Sunday, October 1, 2017

Scorpion 4x01 Review: “Extinction” (Fantastico!) [Guest Contributor: Yasmine]

Property of CBS

Original Airdate: September 25, 2017

Scorpion’s fourth season started with an episode that promised two things: an extinction event, and musical numbers. To be honest, I don’t know which I was more terrified about. I was more confident in Scorpion’s ability to handle an extinction event than I was of the episode being of a musical nature.

But in the end, I think they pulled it off. It wasn’t as musical as I had expected — there were just two brief moments, one of which was a result of the team being exposed to Methane poisoning. And the other moment, well, Walter and Paige did finally get together, so one could excuse Walter for his momentary loss of… rational thinking. The small musical number at the beginning was a cute way to start an episode that would continue on to be rather bleak, but not without its usual Scorpion humor and silliness.

The episode opens with Paige and Walter waking up together, picking up right were last season’s finale left off. Before Paige can get Walter to answer a question about how he feels that morning, his phone rings with a call from Mark Collins.

And that is where the fun and lightness ends.

Before we find out what Collins wants, Sylvester comes face to face with his own mortality and what his legacy would have been had he really died in the plane crash. Back at the Warlock’s Chest, Sylvester doesn’t only find out that he had been replaced, but he also finds his obituary. Its contents make him realize that his life could have been summarized into a few insignificant sentences. And the worst thing was that his greatest achievement, marrying Meghan, was not even mentioned. However, his existential crisis is cut short when he gets the call back into work.

Newlyweds Toby and Happy, on the other hand, are still unaware of Collins’ call and are happily packing up their car to head out on to their honeymoon when they are interrupted with the news. Toby urges Happy not to take the call, but it’s too late. Just hearing Collins’ name is enough to have them unloading the car.

Walter and Cabe meet with Mark Collins at the prison, and what he has to tell them is that the world is facing an extinction-level climate event after a small earthquake hit the Arctic. Walter confirms Collins’ findings and his hypothesis that if they don’t deal with it immediately, the results will be catastrophic. The solution may be relatively simple, in comparison to other things Team Scorpion has had to do, but there is one catch: Collins is the only one who knows the exact locations of the fractures in the earth that need to be sealed. Even though Walter and the team can do these calculations, it would take longer than they have to determine the locations. And so they have no choice but to take Mark Collins out into the world with them and, worse yet, they have to trust him.

Collins’ inclusion is an interesting move. For the past three seasons, he has been portrayed as the unapologetic genius/nemesis to the team. In this episode, Collins insists that he is being reformed, that he is a changed man. His work when they are out in the field confirms that, to some extent. He does not lie to them about the situation or about the location, he risks his life to save Toby’s, and when they need someone to volunteer for a suicide mission, he is the first to put himself on the line.

But that does not mean that he is entirely harmless. Collins may not have tied one of the team members to a chair and threatened to kill them, but his meddling may be just as malicious. From the beginning, Mark picks up on the fact that Paige and Walter are now an item and he knows exactly what buttons to push to quickly put a hurdle in the path of their budding relationship.

I think it would have been naïve to think that, after they finally get together, Waige would have an easy ride. On the contrary, I think it is safe to say that this is where their rough journey really begins. It’s after they have gotten together that the real tests to their relationship and to who they are will start, and Collins is making them face their first one. It is going to be interesting moving forward. They do love each other, there is no doubt there, but now they are going to have to put their love to the real tests.

It is going to be a very, very exciting journey!

I think it was a brave move bringing Collins back so quickly in the premiere and not wasting any time. He brings a new, exciting freshness to the dynamic, whether he stays long or not, and he brings challenges for everyone that will put the character arcs of the season on course right away.

Should we trust that Mark Collins is on his path to redemption? I am a sucker for a redemption arc, but I think one episode is way too soon to tell if this is genuine or if he has another trick up his sleeve. We should wait and see, I suppose.

The episode was the first of a two-parter, and leaves us with a cliffhanger with regard to both the extinction event and to where our characters are emotionally and psychologically.


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