to take into account.
Perp montage: This is a colelction of a couple of montages.

1) A brief math montage,
2) David leads a team of Feds (not Fedcakes) and they find the spot from which the bullets were fired.
3) Identifying the shooter, Arvin Lindell.

Perp's Office: Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Liz stake out the office, only to have Arvin drive right by, taking shots at all three of them with the Belgian non-wafflemaker (technical term).

After a shot right out of a video game Call of Duty the only reason the Fedcakes are still alive is because of the miracle of television. That, and there hadn't been any spoilers floating around that any Numb3rs characters were going to die.

Still, David (as well as Colby and Liz, but David is this show's most popular target) is put in danger, yet again. I am not amused.

Liz is all anxious to get Lindell, but Colby wants the gun. He's only allowed to have it if he's going to use the gun to shoot Lindell. At least, that would be how things wound work in my world.

I would like to point out my restraint at any Colby/gun jokes. Okay, so the fact I resisted this long is impressive for me.

Title Flash.

IHOF: Reason number 234509834 why I didn't join the FBI (reason number 1: I'm not American), having to deliver exposition to my boss, shortly after being shot at. I would rather be in the fetal position, in the corner, kthanxbai.

Colby gets to espouse on the virtues of the gun, which, as we'll find out later, shares something else with expensive chocolate, other than their country of origin. Despite this fact that we shall discuss later, the cost is still 12000 dollars. Luckily there are only 5000 of them, except they aren't exactly in the right spot. They're supposed to go to Saudi Arabia, not downtown LA.
On an even sadder note, this eppesode of Numb3rs taught me that it is possible to sell rocket launchers to kids, as long as the paperwork is in order. You know what, David? I love you and your exposition, but there are some things that I would be happier not knowing about.

The Gun Seller: All right, so I stole the title from Hugh Laurie's novel. If he has a problem, he can sue me. This would, of course, mean he knows I exist, which would be just as likely as well my shout out, world peace, and pony, but it doesn't mean I won't keep asking other things that are equally unlikely. Well, that was a fail at similie.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern find an oxymoron -- and honest arms dealer. When the Belgian guns didn't show up, he substituted some Swiss ones instead. He didn't make as much money, but he has a happy client. While that's probably good for strangely-named-writer's-religious-issues-let-him-show-you-them Priest, it's probably not good for say, the rest of the planet, or people in favour of breathing.

David's worn his morality suit for the interview, and proceeds to represent how I feel about people who sell guns. He's more of my BFFedcakes in every eppesode. Priet responds with the whole people kill people adage which drive me up the wall, as it's both a flawed argument and a serious pet peeve of mine.

Anyway, I'd like to sum up David's opinion in one short screencap.
Priest isn't willing to to give up the name of the person who did get the guns, as he's not a rat and is anti-dead (which is a bit funny, given his line of work) but he is willing to help. In exchange for his help, the Fedcakes get some night-vision goggles of his out of customs. Dude, just play Mafia Wars on Facebook, and you can find all the night-vision goggles you want, without issues with customs.
By the way, I don't really see what use Priest can actually be, but since the actor is sort of awesome, he can stick around.

La Maison d'Eppes: Charmita is arguing over a wedding date. There are math jokes about stable marriages and even moments of doubt about getting married at the arboretum. No matter what date they say, there's always an argument against it. Even Don has points against certain dates. By the end of this eppesode, I'm thinking they might have to resort to memes to sort things out.
Poor Amita is frustrated. I would be too, if it took 5 seasons to get the man to propose, even though we knew they were going to wind up together from the pilot, and am now looking at another fives seasons subliminal message to CBS to get to the actual wedding.

A few important wedding facts: Amita doesn't want to be a June bride. Charlie would like to repress any argument by talking about the case, and Don clearly thinks justice of the peace is the way to go. The justice of the peace thing, now that I've seen this eppesode a few times, is a big honking piece of foreshadowing to the NPAL™, but, I have to admit that I missed it in the first viewing.

Pier /IHOF: Robin's managed to secure some "help" for the night-vision goggles, since my Mafia Wars idea was not the hit I thought it was. Nothing is written down, because writing stuff like this down would probably mean it would be read by someone -- and wind up in a blog, as governmental agencies are really the classic fail at secrecy.

That's enough for Priest as he's not exactly in the habit of writing things down either, as some of those things might make it... Well, actually, they wouldn't make it anywhere, because would you piss off a guy whose product could perforate you like Swiss cheese? I wouldn't.

And in case I needed to feel more confident about things, did you know the US is the safest place through which to ship guns? Apparently, they're more likely to make it to their final destination if shipped through Newark, Miami, or LA. While this is all fine and good, I'd like Priest to explain a another problem to me.
I think my geographical reality just got in the way of my suspension of disbelief.
As for why Lindell has one now, it's because he's one of those unscrupulous dock workers that make sure that the guns stay safe for shipping elsewhere.

Cal Sci: Now that the Fedcakes know what they're looking for, Charlie's got to help them find the two containers full of the Belgian weapons. They got to find two containers amongst the bajillion (actual number) that try to avoid all inspection areas.
In other words, he needs to find two containers that don't follow the "normal flow in terms of space and time." To explain it to Liz, he compares it to moving a piece of merchandise around a newsstand -- a very expensive and in-demand math journal -- to make sure only Charlie can find it.
Charlie, I think there's been a far better explanation already given about the flow of time, by someone much, much smarter than you. I've even covered it before.

Liz even scoffs at the idea of a popular and expensive math journal. Oh Liz, this is nothing in comparison to your awesomeness later in this eppesode, but it is definitely hee-worthy.

Anyway, all they need to do now is graph the port in four dimensions or find a TARDIS and finding the containers will be a cinch.

Suddenly, we watch an obvious criminal offers his own interpretation on the crime at hand. It's Otto Bahnoff; remember him? He's the guy who I will always believe was a replacement for the unavailable Jay Baruchel's character, Oswald Kittner. All Ottobahn does is breeze into the office, look at the gun schematics, declares it bad, and leaves, all the while talking about pizza.

