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Numb3rs

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A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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Nine episodes air Fridays starting at 11am ET / 10 CT on the H&I (Heroes & Icons) network, which is broadcast for free, over the air, if you live close enough to a major city (30 miles is close enough) to capture the signal with an antenna.

This Friday (September 7th) these season 3 episodes are airing:

4. The Mole
5. Traffic
6. Longshot
7. Blackout
8. Hardball
9. Waste Not
10. Brutus
11. Killer Chat
12. Nine Wives

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I don't have a H&I channel but do own all of Numb3rs on dvd.  My husband and I finished rewatching the whole series about 3 months ago. 

I think my favorite of those episodes is Hardball.  Oswald was a good character. 

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What I like about Numb3rs is that it's one of the few scripted shows where I don't feel like I've lost IQ points after watching. (Even 6th season, though it's not that great for Numb3rs, it was still better than most of the stuff on tv.)  And I loved the Eppes house, even though it would probably be too much like living in a Craftsman museum as it was set up. 

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2 hours ago, Raja said:

I liked when Lou Diamond Phillips  Agent  Edgerton showed up.

Oh, yeah. Ian wasn't on nearly enough but then it would have been kind of hard to work a sniper into an average episode. :-)  

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On 9/5/2018 at 10:43 PM, tessaray said:

I think my favorite of those episodes is Hardball.  Oswald was a good character. 

This aired yesterday.
Jon Hamm was the perp; it was the year before Mad Men began.
And Billy Nye made an appearance. 

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On 9/7/2018 at 9:06 AM, Raja said:

I liked when Lou Diamond Phillips  Agent  Edgerton showed up.

Apparently he got a lot of positive reviews when he was on which is why they kept bringing him back.  And there was some interest in a spinoff called "Edge" which obviously never happened.  That I would watch in a heartbeat.  Ian was my fave.

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I love this show! I re-watch every couple years, though I usually end up losing interested not too long after Megan leaves. I think seasons 2-4 are the best.

The ones with Edgerton are our favorites too. "You might miss, but I won't" is said in the DVD household often. Other memorable ones include the One Hour one (Don's at a therapist and everyone else is trying to rescue a kid), the one with the weird cult and the girl that runs away, the one with the playground sinkhole, and anything with David and Colby.

I actually liked Millie, I'm not sure that was universal. Less of a fan of Larry. Big fan of the Jeans of Justice (for those TWOPers), and Charlie's hair. As I recall, the show creators would post on TWOP also, which I really appreciated.

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2 hours ago, JessDVD said:

I actually liked Millie, I'm not sure that was universal. Less of a fan of Larry. Big fan of the Jeans of Justice (for those TWOPers), and Charlie's hair. As I recall, the show creators would post on TWOP also, which I really appreciated.

I didn't mind Millie.  Though I didn't really like her the first time through, she grew on me.  But we love Larry in our household. And Megan.  About the only regular I didn't care so much for was Liz.  Or anything related to Don's relationships, for that matter.  (Robin was fine in her own right.) 

Charlie's hair deserved its own place in the credits. 

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39 minutes ago, tessaray said:

Charlie's hair deserved its own place in the credits. 

Then you might enjoy this clip with a retrospective of some of the styles.

I didn't mind Milly either. I missed Megan's departure.  Larry was, well, Larry - white food and all.  But Edgerton was the best, hands down.

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I loved Larry. But that might also have to do with my general Peter MacNicol love. If you've never heard him narrate Beach Music by Pat Conroy, you really should. It's a true experience. I only regret that it's the abridged version.

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I think the thing that bugged me about Larry / didn't bug about Millie, was that when Millie came in around season 2 or 3 or whenever it was, and was making changes like sealing the steam tunnels (forcing Larry to not live there), it was played like we're supposed to hate Millie because she was so mean to Larry and aren't his quirks adorable; when I can completely understand why a department chair would want to do that. And her advice to Amita about not dressing like a teenager was good advice and also played like, what a jerk she's so mean.

I hated Liz the first time I watched the show. The last time I re-watched, which was in the last year, I liked her a lot more, minus the part where she and Don were dating. The only other relationship bit I hated was Charlie's one night stand with that one chick. I usually skip that episode. I also skip that one with the guy killing all people with names of the disciples in the same manner that they died. I thought the concept was interesting and wouldn't mind re-watching it for that, but it was soooo creepy with all the music and gore that I haven't had the guts to try it again.

