“The Hole Truth”
Original Airdate: January 23, 2017
At this point, I think Team Scorpion should know that there is no “routine check-up” job when they are involved, and this week’s case was another one of those situations. A simple engineering job with the Army Corps of Engineers turns into an ecological and humanitarian disaster. It also didn’t help that Paige was off helping Veronica, which meant the team was left without a buffer between them and civilians. And more importantly, Walter was left without a buffer, and that is always a recipe for things to go bad.
And if alienating the chief at the site of the job wasn’t enough, the team detected tiny leaks in the tunnels they were inspecting a little too late, which led to a collapse and the creation of a sinkhole. A sinkhole that wouldn’t stop growing. And of course, that wouldn’t be enough of a challenge for the team, so to make things more exciting, a silo of toxic chemicals sitting at the periphery of the growing sinkhole was threatening to fall into it. That meant poisoning the drinking water for millions in Southern California.
The team split up, with Cabe and Sly teaming up with one of the workers — one who made it clear early on he was not a fan of Sly and his attempt to run for office — in order to slow down the sinkhole. Walter, Toby and Happy worked with the chief to drain out the silo.
Eventually, the team saves the day with a series of unorthodox methods, including but not limited to turning the silo into a version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, building a giant trampoline, and getting inspired by yogurt to stop the flow of the toxic material. But unorthodox is just their style, after all.
While the team was trying their best to prevent the disaster, Paige was dealing with her own human version of a disaster — her mother. Veronica came back last week and when she appeared on the news report on TV, the men who were after her for the money in episode nine reappeared in her life. And of course, who would she go to other than Paige and Team Scorpion? Veronica doesn’t seem like a woman who takes no for an answer — not the first time and not the tenth time. She promises Paige that this would be the last time, that she needs her help to retrieve the money she buried, and that would be it.
Paige agrees to help her mother one last time, and together they pull off a con that allows Veronica to retrieve the money. But the con didn’t stop there: Paige also finds a way to get those men off her mother’s back forever by helping her fake her death. Paige proves this week that, while she might have her mother’s conning and acting skills, at least she knows better than to choose that life. It is interesting watching the parallel between the two women — one choosing the easy life of crime and money, while the other puts her son and her family/friends above everything.
Veronica did not do much this week to change who she is, even if she claims she wants to have a better relationship with Paige and Ralph. However, the day spent together did bring the two women closer, and — for once — made Veronica seem slightly more likable than all the times she had shown up. Veronica leaves once again, but something tells me she will be showing up in the future — if only to check up on whether Walter had made a move to ask Paige out (yes, she is still the biggest Waige shipper that there is).
Someone else who wasn’t having a great week is Sylvester. His opponent is crushing him in the road to elections and it’s all because Sylvester has embraced the fact that he is different. Apparently voters aren’t too excited about being represented by a man wearing a cape. And you can’t blame the public. For anyone who doesn’t really know Sylvester, this all does look like a joke. And it is highlighted when one of the workers on the site lets Sylvester know what he thinks of him and that he is not voting for him.
But Happy was right: by being himself, Sylvester can win over the voters; they just have to see how amazing he truly is and the amazing things he does every day. After spending the day with Sylvester, watching him save Cabe and help save the day, the worker is able to see past the cartoonish version Sly’s opponent is painting of him and truly appreciate what he is capable of.
Finally, there’s Walter. He started the day with one black eye and ended it with two. At the beginning of the day, Happy and Toby warn Paige that her new approach with Walter is not working, and that he is quickly spiraling back into his pre-Paige days when his EQ was drastically low and he would get into fights with people all the time thanks to his complete lack of people skills.
Walter is not doing well at all — not since Tim left and not since Paige decided she was taking a step back. And it shows. He is getting into fights and jeopardizing jobs by infuriating people he should be working with. And with Paige out of the picture, Happy and Toby take on the task of keeping him in control, playing babysitters to the genius, but even they can’t help him. Walter’s steady growth in the first half of the season is facing its biggest trial now and he is in danger of slipping back and losing all the development he went through.
Paige’s decision does make sense, because she cannot continue to hold his hand through this, especially when he seems to be reeling against the idea of becoming a better person. I think at this point Walter is going to have to come face to face with a huge loss — or a potential huge loss — because of something he does, in order to have reason to start fighting for himself again. Because, at the moment, he does not seem to truly understand the severity of his decline.
I think that was another great episode, perfectly balanced between the case of the week and Paige and Veronica’s story. Walter’s journey continues to be the backbone of the character-driven aspect of the show, as we alternate every week between Quintis and Sylvester’s stories.