Thursday, November 3, 2016

Scorpion 3x06 Review: “Bat Poop Crazy” (This is How Every Scary Movie Starts) [Guest Contributor: Yasmine]

“Bat Poop Crazy"
Original Airdate: October 31, 2016

Scorpion’s holiday episodes are always great, there’s no question about it. The Christmas episodes never fail to deliver, and their season one Halloween episode, "True Colors," remains one of my favorites of all time. And this season, with "Bat Poop Crazy," that tradition is kept alive. What’s not to love when you’ve got awkward geniuses dressing up in obscure outfits, a genius kid high on sugar, and Sylvester being scared of absolutely everything at every turn?

The case this week was, again, non-government related. Instead, the team took a job to rescue a diseased bat population that would require them to spelunker into a cave — almost blindly, since the maps they have are practically ancient — and spray the bats with a fungus cure that is also, conveniently, fatal for humans. On paper, it all seemed feasible. But of course, things never go as planned. They find the zoologists that were supposed to help them had been attacked by the bats, with one of them having caught rabies and the other missing somewhere in the caves. So the mission goes from a relatively simple one — just don’t tell Sly I said that — to a complex mission of saving the first zoologist’s life, finding and rescuing the second, and, of course, curing the bats. And they do all that just in time to go back to the garage and throw a Halloween party and try to deceive the U.S. government with regard to Happy and Walter’s fake marriage.

As a matter of fact, the hardest mission they all had was just that — trying to make this fake marriage look real. And it is virtually impossible, as Walter himself admits. Both of these geniuses have no clue what it is like to be in a normal relationship and, as hard as the rest of the team tries, they still look miserably awkward when they try to pretend. After the photoshopped honeymoon album, this week they work on a fake Halloween album and try to build a believable Halloween favorites list. And while Happy manages to make up a few, all Walter can provide is “favorite Halloween drink is water.” Toby and Paige put Happy and Walter through a process of putting on costumes and taking pictures — awkward pictures — to create this fake album that should span from 2010 to 2016. But unfortunately, when the time came, the album failed to deceive the government employee tasked with their case because these so-called geniuses failed to notice the reflection of the 2016 calendar in what was supposed to be their Halloween photo from 2010.

It seems like this storyline will be carried in a bit further and honestly, it is very entertaining, so I do not mind a bit. I love that we quickly moved past Toby being angry at Walter and Happy about this and actually spending his energy on resolving it. I am worried about one thing though: I keep wondering if they will use the pregnancy as part of this ploy to cheat the government, if they will pretend it is Happy and Walter’s baby. I really hope they won’t. It would make sense to resolve their problem, but I sure hope they don’t; it would just be wrong.

So when the fake photos failed, what did almost save them — or at least not break all their hopes — actually came from Walter, and it came from him taking another step in his attempt to become the best version of himself he could be. The way they are treating and developing Walter’s character this season has been an absolute joy to watch. It has been small baby steps, sometimes even so small you could miss them, but it has been steady and careful and just the perfect way to build a character and make him reach his ultimate want.

In the beginning of the episode, Toby asked around for happy Halloween memories, reaching to Paige for that since she is the “normal” one in the group. And when she gave him a generic story, he immediately picked up on her lie. Paige has some secrets! After appearing to be the only one who has had a “normal” life, we are starting to meet a different side of Paige. Toby was the one to pick up on this, of course, but what was great was that he did not pry. Instead, he confided in Walter about this. In a move that shows incredible growth — and such better understanding of how human interaction works — Walter manages to get Paige to open up to him. That scene was so incredibly sweet, maybe my favorite Waige scene all season, because it showed just how much Walter has evolved and how much he cares about Paige, how any pain she feels, he just wants her to share with him in hope that this will make it lighter on her. And Paige shares the heartbreaking truth about her Halloweens as a child, and what Walter does with this information is amazing.

In the end, in an attempt to salvage his fake marriage, he re-imagines this story, partly to help Happy out and mostly, he retells the story in a way that makes it better, that turns it from a sad childhood memory to a cherished one. And he does that just for Paige, so that she can replace that pain left by the story with something more beautiful, filled with love instead of loss and heartache.

This revelation about Paige was really touching, and I think it opens the door for them to give us more about her and her history this season. It also sheds a lot of light on why she is an amazing mom who wants to give her son everything.

And speaking of being a great parent, both Happy and Toby got a taste of what it’s like to be one this week. Toby’s task was a bit less obvious. Upon finding the zoologist, rabies and all, Toby has to drive him to the closest hospital for treatment and ends up with a delirious grown man rambling about birthday cake and acting rash and impulsive. But Toby being Toby, he handles the situation with snark and smugness to save the man.

Happy, on the other hand, had the most difficult task of all. Unable to join the team in the cave, she stays back in the garage to back them up and to keep an eye on Ralph, which is the hardest thing to do when the little genius is on a sugar high and attempting every hazardous method to carve pumpkins. And I don’t say this enough, but can we please have Ralph appear more often? The kid is growing up to be so much fun, and I wish he featured more.

By the end of the day, Happy is overwhelmed, having experienced what it really means to be a parent, to be responsible for another human being. The last scene between Toby and Happy may be my favorite Quintis scene ever. They were both so honest, so vulnerable, so supportive and so open about their fears and the future. Of all the things that Toby has ever said, “we’re gonna make it... we have each other,” just may be my absolute favorite.

And finally, my favorite part of the whole episode. Sylvester. Of course, the team does not inform him of the mission until the very last minute because it’s Sylvester and dark caves and bats. His freak out begins the moment he finds out and does not end until the very last minute. The comedic element here is priceless. Ari Stidham plays Sylvester with so much honesty and purity, it’s absolutely a pleasure to watch him. Sylvester’s panic, his one liners at every step of the way, made this episode what it is. But it was not just that. Every time they put Sylvester in such situations, you know it will lead to him having to save the day, and he does that — twice in one episode. There hasn't been much focus on Sly this season, and I am still waiting for his arc. Still, I am not complaining because even when he is just left to hold things a bit in the background, he can still steal the show.

So in conclusion, it was another great episode from Scorpion this week. We got Walter character growth, we got baby steps for Waige and a beautiful moment for Quintis, Ralph got to have a bigger, more fun role for once, and Sylvester got to save the day even if he hated it. And of course, another joke at Cabe being old... those jokes never get old.


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