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I always thought that was what we were supposed to do, be annoyed with Millie for daring to criticize our heroes and then gradually realize that she was right more often than not. Though my favorite Millie moments were when she would get caught up in the case in spite of herself. Like the genealogy of cattle. :-)

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On ‎9‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 3:30 PM, JessDVD said:

I think the thing that bugged me about Larry / didn't bug about Millie, was that when Millie came in around season 2 or 3 or whenever it was, and was making changes like sealing the steam tunnels (forcing Larry to not live there), it was played like we're supposed to hate Millie because she was so mean to Larry and aren't his quirks adorable; when I can completely understand why a department chair would want to do that. And her advice to Amita about not dressing like a teenager was good advice and also played like, what a jerk she's so mean.

I didn't really care for Millie, but I agree with you on these things.  I actually can't even really put a finger on why I don't like her.  She just kind of rubs me the wrong way, I guess.  I was fine with her telling Charlie his professing had to come first, Larry needs to actually live somewhere, and suggest Amita start acting more like a professor and less like a student.  For some reason, the chess thing bugged me, and again, I can't really tell you why. 

On ‎9‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 5:08 PM, tessaray said:

I always thought that was what we were supposed to do, be annoyed with Millie for daring to criticize our heroes and then gradually realize that she was right more often than not. Though my favorite Millie moments were when she would get caught up in the case in spite of herself. Like the genealogy of cattle. :-)

Yeah, I have to admit that I liked it when she would go to Charlie on some school thing, see what he was working on, get all interested, and have some great insight.  Maybe she doesn't bug me as much as I thought:)

The first season Colby was on, I just wanted to strangle him every single scene.  But, he really grew on me.  I loved him by the end of the series.  I didn't like Nicki.  IIRC, she was only in that last half season, so maybe she would have grown on me also. We'll never know.  Always loved David. He was awesome. 

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10 minutes ago, Katy M said:

I didn't like Nicki.  IIRC, she was only in that last half season, so maybe she would have grown on me also.

She showed up in Season 5.  I don't think she was ever going to grow on me because I was a Megan fan.

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I had some old X-Files episodes playing while I was making dinner last night, and after watching Mulder chase Eddie Van BlundHt around numerous times in his suit and (plot-relevant) tie, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Colby’s mini-rant about suspects running off.  You’d think more people on TV would complain about that.

David: Why do they always run?

Colby: ‘Cause we wear suits, man. You always figure you can outrun a guy in a suit.

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I liked Millie. I like the actress who played her as well.

I loved Larry the first few seasons but by the end of the show he was my least favorite character.

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1 hour ago, deaja said:

I liked Millie. I like the actress who played her as well.

I loved Larry the first few seasons but by the end of the show he was my least favorite character.

I think I stopped liking him when he came back from space.  He was just too much after that.   

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I think that’s when I stopped liking him too. He became unreasonable, I thought. I also think he was better when Megan was in the picture. She brought out a good side of him.

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17 minutes ago, deaja said:

I also think he was better when Megan was in the picture. She brought out a good side of him.

Definitely  They were an unlikely pair but sweet together.

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I get what everyone is saying about Larry but without him, the show would have been unbalanced IMO. Larry and Don were both sides of Charlie's journey. What the show did well was giving them their own journeys alongside him. And while I don't know any true geniuses (in the cosmic sense - I do know some rocket scientists and plenty of engineers with Mensa busting IQs), I can go along with the idea that they don't fit very well into normal society. 

A related observation from my last rewatch is that I used to enjoy the various conspiracy theory scenes more. It wasn't quite as fun the last time around.    

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One thing I kind of appreciated about the show was its nod to realism.  Num3ers debuted the same year as Bones, but Num3ers at least pretended to care that there needed to be a reason for the FBI to be involved in something aside from "this is the case we want to put on our show." 