IHOF: How about I make you a deal? What if we just forget that this scene ever occurred. I can repress it, if you will. Denial -- it's the new black of feelings, right? Please don't make me do this.

Okay, so I will cover the important plot aspects. Robin's arranged to have Priest's and this makes David be all frowny-face. Nothing Colby says can change that.

Afterward, they all go for coffee, which Liz spikes as a joke, causing Colby to sing show tunes.

All right, so perhaps I made up the rest of the scene because my version of events would have been totally made of awesome. Come on -- Colby singing show tunes? Who wouldn't pay to see Colby do that? I'm taking suggestions for Colby to sing in my AU version of this scene or, to be honest, I was just looking for a flimsy excuse to link to this.

In all seriousness, I'm wondering if I procrastinate long enough, everyone will have forgotten what happened next, so I can skip it and move on.

Unfortunately, I think this might fall under the "really memorable" category. So, let me now recount the EPIC FAIL of Don by pointing out all the ways he manages to turn something that should have made me want to dance around the room in a fit of fangirl glee, into a moment that made me want to pound my head into the wall for several hours.
Robin wants to talk about where they stay tonight because she's got a busy day, so Don has a solution to the problem. Why pay two rents when one can get married?

Now, one would think I would be ecstatically happy. PERHAPS EVEN CAPSLOCK WOULD BE NECESSARY, but no. This is such a bungled proposal (and NPAL™ winner, perhaps supremem NPAL™ of all time) even I cannot fake a little bit of happiness. The fact he even goes on to do the whole "I thought you would be happy" as his justification for his spur of the moment proposal (not to be confused with the spontaneous, I-love-you-so-much-we-should-elope-to-Vegas proposal) reminds me of one trait the brothers Eppes share. They may be very appealing to women, but they're not very good at dealing with them.

Justifiably, Robin says no. Don does make it sound like he's doing her a favour, particularly after the humourous conversation that morning.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! Before they can talk about the reasons Robin said no, Colby interrupts with news that Lindell's been found.
I guess I should be grateful it wasn't another telephone call.

I have to say, I'm pretty impressed about how rational I'm being during the discussion of this scene. I didn't overuse capslock. I didn't swear uncontrollably. Hell, I was even able to see the point about Robin's refusal, instead of not caring how they wound up together, just that they did.

Now, if I would've written my analysis immediately after watching this scene it would've read more like this:

DON *bang* WTF *bang* ARE *bang* YOU *bang* DOING? *SOB* Ow, my head hurts now.

Ihave to say, I think my pain threshhold likes this rational thing better.

Underground: In some tunnel, somewhere, Lindell was firing off some rounds, brutally massacring a watermelon, only to have happen what Ottobahn predicted. The gun went all e-splodey and killed him. He was latter found by a film crew scouting for locations.
Thus, Lindell goes down on what I'm pretty sure, is the grossest corpse ever, on this show. I'm talking grossed than the fried apostle in "Thirteen." Although, as the apostle wasn't all dead, only mostly dead, I don't think he can count. (A definition of the difference between "mostly" and "all" dead, is here.)

IHOF: Liz escorts Ottobahn to the IHOF to look a the gun. This isn't a problem, as he's got an Ethiopian restaurant in the area that he likes. Really? An Ethiopian restaurant? Would it, by chance, be an Ethiopian restaurant we've seen before? Would this be yet another flimsy attempt to find an excuse to link to something, just because I want to? Yes.

Essentially, Ottobahn explains why the gun doesn't work. Unlike Charlie, he doesn't give us an easily understandable analogy, so I decided to come up with my own.
So now there are 500 weapons about to go boom. Joy. By joy, I mean, crap.

Cal Sci: Can i jsut say that I miss Charlie's old office. Sure, this one has a few things the other didn't light but it doesn't have the same character of the old one. It isn't a mess with funny props and post-its all over the place. This new office is that of a grown up. No-likey.

Amita's arrived to apologize for her earlier bridezilla incident. Considering everything else they're trying to schedule, at least they don't have to worry about the traditional dress, or elephant angle.
Don is not interested.
All the chief Fedcake wants is a chance to take back what he said earlier is the location of the guns in the port.

Port: It's a montage of searching for the wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey containers. They find dirt, electronics, and toys clearly shipped in to be won at cheap-ass county fairs, but no guns.
IHOF: Don's gone from not interested, to peeved. As Rosencrantz and Guildenstern head off to talk to Priest, Don's day isn't going to get any better, when Robin arrives (and Liz clears out of the way at a speed that makes me giggle. Liz is so wise). But you know what Don, you know something that isn't going to help the situation?
Instead of going over to Robin's to talk about things, he stayed home and licked his wounds. I'm glad he didn't lick his wounds in the manner he did the last time things were this rocky between Don and Robin, because I'd have to make a really dirty joke about Liz. I like Liz too much now to do that. Plus, I couldn't take the trauma again..

Don refuses to talk, and I can see his point, because he'd probably say something that would make Robin, or me, even more annoyed. All the while, Liz watches. A couple of years ago, I would've been worried, but Liz has moved well beyond Don.

In the interview room, Priest insists that he's the good type of arms dealer -- the one who will always sell you goods that will help you kill the other guy -- not yourself. He just won't rat out the guy who will sell you the bad guns. (By bad, I mean, hell, there's nowhere to go with this sentence that won't wind up with me talking in circles.)
You'd think Priest would be all over this. The guy selling the Belgian guns is giving his profession a bad name! (By bad, of course, I mean -- hell, I give up.)

Math Garage: Don's playing pool, by himself, to avoid talking about weddings. The problem is, that Alan's come out to the garage to do the same thing, yet winds up talking about the wedding. This wedding planning thing is like a virus.

