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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Numb3rs: The Fifth Season
Numb3rs: The Fifth Season
Paramount // Unrated // October 20, 2009
List Price: $60.90 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted October 21, 2009 | E-mail the Author
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The Fifth Season

The fifth season of Numb3rs has a lot of solid developments in store for viewers. There is a new main character introduced, a few reoccurring guest stars, and a number of exciting storylines. In general, fans will get their money worth from this DVD set as the show continues to offer the same type of entertainment as past seasons.

In the season four finale, Charlie and Don were at odds. Charlie's colleague was targeted by the FBI for providing information to a Pakistani group with suspected ties to terrorism. Charlie made sure the information was delivered and his FBI clearance was revoked. As season five begins in "High Exposure", Charlie is not allowed to work on cases. The situation is awkward as Amita and Larry continue to work cases, but do not have the same success. Don later learns in "The Decoy Effect" that the situation is political and someone is after him. Also in this episode, Charlie gets his clearance back and things slowly return to normal.

At the beginning of the season, there is a new character introduced to replace Megan Reeves. Sophina Brown joins the cast Nikki Betancourt. Nikki is a former LAPD cop with a law degree. She is street smart and does not always understand Charlie and crew's mathematical approach to crime fighting. Her tactics are more brute force than Don likes and they tend to clash on matters. In general, she makes for a decent character. However, I did not get the impression that she brought any special to the series. As for other character focused developments, there are several changes for other characters. Liz is promoted, but it means transferring to Denver. The new job is a great career move, but she struggles with leaving the team. David is promoted to relief supervisor. Don also tries to find the answers to life. He explores religion, which is a shock to Charlie and their father. He also continues his relationship with Robin.

As for the rest of the season content, there are a number of exciting episodes. "Jack of All Trades" is an exciting episode with Henry Winkler guest starring as FBI Agent Bloom. Don and gang join Bloom in a case tracking a con man. While the investigation proceeds, Don learns that Bloom has gone over the edge. The situation gets dramatic and exciting as Don is forced to report Bloom to higher echelons, which effectively end his career. Bloom also makes an appearance in "Greatest Hits", where Don suspects Bloom maybe the mastermind behind a series of bank robberies.

"Conspiracy Theory" is another strong episode. A bombing occurs at the Global Development Organization. As the team investigates, they find themselves in the heart of a conspiracy. They join forces with an unlikely person, Ron McGill (Josh Gad), who is a conspiracy theorist enthusiast. Ron also appears in "Disturbed". Gad makes for a fun character and gives the episodes an interesting twist. Other episodes include "Magic Show", the team investigates a case involving magic; Penn Jillette guest stars, "Thirty-Six Hours", a train with deadly chemicals crashes and everyone works around the clock to save the survivors, "Frienemies", Charlie must work with his academic nemesis to solve a crime, "Cover Me", Liz goes undercover with a DEA agent who has been under too long, and "Animal Rites", a CalSci processor is killed and it hits too close to home for Lary, Charlie, and Amita.

While the season has some great episodes, the best occur towards the end of the season. In "The Fifth Man", Don and team investigate a series of robberies. Charlie predicts that there are four criminals conducting the crimes. When Don and team catch them in the act, they are blindsided when a fifth man enters the scene and stabs Don. For Don, the wound is near fatal. Charlie struggles with guilt for not getting the math right. In the thrilling season finale "Angels and Devils", Amita's life is also hangs in the balance. At the end of "Greatest Hits", she was kidnapped by two fanatics. Charlie, Don, and the team race against the clock to save her. These two instances have a profound effect on Charlie, as he questions what his purpose in life: to make great discoveries in math or to use math to save lives.

Overall, Numb3rs has a strong fifth season. There is a new character introduced, but she does not bring anything really special to the show. At the same time, she does not hurt it either. However, the season keeps its characters fresh with a few different guest stars and reoccurring characters, such as Henry Winkler and Josh Gad. There are also intense storylines with lives of the main characters in the balance, solid character development, and all around exciting episodes. In the end, Numb3rs continues to be a strong crime drama with a twist of math.

