Thursday, February 9, 2017

Scorpion 3x15 Review: “Sharknerdo” (A Group of Sharks is Called a Frenzy. Who Gives a Crap!) [Guest Contributor: Yasmine]

Original Airdate: February 6, 2017

Character development. Character development for everyone! This episode may have taken it a bit easy on the action — or not really, when Paige and Walter were stranded in the middle of the ocean being circled by sharks — but it was big on the character development.

The episode starts with Walter losing the team a big payday job because he couldn’t put aside that someone would say, incorrectly, one hundred and nine thousand instead of one hundred nine. Instead of a safe government job, they end up in the middle of the Pacific seeking a sunken pirate treasure in a private job paying on commission.

The level of excitement regarding their new job is varied among the team. From Cabe's neutral demeanor — although I'm not sure why, as a Homeland Security agent, he's working with them on the private job — to Happy and Sly's excitement (but only toward the new tech they've developed). Paige is naturally furious at Walter costing them another job because he couldn't just act like a normal person and not anger their client. Toby, on the other hand, is overly excited — with his pirate hat ready, he's a little boy on a treasure hunt.

With Sly and Happy back in the garage and Cabe and Toby on the boat with their client, Walter and Paige leave on a smaller boat to help locate the sunken ship. And because this is Scorpion, nothing can be so simple. Walter and Paige — the two who have developed an estranged and strenuous relationship — find themselves shipwrecked and seeking refuge on a Danish buoy. And to make things worse, they are being circled by a frenzy of sharks.

They do manage to get in contact with the team, and rescue does arrive eventually — but not before Walter risks his life, diving into the shark-infested waters to save Paige. And yes, another day goes by with Team Scorpion escaping death and disaster.

While the case this week was slightly less complicated than usual, the weight of this episode was on highlighting character development for everyone.

... Starting with Cabe. This episode confirmed that he has indeed begun a relationship with Allie, Sly's election opponent's campaign manager. And despite the conflict of interest there, Allie does prove to be a good person in this scenario by arranging an interview for Sly with the West Altadenia Shopper to help him get their endorsement for his campaign.

Speaking of Sly and his campaign, the wizard ad his opponent ran really did some damage to him, and while the interview with the Shopper didn’t seem to go too well because Sly kicked the reporter out of the garage, it all worked out well in the end. By being himself and by focusing on rescuing his friends, Sly leaves a good impression on the reporter and manages to get their endorsement. Once again, being himself pays off for Sylvester. And, as unorthodox as his method may have been, he just might have a chance to win this.

On the other hand, Toby starts the day like a kid in a candy store in anticipation of his big adventure out to sea, searching for sunken treasure. When the job turns out to be way less exciting and swashbuckling than he had anticipated, his mood immediately changes and he sulks for most of the episode. Until it is time to rescue Walter and Paige, that is, and he ends the day swinging from the ship on a rope to pull Walter out of the water. But his antics and behavior raise a lot of worries for Happy, and she doesn’t shy away from confronting him about them. Happy is worried that as a gambler, as a treasure seeker, Toby is only excited about the chase, the thrill of it all, and that the chase is why he wants to be with her. She is worried that once they are married, he will be bored because the chase would be over and he wouldn’t want to be with her anymore. That is huge for Happy to admit that, to voice her concerns and to expose so much vulnerability. And Toby, like the model fiancé/psychiatrist that he is, knows just how to ease her worries, and to say the right things to assure her that he is not going anywhere.

And finally we come to Walter and Paige... and Walter/Paige. If there was ever an episode that allowed those two to completely lay it out there in the open and be honest and candid in their conversations, it’s this one. While they are still miles away from becoming a couple, this episode has at least put them back on the right path, because the path to getting together should start with honesty. The two, conveniently stranded alone in the middle of the Pacific, had plenty of time to open up about everything: from Walter’s role in Tim’s departure, to Paige “abandoning” Walter and leaving him to fend for himself with people, to Walter’s regression, and everything in between. With all this out in the open, nothing is left unsaid, feelings are expressed and those two find themselves at a whole new place in their relationship.

It also helps that Walter shows his true growth when he sacrifices himself for Paige. Logic would state that she is the more expendable one (or so the old Walter would have said). But this Walter chooses to jump into the ocean to save Paige.

And at the end of the day, with this new understanding between them, this reestablished bond of friendship and honesty, Paige takes a leap into the next stage. She postpones a Skype call with Tim in order to spend the evening with Walter — albeit to call people he has offended and apologize to them. But the message is clear: Walter’s journey and his growth is the most important thing to Paige right now.

I know it is hard for Scorpion to have an episode with no action whatsoever and focus mostly on the characters, so this was, in my opinion, a perfect balance of that. They gave us just enough action to keep the identity of the show going but managed to provide so much in terms of focus on character to push the story forward for all the characters and relationships.


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