And Don just doesn't want to hear it, stopping all conversation by confessing that he proposed, and Robin said no. No matter what Alan says, Don's not going to go into it any further, thus cutting off the question I'm sure Alan really wants to ask.
Neighbourhood Do Not Want To Watch: A drive-by has ended with a neighbourhood blown to bits, and a hell of a lot more casualties than intended. Top that off with the idea that if they only shoot at small groups of people, instead of say, large armies, then the guns won't explode. The only conclusion Liza can come to is that the guns are going to stay in LA, where they'll be of use.

There is nothing at all humourous in this scene. In fact, it leaves me so sad at the state of humanity, I have to go off in search of other, more life-affirming things on the internet before I can go on.

After the commercial break, things don't get any happier. The neighbours are willing to give statements, but there isn't much that can be done for the victims, and justice really isn't possible in this situation.

Charlie's feeling terrible about not finding the weapons, despite having incorrect data. Even Ottobahn can't make things any cheerier. At least he has a reasonable solution to pull us away from this pit of misery, as he needs to get to a chalkboard.

Cal Sci: In Charlie's office, Ottobahn is now playing his character more like first season Charlie and completely freaking out by doing equations on a blackboard.

Charmita try to pull Ottobahn out of his funk, which is something Amita, frankly, should have plenty of experience at doing.

Ottobahn's created the WORST CASE SCENARIO of what will happen if all 4999 of the missing guns get out into the public. Let me put it this way -- we're all dead. Did I say a reasonable solution from Otto earlier? What I meant to say is a similar worst case scenario as Charlie's worked out before.

Charlie, clearly recognizing the same OMGWTFSTOPTHEWORLDIWANTTOGETOFF, tries to reassure Otto that now that they have all the correct information, they will find the guns.

Priest's Place: Priest is not following after his namesake, as he arrives home late, having met not one, but two girls.
When he makes a crack about David not knowing how that feels, I wish David would be the one to shut the door, not Priest. Of course, by shut the door, I mean on Priest's head. Somehow, I don't think David is the threesome type, except in fanfic there have been threesome hints on Twitter, but I don't know the characters to which a certain person is referring.

There, dig on that little factoid to keep your mind out of the depressing issue that is this eppesode.

David rails at Priest's greed and considering my BFFedcake only wanted a nicer car to drive to work if he won the lottery, his righteous anger rings true.

But when David cuffs Priest and leads him out of the apartment, I hope to whatever higher power there is Nick & Cheryl that David did not just abduct a material witness. That's not the I'll talk you out of almost anything David I know and love, and hell, even gave up my birthday for!

Neighbourhood Do Not Want To Watch: And yet, in an eppesode of bad decisions, I have to say, abducting the material witness isn't the worst one made here. Right now, Don's proposal and bringing Otto to a crime scene are still winning. Besides, David does uncuff Priest one they're parked (not like that) so I guess that counts for something.

In front of the memorial of the previous night's shooting (because, as we all know, people have memorial objects instantly available for such occasions), David tries to talk Priest out of his wicked ways. I don't blame David for trying. Actually, I would probably be annoyed at David for not trying. He simply wants Priest to give up the person who has the guns, and David's modus operandi is talking people into things.
He points out the houses of the victims form the previous night, and recounts an incident at his first continuity reference posting in Israel, where an entire family was killed at their dinner table, because of wayward arms. He wants Priest to understand the devastation that can be caused by the selling of arms.

Priest cuts my BFFedcake off, because David, and his persuasive tone of doom, seems to be getting to the dealer. Wow, talk about one pussy of an arms dealer. If only they weren't all this easy to talk out of selling weapons. To bring the point home even more, David drives off, leaving Priest in front of the memorial.

Recapper's note: This scene will be forever known in my brain as Liz's scene of pure spectaculawesometude, for all eternity. If I hadn't already taken to Liz (which, took me long enough, considering she was the outlet for my rage, for quite a while, I'm glad to know that she understands her place, in my world in Numb3rs canon.
Liz wants to talk to Robin about Don. She does not want to talk about how Robin wwon Don back, and now they have to bitchslap each other senseless because most women in primetime behave this way, no, Liz is far, far more mature than that. She knows she was only the rebound girl and that Don has always been stuck on Robin. Oh, look at that, even Liz 'ships my OTP.

Robin gives her ridiculously endearing slightly embarrassed smile, and reminds me what I love so much about my OTP, that they get it all HORRENDOUSLY WRONG, but at least are willing to admit it.
Liz, having performed a public service by making sure the lesser stubborn of my OTP is now in the mood to actually talk (public service, a phrase which here means, me stopping pounding my head into a wall during this eppesode), she can now get back to the case. This comes in the form of Colby, who has found a viable lead, the brother of a gangbanger who was probably involved in the drive-by of DOOOM from earlier.

Thanks to the magic of television, the older brother has been brought in for questioning, all in the space of one edit, and now Don and Liz can guilt him into giving up his brother. Now, I don't mean guilt over gang involvement, it's more guilt that this little brother is going to be perforated multiple times, unless he gives up who sold him the faulty Belgian guns that, like chocolate, melt in the hand. If the gangster does that, he can call his little brother and tell him not to bet all deadified by pointing guns at the 40 armed police officers that are coming for him.
The gunseller is named Whitey, on account that he has a creepy white eyeball.

Priest's Place: Priest is trying to do something to get the guns off the street -- trying to buy them, for a reduced price, off of Whitey, aka Moses. Although, in a deal like this, Moses wants cash, not a personal cheque. I guess the credit crisis has even affected the arms industry.

