Nikki Betancourt

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Nikki Betancourt
Numb3rs character
Nikki Betancourt.jpg
First appearance "High Exposure"
Last appearance "Cause and Effect"
Portrayed by Sophina Brown
Information
Gender Female
Occupation FBI Special Agent

Nicola "Nikki" Betancourt is a fictional character in the CBS crime drama Numb3rs, played by Sophina Brown. Developed as a replacement for Megan Reeves (played by Diane Farr, who left the series after the season four finale), Betancourt joined FBI Special Agent Don Eppes's team at the beginning of season five. Generally tough, her impulsive behavior has somewhat mellowed over the course of the series.

Backstory[edit]

Raised with one brother, Nikki grew up in East Los Angeles, California. While working undercover during her first assignment with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), she was sexually assaulted. Afterwards, she was offered her choice of assignments, in which she chose the same area where she was assaulted. She attended law school while working with the LAPD.

Characterization[edit]

Nikki is a young FBI agent with four years experience in the LAPD and a law degree. She is impulsive, and in "Decoy Effect" is reprimanded by boss Don Eppes. She has yet to get used to the technical jargon used by resident geniuses Charlie Eppes, Larry Fleinhardt, and Amita Ramanujan. Nikki is described as ""a tough, street-smart ex-LAPD officer" and "full-blown adrenaline junkie..."".[1] Nikki's way of conducting investigations sometimes clash with Don's way of running cases.[2] She often teases David Sinclair and Colby Granger.

Like former agent Megan Reeves, Nikki carries a Glock 27 as her main service weapon.

Evolution over the series[edit]

She joins FBI Special Agent Don Eppes' team at the start of season five and has been partnered with FBI Special Agents Don Eppes, David Sinclair (Alimi Ballard), Colby Granger (Dylan Bruno), and/or Liz Warner (Aya Sumika). During a case involving kidnappings/murders during her first month with the team, she earns Don's ire by deviating from the agreed plan. If captured by the kidnappers (which she was), she was to let Don negotiate with the kidnappers. Instead, she convinces the kidnappers to go to a different location. Before the kidnappers attempt to kill her, David and Colby, who has been tracking her, make the arrest. Afterward, Don assigns her to desk duty, answering the phone.

Later, she and Don are partners while investigating a series of home invasions. While David and Colby take the front of the house, she and Don take the guest house, where they rescue the home owners. Inspecting the premise, she is knocked unconscious by a man who then stabs Don. She is visibly upset by the incident, as she has never seen her supervisor attacked while with her. She realizes that she has been too cocky, and she discusses this with Charlie, who blames himself for Don's stabbing. Later, she joins the team in visiting Don, who is recovering from surgery for his wound.

At the end of season five, she agrees to a date with FBI Special Agent Ian Edgerton (Lou Diamond Phillips), whom she met during her first case with the team. They go on several dates until he breaks off contact while in the mountains. When Ian is arrested for the murder of an informant and takes Colby hostage in the prison where he is being held, she has difficulty believing Ian's guilt. As a result of her personal connection with Ian, David selects her to handle part of the negotiations. Later at the office, she tells Don about her difficulties, only to find that Don does not fully believe Ian's guilt either. Once Charlie finds another informant, she and Don arrest the real culprit, a guard who was ordered by a drug kingpin to kill the other informant. As they discuss Ian's release, Nikki tells Ian that she would go on another date with him if he contacts her.

Trivia[edit]

Brown also appeared in the episode "Scorched" as a minor character, Bianca Styles.

Development[edit]

When Farr announced to producers that she would not return for Numb3rs' fifth season, writers and producers had an idea of the type of character to add to the team.[3] Series executive producer Ken Sanzel had a specific character in mind.[4] Originally named Nikki Donat, Nikki Betancourt was developed as Megan's replacement.[5]

Months later, CBS brought in actress Sophina Brown, who had previously been in the CBS series Shark.[6] When Brown auditioned for Nikki, she quickly impressed Sanzel, a former police officer, with her portrayal.[7] She initially was to appear in only the first three episodes of season five as a condition of her contract, but CBS quickly promoted her to a regular after seeing her performance on the show.[8]

Critically, Nikki was not very well received at first. Jeffrey Robinson, a reviewer for DVD Talk, was not impressed with her, stating that she was decent but did not really add to the series.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erin Fox (August 20, 2008). "Sophina Brown's Added As Series Regular on Numbers". TV Guide News. TVGuide.com. Retrieved July 9, 2009. 
  2. ^ CBS (Press Release) (August 20, 2008). "Sophina Brown Joins the Cast of "Numb3rs" as a Series Regular". The Futon Critic. Retrieved July 13, 2009. 
  3. ^ Travis Fickett (April 3, 2008). "The Return of Numb3rs: Behind the Scenes". IGN.com. Retrieved September 2, 2009. 
  4. ^ Cheryl Heuton (co-creator/executive producer), Nicolas Falacci (co-creator/executive producer), David Krumholtz (actor), Lewis Abel (co-executive producer), David W. Zucker (executive producer), Mark Saks (casting director), Sophina Brown (actor), Navi Rawat (actor), Rob Morrow (actor), Aya Sumika (actor), Alimi Ballard (actor), Dylan Bruno (actor), Judd Hirsch (actor), Lou Diamond Phillips (actor), Henry Winkler (actor), Robert Port (co-executive producer), and Katherine LeBlond (assistant set decorator/buyer) (2009). Crunching Numb3rs: Season Five (DVD (Numb3rs—Season Five)). CBS Studios, Inc. 
  5. ^ Matt Mitovich (June 17, 2008). "Numbers Adds Shark Star". TV Guide News. TVGuide.com. Retrieved July 9, 2009. 
  6. ^ Cheryl Heuton (co-creator/executive producer), Nicolas Falacci (co-creator/executive producer), David Krumholtz (actor), Lewis Abel (co-executive producer), David W. Zucker (executive producer), Mark Saks (casting director), Sophina Brown (actor), Navi Rawat (actor), Rob Morrow (actor), Aya Sumika (actor), Alimi Ballard (actor), Dylan Bruno (actor), Judd Hirsch (actor), Lou Diamond Phillips (actor), Henry Winkler (actor), Robert Port (co-executive producer), and Katherine LeBlond (assistant set decorator/buyer) (2009). Crunching Numb3rs: Season Five (DVD (Numb3rs—Season Five)). CBS Studios, Inc. 
  7. ^ Michael Ausiello (August 18, 2008). "Exclusive: 'Numb3rs' Counts Brown Among Regulars". The Ausiello Files. EW.com. Retrieved September 12, 2009. 
  8. ^ Michael Ausiello (August 18, 2008). "Exclusive: 'Numb3rs' Counts Brown Among Regulars". The Ausiello Files. EW.com. Retrieved September 12, 2009. 
  9. ^ Robinson, Jeffrey (October 21, 2009). "Numb3rs: The Fifth Season". DVD Talk. Retrieved January 6, 2010.