Numb3rs: The Final Season (2009)
|Genre(s): Crime / Drama / Mystery|
|Paramount || NR - 678 minutes - $57.99 || August 10, 2010|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2010-08-07|
Writer(s): Nicolas Falacci & Cheryl Heuton (created by)
Cast: Rob Morrow, David Krumholtz, Alimi Ballard, Dylan Bruno, Navi Rawat, Peter MacNicol, Aya Sumika, Sophina Brown
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There are certain shows that never or rarely get talked about on the Net, many of which I consistently watched but “Numb3rs” seems to be a different breed compared to other shows on the CBS network in that since its debut in 2005, it aired in the dead zone on Friday nights at 10 pm, though I do remember the pilot episode aired on a Sunday. The thing about this show airing on a Friday was that if I remember it right, it never had a similar or complimentary lead-in especially the past few years the supernatural drama “Ghost Whisperer” preceded it.
In any case, I remember keeping track of “Numb3rs” every so often either via my DVR or On Demand but it sadly wasn’t a weekly viewing ritual and while it early on it could manage a 9-10 million viewer average but in its sixth season – when most other veteran shows were also going through dwindling ratings save for maybe “NCIS” and a couple others – dropped to a low 8.45 million average viewers/week. I wish CBS gave the show a bigger chance on a different night, but I guess getting six seasons is a blessing even for casual fans like me.
The sixth – and final – season of “Numb3rs” certainly feels like the last one as I’m sure writers knew that when CBS cut the episode order from 24 to 16 that it was probably coming to an end. In this season, FBI Special Agent Don Eppes (ROB MORROW) is still trying to psychologically get over the stabbing; brother/professor Charlie (DAVID KRUMHOLTZ) and Amita (NAVI RAWAT) are preparing for marriage but are having trouble coming up with a date that would work for both of their families; and father Alan (JUDD HIRSCH) is going through his own growing pains as his finances come tumbling down. And family friend/colleague Dr. Larry Fleinhardt (PETER MACNICOL) is going through a meta-psychological transformation and disappears for a few episodes near the end.
Meanwhile, Don’s team – David Sinclair (ALIMI BALLARD), Colby Granger (DYLAN BRUNO), Liz Warner (AYA SUMIKA) and Nikki BETANCOURT (SOPHINA BROWN) – continue to investigate strange crimes and will, because it is the premise for the show, count on Charlie, Amita and sometimes Larry, to use mathematical theories in order to solve the crimes.
The reason “Numb3rs” worked throughout its six season run is less because of the crimes since although the stories are interesting and sometimes unique, but it is thanks to the characters that you come to care about between their interactions to solve the crimes or talking about personal issues while at the Eppes’ household (I love it how those not a part of the Eppes’ family clan just walk in, no knocking or ringing of the doorbell).
Mixing the personal lives of the Eppes’ or Don’s team members, the crimes are, like I said before, are not particularly clever, though there are plenty of twists to keep your attention, and there are more than a few instances where as much as the mathematics used is no doubt genuine, it seemed to be a big stretch in how it’s used to ultimately catch the criminal(s).
One instance was in the episode entitled ‘And the Winner Is’ in which expensive jewelry worn by celebrities for an awards ceremony is stolen during the ceremony and the thieves are able to escape under the cover of smoke bombs. Well, Charlie and friends utilize some kind of math theory to figure out where the thieves were sitting and what route they took to get out of the theater (using news footage outside) and something about how this was done – and how the culprit was ultimately caught – seemed a little too outlandish even for me.
Nevertheless, outside of a couple instances where the math makes less sense than usual, though it is helped thanks to the show’s key MO where Charlie or Amita visualize what’s going on with the math theory, it’s all still a lot of fun so even if the journey sometimes needs some suspension of disbelief...
Overall, “Numb3rs” never got critical acclaim or pages upon pages of discussions on the message boards but to me it’s just a fun show where the characters are just as or more important than the crimes unlike other crime-driven shows such as “CSI” or “Criminal Minds” even though I do like both of those shows. If you still haven’t seen the series, I think now is the time to try it out.
Previous sets came in either digipak form (seasons 1-3) or thinpaks (seasons 4-5) but Paramount has gone and changed it once again and this time the 4 discs are housed in a regular DVD case inside a side slip cover.
Select Episode Commentaries – Although other seasons had at least 4 episode commentaries, save for the fourth season, this time we only get 3. First is ‘Con Job’ with actor Rob Morrow, director Ralph Hemecker and executive Don McGill; next is ‘Old Soldiers’ with director Ken Sanzel, actor Alimi Ballard and guest star Henry Winkler; and last is the series finale, ‘Cause and Effect’ with creators/writers Cheryl Heuton, Nicolas Falacci (who also directed) and actor David Krumholtz. It’s too bad that for the finale they couldn’t get the core cast together for the episode but glad it got something...
Coming Full Circle: Numb3rs The Final Season (25:42) – In this behind-the-scenes featurette, we get a glimpse at the sixth season for the show primarily focusing on creator Nicolas Falacci’s directorial debut doing the series finale from the direction to editing. The featurette also has on set interviews with the cast and crew talking about their thoughts on the creators and on each other. About half way through the featurette goes into this being the last season and the thoughts on the cast and crew on this being the end.
The Women of Num3rs (11:04) goes over the actresses, and co-creator Cheryl Heuton, on the show as they talk about the few times they get to work together and the strength of the women they play.
Pixel Perfect: The Digital Cinematography of Numb3rs (15:10) is about filming the show digitally rather than film from the perspective of the cinematographers and others as the studio wanted to move to digital since it was cheaper than film.
Last up is a Production Photo Gallery with Nicolas Falacci where you can check out some on set and behind-the-scenes pictures taken over the years.
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
“Numb3rs” is presented in anamorphic widescreen with a 1.78 aspect ratio and probably looks similar to how it did on CBS HD. However, I did notice during the darker scenes there is quite a bit pixilation though the lighter parts do show off a bit more detail on character faces and other objects. This isn’t going to be an amazing looking video, but it’s more than serviceable.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 can be on the uneven side from the bombastic opening and transition shots to some lower levels with the dialogue followed by a heaviness with gunfire. That said, it does sound better than most TV on DVD releases that I’ve checked out in the past so on that front it is impressive, I just wish some other parts were a tad louder while others could’ve been toned down just a bit.
“Numb3rs” may never had received the recognition compared with some of the higher profile shows even on its own CBS network, but I have enjoyed the series throughout the years and this sixth season has some nice character moments and a finale that wraps each of their stories up quite nicely even if the episode story itself is fairly low key, though I prefer that route over killing off a character just for the sake of shock value, something this show has never been about and places it above the others in my book.