Friday, December 23, 2016

Scorpion 3x11 Review: “Wreck the Halls" (Attaboy!) [Guest Contributor: Yasmine]

“Wreck the Halls”
Original Airdate: December 19, 2016

"Wreck the Halls" is Scorpion meets Home Alone, only it gets a more bitter ending than the old holiday favorite. Instead of a family coming back together, this version has the family slightly breaking apart.

Following a string of holidays being overtaken by disasters, Paige decides that for Christmas, the team will get as far away from the garage as possible, leave every computer, phone and tablet behind, and have a normal Christmas in Cabe’s friend’s virtually-secluded cabin. And in that, Toby sees this the opportunity to give Happy the perfect joyous Christmas she never had as a child: decorations, tree, cookies, and perfect gift all included.

Up at the cabin, while Paige and Toby are busy baking cookies and putting up the decorations in preparation for Happy’s arrival — as she is coming up later with Sly — Cabe, Tim, Walter, and Ralph head out in search of the perfect Christmas tree. Out in the great outdoors, they come across three gun runners dragging a man who claims to be a federal agent into the middle of the woods and trying to kill him. Naturally, the team “rescues” the man and take him back to the cabin.

With no weapons to speak of, and with the gun runners on their tail, the team has to think out of the box, way more than usual, to fashion any sort of weapon or means of defense against the heavily-armed gunmen. They ultimately use anything they find in the cabin, and take apart the gifts that had been intended for each other in order to build their own Home Alone trap house and take down the gun runners. But once they do, and think they have saved the agent, they realize that he had lied to them. He takes Ralph hostage and makes a run for it. A three-way car chase ensues, and Ralph all but rescues himself, proving once again that he is steadily becoming the most competent version of all these geniuses and non-geniuses alike — which makes Tim’s ultimate departure mostly harming to the young boy’s growth.

The team then returns to the garage after yet another holiday gets hijacked by disaster. Following the day’s events, and a couple of altercations with Walter, Tim decides to take the job in Jordan and says his goodbyes to the team. A little bit more on that later.

This episode saw the return of Toby and Happy’s relationship to the storyline after almost disappearing for a few episodes (since it had been the focus for the opening few episodes, with the whole “Happy’s husband” storyline). With the B-plot — or the C-plot — of the episode focused on Toby trying to give Happy the first good Christmas experience of her life, this relationship is once again “remembered” by the writers and given some of the screentime it deserves. I know fans of the couple have been disappointed in recent weeks, and while this was probably not enough, it at least put the couple back on screen and pushed them slightly forward. Toby manages to track down the toy robot Happy had once wanted as a kid, and while it took some beating in the shoot-out at the cabin, receiving it “in parts so she could rebuild” is perfect for Happy. In return, Happy does step out of her own comfort zone to get Toby something. Again it’s small, but considering who she is and her insecurities, a keychain with a small audio player on which she has recorded “Attaboy” is the perfect gift for Toby, and very in-character for Happy.

Unfortunately, this episode also marked the end of Tim’s journey with Team Scorpion, and I say unfortunately, because I really disliked the way it happened. It could have been in done in such a way that no one needed to look bad in it, and especially not Walter, who was made to regress a lot, given the growth we have seen lately. Apparently, Tim’s choice the previous episode to stay with Team Scorpion was not something that Walter welcomed and, in return, he fell back to childish and immature behavior — including giving Tim a ridiculous desk and work space, photoshopping a team photo to cover his face, and ultimately clashing with him in the cabin and putting his feelings about Tim out there, which was something that Paige witnessed.

As Toby pointed out, this position is not right for Tim. He is a leader who needs to be in a position where he is leading, so the situation with Team Scorpion was never meant to last. But still, it is sad to see that a team that is always such a tight-knit family should have a member break out under such circumstances. As Tim says his goodbyes to the team, he also makes peace with Walter. But it is clear that these two would never really be friends and, in a way, it’s disappointing. Because they did make a great team together, whether they liked it or not, and learned a lot from each other.

And the whole Tim/Walter debacle, at the end of the day, is just a device to throw an obstacle in the way of Walter and Paige’s relationship — which is nonexistent at the moment, of course. After making much progress last week, Walter's behavior toward Tim and his fight with him served nothing but to drag him back and undo all the great work he had done in regard to becoming the man that deserves to be with Paige. She will undoubtedly blame him for Tim’s departure and it will be a long time before she can forgive him for his attitude. I hope the writers don’t forget the great work they have been doing with Walter’s character this year and that this only is a small bump in the road.

Another fun-filled, albeit with a bitter ending, episode of Scorpion, in which emotionally crippled Happy delivers one of the most heartfelt moments in her support for Sly and Ralph proves once again to be the real hero of the team.

1 comment:

  1. I too dislike the outcome of the Tim situation. But not because it undermines the idea of him and Walter being friends. I had difficulty getting used to it before. My problem was how the circumstances of Tim's departure throws another contrived obstacle in the path of Walter/Paige. It makes me fear that they'll be dragging out the will-they/won't-they tension farther until the season finale. I'm not happy about that. Chuck, during its third season, had the right idea to resolve that by mid-season. There's a limit to how much angst an audience can tolerate for the eventual payoff of a potential romantic relationship.

    Also it seems to me that Walter's regression this episode feels sudden after his mature turn at the end of last episode. It felt a bit forced like it was done so to create conflict between him and Tim, and awkwardness between him and Paige.