IHOF: Ottobahn certainly recovers a lot faster from his trauma than season1 & 2 Charlie ever did, because he's practically bouncing like Tigger to tell Liz about how, with Charlie, they've found the guns.
Charlie translates OMGEXCITEDOTTOBAHN to "warehouse 32."
Warehouse 32: Okay, I take back what I said about Priest being a pussy. He's meeting with Moses, in the dead of night. I don't care if Rosencrantz and guildenstern are posing as his dogsbodies. Meeting with a guy who has guns that dangerous, would scare the shite out of me. Although, I have to say, I'm glad he's no longer impressed with the big-ass gun Moses's bodyguard is carrying.
Priest has the money, and he wants the guns, and isn't afraid to scoff at Moses's business practices. Priest is totally right, because all Moses wants to do is rip him off. Um, who would ever deal with this guy if all that's going to happen is instead of getting the guns, one gets dead? I don't see the business plan here.
Fortunately, the Fedcakes were all prepared for Moses's sudden but inevitable betrayal, and respond by having a sniper (no, not the enigmatically cool sniper) shoot the bodyguards. can you imagine that part on a resume "bodyguard who can't get off a shot before dying."

Anyway, the gun battle is short, and nowhere near Stephen Gyllenhaal worthy, and it ends with all the baddies being either dead, or arrested. Wow, that was tied up neatly, wasn't it?

IHOF: Moses lawyers up qucikly, despite being told the obvious fact by David and Liz.
Colby lets Priest have a few minutes to talk some sense into Moses, which, in all honestly, shouldn't work because Moses was ready to kill Priest in the previous scene -- not exactly a sign of respect.

Moses gets all uppity, saying that Priest is done in the profession, because he's a rat. So, hold on, one can stay in business, despite selling a defective product, but can't stay in business for getting rid of a dishonest businessman? Does not compute. Then again, I don't understand the need to own guns anyway, unless you're a farmer protecting livestock, so none of this makes sense to me.

Okay, I admit, in this scene, I think Priest is brilliant, as he reminds Moses, that since he's ratting out people, he'll be more than happy to tell some general (who, I assume, isn't quite so discrimiate about killing people) about a bad arms deal perpitrated by Moses. Hmm, reveal where the other 4997 guns are, or meet the general. Obvious choice there, as long as you have the smallest sense of self-preservation.

Self-Preservationville: So if just ratting someone out gets you out of the business, I have a question.
IHOF: Guildenstern is trying to tell Rosencrantz it's time to pull himself out of his maudlin mood, since all the guns have been found. The problem is that David's in the same place Charlie was with the gangsters, seasons ago, by focussing on the overall problem, instead of finding some peace is solving a portion of it. It'll be a while before he can really see the upsides.

David should be happy with another victory -- having Priest see the danger in his profession, not to himself, but to others. Although, if guns are going to be sold, it's probably better this guy do it, than say, Moses.
Math Garage: Charmita is using math to work out their wedding date problems. Amita is using combinatorics, and Charlie's using the pigeon-hole principle. Don't ask me what this means. At least the prize for the best possible date gets to choose the honeymoon location.
Alan appreciates the appropriateness of math being the determining factor in wedding date selection, because of, well, the title of this show. Okay, I'll just assume Alan is that meta, because he is so wise.

Neither date, (August 21 and July 17th, for those of you who are detail oriented) work for a couple of reasons (hip surgery and graduation, respectively) so Alan comes up with October 9th. That's just around the time of Be Kind To David Day, so we could wrap up all those celebrations into one massive party for both the Fedcakes, and the Fandom particularly if we send in enough support to get a season 7.
So, Charmita will officially share an aniversary with Alan and Margaret. It's all agreed so mark the date, everyone!

Most importantly, Alan gets to pick the honeymoon destination.
Now there's just one more thing that has to get worked out.

Don's Loft: Yes, we have to get the good 'ship Don/Robin back on course for my mental health, and to save me charging TPTB for my therapy.

Don tries to ignore the sound of the door, but his face is just oh so adorable here, and says so much, I squeed the first time I watched this eppesode.
Robin tries to get him to talk and Don's explanation as to why he proposed, is both sweet, and insanely immature. Essentially, it sums up to "well, everyone else is doing it," or "I can't believe my little brother will take the plunge first," or "I would totally jump off the Golden Gate Bridge if everyone else did." As ridiculous as that sounds, it's not actually his reason. The real reason comes as a bit of a tag on to his initial explanation, "I was feeling it out."

Remember what happened to a previous lover? How about his relationship with Kim? Neither ended well, so no matter what was going to happen with his next proposal, it wasn't going to be a big confident gesture.

Now, Robin, because she is awesome, and understands the calibre of man she's got, puts all those fears aside. She reminds Don that he loves old movies, his chivalry (and I would just like to add, his ability to discover a love of watermelon that sounds much dirtier than I meant), and all the changes in his life: finding God, and a bike, that he's got to a few things to work out first. She does assure him that she loves him (and I applaud that line like no one's business) and when he does work things out, and comes up with a far more romantic proposal, she'll say yes.
So, right now, "Complicated works for us,"Robin says.
So, I get left all happy and relieved that my OTP is safe, for another week.

Recapper's Annoyance: Not once, but twice, portions of this recap were eaten by a "bad request" from blogspot. Everyone's a critic.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Percolated Recap: Numb3rs: Scratch (Eppesode 611)

Recapper's Really, Really, Repetitive Reminder: Have you sent your letter to CBS? Sure, we may have learned this week that Numb3rs is in contention for renewal next season, but that's not a reason to let up! We need to change that in contention to a definitive yes! Also did you go on IMDb and look, or even add to, the Numb3rs page, to have its star meter rating go up? Finally, have you signed the petition?

For the instacap of this eppesode, I resorted to a bit of a stunt -- an almost entierly onomatopoeic instacap. For this percolated recap, I'm going to explain the odd noises.