 

I also like the consequences and aftereffects are a thing on Num3ers.  While it hasn't dominated, the Crystal Hoyle stuff from the season premiere put Don in therapy and caused some tension with Edgerton.  I'm currently rewatching Season 3 just came a pretty cool run of episodes with "One Hour" (Charlie and the FBI have an hour to save a kidnapped child while Don is out of contact in a therapy session), "Democracy" (William Sadler as a scary billionaire and the return of Jay Baruchel as Oswald Kittenger), "Pandora's Box" (a plane crash and the return of Ian Edgerton) and "Burn Rate" (Matt Malloy as Emmett Glaser - a disgruntled professor and quite possibly one of the smartest characters ever featured on the show who I'd have liked to have seen return).

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I really liked One Hour. 

As for repeat guests, my second favorite (after LDP/Ian) was probably Henry Winkler as Roger Bloom.  

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5 hours ago, johntfs said:

I also like the consequences and aftereffects are a thing on Num3ers.  While it hasn't dominated, the Crystal Hoyle stuff from the season premiere put Don in therapy and caused some tension with Edgerton. 

I also liked the Eppes Sr. offering his thoughts, he warned Don that crossing the line was not a good idea but he did it anyway and suffered the consequences.  Too bad he took it out on Ian when he was the one who asked him to employ "alternative methods" to get info out of Buck.

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10 hours ago, Kohola3 said:

I also liked the Eppes Sr. offering his thoughts, he warned Don that crossing the line was not a good idea but he did it anyway and suffered the consequences.  Too bad he took it out on Ian when he was the one who asked him to employ "alternative methods" to get info out of Buck.

I kind of liked that.  I like shows where people are allowed to act like... people.  It's completely human for Don to blame Ian for not saying "No." when Don asked him to cross that line.  Meanwhile, I took Don shooting Crystal (instead of letting Ian do it) as sparing others on his team from having to do it.  Though I also liked the bit in the therapy session where Don came to realize that another part of why he did that was to enforce the idea that his team still needs him.

Another thing I liked about this show was the way it kind of avoided the "nerd gets the hot girl" trope with both Charlie and Amita along with Megan and Larry.  Charlie clearly wasn't the typical social misfit/outcast and it was easy to see why Amita would go for him.  Plus I liked that both of them were smart/responsible enough to wait to fully act on their mutual attraction until after Amita was no longer his student and they were relative equals at Cal-Sci.  Meanwhile, it was pretty clear that Megan liked Larry as much as he liked her and their mutual attraction was as much mental as physical.  You could see how each loved the other's mind.  Plus, Larry's car was pretty awesome.  Also, bonus points to the show for letting Alan have a love life, too.  Too many programs forget that "old isn't dead."

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11 hours ago, johntfs said:

Though I also liked the bit in the therapy session where Don came to realize that another part of why he did that was to enforce the idea that his team still needs him.

I admit to not having seen all of the episodes so didn't see the therapy session. I always assumed that he shot Crystal because he was paying her back for hurting Megan and for "forcing" him to cross the line in order to save her. 

I did like that Ian was cool with it and didn't call him out on it especially when Don gave him the cold shoulder.

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The therapy session was "One Hour" and was two episodes before the episode with Don giving Ian a bit of the cold shoulder. 

As for Crystal, I think Don would have taken her alive if he could have.  I think the biggest part of why Don shot Crystal was because she was a woman.  The FBI is a somewhat male-dominated organization and no "real man" likes the idea of shooting a woman.  Don shot her because he sees part of his role of team leader as taking the dirtiest jobs for himself.

One cool bit about "One Hour" is that the record label owner was a former member of the 18th Street Mexicali gang from the 1990s.  That gang was referenced in "End of Watch."  Num3ers didn't really engage in the kind of dense world-building that Elementary does, but there definitely was some.  I'm wondering if some of the folks who worked on Num3ers ended up with Elementary.

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23 hours ago, johntfs said:

Don shot her because he sees part of his role of team leader as taking the dirtiest jobs for himself.

These exact words even came up in the therapy session, but that felt like a tiny bit of a retcon to me with regard to the Crystal-shootout. When the scene was airing, I thought Don shot her because he was the only one who had the instincts to realize that if he didn't, likely some lethal plan of hers would erupt—which it would have—literally. 
The therapy insight of Don seeing "his role of team leader as taking the dirtiest jobs for himself" was valid. I just didn't see the Crystal Hoyle kill shot as that simple of a choice. It didn't seem that any of the others even saw the necessity of it.

