Numb3rs

Season 1 Episode 13

Man Hunt

5
Aired Friday 10:00 PM May 13, 2005 on CBS
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
205 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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A dangerous felon escapes when a prison bus crashes and the FBI has reason to fear he's intent on revenge against the witness whose testimony put him in jail. However, finding the elusive killer proves to be a complicated challenge. Don teams up with Agent Billy Cooper, his former partner from the FBI's Fugitive Recovery Division, and Alan worries that Don's going to return to a more dark and obsessive time in his career.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Review

    9.6
    I thought it was a really good episode to close out the season, one of the better episodes of the season in fact. I think the only thing the show failed to do in its first season was establish a lot of relationships among the characters outside of the drama cases they went through on a week to week basis. The ending scene is something that Im talking about. I really liked the interaction betweeen the 3 Epps family memebers, all sitting around playing Chess and discussing random things.



    Another one of the favorite parts of the episodes was the "Math for dummies" lecture Charlie gave. most of the time the math on the show goes way over everyones head, that time it didntmoreless
  • Charlie\'s odds example using the goats and automobile.

    5.5
    I think his theory was incorrect. When u make 1 out of 3 choice, he is correct that there is a 2 out of 3 chance of being incorrect. But once u establish that one of the bad choices was not selected, your chance of being right is now 50 - 50, 2 to 3 in your favor. Changing your pick to the one that u didn\'t pick at 1st does not in anyway improve your chance of being right. even though u r getting a 2nd choice, your chances are still 50 -50.



    It\'s just like flipping a coin, if u flip heads 50 times in a row, the odds of flipping heads on the next flip is 50 - 50...moreless
  • An inmate of a prison escapes and goes after someone who put him in jail years earlier.

    9.3
    This was the first ever episode i saw of numb3rs and it was so good that after that i almost never missed an episode of numb3rs. This is one oof the better shows i think and is really well done. The gunfight at the end was espicially scary and exciting for me!
  • Charlie and Don are tasked with capturing a pair of escaped convicts. More police work than math takes center stage. A refreshing change from the typical formula.

    8.0
    After two convicts escape from a prison transfer bus, the FBI is tasked with finding them. Charlie examines the crash mathematicaly to find that it was not an accident. This is a refreshing change from the more typical episodes. This time, the resolution of the plot doesn't rely exclusively on Charlie's ability to mathematically predict the whens, wheres, and hows of the crime to resolve it. He provides assistance, but the criminals are ultimately caught on good old fashioned police work. Rather than a formulaic plot line of "crime happens, Charlie uses math to narrow the search to the exact location of the criminal, and Don charges in to capture him", there is more character development and suspense, which bodes well for the next season.moreless
  • Again a solid episode. Unfortunately the plot is a bit weak; same for the involved math...

    5.5
    This episode involves good acting and solid characters. But that's it, as far as I am concerned, with the positive aspects of this episode.



    The first thing, that really annoyed me, was the presence of Charlie at the first crimescene; what is he doing there? He's a consultant for the NSA and for the FBI, but why is he checking out the crimescene of a seemingly regular car-accident from the start. If there had been any mentioned circumstances in the plot, that had suggested the need of a mathematician, I would understand, but there were none... He's of professor for math after all and thus not supposed to be at all crime-scenes, his brother Don is at. I don't recall Charlie switching to policework fulltime.



    So Charlie clings onto this accident like he already knows, there's something wrong with the accident beeing one and surely detects an 'anomoly' (the final scene includes this misspelling by Charlie, a scene which I really liked). From there the story goes on in a fairly logic plot. 'Fairly' because of the weak spots, that annoyed me: like the witness' whereabout beeing noted somewhere in the police-computer-system, which is very unlikely. Second it is never fully revealed, how the two vehicles, that caused the accident were coordinated, so that an actual accident resulted from their behavior. They had to be just in the right place at the right time which still wouldn't have been enough, as the key to the accident was the reaction of the busdriver. If he had reacted slightly different, the accident perhaps would have never happened. How could the people, that organised the accident, have incorporated his behavior? Not if You ask me and that's the way most of the key-points of this story work. To much coincidence for me...



    After all I enjoyed watching this episode, but more because of the characters but because of that implausible story. If a good script is Your main concern for the quality of an episode, this one is not for You.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (10)

    • Opening Numb3rs:
      182,000 FEDERAL PRISON INMATES
      63 ESCAPES
      2 FUGITIVES
      1 WITNESS

    • The Math:
      Chapman-Kolmogorov Equation
      Bayesian Inference - A statistical model where probability is based on belief, not frequency or proportion.
      Markov Chain - A mathematical concept that states the past is irrelevant for predicting the future given knowledge of the present.
      Monty Hall Problem - A problem with a counter-intuitive solution explained by Charlie in his lecture on odds using goats and automobiles.

