Saturday, April 22, 2017

Scorpion 3x22 Review: “Strife on Mars” (Man, This Party Sucks) [Guest Poster: Yasmine]

“Strife on Mars”
Original Airdate: April 17, 2017

Well, this Scorpion episode was emotionally exhausting, for both characters and viewers.

Even though everyone’s busy with planning the double bachelor/bachelorette part for Toby and Happy, Team Scorpion cannot say no to a job that would take them to a Mars Biodome simulation to fix its power grid. Kapper, the man behind the project and eyeing a billion-dollar deal with NASA, visits the garage and sells his project as the leading project in advancement of space exploration. The intro video the team watches is exciting, as Kapper describes the biodome as an Eden and promises the team they will not have to worry about dealing with the two resident scientists, Sal and Jen, who have been living there and testing the biodome for eleven months.

Paige and Ralph stay back at the garage with Kapper to overlook the team’s work, Toby, Happy and Walter head towards the biodome, while Cabe and Sylvester trail behind in the party bus with a few more party errands to run, most importantly picking up the piñatas, custom made to look like Toby and Happy.

Once they arrive at the biodome, the three geniuses realize that Kapper had lied about almost everything. The experiment is a failure and the place is a disaster. It is falling apart and the two scientists in there have long abandoned their scientific journey and are just living out the rest of the twelve months because Kapper won’t let them out.

The small engineering job to fix the grid turns into a disaster, of course, when the generator explodes. Kapper makes a run for it, abandoning the team both in the biodome and at the garage, and it is up to the team and the scientists to find a way to get out, with the biodome literally falling apart around them, temperatures increasing to fatal degrees, toxic fumes and doors they cannot open.

With some crazy idea, wacky science and a DIY Molotov cocktail, the team manages to make it out, but not before the experience proves to be a little more emotionally, let alone physically, taxing for those stuck inside.

Starting with the soon-to-be wed happy couple — who began the episode with Toby moving his things to Happy’s apartment, and then had to spend the day with two scientists who found being in love and being in a relationship and working together everyday a recipe for failure on all fronts. The moving of Toby’s things in the morning had led the two to a small argument, with Happy considering Toby’s stuff junk and Toby reminding her that her apartment is no longer her apartment, but their home. And then they spent the rest of the day watching two people who, eleven months ago, had been so in love with each other, but realized after living together and working together in close proximity that they could not stand each other at all and ended up resenting each other.

Both Toby and Happy realize that what happened to those two should serve as a cautionary tale for them but refuse to accept they will end up the same. They share a moment at the garage in the end, voicing their concerns, but also confidently agree that they won’t end up like that. And as a token of good faith, Happy brings Toby a painting that he has, which he suggested they hang in their apartment, of Toby Dick (a whale in a fedora) and she calls it a housewarming gift.

The character who went through the most traumatizing emotional roller coaster, though, was Walter. Being in that biodome triggered memories of being in the rocket earlier in the season, and that did not go well at all for the genius. Throughout the episode, Walter kept getting flashes of what happened there and demanded answers from the rest of the team. They kept avoiding it until there was no escaping the truth — and the truth was quite painful. Walter found out that he had confessed to Paige that he loved her, and that she had said she loved him too. And worst of all, the whole team knew and have kept it a secret from him for all those months.

After returning to the garage, Walter takes some time to himself while the others take part in the worst party ever. Later, he joins them downstairs and asks to speak to Paige privately.

Then Walter does the most non-Walter thing he has ever done — and yes, it does break Waige shippers’ hearts everywhere, and yes, I can see how they feel they are being mistreated by the writers. But keep in mind that if this was not their endgame ship, they would not be making it so hard and throwing so many obstacles in its way.

Walter thanks Paige for her work with Scorpion, and then he fires her.

And that is a horrible thing. But it is also a great thing. This is Walter’s first purely emotional decision. This is Walter at his most normal — at his most human. Compare this to Walter’s break-up in the pilot and compare it with every other time Walter was supposed to have an emotional reaction to something but he just remained... Walter. Logical, scientific Walter. Yes, this is a heartbreaking moment for Waige and for everyone involved, but it is a very important moment in Walter’s journey and it is the final piece of the puzzle that is Walter becoming the man who deserves to be with Paige.

He’s going to have to fix what he did, but I personally think he is finally ready to do that. He just needs to be aware of it all, and I think it is not going to take long for him to get there.


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