Geez, that sentence sounded a lot less odd in my head, but I'll let it stand in all its oddity.
Convenience Store: We begin with a disaffected faux-goth girl (is there any other kind) trying to be all entitled while trying to shoplift. She gets all snarky with the store clerk when he tries to piont out her EPIC FAIL in shoplifting, by trying to point out the concept of video surveillance on the television. Instead of realizing she's walking right into a trap, she proves how completely faux she is at anything as she uses the term "interwebz" and not ironically. Oh, sweetheart, that is so LOLcats.
Once faux-goth girl leaves, the next set of customers prove the subliminal power of muzak. How is this done? They rob the store of all the Change Your Life lottery tickets, all the while bumbling almost every aspect of the crime. First of all, they don't really keep a good eye on the clerk. Secondly, one of the robbers accidentally drops the clip from his gun. Thirdly, the clerk manages to get out a shotgun and fire at the robbers and although he doesn't hit any of them, at first, one of them is convinced he is shot.
Why? The clerk hits a ketchup bottle and the contents are all over one of the robbers' shirts.

Finally, the clerk does hit one of the robbers, and the rest take off, probably pissing themselves.

Now, what does this have to do with the subliminal power of muzak? The song playing in the Background, is the muzak version of this song.

Yup, what the robbers obvious want is their money for nothing. Don't expect the chicks though.


La Maison d'Eppes: Alan's found his old bucket list, which was written on the back of a Donovan poster.
For reference things included on that list are:

  • Growing a ponytail
  • See Easter Island
  • Take a cooking class at Cordon Bleu in Paris
  • Date Barbara Eden
  • Learn the banjo
Please note that in his youth, Alan was dreaming of Jeannie, wanting to play dueling banjos, cooking with Julia Child and sporting a Steven Seagal hairstyle, but none of these things disturb Charlie the most. Nope, it's the complete lack of things like owning a Craftsman, playing golf, and having kids giving shout outs, world peace and ponies to recapper on the list that Charlie finds the oddest.

Oh, this is just another case of Charlie's ego getting in the way of logic. This list was written when Alan was a really young man, and I don't think things like "Having children who are brilliant, all the while trying to fight a subconscious battle over who really owns the house" are going to make it on most young men's lists. Although, in Charlie's mind, he can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want him around, or put him on a bucket list.
Sorry, I should be recapping what happens, but every time I watch this scene, I turn into a pile of mushy fangirly goo. This makes typing rather difficult.

Needless to say, there's a lot in in this scene that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about my OTP. There's kissing, there's a rational, non-fear inducing explanation for Robin's prolonged absence (trial in Portland was TOO DAMN LONG). There's even a very not subtle (a phrase which here means Acme anvil worthy) hing about no clothes and baths and things that might occur sans clothes and apres baths (or during baths, or both, whatever).

In fact, I'm perfectly content with life, the universe, and everything, only to have that scourge of this OTP rear its ugly head, or shall I say, ring tone. Don, please meet me in the very irate letter below.
Robin is way more understanding about the phone call than I ever could be, but she is awesome, and I'm a dork, so I guess comparisons aren't apt here.

All I could say about this at the time of the original airing was GRR!!!ARG!!!

Convenience Store: Liz fills Don in on the on the lottery-stealing thieves and introduces us to one of the two former West Wingers in this eppesode: Ron Butterfield. I don't care what the character's name really is, he'll always be Ron Butterfield to me. Apparently, after leaving President Bartlet's employ, he now works for the California Lottery as a security advisor.
He's also developed an aversion to blood, and no, I have no intention of ever separating the character portrayed here from Ron Butterfield.

The reason the Fedcakes have the case is because there have been 8 other robberies in several jurisdictions, all after the Change Your Life lottery tickets. Someone needs a gambling intervention.

What's weird is that the dead robber, won 150000 the previous year:
duh dun duh dun. (Which means he got to take home like 12 dollars, right?) This could easily be a comment on lottery-winning, inflation, or both, if the winner is now resorting to robbing convenience stores.

Title Flash.

IHOF: We get an overview of the case thus far: the dead guy was behind on the rent, and attended a support group for other lottery winners, or, as writers call it, convenient suspects.

Also, Butterfield's brought some important statistics and charts on the 3 billion a year business that is the lottery, and how someone might be able to cash in a stolen lottery ticket. In fact, it's such big business that there are lottery cops. I sense a spin-off L0TT3RY C0P5.
And the lottery cop is Nicole Sullivan from MADtv. Just out of curiousity but how the hell am I supposed to take her seriously? I mean, pie charts are serious. My anger about inconvenient phone calls is serious.
Thus, there is only one thing to do: endear her to Charlie by geeking out over odd, and statistics, and dropping hints about having a crappy morning due to missed flights. She reminds me a lot of Mildred Finch. Don't remember Millie? Well, just because she seems to have dropped of the face of the Numb3rs universe doesn't mean I've forgotten her. (Although, that really doesn't say much, considering I remember little things like when the show used a Bob Dylan song, Liz has a hamster, and that Don and Robin were broken up for 525 days, before my 'ship was relaunched, so me remembering Millie, probably isn't that impressive.) Millie often did silly and ridiculous things, yet was always rather useful.

It takes Nancy Hackett (AKA Nicole Sullivan) a moment or two to realize that Charlie wasn't just randomly riding up and down in the elevator (but I wouldn't put it past him) and that he's following here. Well, to be more accurate, they're heading to the same place.

Just like Millie, Nancy is useful in providing information about the next robbery hot zone.
There's some really cool mathematical way that revealed the next hot zone location, but I'd rather use the Charlie-vision analogy for the mathematically challenged like me.

It's like a piano. Knowing the order of the keys allows one to be able to guess at the next key, or the whole melody. So, essentially, musical theory was used. I would've stuck with my piano lessons if I knew musical theory would've allowed me to get closer to the adorkable professor.

The problem is that within the hot zone, there are 67 different lottery retailers, and only so many Fedcakes to spread around. Plus, without Colby in this eppesode (and I'm going to assume, unlike Don, Colby was clever enough not to pick up the damn phone and is off somewhere with someone extraordinarily hot), the Fedcakes have even fewer resources and potential super!Colby moments.