Episode Guide

1. High Exposure: When two diehard rock climbers are found dead on a climb, along with a 72-carat diamond found in the chalk bag of one of the victims, the team realizes these deaths had nothing to do with rock climbing.
2. The Decoy Effect: When a woman is murdered after being abducted and forced to withdraw random amounts of money from her ATM, the team discovers a pattern of increased ATM abductions in the area.
3. Blowback: LAPD Detective Jon Schmidt brings the FBI in to help solve an apparent coffee shop robbery in which eight people were executed.
4. Jack of All Trades: Don and his team are called in to help agent Bloom take down a prolific con man who Bloom had been tracking for two years
5. Scan Man: Don and his team get the drop on a crew robbing high end goods from a FedEx like shipping service, Union Parcel Express (UPE).
6. Magic Show: David checks out a disappearing act at a magic show while out on a date, but quickly becomes part of the performance when the magician disappears for real
7. Charlie Don't Surf: Mason Watts, a park ranger and professional big wave surfer, dies while surfing a big swell near his post on the Channel Islands.
8. Thirty-Six Hours: When a passenger train collides with a freight train, the FBI is called in to help rescue survivors and to investigate the cause of the crash.
9. Conspiracy Theory: The FBI investigates a bombing that took place during a meeting of the Global Development Organization (GDO), a charity organization made up of wealthy and influential individuals.
10.Frienemies: The FBI is called in to help the LAPD apprehend a vigilante group targeting robberies set up by crime boss Vic Tooner, a suave career criminal adept at dodging the law.
11. Arrow of Time: When Buck Winters escapes from prison and makes a B-line for Los Angeles, the team worries that he is coming to take revenge on Don for killing his lover.
12. Jacked: When a sight seeing bus full of tourists is hijacked by a disgruntled ex-employee, the FBI is given four hours to come up with $18 million or face the execution of the hostages.
13. Trouble in Chinatown: The FBI works with immigration control enforcement (ICE) when one of their undercover Chinese agents goes missing from a sweatshop in Chinatown, just as a gang war erupts between the leader of a human trafficking/sweatshop ring and the leader of what is assumed to be a prostitution ring.
14. Sneakerhead: Don and his team investigate a burglary at the Filipino Consulate, and discover that only a $250,000 pair of designer athletic shoes were stolen during the robbery.
15. Guilt Trip: When Damon Lake, an international arms dealer, is found not guilty during a slam dunk case for federal prosecutors, the FBI redoubles its efforts to take him down.
16. Cover Me: Charlie goes to Don with an economic strategy to disrupt emerging drug epidemics, and Don and his superiors at the FBI agree to put it in to action.
17. First Law: When the programmer of a highly sophisticated artificial intelligence computer is murdered in his lab, the chief suspect becomes the seemingly self aware computer he created.
18. 12:01AM: The FBI investigates a death row inmate, David Coburn, after receiving information suggesting he may have been innocent of the murder charge he was convicted on.
19. Animal Rites: When animal rights extremists break in to CalSci's animal labs to destroy them, they end up surprising and killing Prof. Preston Horowitz, who was there working late.
20. The Fifth Man: The FBI is called in to help investigate a series of home invasions, and while trying to bust up one of the robberies, Don suffers a life threatening stab wound.
21. Disturbed: Still feeling responsible for Don's near fatal stabbing, Charlie throws himself into FBI case work and discovers what he believes to be an unnoticed serial killer working in Los Angeles.
22. Greatest Hits: Don's team investigates a bank robbery which is an exact copy of a 2002 bank heist that was never solved. With no leads to go on, Don sends Nikki and Colby to interview the lead investigator on the 2002 case, disgraced former FBI agent Bloom.
23. Angel and Devils: After Amita is kidnapped from the CalSci campus the team works double time to find and save her. They quickly zero in on a suspect, Stephen Duryea, a Charles Manson type on a cross country crime spree with his devoted gang of girlfriends.

The DVD

Video:
The video in this release is given in an enhanced anamorphic 1.78:1 ratio widescreen color format. The picture quality is quite good. It suffers from a slight grain, but detail remains to be sharp and clear. However, there are some occasional moments when the picture suffers compression artifacts. This is a rare occurrence, but it does happen.

Audio:
The audio track in this release is in English 5.1 Dolby digital surround. There is also a 2.0 stereo track included. In general, the sound quality is very good and it provides an audible and clean track. The dialogue is usually a little flat while music and sound effects come off rich and vibrant. Additionally the 5.1 track is dynamic and makes good use of the surround sound capability. There are no subtitles, but the release supports closed captioning.

Extras:

  • Audio Commentaries: are included for episodes "Jack of All Trades" with David Krumholtz, Henry Winkler, Stephen Gyllenhaal, and Andrew Dettman, "Thirty-Six Hours" with Alimi Ballard, Bill Eigenbrodt, and Rod Holcomb, and "Jacked" with Rob Morrow, Fisher Stevens, and Don McGill.
  • Deleted Scenes (7:47): are included for the episode "Thirty-Six Hours". The scenes are "Zero Hour", "Cal Sci - Bots Scene", "Charlie's Office McGowan reference", and "Eppes House - Living Room Dan/Charlie Talk".
  • Crunching NUMB3RS: Season Five (29:44): is a behind the scenes interview featurette with cast and crew discussing season five. There is discussion about key plotlines/episodes, character changes, character relationships, recurring characters, the 100th episode, and so on.
  • Celebrating 100 (15:01): is a featurette with cast and crew celebrating their 100th episode. It starts with the cast saying congratulations and talking about it being a special milestone. It continues with a celebration, speeches, interviews, and so on.
  • Blooper Reel (5:57): is a montage of goofs caught up on tape during filming.

Final Thoughts:
Numb3rs continues to do well in its fifth season with several new faces and riveting storylines. A couple of the guest stars (Henry Winkler and Josh Gad) make for interesting characters and help keep the show fresh. As for the episodes, there many difficult cases for the team to deal with and some of them hit really close to home. All in all, season five has some great content and continues to entertain with a mathematical twist to crime fighting.

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