A season finale, a swan song for Diane Farr's Megan Reeves, and not quite a cliffhanger when in comes to David's future involvement with the FBI.
Even given this is a show about an FBI unit and the CalTech-style academics who work with them, this series only infrequently runs head-on into political matters, but producers and episode-writers Cheryl Heuton and Nicholas Falacci have something to say about the National Security State and its sometimes blind disruption of scientists' work and sometimes of innocent peoples' lives. And so this scenario...a DC-based FBI counterterrorism expert is called out to the LA offices when two Pakistani-immigrant professionals are kidnapped by unknown assailants. The two are part of a Pakistani charity agency, which is under scrutiny by the FBI as a potential money-launderer for terrorist activity. The two kidnap victims are found, tortured before they were murdered, but not before one of faculty at the CalTech analog, another Pakistani immigrant, is arrested. Charlie and his fellow professors, who are at least friendly acquaintances of the arrested biologist, are less than convinced of the justice in the arrest, not least because he has been arrested for forwarding genetics research to improve food-crop yields; at the time of his arrest, the biologist asks how he was to know the sharing of such data was embargoed by the government, and the arresting agents reply, The list of forbidden, classified subjects about which information can't be shared is itself classified. Mr. Kafka, you're in violation of Catch 22, so please come along with us quietly.
While dubious, Charlie continues to aid in the investigation, albeit with some eagerness to prove his colleague innocent, even as the counterterrorism expert is determined to prove the charity organization and all the involved Pakistanis to either be conspirators with or dupes for terrorists, Al Qaeda or otherwise. The truth turns out to be a bit less expected: the kidnappers work for a rogue, and very mercenary, ex-Irish Republican Army operative who now specializes in simple arms deals, no longer adulterating his interest in cash with any ideological claims. The killing of the merchant at his arrest helps to clear up the lingering doubts about Charlie's colleague, but he still isn't being released, since there's still a case, however weak, to be made that he shared sensitive biotech with potentially hostile forces...or, as he and Charlie see it, attempted to help alleviate hunger in both Pakistan and its old rival and former constituent Bangladesh. Charlie risks arrest by sending the balance of the relevant research along via e-mail, is arrested, but having already convincingly argued that the technical assessment made by FBI's in-house staff was driven by political rather than scientific concerns, is released soon after...with his security clearance revoked, meaning he'll face some restrictions at work and even more in any aid he might give his brother with his work.
This isn't even the most significant change on the horizon, perhaps, since we also learn that Megan is officially resigning from the FBI, to work with institutionalized women while finishing her PhD on the East Coast. Larry seems philosophical, suggesting that a continent between them won't end their affair, and perhaps reassuring us viewers that Peter MacNicol won't be leaving the series.
A good episode, albeit one which seemed to be carrying a lot of series-plot development weight that might have somewhat impeded its episode storytelling.
And at least we know that Kathy Najimy's Mildred French isn't coming back this season...no word yet about next...
And if that episode title sounds familiar, it was also the title of a best-selling sf novel by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer, and of the film made from that novel...
For more on Numb3rs, please see our
Online Episode Guide...and see Ileane Rudolph's
interview with Diane Farr here.
A season finale a swan song for Diane Farrs Megan Reeves and not quite a cliffhanger when in comes to Charlies future involvement with the FBIEven given this is a show about an FBI unit and the CalTech-style academics who work with them this series only infrequently runs head-on into political matters but producers and episode-writers Cheryl Heuton and Nicholas Falacci have something to say about the National Security State and its sometimes blind disruption of scientists work and sometimes of innocent peoples lives And so this scenarioa DC-based FBI counterterrorism expert is called out to the LA offices when two Pakistani-immigrant professionals are kidnapped by unknown assailants The two are part of a Pakistani charity agency which is under scrutiny by the FBI as a potential money-launderer for terrorist activity The two kidnap victims are found tortured before they were murdered but not before one of faculty at the CalTech analog another Pakistani immigrant