Nikki and David decide to let the geeks geek-out and take off in search of information on the lottery-winning victim. To do this, they have to go to a very specific pool.

Convenient Suspect Pool: It's a meeting at Scott Wilson's house of lottery winners. Wilson doesn't endear himself to me as he quotes not-so-great David Mamet movies and discusses how lottery winners "earned" their money. The quotes there are intentional, with all possible connotations.
I find it weird that the Nikki's brought Nancy with her, instead of David. I would much rather imagine Nancy and Charlie comparing ratios and odds (not like that) while watching David and Nikki scoff at at the "woe is me, I have millions of dollars, boo-freaking hoo" lottery winners.

Showing exactly how much numbers means to her, Nancy recites Scott Wilson's winning number, 2, 7, 19, 23, 41 and 13. While the factoid that he won with all prime numbers is interesting, I would've preferred a little more foreshadowing. How about numbers that suggest mystery, and doom like 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42? 23 is still a prime number and 42 is the meaning of life, so I like my suggestions better.

We also meet Scott's disaffected and annoying son, Zack, who thinks stupid people should be stopped from buying lottery tickets. By "stupid people" he means, "his father who has given him everything." Hey, Zack, I have a suggestion.
Scott justifies his son's behaviour by blaming it on his wife's death because no decent father is going to admit to two strangers that he raised an ungrateful asshole.

He also recongizes the dead robber -- a man who blew through his lottery winnings, something Scott tries to counsel against. He gives the name of the dead robber's financial advisor to Nikki and Nancy and instantaneously I'm suspicious. People who take on clients that stupid, must have an angle.

Some random location: Liz is sent to talk to my suspect, but I have to revise my suspicions because it's another West Winger, Mallory! Suddenly I'm all WTFWW reunion?
All Mallory can give us is that the dead robber was a sucker, and couldn't think his way out of an open door. All right, she doesn't say it quite like that, but with her tone of voice, that's what she meant. So, if the Fedcakes get a subpeona, they can have all the financial records, and I can move on to another, more entertaining scene.

Cal Sci: Alan and Charlie are sharing warm fuzzy family memories of the time Charlie used math to destroy the family fun of scratching off lottery tickets. Charlie then goes on to explain the astronomical odds of every winning the lottery, despite the fact people can claim they're doing it to help support things like schools, and charities. So my plans to try and make more money by recapping totally makes more sense or, you know, not. Well, no one ever said the Eppes household was normal.
IHOF: Nikki and David have struck out with the convenient suspect pool and I'm mixing my metaphors. Of course, this means all they can do is discuss what they would do if they won the lottery. David says he'd have a nice car to drive to work. Nikki responds that she'd buy him a nicer car and make him drive her to work.
I find it interesting that neither of them say they would leave their jobs. They're truly dedicated Fedcakes.

A call about the van used in the robberies stops the conversation.

Parking Lot: I find the reaction to what's in the van, and the contents, not quite equitable.
There are 10 thousand lottery tickets. If there'd been a corpse, several corpses, or the holy grail, perhaps the look of surprise would be warranted, but really, they were looking for lottery tickets and the van was used to help steal the tickets. What else did they expect?

IHOF: Not all of the stolen tickets are in the van. 7 tickets that won less than 600 are missing, and this is important because one doesn't have to go anywhere special to cash such a ticket.

Nancy's rather impressed at the effort it took to scratch off 10000 tickets, as there could be some serious repetitive injuries as a result. She jokes that Liz might have difficulty shooting a weapon with carpal-tunnel, but that David could "shoot through the pain."

SQUEE! Of course, this means that elsewhere, Don and Robin are having a scene. (Not like that, and not in the negative connotation either.)

There's some interest from above about the lottery case, and sometimes, Robin thinks they hassles of the lottery aren't worth it but other times, she can use the minuscule chance of winning to hint about where Don should take her on a vacation: a villa in Italy.
It also gives Robin the chance to quiz Don about the motorcycle, and it's so obvious Don thinks he's about to get in a little bit of trouble -- the same type most men would get into when buying a vehicle which is such a solitary method of travel, for the most part.

Yet, this is not the case. In an interesting turn of events (a phrase which here means, events which totally turn Don on) Robin reveals that she rode motorcycles in college, and might still have her leather pants.

La Maison d'Eppes: Charlie's appalled to find Alan testing his luck at the lottery. "Fortune brings in some boats that are not steer'd." Alan informs his youngest.

Um, who quotes Cymbeline to prove a point? That's like saying using one of these as a valid argument. Alan, Hamlet proves a point. Macbeth proves a point. Cymbeline is sort of the play Shakespeare wrote on a bad day and probably wished was forgotten entirely by history.

Alan turns to other tactics, like arguing he'll use the lottery money for his bucket list. His argument is destroyed by two things.
The second thing is Alan's new addition to the list: grandchildren. Um, money can't help with that unless you really want to make my mind go places it doesn't want to go. Ever. As for the grandchildren request, Charlie's heard it so often, it doesn't faze him anymore. Hee.

Alan's attempt to check things off his bucket list does provide an ah-ha for the case. The robbers weren't after the tickets, but the serial numbers. Unfortunately, those numbers happen to be on the tickets.

IHOF: Nancy's all uh-oh, but is reassured by the computer programme that randomizes the serial number and prize relationship, and that it would be almost impossible for someone to crack the code. Poor Nancy, has just said two things that always make Charlie scoff.

And with 10000 tickets, that's enough data to crack the code. This also leads us to this week's NPAL™. "You're right, that, I guess that's why you're the famous math professor and I'm the state employee. For stroking Charlie's ego in both a self-depreciating, and painfully awkward way, Nancy earns an NPAL™.

Charlie tries to make Nancy feel better, but it's almost as awkward. It's as much "well, it's easier to explain it to you than it is to a pack of beagles" as it is reassurance. At least they now know, like so many other criminals on this show, that one of the robbers has to know a great deal about math to break the random-not-random lottery code.