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1 minute ago, shapeshifter said:

It didn't seem that any of the others even saw the necessity of it.

Oh, I think Edgerton was well aware of the necessity nor has he ever hesitated to take a shot.  He was locked and loaded when she was driving at them and was shocked when Don beat him to the punch.  He was, after all, a sniper by trade so was an expert at reading the situations.

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21 minutes ago, Kohola3 said:

Oh, I think Edgerton was well aware of the necessity nor has he ever hesitated to take a shot.  He was locked and loaded when she was driving at them and was shocked when Don beat him to the punch.  He was, after all, a sniper by trade so was an expert at reading the situations.

Yeah, but I got the impression that Don just wasn't willing to risk waiting (rather than trying to take the shot before Edgerton). Okay, maybe I did sense a bit of contest too.

But, the "doing the dirty work" for his crew wouldn't apply even if Don was just trying to beat Edgerton to the kill shot.

Anyway, I don't recall: Was there any change to Don's approach to giving the team more responsibilities after the therapy?

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2 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Yeah, but I got the impression that Don just wasn't willing to risk waiting (rather than trying to take the shot before Edgerton). Okay, maybe I did sense a bit of contest too.

But, the "doing the dirty work" for his crew wouldn't apply even if Don was just trying to beat Edgerton to the kill shot.

Anyway, I don't recall: Was there any change to Don's approach to giving the team more responsibilities after the therapy?

I think in the moment Don kind of forgot that Edgerton was even there.  Crystal had to be stopped so he shot and stopped her.

I'm still in Season 3, but I haven't noticed much of a change in his approach to doling out assignments.  That said, Don was pretty good about handing out assignments even before the therapy.  I think the therapy was more about keeping him from going down a bad road than anything else.

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Watching the reruns this season and am reminded what really grove me away from the show for awhile.

Diane Farr's role just made me crazy...they couldn't seem to really get a grip on what they wanted the character to be.

On a VERY shallow note, I found her extremely nasal voice took me right out of many of her scenes - - -drove me crazy. And drove me away from routinely watching.

Interestingly enough, in the reruns the nasal quality doesn't bother me as much, but her acting (perhaps the direction? or maybe the concept for her character) take me out.

Too bad because I really like the entire rest of the cast and the guests, etc.

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I love Diane Farr and have since Roswell but I know what you mean to have one character that just irritates you so much it impacts how you experience a show. (For me, that would be Wrenn Schmidt on PoI. I'm sure she's a lovely person but...) 

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11 hours ago, kaygeeret said:

Watching the reruns this season and am reminded what really grove me away from the show for awhile.

Diane Farr's role just made me crazy...they couldn't seem to really get a grip on what they wanted the character to be.

 

6 hours ago, tessaray said:

I love Diane Farr and have since Roswell

I am embarrassed to admit that I didn't watch at least the first few seasons of Numb3rs live because of some misplaced loyalty to the cancelled Roswell, and by extension, a refusal to watch any show that had "poached" a Roswell actor. This now sounds insane. My only excuse is that I had abstained from watching TV for the 30 years prior to Roswell—because TV watching took up valuable time—so even though I was middle-aged when Numb3rs first aired, in TV-fandom years, I was still going through puberty.

When I finally did start watching Numb3rs, I quickly saw the error of my fanatical ways, so, although this show doesn't hold up quite as well as some others of the genre, it can be credited with opening my eyes to a kind of prejudice in my thinking, which is always a good thing.

 

Afterthought:

CSI Miami also contributed to this realization at about the same time, with the casting of Roswell's Adam Rodriguez.
My fanatical refusal to watch shows with Roswell cast members in the first year or two after Roswell's cancellation served as a reason/excuse for me to watch less TV in general—which, now that  think about it, makes me wonder how this kind of distorted self-talk plays out in social groups other than TV show fans.
—I did not invent the idea of not watching shows in which actors were cast who had been in my beloved, cancelled show—I picked up the concept on the old FanForum, where this demonstration of one's loyalty to the show was encouraged by a few posters. 
—Only now am I realizing how this rationale is nearly identical to that of any prejudice. 

