Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Scorpion 3x01 Review: “Civil War” (More Than You Are Capable Of) [Guest Poster: Yasmine]

“Civil War”
Original Airdate: October 4, 2016

Scorpion had its third season premiere this week with a two-hour episode aptly titled “Civil War.”

The premiere picks up almost exactly where the finale left off: Toby drinking away the pain of Happy rejecting his proposal and dropping that bombshell of being married to another man, and Walter on his way to Lake Tahoe to admit his feelings to Paige, who is there with Tim (after Walter himself gave them two tickets to the Jazz and Heritage festival).

The episode wastes absolutely no time before throwing the case of the week into the mix either, not allowing anyone to deal with their emotional baggage first. And while we spend almost two hours running breathless with these geniuses around Los Angeles (and Bulgaria), not missing a moment of action, explosions, or near catastrophic situations, the real war is one being fought at home, among Team Scorpion.

This show was never one to take itself too seriously when it came to the cases they dealt with, which always makes it a ton of fun to watch. But Scorpion still manages to deal with the delicate subjects it brings up with utmost respect and care.

This week’s case had a group of hackers crippling the U.S. military, taking control of fighter jets, aircraft and carriers, and nuclear submarines. And Team Scorpion saves the day, ultimately using a lot of science, engineering, wit and a large dose of suspension of disbelief (and yes, again, Walter and Paige are required to perform a ridiculous stunt — this time zipping down elevator cables as a missile hits the building they’re in).

But at the end of the day, all this action becomes just a backdrop to what is really happening with this team. Because ultimately, this show is about one thing: family.


This family isn’t doing so great at the start of the new season. And even though they manage to save the day, as they always do, they come really close to breaking apart along the way. Paige and Tim almost immediately find out that Walter had followed them to Tahoe, and while he tries to pretend it was about him going to the festival, that lie doesn’t pass, immediately creating an awkwardness among the trio. And back at the garage, Toby and Happy’s situation creates more friction and awkwardness for everyone else.

Everyone is broken and hurt and clashing with each other. And it doesn’t help that they are all constantly in each others’ ears. I think this episode had the most moments featuring people removing their comms to talk privately or to make sure the people on the other end don’t hear what they have to say.

And all these lies and secrets only make things worse for the team.


Everyone on Team Scorpion seems to be hiding secrets or blatantly lying this week. Everyone except Sylvester, of course.

Happy is married — has been for a while — and has failed to disclose this little piece of information to Toby. And even though she tells him she loves him and urges him to trust her, that she will fix this, he still spends the whole episode trying to get the information out of her as to who she is married to. He is angry, but also so is she. And they are both justified.

I realize that fans of the Quintis ship will be divided on this, with some being on Toby’s side and others supporting Happy. But both of them are right, just as both of them are wrong. This is going to be a tough ride for them, as it has been so far, but right now, they’ve moved onto the next phase. Both of them need to do a lot of growth before they can allow their relationship to go onto the next step. It was a good thing that this happened now, because they’d gotten a bit comfortable with what they had and there is still so much growth they both need before they are ready for the next stage in their relationship.

Walter wasn’t a stranger to secrets and lies either this episode either. The first secret — the one he drove all the way to Lake Tahoe for — got spilled out to the whole team. Walter loves Paige. It was not that big of a shock to most of them, as the geniuses already knew. And while Paige was the only one who didn’t hear him admit that, Tim did. And he did not like it very much. To be honest, Tim’s reaction to this confession was the one thing that bothered me about the episode. All this time, he has been portrayed as this genuinely nice guy, level-headed and decent. And he’s just been out with Paige a handful of times, so him spending the episode acting like a teenager, threatening to beat up Walter, just felt like such a disrespectful thing to do to his character. While Walter’s first secret shows great growth in his character, the second goes to show just how much more he’s got left to do before he's in the right place to admit this to Paige. It is revealed that Walter had sabotaged the weekend vacation for Tim and Paige, changing their adjoining rooms and reporting the hotel restaurant and having it closed.

With that said, almost everyone in this team did have bright moments of growth during this episode in which they had to bravely step out of their comfort zones.


Even though none of them have really crossed that threshold, they all took a confident step that I think outlines their upcoming journey for the season. Toby needs to learn to let go, to accept and completely trust Happy with this and to accept that — for once — he won’t be getting the answers he wants when he wants them. This is going to take a lot from him, but if he honestly wants things to work with Happy, then he really needs to learn how to do this. Happy also has so much to do here. She asks Toby to trust her, but she needs to trust him too — not just with her heart, but with her secrets as well. She needs to learn that she doesn’t need to fight all her battles on her own, that it is okay to have someone else fighting right there next to you.

And while Walter showed some great development, twice coming close to admitting his feelings to Paige — something last seasons’ Walter and certainly season one’s Walter would not have even considered — like Cabe tells him in the end, it is still not enough. He may have reached a point where he is aware of these feelings, but he still has a long way before he can admit them. Because just admitting them won’t be enough. This is not just about him and his feelings — there is so much more involved, and so many other people involved, and thinking he is ready now is selfish and naive. “She deserves more than you are capable of giving her at this stage in your life,” Cabe says. And he is right. Until Walter fully understands this, it would ruin the Waige relationship more than it would help it if they try to move forward.

Sylvester was the one true hero in this episode, overcoming every single obstacle that loomed in his face, and managing to save his own life. And at the end of the day, it was he who put his foot down and demanded this team figure out their issues — warning them that if they don't, they are going to inevitably fall apart.

I think that was a very solid start to the third season of Scorpion. For a show that sometimes gets dangerously close to becoming utterly ridiculous (in the best way possible) and a little too cheesy (I still cannot get over the train slo-mo from last season), this premiere stood firmly where Scorpion should be: a well-balanced show about family and friends, about a group of misfits finding a world they belong in, while simultaneously being the most unlikely heroes saving the world, from the world’s coolest garage. The premiere balanced that perfectly, setting up all the character arcs and relationship arcs really well, leaving so much more for the rest of the season and teasing just enough to keep everyone hooked.

I have to say, personally, I am more excited about this season than I thought I would be.


  1. Wonderful review! Scorpion is currently my favorite show! Mostly because, like you said, how balanced it is. And also because I love every character, which is a rarity in a show for me these days. I can't wait to see what the rest of season 3 has in store for us!

  2. Great review. Will definitely be reading the next one if you make one!