Numb3rs: Season 4
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NUMB3RS is a drama about an FBI agent who recruits his mathematical-genius brother to help the Bureau solve a wide range of challenging crimes in Los Angeles. The two brothers take on the most confounding criminal cases from a very distinctive perspective. Inspired by actual events, the series depicts how the confluence of police work and mathematics provides unexpected revelations and answers to the most perplexing criminal questions. A dedicated FBI agent, Don Eppes (Rob Morrow), couldn't be more different from his younger brother, Charlie Eppes (David Krumholtz), a brilliant mathematician who, since he was little, yearned to impress his big brother. Don is joined on his team by fellow agents Megan Reeves (Diane Farr), a behavioral specialist who brings psychological insight to their investigations; David Sinclair (Alimi Ballard), who utilizes his incredible perspective and the survival skills he learned growing up in the Bronx; and new agent Colby Granger (Dylan Bruno) who just completed an extensive tour of duty in the U.S. Military. After some initial reluctance, Don's team welcomes Charlie's innovative methods to crime-solving. Their father, Alan (Judd Hirsch), is happy to see his sons working together even though he doesn't understand the intricacies of what Charlie does for a living. It is his co-workers at CalSci who further refine Charlie's approach and help him stay focused. Physicist friend Dr. Larry Fleinhardt (Peter MacNicol) constantly challenges Charlie to employ a broader point of view to his work with the FBI, and Amita Ramanjuan (Navi Rawat), Charlie's former grad student, frequently helps him see cases in a new light Despite their disparate approaches to life, Don and Charlie are able to combine their areas of expertise and solve some killer cases.
Fascinating cases, friendship dynamics and trust metrics all add up to another compelling season of television's smartest procedural show. The season gets off to an explosive start with a Very Special Episode, complete with blazing action set pieces and even a Big Name Star (Val Kilmer!) right out of a Tony Scott blockbuster, which figures as Scott, who co-produces Numb3rs with brother Ridley, helmed the episode. The truth about agent Colby's (Dylan Bruno) loyalties is revealed, and he is tentatively and warily welcomed back into the fold, although Sinclair (Alimi Ballard) feels particularly betrayed. Mathematics (duh) figure heavily in this season's convoluted cases, including the death of a woman in a rising young movie star's bathtub, an immersive interactive video game, and a street race that spins out of control. Concepts such as partition congruence and Byzantine fault-tolerance may soar over most viewer's heads, but as the movie star admiringly observes, it's "way cool" when professor Charlie Eppes (David Krumholtz) measures towel absorbency to determine the size of the bathtub killer. Numb3rs divides its time between casework and the human equation. Charlie's older brother and FBI team leader Don Eppes (Rob Morrow) is haunted by the death of a woman in witness protection, loses one girlfriend, but regains another, Robin (Michelle Nolden reprising her second season role). Eccentric professor Larry (Peter Gallagher) has returned from space and is now living in a monastery. Psychological profiler Megan (Diane Farr) ponders a career change. It's a particularly eventful season for Charlie, who becomes a bestselling author and relationship guru after his book on friendship dynamics is marketed as a self-help tome. One harrowing case involving a kidnapped reporter hits close to home when intimidating thugs cloud his mathematical prowess. He also undergoes FBI training ("Im in pursuit of a burgundy-ish, sort of merlot-coloured what model car would you say that is?" he radios in during a training exercise). In the game-changing season finale, Charlie and Don, the "brothers who became friends," are on opposite sides of a case involving a Pakistani scientist friend of Charlie's who is suspected of being a terrorist. No episode commentaries this time around, but five featurettes go behind the scenes of the Tony Scott episode. --Donald Liebenson
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Top customer reviews
"Numb3rs" is a strong crime drama with great writing, but it also creates characters that are engaging and seem real. There are more absorbing storylines in the interplay between the characters this season as Don, Charlie, and the others progress in their careers and their relationships with each other. Some of the mathematical concepts used by Charlie this season include game theory, trust metrics, refraction, displacement, Fibonacci sequences, regressions, and social network analysis.
Recognizable guest stars in Season Four include Val Kilmer and Christopher Lloyd, and there is a special feature on this DVD set about the filming of the season opener. I've enjoyed this series greatly, and look forward to watching the final two seasons.
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