Edited by shapeshifter
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We came to the party late, discovered Numb3rs a few months ago and watched the entire series over the next few months.  Agree about Diane Farr's voice but we got past it.  Also, seems like she had her lips enhances a few seasons in, or makeup was different.  We liked the relationship among the main characters as much or maybe more than the crime solving. 

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11 hours ago, kaygeeret said:

On a VERY shallow note, I found her extremely nasal voice took me right out of many of her scenes - - -drove me crazy.

I didn't notice that as much as the fact that she has an odd cadence to her speech at times.  Or maybe it's just me. 

I could never see her with Larry, not sure why they had to throw that into the story.  She was a profiler and Larry was a prime candidate for someone to study!  All white food....

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23 minutes ago, Kohola3 said:

I could never see her with Larry, not sure why they had to throw that into the story.  She was a profiler and Larry was a prime candidate for someone to study!  All white food....

I can't recall: Did we get to see the reason for her inital attraction to him? I mean, was it his oddness? Or was he first attracted to her?
I do seem to recall her "letting him go"—both to space and at the end of their relationship—in a kind of detached way like an anthropologist would.

Anyway, Larry added a lot to the show, IMO. 

Edited by shapeshifter
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3 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Anyway, Larry added a lot to the show, IMO. 

Absolutely. I loved him and his oddities...and how he could be both clueless and brilliant at the same time. I imagine he could be classified as autistic.

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24 MINUTES AGO, LOOKEYLOO SAID:

We liked the relationship among the main characters as much or maybe more than the crime solving. 

Yes, the crime solving doesn't hold up as well as as it does in other Sherlockian shows, like Monk or The Closer. Rather than catching the clues we missed the first time, we have to sit through Professor Epps' lectures again.

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24 minutes ago, Kohola3 said:
29 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Anyway, Larry added a lot to the show, IMO. 

Absolutely. I loved him and his oddities...and how he could be both clueless and brilliant at the same time. I imagine he could be classified as autistic

—or possibly on some other psychological spectrum.
I like both the writing for the character and the way Peter MacNicol played him.
At times, Larry was a bridge between Charlie and the audience—explaining the intellectual in more human in terms.
And then Megan became a bridge between Larry and the audience—explaining his motivations.

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3 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I can't recall: Did we get to see the reason for her inital attraction to him? I mean, was it his oddness? Or was he first attracted to her?
I do seem to recall her "letting him go"—both to space and at the end of their relationship—in a kind of detached way like an anthropologist would.

Anyway, Larry added a lot to the show, IMO. 

 

I believe that the first time they met Larry was next to his vintage car. Pretty sure it was the car that first attracted her interest and that Larry was just weird enough to intrigue her.  Almost like a challenge. 

And when Megan moved back East to get her doctorate, there was a one liner somewhere about their relationship not having time or distance limitations. (Paraphrasing madly and possibly inaccurately.) 

ETA: I might be imagining it but I also thought Megan once kind of pointed to the ocean of men in the office when someone brought the subject of Larry up.  He was different  than the men she knew and sometimes that's enough.  (We are in the middle of a Leverage rewatch, so the details tend to fade.) 

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Watching on H&I, it's on every Friday for 8 hours. I had been out of the room, walked back in to hear Megan say something about "this better be good, I was in my pajamas." Larry asked, "the red cowboy pajamas?" She nodded. Cut to Don giving them a very puzzled look. It's those little things that make me love the show.

Yes, I think Larry and Megan were an odd pairing, but I thought their respect and admiration for each other was nice to watch. I enjoyed them.

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15 minutes ago, friendperidot said:

Watching on H&I, it's on every Friday for 8 hours.

Shoot, I got all excited and found out that I have H&I - but I have to pay extra for it.

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boo! it's an antenna channel for me, I use an internet streaming service for cable channels, have to switch back and forth, but it's no big deal. There are a few antenna channels in the area I cannot get, need a more powerful, probably roof antenna, and that isn't happening.

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I frequently have this show on all day on Fridays for background noise, I've noticed this for a while, but there is a low volume, repetitive piano piece playing during many of the scenes. I usually have the volume on low because it's just background but this music is really annoying. I experimented today and turned up the sound and it's not just my imagination.

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