Just as Nancy and Charlie head out to tell the Fedcakes about the newest theory, there's a call about someone trying to cash in one of the missing tickets. This may not fit in with the mathletes theories, but it does give me a chance to chastise someone.
Venice Convenience Store: Artemis and Athena are finally sent somewhere together. Seriously, if these two were in any fewer scenes together, I'd start a totally false rumour that the actresses hated each other. I can't do that though, because I follow Cheryl Heuton on Twitter, and such an implication would give her the right to verbally lambaste me for the rest of my natural existance. In other words, not the best way to get my desired shout out.

The arrival of our female Fedcakes results in bike versus women chase across the various bridges in, what I think, is Venice. Not that I know Californian geography that well, but one thing I do know, it's a setting that's been used before on this show. Although, instead of Super!David, we get a new Fedcake super hero.
When the kid gets thrown off the bike by a decorative plant that leaps into his path, (OW!) we find out that it's Zack, the annoying, overly-privileged kid who think that with money, comes assholery. Artemis and Athena deal with him appropriately.
Zack has all the other missing lottery tickets and tells the partners that his dad, who gives financial seminars to lottery winners, is broke.

IHOF: In a turn of events that I find remarkably cool, and not just because it involves Robin, we get some good ideas that don't involve Don's gut, David's talking, or Charlie's math. Now, don't get me wrong, I appreciate all of the above, but I think it's sort of awesome that TPTB, at this point in the series, think it's all right to have a major development, or plan to suss out the bad guy, not come from an ah-ha from the usual people.
Nikki and Robin rationally discuss the likelihood that Zack has any idea about the pile of shit he's found himself is. The answer is no, thus they plot to use Zack to get his dad to talk. There's enough of a connection to make the intuitive leap that Scott is involved. The first, is his son's possession of the lottery tickets when probabaly the last time that kid possessed anything, it would've wound up with Zack be arrested for possession. Secondly, the dead robber knew Scott, both of whom were broke. Finally, Scott has to be 100 times more involved since he blew through 100 times more money than the dead guy. I think Charlie would be impressed by my correlation there but not my logic.

Convenient Suspect Pool: The pool's emptied quite a bit since the last time we were here, as the only person David and Liz find is Scott Wilson. Can I just add that any lottery winner who wears headphones, while jumping up and down on a trampoline and forgets to lock his door, doesn't exactly scream criminal mastermind to me.
After informing Scott of his son's arrest, the pair of Fedcakes take him downtown.

IHOF: Nancy and Charlie explain that with 10000 tickets, the robbers can now crack the algorithm used to "randomize" the serial numbers.
Now the robbers know the serial number of the jackpot ticket, which means 5 million dollars -- or -- if their spending sprees are any clues -- the next two years worth of funding before they have to resort to more crime.

Butterfield scoffs at the idea the idea of some big master plan, which gives me a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that Butterfield isn't the noble agent I remember him to be. On the other hand, he does have a point since the robbers wouldn't know where to find the ticket, unless they had inside help. It's at this point that I figured out what was really going on in this eppesode.

*Le sigh.*

Liz has some other important information about the lottery support group. That information is that they were a crappy support group. We're now up to 4 members who went broke. Worst support group ever.

So, now would be the perfect time for Robin not to suggest Scott and Zack be put into the same room together. She would never suggest such a thing because that would be total manipulation, they might say something that would be admissible by spontaneous utterance, or would make their lawyer look like an idiot.
The spontaneous utterance isn't really that spontaneous. In order to save his son, Scott confesses to everything save the Lindbergh kidnapping and stealing the cookie from the cookie jar. The son, by the way, giggles at the predicament of being arrested by the Fedcakes, right up until the moment he realizes he could go to jail and get a cellmate named Big Mick, or something that rhymes with that.

The problem is that even though Scott confesses to the robberies, he isn't the mastermind. He was just told where to commit the crimes that are going to take him away from his beloved son. On the other hand, considering the stellar job he's done thus far, perhaps that's not a bad idea.
Oh, yes, he has no idea where the other two bandits are but at least he know where they're going to hit next.

Convenience Store 3: Robbers 0, Fedcakes 2.
IHOF: Neither of the other two robbers know anything, but Butterfield does. Someone with supersekrit access to the lottery corporations computers accessed the information as to the locations of the robberies, someone with clearance. Uh-Oh.

Cal Sci: In case the set up wasn't more obvious, let me make it clear, the current suspect, is Charlie's new BFF. Sadly, just as Charlie and Nancy come to the realization that there's an insider involved in the thefts, Nancy is taken into custody.
In disbelief, David offers Charlie a way out -- provide an equation (which translates to, something of logic, in my world) -- and the Fedcakes will release Nancy, other than that, and the next time Charlie sees his new BFF, will be at her arraignment.

IHOF: Artemas and Athena are reviewing the evidence with Butterfield -- all of which looks pretty damning for Nancy. Obviously, since we're not near the end of the eppesode, this scene is meant to whack us in the side of the head with the dead stinky trout of foreshadowing saying that she can't possibly be guilty. (Why dead, stinky, and a trout? Would you miss a dead, stinky trout hitting you in the side of the head? I thought not.)

La Maison d'Eppes: Alan is subtly reminding Don that Robin is in town, and yet, Don is not with her giving Alan grandchildren. Okay, so that isn't exactly what Alan says, but I can translate subtext pretty well.

Alan cannot believe her son can't show how enthusiastic he is to have Robin back in town, inspiring what is officially, Alan's best line in the history of this show. Forget all the wise things Alan has said. Forget all the teasing and and gentle nudging of his sons. This is his all time classic line.
Not only does it amuse Don that his father used the name Beyonce in a sentence, but also it gives me pretty thin excuse to link to such awesomeness as this, or this. Of course, if Alan had attempted to give us a little bit of the dance, the hilarity might've killed me.

