In the Numb3rs

Numb3rs is basically a crime drama with a mathematics twist. One brother’s an FBI agent, the other an applied mathematics professor (and genius) who helps solve cases by number crunching. Add a sweet father, and you’ve got a nice family feel to your basic crime drama as well.

What I’ve always found a bit interesting about the show is Alan’s (the father) tendency to pry and poke and needle his two sons (Don and Charlie, for the record) about settling down, getting married, etc. These are things, I think, that are usually designated toward female roles, so it’s nice to see  men receiving this kind of pressure as well. However, that has a downside. Many of the female characters  (there are only two main)  automatically become love interests.

Charlie, for example, works with Amita, who is brilliant in her own right. She does have good, strong qualities of her own…but ultimately she’s there for the “will they ever get together?” factor.

Don has had multiple trysts throughout the series, his current “maybe” being another FBI agent (someone whom I think trained under him once, ew); now, she’s probably got qualities of her own, but essentially she’s there for sexual tension with Don. Yays.

Alan gets in on the action, too. He’s a widower, and by the end of the first season he was starting to date again. Since then, he’s taken a liking to Charlie’s boss, and we knew when she was introduced that there’d be a romantic interlude between them.  

It’s just frustrating  that nearly all female characters (who aren’t victims in the end) are written around their potential as partner for one of the guys. Megan, the lone female agent on Don’s team, has escaped this fate somewhat – though she did become involved with Charlie’s colleague Larry, until he left for a six month trip into space. Still, Numb3rs could use more female representation…women who stand on their own merits and have a bigger identity than Love Interest.




  1. Graculus says

    While I agree that the writers have spectacularly failed to do anything with the character of Amita other than write her in relation to Charlie (and, in my opinion, demonstrate how utterly unlikely that relationship would be to work outside of tv-land), I feel I must stand up for them where Megan is concerned.

    First and foremost, Megan is good at her job. She wasn’t brought into the show to be a love interest for one of the guys. There’s no element of ‘oh noes, I am a weak female who must be rescued!’ where she’s concerned. The romantic angle is secondary and (in my opinion as someone who’s usually adamantly against onscreen shippiness) it’s cool to see the nerds (which category Megan also comes into, by her own admission) getting some love for once. To me it actually doesn’t feel like it’s been shoehorned in because they don’t know what to do with Megan, as is so often the case. For once the romantic subplot has stayed as a subplot, not taken over the character’s screentime like it does with Amita (and has done so far with whatserface the female agent and Charlie’s new boss, Milly).

    Sadly (for us) Diane Farr is off having a baby at the moment so there’s no news on what’s going to happen with the character in the longer term, but certainly well into season 3 Megan has still been kicking down doors.

  2. sbg says

    I hesitated to even bring up Megan in the context of the point I was trying to make – and please note that I didn’t really say she was solely a love interest; I just neglected to say enough about her. 😉

    I like Megan, I think she’s awesome. I also liked her and Larry together (it definitely isn’t a typical relationship) and the fact that it remained on the fringes. It was/is a facet of her, but not the whole.

  3. Graculus says

    I’ve heard that Sabrina Lloyd decided she didn’t like the action part of the show and that was why she left/got written out.

    However, considering they wrote Terry as having been involved with Don before he left LA in the first place, I was glad that Megan didn’t coincidentally turn out to also be one of Don’s many former girlfriends… one wonders how he found the time and the energy to do any actual work!

  4. says

    Interesting not only to see them handed down TOO, but handed down BY. Isn’t it usually the character’s mother who is pressuring said character to settle down? Nice to see a father pushing this line this time around.

  5. SunlessNick says

    What Megan has going for her are her profiling skills, which have been – at least up to the point I’ve seen – shown to be genuine and useful skills (an aspect of a particular thing I like about Numbers, that its “star” kind of evidence is not depicted as the only or only useful kind, in the vein of CSI or Criminal Minds).

    And it’s something that Megan is shown as the best at. Amita doesn’t, and Sabria Lloyd’s character didn’t, have a skill niche of their own.

  6. says

    Oh please! The Megan/Larry relationship is soo sweet! But mainly, realtionships are a pretty big thing! There should be more women in NUMB3RS, but if there are then they will probably pair her up with Colby or David or possibly even Don again. They just pair up as many people as possible, to create extra drama. I don’t think its really necessary though. NUMB3RS is perfect the way it is!!!!!!!

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