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Numb3rs, 6x15, "Growin' Up"
Is it just me, or did it feel like they were working overtime to cram in as many Cute Moments as possible while they still had the opportunity?  I am definitely not complaining.  Just marveling at what seemed to be an extraordinary amount of touching and cuddling.  That's pretty standard for this show, which loves love, but...whatever, there was a lot of squeeing on my end.

Shippy squee first, general squee second.

OTP LAND
Scene 1:
-I love that you cannot mention "fantasies" on TV without someone taking it to a dirty place.  When that someone is Amita, reacting in priceless ways due to Larry's near proximity, I love it even more.  Incidentally, I move start a task force to determine exactly what Charlie's fantasy might be.  And no, I'm not serious enough about that to venture into the red light district of fanfic.  I may or may not have a chunk of speculative meta written on what their physical relationship might be like, but that is neither here nor there. 

-And now that we have established "I meant academically," can we focus on how much I love this scene between the two of them?  My brain still hasn't quite finished processing the kiss, the two adorable tight hugs and  general close contact, the expression of pure joy and the way he stays completely fixated on her, how he doesn't even spare a glance over or let Larry finish his sentence before interrupting "I meant Amita"...LET'S LET PICTURES DO THE TALKING. 



A: I thought they were considering you for 2012.
C: They were, but a spot opened up unexpectedly.  And the best part - they have room in their budget for two visiting professors.
L: Charles, I’m flattered, but I just got back--
C: I meant Amita.



"We're going to England!"


Remember how I was saying they don't hug enough?  Yeah, I'm good.  That last shot is so adorable it might become my new wallpaper.



-Who knew Charlie had this whole romantic side that involved dreamily rhapsodizing about cottages in the English countryside and eating strawberries and cream at Wimbledon? I'm going to think about that instead of how glibly he mentioned pushing back the wedding.

-On another note: I suspect that Charlie's T-shirt in this episode is one of the most fantastic he's ever worn.  Too bad it's always hidden beneath the jacket.  I want one.

Scene 2
And then they manage to get even cuter.  I didn't even know this was on the Checklist of Cute until it was happening, but it's my new favorite bit of playfulness.

"Guess who."
"Larry!  I've been looking everywhere for you..."


 
Hmm, European wedding?  I like that Amita is being proactive and adopting the Elizabeth Swann approach to marriage, but I'm more on Charlie's side here, because I want friends and family to be there too.  Hell, everyone wanted that, including TPTB.  SCREW YOU, CBS.  An overseas wedding does sound romantic and picturesque, and if you were to write that in fic I'd probably buy it, but all the same...I like this way better.  Not that any of this really matters because he concludes the scene by kissing her hand, at which point I officially lose count of how many times I've flailed my limbs at unexpected bits of cuteness.

Also: hee! on Charlie's misunderstanding of why he needs to call Nikki.  ("I don't...think she's ever been to Europe.  I mean, we can ask her...")
   
Scene 3


Every so often, I am surprised all over again by how well they click on every level.  The Ramanujan Lie Detector Test is one of those times.  I can't explain why this feels so intimate, possibly because I am once again mesmerized by Charlie's expression, but this is very sweet.  Even if it ends with her abruptly pulling away, disappointment evident whilst lying through her teeth that she gets it, "It's not practical.  We'll just...get married when we come home."

Closing Scene:
D'oh!  I like Larry's advice to "Surprise her," but I don't love that we were as surprised by the solution as Alan & Don (and Alan's boss, randomly hanging out for dinner, even after I made a point of stating how annoying it is to have the guest star of the week in the finale scene).  Just because I would have really, really liked to see her face light up after an hour full of doldrums.  Show!  So rarely do you disappoint/fail to deliver!  Fine, fine, I'll trust that you know best.

Honestly, the thing I hate most about this scene is the song playing over it.  Usually the music is just so dull that I tune it out, but this is one they used in a Kindle commercial, and I hated EVERY LAST SECOND of that commercial, not least the fact that they played it 500 times a day, so...die, song, die!

On another note, my bad, Charlie seems to have two enviable mathy T-shirts in this episode.  And once again, I want all of Amita's wardrobe, but especially the pink tops like this one.


Also: Tomorrow?   WHAT?!  HOW SOON DO THEY ACTUALLY HAVE TO LEAVE FOR CAMBRIDGE?  HOW ARE YOU DOING THIS IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS?  SERIOUSLY?  I MEAN, I KNOW YOU DO, BUT HOW IS BEYOND ME.  At least it’s not at a courthouse.

P.S. Since I don't think Amita ever officially moved into La Maison d'Eppes, does it amuse anyone else that the only two times Charlie's ever lived with a woman will have been in England?  Because it amuses me.

EVERYTHING ELSE
-I still can't really tell what directors do, even after watching all sorts of behind-the-scene videos from Stephen Gyllenhaal, but it makes me happy on principle that Rob Morrow directed this one.