This goes into a brief discussion about men's ponytails being out of style (one thing scratched, no pun intended, off Alan's bucket list), Charlie's intuition, and Alan not wanting to spend 14 hours on a plane to visit Easter Island.

The plane comment triggers something in Don's mind, and he quickly leaves, the the purpose of a man who has just solved a mystery.

Speaking of mysteries, I found one of my own in this scene. No, it's not the psychological need Alan has to feed someone, anyone, even if it is fish (although that would be a good piece of meta).

No, it is the shocking, the unbelievable, the amazing mystery of Don's drink. First of all, it's not beer. That alone is a mystery, but then something almost X-Files-worthy occurs.
IHOF: We get a neat aerial shot of the International House of Fedcakes, but considering the rumours this week about an American version of Torchwood, I offer up a different suggestion.
In interrogation, Don and David confront Butterfield about the times and dates Nancy allegedly collected information for the robberies. There's one slight flaw. Remember that throw-away line at the beginning when Nancy's going on about missing her flight? Yeah, well, the last time she supposedly accessed the lottery corperation's database was from a landline when she was 31000 feet in the air. That's one hell of a phone cord.
I'm feeling a bit like I did when I was little and watched Murder, She Wrote don't judge me. I'd spend the entire episode looking for that one, awkwardly tossed in seemingly-random line and then scream at the TV that the speaker of the line did it, ruining the mystery for my brother that you can totally judge me on. This time, it's the small clue that exonerates Charlie's new BFF.

Considering about the only thing Butterfield did to hide his connection to the robbers (as his number is all over the dead one's phone records, and well, just about everything else he's ever done in his life, apparently), was use Nancy's password, it didn't take the Fedcakes too long to pull down his house of cards, or lottery tickets.

Now the only thing Butterfield can do to make his situation a little bit better is turn over his partner -- the mathematical one. Hmmmmm.

Convenience Store 4: Who knew working in and around the government kept you honest? I mean, seriously, Mallory was the daughter of Bartlet's Chief of Staff. Butterfield was the head agent in charge of the President's security. Now, they're scamming the California Lottery Corporation. Although, I'd like to say that I would like some credit for providing the Fedcakes with the small piece of information about where our criminals met.

Can I just say that a good portion of this scene is filmed in what I believe would be called surrealistic, or the camera is on drugs mode.
Just as Mallory exits the store, winning ticket in hand, her surrealistic version of the universe, settles back into reality.

Sure, Mallory tries to play it cool, and stuffs the winning ticket into her shirt. Now the reason for sending out the two female agents to pick her up make sense. I think David or Don's sense of propriety would win over having to go in after it.

The justification for the crime includes having to deal with people who invest in getting their own lightsaber. Sorry, but I find that weak. I mean who wouldn't want to have their own lightsaber? That's not just me, right?

Oh, and for the record, it's Nikki who retrieves the ticket.

IHOF: The winning ticket is bagged for evidence, as Nikki, Liz, and David discuss who is going to benefit from the 5 million dollar windfall. As David needs to give some cool exposition and/or story in every eppesode, he provides us with the tale of the woman in Oregon, who bought a lottery ticket with a stolen credit card. Seizing authority got to keep the cash.

Now, while it's rather hehehehehe to have Artemas and Athena bicker over who is really the "seizing authority" I don't like to think my Fedcakes are really like that. Plus, it puts David in a really untenable position.
Plus, the seizing authority is the FBI, which was pretty obvious from the get-go. So, as David takes the ticket down to evidence, Liz and Nikki follow him -- proving that money can destroy plenty of things, even the trust of the Fedcakes. Wow, the last couple of times we had this level of distrust, Don was in therapy and, most importantly Colby was a spy (not theoriginalspy).


Outside the IHOF, Don and Robin have a serious talk about their relationship. Sure, Don gives a great quippy answer about what Robin was coming back to after being in Portland for forever (forever as judged by my fandom time), "Me," but Robin's worried that long-distance and the lack of true commitment from having to deal with the everyday realities of a relationship, is as good as they're going to get.

I am not, in the least, amused by this. Discussion about the future is fine, great even. Discussion with such a negative tone, makes me worry. I don't like worrying about my OTP.

As Robin's not sure about how to how they're doing as a couple, Don tries to reassure Robin (and, vicariously, me) by responding "we're doing it."
Ahhhh. I'm not so worried anymore.

My fangirliness ramps up to 11. Well, let me rephrase that; my fangirliness was at 11, now it's got to be around 15.

La Maison d'Eppes: Alan, Nancy, and Charlie are discussing random lottery trivia, like the Bulgarian lottery picking the same numbers twice in a row. Intrestingly enough, the article I found on the incident says the odd of that occurring are 1 in 4 million, whereas Nancy says the odds are 1 in 5.2 million either of which are higher odds than my shout out. Uh-oh. This is a conundrum. Do I believe Numb3rs and its math, or the BBC? There has to be one deciding factor that will sway my belief.
Charlie scoffs at all the improbable math, so Alan hands his son a lottery ticket, jsut for the heck of it. For all of Charlie's abilities to figure out the odds when playing the lottery, he's crap at figuring out the odds of when he's the one getting played.

Nancy jokes, as Charlie scratches off the ticket, that he must be feeling "numerically violated." He's actually feeling rather chuffed, because he's won 10000 dollars, or at least, he would have, if his father wasn't playing a joke on him to get him to shut the hell up about people who play the lottery.

Plus, there's not a damned thing Charlie can do about it. It's not like Charlie can take Alan "out with differential geography," or "protractors... at 20 paces."
So, Charlie now has to accept that he's been pwned, by his own father. Even Nancy, his new BFF, sides with Alan. The eppesode ends with Charlie being taught a lesson about mocking those who play the lottery, or mocking his father, either one is valuable.

Looking forward to the next eppesode, Don learns a lesson of his own. That lesson? What happens when one can't bother to use a bloody answering machine!