Season 5 Episode 10


Aired Friday 10:00 PM Dec 19, 2008 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
123 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Charlie must team up with his arch-rival to solve a case. Meanwhile, Don is still struggling to decide whether religion will provide the answers he needs.

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  • Charlie must team up with an old rival of his in order to help Don and his team crack a case in which a gang of thieves and a vigilante group seem engaged in an all out war of wits. Meanwhile, Don starts to turn to religion to help with life's troubles.moreless

    One of the best and most entertaining episodes of the season. "Numb3rs" has featured some very good guest stars in it's years on the air. As is the case with Lou Diamond Phillips, Colin Hanks does very well in his recurriing role as the thorn in Charlie's side. The vigilante group is a little cartoonish, but this episode makes up for this small flaw with a well written script. One highpoint is the scene where the reason for the vigilante group's motivation is revealed. The reason avoids conventional plot devices and shows Vanguard isn't so noble after all. Terrific episode.moreless
  • Another great addition to season 5, CAN the writer's come up with something bad?! ;)

    Boy has this season been enjoyable so far, there hasn't been an episode which I didn't like! Bravo to the writers and actors. This episode definitely centered more on Charlie and his rival Marshal Penfield, I thought it was very interesting and entertaining! Don, Coby, David, and the others had less screen time but they were all in it to some extent. The crime was great with a nasty criminal mastermind. I found the scene when Don told Charlie about going to temple was very sweet. Don was so releaved that Charlie didn't think he was dumb, these brothers have come so far! This was the one episode where Nicki's previous carear in the LAPD was an asset and not an anyance. While I enjoyed the episode I most sincerly say I DID NOT like Charlie's new hair-cut.... ;) The next episode looks very interesting, we have to wait 2 weeks for it. :(moreless
  • The returned of Marshall Penfield.

    Another reminder of why I love this show. This was one of the better overall episodes. We have two rival gangs, each with their own motives and adgendas. We have the return of Charlie's rival Marshall Penfield. The script was creative and well plotted. The final scene was great. Geeks versus the nut job playing a modern day Fagen ends up getting it in the end. The issue ultimately was the kids joy in his death. Marshall and Charlie's truce however short lived, I do like what the character brings to the show. We touch briefly on Don's journey but the biggest revelance was Charlie's realization that he can be intimadating to other people.moreless
Colin Hanks

Colin Hanks

Marshall Penfield

Guest Star

Adam Wylie

Adam Wylie

Oliver Mayo

Guest Star

Joaquin Perez Campbell

Joaquin Perez Campbell

Robert Santos

Guest Star

Matthew Yang King

Matthew Yang King

Matt Li

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Penfield: (about Tooner) We gotta get this guy, he made me itch in front of strangers!

    • Charlie: How about a truce?
      Penfield: Is this some game theory trick?
      Charlie: If it was, I would be using the fourth-level altruism ploy, right?

    • Charlie: Seriously, every time I come up with something new, in the back of my mind I'm thinking, 'Penfield's gonna tear this apart.'
      Penfield: No, you're just saying this to be nice.

    • David: (in a movie trailer voice-over voice) In a world where mathematicians go mano y mano with a killer...
      Colby: (in the same type of voice)...this time, it's personal.

    • Penfield: God, why am I so stupid?
      Charlie: You want answers one through fifty? Or fifty through one hundred?

    • Charlie: I think going to temple's an interesting choice. I have nothing negative to say about that.
      Don: Okay.
      Charlie: At least it's not a monastery.

    • Nikki: I get it. You don't want us making life miserable for innocent grad students.
      Penfield: That's what professors are for.

    • Larry: Enough! Surely two eminent mathematicians can find ways to calmly discuss theory.
      Charlie: We're not discussing theory.
      Penfield: No, we're talking hamburgers.

    • Charlie: Talking about set theory. Let's say this circle represents objects visible in the night sky. And this circle represents objects that generate light. Where they overlap is a subset: objects visible in the night sky that generate light, like a star.
      Penfield: How do you not have your own show on PBS?

    • Nikki: That mean anything to you?
      Charlie: Not immediately. But there might be a subset within the superset.
      Nikki: And for those of us who don't speak math?

  • NOTES (2)

    • International Air Dates:

      The Netherlands: April 5, 2009 on Veronica

      Norway: June 18, 2009 on TV2

      Czech Republic: June 7, 2010 on TV Nova

      Finland: April 24, 2012 on Sub

    • Music used in this episode was "The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret" by Queens of the Stone Age (opening scene).


    • Colby: (to David, as they are walking through Tooner's neighborhood, looking for him) Everybody knows our name, but nobody's glad we came.

      Colby's remark is an allusion to a line from the theme song from the TV series Cheers - "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came."