This was a very solid episode of
Numb3rs, for all that it does take for granted a number of things that one might question, such as the gangster-wannabe nature of many rappers going as far as to spray bullets into a rival's house, or the quantifiability of pop-music success, either theoretically or via payola.
At a rap-label's promotion party, it's two most successful artists are highlighted, when a self-recording/promoting rapper who resents the label-owner, at least, crashes and demands to be heard. He's rushed offstage, but the most popular artist on the label seems less than thrilled with how things are happening around him...he steps out, gets in his car, and is cut down by gunfire in front of a number of witnesses. Since the FBI was already working a case against the record label for drug distribution, Liz Warner is on-scene, and invites Don's unit in to poke around as well (albeit they seem to have left the corpse in his car an improbably long time at that point).
The disgruntled crasher seems the likely suspect, so Warner and Sinclair go to question him...and find the aggrieved widow of the murdered rapper also visiting. It turns out that the murdered man and the crasher were old friends, and that the dead man had something that was troubling him about his label's business. Which seems to dovetail with what was on two iPods found in the murdered man's car, which turn out to be programs to analyze the likely popularity of any given pop song or rap. While the agents are at the crasher's house, bullets spray in through the front window; one seriously wounds the crasher.
The second-most popular rapper at the label, a Caucasian who affects the look and sound of his colleagues, had bragged of his intentions to revenge his labelmate's death the previous day, so he now becomes the primary suspect in both shootings. When the agents come to arrest him, he begs, in a whisper, for protective custody, while still bragging of his essential Badness; after being brought in, he admits to repsonsibility for the shooting at the independent rapper's house. But when the widow of his labelmate is killed with car bomb, he denies any responsibility, as well as for the death of her husband, despite having military explosives training...he suggests that the label's owner's primary assistant, a mountain of a man who follows orders to the letter, is responsible. Meanwhile, while Liz Warner blames herself for not gaining the trust of the widow before her own murder, the agents are able to gather from her husband's laptop, which the widow had with her at the time of her death, just what the label-owner's scam was...he was skimming profits from his biggest star to help promote, via payola, his Great White Hope and No. 2 artist, and meanwhile muddying the waters of his use of company funds in dope dealing.
The independent rapper, having learned of the murder of the widow as well, takes matters into his own hands and takes the label-owner hostage at gunpoint...which turns out to be a ploy to get the label-owner to incriminate himself on tape, via the microcassette reocorder the rapper carries with him at all times.
Aside from some funny, if a bit overdone, by-play between Charlie and Larry and the rap-label engineers and other staff, the notable side issues in this episode were the apparent sudden and mysterious absence of Megan, of which Larry is sworn to say little other than she asked to take a few days off to go to New York, and the budding cameraderie, at least, between Liz and Colby, encouraged by Don. And, most tellingly, the long-delayed meeting of Charlie with Amita's parents...which goes very badly, particularly for Charlie and his father Alan, when Amita's parents also invite a childhood friend of Amita's, now a successful international businessman, along to the dinner, clearly in hopes of luring Amita away from Charlie. The mathematician is thoroughly depressed, by Amita's apparent inability to tell her parents about the seriousness of their relation, and by her parents blatant rejection of him thus. Amita eventually explains and apologizes, noting that her childhood friend is gay, and that no one her parents could come up with could pull her away; happily, Amita's parents also apologize, and note that they hadn't realized till meeting Charlie how well Amita had chosen for herself.
Thus, one crisis is averted, the potential tearing of Amita between family and lover/life-partner...while another, the departure of Megan, is (however abruptly) set up.
(And further delay apologies...happily, the problems I've been having have been now fixed, just in time for the season finale next week....)
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Online Video Guide.
This was a very solid episode of Numb3rs for all that it does take for granted a number of things that one might question such as the gangster-wannabe nature of many rappers going as far as to spray bullets into a rivals house or the quantifiability of pop-music success either theoretically or via payolaAt a rap-labels promotion party its two most successful artists are highlighted when a self-recordingpromoting rapper who resents the label-owner at least crashes and demands to be heard Hes rushed offstage but the most popular artist on the label seems less than thrilled with how things are happening around himhe steps out gets in his car and is cut down by gunfire in front of a number of witnesses Since the FBI was already working a case against the record label for drug distribution Liz Warner is on-scene and invites Dons unit in to poke around as well albeit they seem to have left the corpse in his car an improbably long time at that point The disgru