    • Don was in Fugitive Recovery in Phoenix before he moved back to L.A.

    • Charlie finally teaches a class in this episode.

    • This was the first time Don and Alan beat Charlie in a game of chess.

    • Charlie has trouble with spelling. He spells the word 'anomaly' as 'anomoly' despite using it constantly as a mathematician.

    • The exact same example Charlie shows with the goat and the car is used in the movie 21.

    • The chess game in the ending scene is the famous chess game Morphy v. Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard.

    • During the shootout in the end, a bullet hits a metal tube protruding from the ground a bunch of sparks fly off the tube. Technically, this shouldn't happen when a bullet is propelled from a gun like the one they were using.

    • Watch the chess pieces on the board in the final scene. Charlie's knight on his right side moves over two squares to the right after taking Alan's bishop, without taking anything. If it didn't move, Alan wouldn't have been able to checkmate Charlie.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Cooper: We spent two weeks in a cemetery once, waiting for this guy to show up at his wife's grave. Grabbed him as he was putting a dozen roses on her headstone.
      David: She died while he was in prison huh?
      Cooper: Just before he went. He's the one that killed her.

    • Charlie: Coincidences are a mathematical reality. Statistically unlikely events can and often do occur. Just look at the genesis of our planet.
      Larry: Well now, I agree that the factors that brought about life on earth were statistically unlikely, but given the vastness of the cosmos, the limitless possibilities for matter and energy... I'm with Einstein on this: there are no accidents.

    • David: I take it you two know each other?
      Don: Yeah. Well, you know I used to work in fugitive recovery? Well, we were a team.
      Cooper: No better way to get to know a man than to spend a week using a gas station restroom as home base.
      David: Ah, the good old days.

    • David: The cans are still on her property, technically we need a warrant.
      Cooper: Only if we're trying to build a court case.

    • (Charlie and Larry use a skateboard and gardening tools to recreate a bus crash.)
      Don: Gentlemen, what's this?
      Charlie: Just trying to make sense of something that doesn't make sense.
      Don: I thought that's what you do best. What, uh... what's the problem?
      Larry: Well, apparently that seed spreader.

    • Don: Hey, Dad. What are you doing here?
      Alan: Well, I... I like coming whenever Charlie gives one of these "Math for Dummies" lectures. It's the only time I actually understand what he's talking about.

    • (Cooper listens to one of Charlie's mathematical explanations.)
      Cooper
      : (to Don) Are you sure you're his brother?

    • Alan: Are you going back to man hunting now?
      Don: Oh I see. Dad, come on, don't. This is one case.
      Alan: I seem to recall your saying that about only one case once before. But if you can remember, they were not good days for you, or for me. I mean, we didn't hear from you for weeks. We didn't even know where the hell you were.
      Don: Dad...
      Alan: You do realize that chasing after someone, you could be running away from yourself at the same time.

    • Cooper: These guys usually go where they are familiar, where they are affiliated. They are both from LA, so my guess is they'd both stick around.
      David: Wouldn't it be smarter to leave the area, get away from the search?
      Cooper: Yes sir, but they are not smart, which is why they went to prison to begin with.

    • (Charlie loses a chess game to Don and Alan from misspelling "anomaly".)
      Charlie: Yeah, don't worry. I'll take care of the old man while you're gone.
      Don: All right guys, see ya.
      (Don leaves.)
      Alan: Old man?!
      Charlie: I use it strictly as a term of endearment, father.
      Alan: Well, you better prepare yourself, little boy, because... this old man can kick your ass.
      Charlie: Oh yeah? What, are you gonna cheat again?
      Alan: No, I'm gonna get the Scrabble board.
      Charlie: ...'cause, uh, Scrabble's missing a piece.

    • Charlie: The yellow dots are unsolved or uncredited crimes that have occurred since the bus crash. Crimes possibly committed by McDowd, but those aren't the problems. The problems are the blue dots. Sightings of McDowd called in to LAPD and FBI tip lines. Each dot is a time and a place, but there are... there are hundreds of them.
      Larry: Okay, so the problem is too much data.
      Charlie: The problem is corrupt data, Larry, fictitious data. Here, look, (Points to the blue dots) 9 AM, right? 9 AM, McDowd is sighted in three separate locations, miles apart.
      Larry: Okay, so... so the public, however well meaning, is actually hampering the search by calling in too many sightings.
      Charlie: Unless this man has the ability to be in three places at once.
      Larry: A. That's not entirely impossible. I mean, Quantum Theory does state... (Charlie sighs) ...Okay. Well, for the purposes of this discussion, I'll concede the point.

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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