-Numb3rs' claim to guest-star fame this week was partly Alan Ruck (who has been on everything, apparently, including both of the shows that air before this one...but mainly Spin City), and more importantly, Jon Bernthal Duncan from "The Class"!  Who, I am pleased to report, is still sporting both fantastic hair and fantastic arms.  "Can he not be the bad guy?" I asked hopefully, to which the show was like, "Nope."  Le sigh. 

-Overall, I didn't come away loving the plot (especially that non-explicit yet still waaaaaay more intense and violent than I needed to see rape scene) , but between the guest stars and the INSANE amount of awesome snark happening between the agents, it was an enjoyable hour.  Rest of my thoughts to follow, in scattered order.

-Whoa.  Larry amassed quite the notebook collection, didn't he?  Even I don't have that many, and I probably have enough to make a small fort.  Then again, if I was without access to blogging for months on end, who knows how prolific I might become with a pen.

-One of my favorite scenes ever: Nikki in Charlie's office, figuring out what fancy mathy thing he's going to use in order to make the video workable.  ("My prize pupil.")  Awwww.  She's growing!  She's grown by leaps and bounds already! 

-One of my other favorite scenes ever, which can be told with equal hilarity through actual quotes, or a mere picture sequence:


 
 
Charlie: [Do you have] a comb?
Nikki:  You think I can get a comb through this?  [LMAO FOREVER]  Hey, Sinclair, your girlfriend happen to have a comb in his desk?
David: You need a comb?  *pulls one out of his coat pocket*
Charlie: Perfect, thanks.
(Pause as everyone reflects on David's baldness.  And Charlie does that fantastic eyebrow quirk.)
Nikki: You know what, I don't even want to know.

Charmita may be the #1 reason that I refuse to accept this show is getting canceled - but Nikki, The Mistress Of Snark, is the other.  I mean.  Between her relentless mockery of David's "girlfriend" and her generally fantastic self, I just refuse to admit that I am never going to see her again.  THE WORLD NEEDS MORE NIKKI BETANCOURT.

Nikki: Tails.  You lose again.
Colby: How is it 50/50 if you win every time?
Nikki: Hey, take it up with Charlie.  You'll look good on camera!  Plus you won't need any makeup, you can just keep what you have on.

-A whole plate of cookies - or possibly some strawberry swirl cheesecake - for the writer who came up with plot point of the team being years behind on various categories of paperwork.  Which brought us such gems as:
--David attempting to wrangle some help with it (Colby: Ooh, that looks like supervisor stuff to me.)
--Colby blatantly faking a phone call to avoid talking about his financial records (David: Your phone didn't even beep!)
--Colby & Nikki teaming up at the end, complete with bright blue sneakers and a training whistle, to harass David about his physical training.
--ARMY DOLLS.  COLBY.  ARMY DOLLS.

David: I don't know whether I should laugh or cry.
Nikki: I'm gonna laugh.

--Also, Nikki's 164th snarky reference to David/Colby: "I hate it when Mom & Dad fight."

-I can't believe I found something with Charlie that embarrasses me to watch more than when he went in for FBI training, but the polygraph is it. That bit about doing chest presses and being sore, that was like a Krumholtz line slipped in.  Although I do love the story of how he used math to find and keep a classmate's lost baseball card.  SUCH A JUVENILE DELINQUENT.

-So we're firmly establishing, now, that Don & Charlie are 4 years apart?  Because I don't think that jives with the previous canon of them graduating high school on the same day, and Charlie going to Princeton at age 12 (I think that's what I remember reading, anyway).  Which version should we ignore?  I move "this one." 

-Most of me wants to keel over in pain at the horrific notion of Charlie BURNING AN INNOCENT GERBIL ALIVE.  Damn mini geniuses and their reckless experimenting!  The rest of me, however, is a) placated by the fact that Charlie still feels horrible about it, and b) deeply amused by the way Don is milking Charlie's guilt for all it's worth, including exaggerated expressions of woe and tsk-tsking, all the while gleefully telling everyone he can find.

I do still think Liz should give him a mild whuppin' on behalf of pet rodents like her able-bodied hamster everywhere.  Did I mention how happy I am that Liz showed up for half the episode, by the way?  I mean, I knew they were getting all four for their finale extravaganza, but did not expect to see her in the penultimate too.  Yay!

-Nice to see Alan's nutty boss again - almost forgot that part, in the wake of everything else happening.

-Hee!  The good-natured squabbling about Charlie's duck vs. rabbit shadow puppets was one of the best brother moments I've ever seen.  The whole scene between them just felt so real.  (although I am not quite sure how Don was a 'crappy role model.'  Crappy brother, maybe, but role model status is independent of your personal interaction with someone.  Still, my appreciation for the significant 'I love my big brother' vibe, and vice versa, in this scene is enough to override the illogical aspect).  And then they go and break my heart with one simple "I'm gonna miss you, buddy."

IN CONCLUSION
I know the unexpected season shortening had a lot to do with the way they chose to write the ending, and I think they're doing fine.  But I have to admit, given all the times that Charlie's been conflicted about academia vs. FBI, and how important the latter has become to him, and how very close he is to his family, it's sort of weird how easy and nonchalant he is about just leaving all that behind practically overnight.  There's only so much you can explain away with "lifelong fantasy come true", here.

