Season 2 Episode 2

Bettor or Worse

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Sep 30, 2005 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • Opening Numb3rs:
      1 POLAROID

    • The Math:
      Cellular Automata
      Farey Sequence
      Point Spread
      Pseudorandom Numbers

    • Don asks Stephen Logan if he is the owner of a 2001 Saturn Ion. Production of the Ion, however, did not begin until 2003.

    • When David Sinclair pretends to be a Jamaican delivery boy at the Logan residence, the character alludes to a previous role in which Alimi Ballard played a Jamaican delivery boy in FOX's Dark Angel.

    • It seems a little odd that the kidnappers have bound the hands and feet and taken pictures of the hostages with duct tape over their mouths, but when it comes to finding them at the end of the episode, their mouths are uncovered, so they can scream out. There seems no reason that the kidnappers would have made them any more comfortable.

    • What's the point of Charlie reverse-engineering that algorithm? He emails the program over to Don, saying it should mean something to the car manufacturer. One of those number sequences should do the trick because they are as unique as the algorithm. Surely the manufacturer can associate the right algorithm to one (or some) of those sequences. So there's no need for Charlie to do his math magic this time.

    • At one point, just after Charlie e-mails Don some info, he and his team are setting up outside the father's home. Close-captioning reads Don as saying "I don't see the Saturn. Everybody just hold." But nothing can be heard on the audio.

  • Quotes

    • Larry: See, where you see two people, unable to talk about politics or movies...
      Charlie: Hey, movies I-I can, I can talk about... I just saw the penguin movie.
      Larry: I see two extraordinary minds that can communicate on the purest level a man and a woman can interface on. Okay, second purest.
      Charlie: ... geek love.
      Larry: No better kind.

    • Larry: Charlie, have you ever considered our place in the universe?
      Charlie: Certainly... every time we speak.

    • Alan: 3.5 is a ridiculous spread. I took the Jaguars and made $100.
      Don: What, you have a bookie?
      Alan: Do I need a lawyer?
      Don: Ahh, I'll let ya slide.

    • Charlie: Would you wanna do something with me after we're done here?
      Amita: Charlie, are you actually asking me out on a date?

    • Larry: (regarding Charlie and Amita's relationship) It becomes a black hole.
      Charlie: Mixing cosmic metaphors again, are we?

  • Notes

    • The music heard in this episode included "Yellow Butter" by Pop (Charlie asks out Amita), and "Waiting So Long" by Mike Datz (Air Hockey Game).

    • This episode was actually supposed to be the third episode of season two, with "Assassin" and "Judgment Call" being the first two, but "Assassin" got moved to fifth, and both this episode and "Judgment Call" got moved forward a week.

    • This episode is rated TV-PG (LV.)

    • International Airdates:
      Czech Republic: May 19, 2009 on TV Nova
      Slovakia: October 28, 2009 on JOJ

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: V dobrém i zlém (In Good and Bad)

  • Allusions

    • Charlie: Movies... I can talk about. I just saw the penguin movie.
      Charlie references the popular documentary of summer/fall 2005, March of the Penguins, a genre-bending film about emperor penguins in Antarctica.

    • Amita:Have you tried a 1-D cellular automaton?

      A cellular automaton is a collection of colored cells on a grid of specified shape that evolves through a number of discrete time steps according to a set of rules based on the states of neighboring cells.

    • Charlie:Fractions. We're looking for fractions. Specifically, a Farey
      In mathematics, a Farey sequence of order n is the sequence of completely reduced fractions between 0 and 1 which, when in lowest terms, have denominators less than or equal to n, arranged in order of increasing size.

    • Charlie: The most important application, at least for the bookie, is in determining the point spread.
      Spread betting is a form of gambling on the outcome of any event where the more accurate the gamble, the more is won and conversely the less accurate the more is lost.

    • Charlie: This is PeMS - the Freeway Performance Evaluation Monitoring System.
      The Freeway Performance Evaluation Monitoring System (PeMS) is a web-based tool that collects and stores traffic data from California's major metropolitan areas and processes the information so that it is easily analyzed and accessed over a standard internet connection. PeMS also has built-in analytical tools to facilitate traffic management and other tasks.

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