Thursday, January 19, 2017

Scorpion 3x13 Review: “Faux Money Maux Problems” (The Conch is Dead. I Am the Conch.) [Guest Poster: Yasmine]

“Faux Money Maux Problems”
Original Airdate: January 16, 2017

In this week’s episode, Paige’s con man mother, Veronica, returns and with her she brings trouble. She may not be responsible for the sticky situation the team finds themselves in, but somehow it seems like trouble follows this woman everywhere she goes.

Veronica shows up just as the team is getting ready for a private job they took at a winery (and while Toby and Cabe are helping Sly prep for the debates — something that is going terribly, as Sly is determined to answer questions truthfully). Walter, on the other hand, comes in with a conch and an announcement. He admits that he has realized he’s been handling things badly in term of decision-making within the team and has decided to adopt the conch method — from Lord of the Flies — as a tool to make decisions in Team Scorpion. Of course, none of this can end well.

But first, the case. The team — plus Veronica but minus Toby and Happy, who had spent the night wedding panning and forgot some equipment back home — ride in the client-provided limo as they head to the site of the project. However, soon enough, Walter realizes they are being drugged. Later, they wake up in a windowless basement, surrounded by Spanish signs and piles of counterfeit money.

Team Scorpion have been kidnapped by the fictional Central American country Norteguay. The country’s dictatorial government is demanding they counterfeit the U.S. dollars, or else they will start killing them off one by one, starting with the non-geniuses.

Luckily for the team, Veronica’s conning skills prove to be actually useful for once, and she manages to find a way to let Cabe, Sly, and Walter escape. But when the three flee the compound, they realize they are still very much at home. In fact, they are only one hour away in Simi Valley.

With Toby and Happy back in the garage and aware that something has gone wrong — they themselves had to outsmart the thug sent after them — the team manages to rescue Veronica and Paige and uncover a complex scheme to flood the U.S. economy with counterfeit bills and crash the international economy.

The main relationship in focus this week is Paige and Veronica’s. The episode starts with a flashback of a young Paige helping her mother run a con and proving once again the very unhealthy relationship between the two, or at least just how horrible of a mother Veronica was... and still is. Paige has never forgiven her mother, and this is something she says to her repeatedly throughout the episode. She even brings up how she may regret letting her back into her life and, more importantly, into Ralph’s. And honestly, Veronica needs to try much, much harder if she wants Paige to ever forgive her and welcome her back. Even though Veronica does help the team, she does so by relying on her conning skills, by lying and scheming, and by using Paige again, like she did when she was young.

Paige obviously does not appreciate that, or find in that a reason to thank her mother, despite what Veronica might think. And rightfully so. These two have a long way to go before they can mend their non-existent relationship, if they really want to do that. The only reason I can see Paige wanting that is for Ralph, but if Veronica does not put an effort and honestly try to change, I cannot see Paige letting her any closer to her and Ralph.

Once again, I am left in awe of how amazing Paige is, and what an inspirational woman she is, considering the mother she had to grow up with — or without, for the most part.

One good thing did come out of Veronica’s return and her annoying Paige in the many ways that she does: it helped Paige realize she needs to approach things with Walter in a different way, after her attempts to help him for three years have gotten them nowhere. After announcing the conch system in the beginning of the episode, Walter ends the episode by breaking it down — or a virtual version of it — and announcing that Team Scorpion is not a democracy but instead, it is a logical dictatorship.

At the beginning of the episode, he announces that he is aware that he has a problem, but I wonder if it is just him admitting that the others think there is a problem and not admitting it honestly to himself. After weeks of slow development, Walter seems to have regressed, and Paige’s new approach to him is to drop him in the deep end and let him teach himself to swim. Let’s hope this works out for our Scorpion leader, because he is in desperate need of finding his way to shore.

Finally, the other relationship that was brought into focus this week was Happy and Toby’s. The happy couple are now planning their wedding and it is nice to see a couple having a nice, happy, non-problematic period for once. Well, non-problematic to a certain extent, because by the end of the episode they both admit they are too broke to plan the wedding they were thinking of. Toby is still paying off his gambling debts and Happy seemingly spent five figures on motorcycle parts.

But I don’t see this being a problem for those two. For starters, they are being open and honest with each other, and I think their love and the kind of relationship they have means they can be happy and perfectly ecstatic if they just got married, as Toby put it, in Kovelsky’s parking lot (but no, Happy won’t let that happen).

I think a garage wedding would be a great idea, though, what do you think?


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