Opinionated Comparisons

… compare and contrast

Eppes Brothers: Don versus Charlie

Posted by MAaP on November 5, 2008

I haven’t seen the new season of Numb3rs yet, but I am very much looking forward to it. In the preceding season, Charles gave up his NSA clearance and is no longer allowed to help Don with his cases. I wonder now how he can get back to helping the FBI and how things’ll work for the two brothers from then on. Ahhh.. when is the DVD coming out?!?!


In Numb3rs, we see two brothers who are complete opposites, yet at times are so very much the same. Most people can’t seem to get over with how they are so different from each other. We have the math genius on one side, and we have the muscles on the other. It’s like the brain versus the body, thought versus action.

But I agree with what Don’s ex Kim Hall said: both of them are similar in their approach to problems — “one part exuberance, two parts obsession.” She summed it up perfectly. Don and Charles also share some qualities together. Don isn’t as smart as Charles, but he is intelligent enough to be a leader of an FBI team. Charles may not be as physically able as Don, but at one time Colby Granger had mentioned that Charles has a deceptive body strength, implying that Charles was actually stronger than he looks.

The Lead Agent: Don Eppes

Rob Morrow as Don Eppes

Rob Morrow as Don Eppes

Don Eppes is the older brother, the jock, the cool one.. pretty much the popular guy back in high school: great in sports (baseball), lots of social circles, just the normal teenager who’s all fun and friends. As an adult, he’s become a leading FBI agent, fostered a strict and disciplined way of life while fighting crime, and is still very much the patient brother.

Along the series, we can see his insecurities towards his brother unfold. He has expressed frustration over having a brother 5 years younger than him be in the same grade, making him feel dumb and stupid throughout their school years. As a result, he feels like he is always under his brother’s shadow.

Despite his insecurities, he has remained to be a very caring and patient brother. He has given the impression that he has always stood aside because his brother needed more attention from their parents. He grew up to be very independent. Despite whatever hurt feelings, he is still closely bonded with Charlie. Throughout Numb3rs, Don has also changed to be more comfortable and open towards Charlie. And although, he still doesn’t get half of his brother’s mathematical abilities, Don inevitably starts to rely more on his brother and his skills. Don still has hesitations sometimes, but in the end he accepts the fact that Charlie has always been a great help to him and his team.

The Math Genius: Charlie Eppes

David Krumholtz as Charlie Eppes

David Krumholtz as Charlie Eppes

Although five years younger, Charlie Eppes graduated alongside his brother and became a respected mathematician and professor at a young age. He is your usual geek: different way of looking at the world, limited number of friends, and awkward. As an adult, he continued to pursue mathematical probabilities and is still stubborn with his mathematical conclusions. We see him as the more carefree of the brothers, probably because his world doesn’t involve many stakeouts and SWAT procedures.

Despite his impressive brain and accomplishments, it seems that the one thing Charlie really wants is to get along very well with his brother. Don just stood at the sides as Charlie grew up. The differences in their character put a gap between them, yet, like a normal younger brother, Charlie still looks up to Don. He likes working with his brother and is a little fearful of breaking the bond that they have formed when he started working with the FBI.

With his involvement with his brother’s work, Charlie has also reevaluated his life. He ventured out to try what Don does for a living, entering a training camp for FBI agents. He still holds true to his math, though. He gets it that many people don’t see the world the way he sees it, but he has never faltered in his views. As Don is obsessed with his work in chasing criminals and fighting crime with his hands, Charlie is determined to use math in solving the crime puzzles.

Don and Charles Eppes

Don and Charles Eppes

Who’s Better? Come on now. You can’t choose between them. They’re different from one another whilst complementing each other. Without one of them, the team wouldn’t really be complete and impressive. Don and Charles go together.. else it’ll be like a body without the brain, or the brain with no physical abilities, or whatever else you can think of.


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