Plus, there is something wrenching about how Don & Charlie really only connected for the first time five years ago, and now they'll be a significant number of time zones apart.  Even temporarily, that's such a HUGE change that...well, my heart is fragile and prone to breaking.  I love that as long as he has Amita he's good to go, because that's how it should be in the end, but that doesn't make this part any less poignant.  *clings insistently to idea of season 7 exit strategy, and clings hard*

P.S. Ugh, I am not going to make it through the finale tonight without crying.  The PREVIEW made me cry.  So much change threatening, all poised to break my heart in bittersweet ways.  "Boy, it's gonna be weird not being here."  Not even my squee over the last scene shown here (and I mean it, there will be squee; fool me once shame on me, fool me twice and I bash and slice).

============
On a March Madness-related topic, Buffy is currently whupping Sheldon in the championship round, which is nice, because it means I won't have to spend tomorrow afternoon trashing one of his campaign posters (I mean, um, who said that?  I have never done such a thing in my life).  BuI must admit that the very first comment - "Exit Polls" - is also the absolute best bit of campaigning anyone has done for anyone during the entire tournament.

Let me just copy & paste fujiidom 's brilliance here for posterity: "Why did you vote for Sheldon?"

---
CAMERON TUCKER: I like the pretentious, nerdy types. Sue me! [throws hands up] Or not. [pauses] Or do! I know a handsome, successful trial lawyer that I’d love to see work the case.

BARNEY STINSON: The only reason I’m not still in the running is because someone beat me. If that guy didn’t beat me because he was destined to beat everyone else, too… well, I’m going to go blog about this and talk to some Cookies n’ Cream. Maybe have some sex... if the poll numbers rise. What up? [high fives]

JON STEWART: I once asked Buffy what the capital of Mexico was. She guessed pesos. I can’t condone that. I don’t think God would condone that.

PERRY COX: Because the tall skinny kid’s an ass, but he’s also not an uppity little super hero in his spare time, too.

ABED NADIR: Buffy is a classic archetype for empowered female warriors everywhere who rise up from humble beginnings. [pauses] Oh, no. I’m not voting for her. I just read that on one of Sheldon’s message board posts. He’s a level twelve poster, at my forum. My loyalty lies with him. [Vulcan salutes] Also, Buffy frustrated me in the later seasons. I much preferred Emma Caulfield’s snarky, but relatable Anya.

JIM HALPERT: I do like Buffy. I do. [does fake karate moves with his hands] But, at some point, Pam saw that episode about the Little Furry Kitten Song and now we sing it. Every night. It’s the only thing that gets the baby to sleep. I owe that man my life and my marriage. [wide, serious eyes]

RICHARD CASTLE: He provided the online guide for my space cowboy costume. I figured I owed him one. I could never have put that together, myself. Too many buttons and holsters. I’m better at getting those off, rather than on. [smirks]

NEAL CAFFREY: He's got a very unique ...style.

TEMPERANCE BRENNAN: While I’m a fan of strong female role-models, being one myself, Dr. Cooper’s research on M-theory and graphene structures is …too promising, to overlook. I’ve always preferred brain over brawn, anyway.

CHUCK BARTOWSKI: I beat him at Secret Laser Obstacle Chess, already, so I feel bad for the guy. He looked pretty broken up about it. And yeah, he’s kind of a jerk. He’s got a rough shell, maybe, but he’s a total softie on the inside. He reminds me of this co-worker of mine, actually. Or a Cadbury Egg.

PARKER: I don’t vote. But I do like a good underdog.

KARA THRACE: Apparently, almost 15% of Battlestar fundraising were his donations. That’s dedication.

TOPHER BRINK: God, this is hard. Buffy is this kickass, ass-kicking, smoking hot chick. But I’m a scientist first and I’ve seen my fair share of kickass females, already. I gotta go with the Trekkie. I mean, come on! He was knocked out, like, second round last year! How awesome is that? It’s like a Cinderella story. [voice squeaks] Except with better ratings and a little more particle physics.

SUE SYLVESTER: The baby giraffe look-alike. I like his posture.

SETH COHEN: I do love me some Sarah Michelle, but seriously. Geeks for life. Solidarity. [raises fist]

TAMI TAYLOR: You don’t mess with Texas. Or your chances of not getting any of his darlin’ Meemaw’s cookies at scrimmages.

DANA SCULLY: Because science is just as valid form of saving the world as searching out monsters. [eyebrow quirks]

Comments

dollsome
Mar. 12th, 2010 06:07 pm (UTC)
I was and am totally Team Buffy all the way, but THAT IS LIKE THE MOST AMAZING CAMPAIGNING EVER. I was immediately enchanted by that comment. Well played, Person Who Posted It. Well played.
rainbowstevie
Mar. 12th, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
I know, right?? They single-handedly made me access my un-crazy side and embrace the spirit of healthy, friendly competition.

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