Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Scorpion 4x09 Review: "It’s Raining Men (of War)" (Best Vacation Ever) [Guest Contributor: Yasmine]

“It’s Raining Men (of War)”
Original Airdate: November 20, 2017

Scorpion’s Thanksgiving episode was a pretty emotional one — and for that, I am thankful. When a show that routinely makes me laugh and leaves me entertained manages to deliver such a tear-jerker, it means something is being done right in that writers’ room. While Scorpion is not a show that always necessarily takes itself too seriously, the fact that the writers are able to create such complex and compelling characters means that, when the time comes to have an emotionally heavy episode, the story and the characters can carry it and deliver it to the fullest of its potential.

While most of the team carried the case of the week plot, dealing with a garbage spill in the ocean and with their new not-very-friendly neighbor, Florence, it was on Cabe, with the help of Toby, to carry the emotional weight. And by the end of the episode, I was sobbing like a baby.

First, the case of the week. Florence seems to have no intentions whatsoever to play nice with her neighbors, but to be fair to the chemist, they are not the easiest people to live next door to. As any normal person would, Florence is annoyed when, out of nowhere, Ralph falls through the ducts in her lab and lands on a set of very expensive equipment, destroying it. To his credit, Ralph was actually trying to do a good thing: He was trying to retrieve some moths that escaped from their garage into her vents so she would not get upset. Of course, his methods were not the wisest, but neither is Florence’s reaction.

Granted, she is justified in being upset, but still she makes no effort to communicate with Team Scorpion. She’s even hostile toward Paige, the one person making in effort in reaching out. It’s really fun watching the team react to someone who is essentially just like them but has not had the good fortune of having someone like Paige in their lives. The behavior they find appalling or unacceptable is actually behavior that they often conduct themselves with, but they have Paige to buffer the impact.

After delivering Ralph to his mother, Florence notices a chemical formula on the board and the team explain they are working on dealing with a garbage spill of plastics in the ocean. The binding agent they’d developed will harden the floating mass, allowing them to walk over it and scatter wax worms that would eat and digest the garbage and render it nontoxic and thus get rid of the garbage floating in the ocean and floating towards land. Florence mocks their formula, estimating that it would only have a 93% success rate. She has an offer for them. She claims to have developed a fully organic binding agent that would be 100% digestible by the worms. What she asks for return is one sixth of the take.

It takes some convincing from Paige because Walter doesn’t want to work with her on account of him not liking her, but the team finally agrees to Florence’s offer. And so Walter, Paige, Happy, and Sly — who has to sacrifice his day off — along with Florence, head off into the ocean to finish the job, while Toby stays behind with Cabe at the garage, under the guise of finishing Thanksgiving dinner. Toby, however, has ulterior motives for staying behind which I will get to shortly.

The garbage disposal plan starts off perfectly well. Florence’s agent works as she promised and the worms start digesting the garbage as expected. However, one thing they had not expected is that the agent contains an element that attracts jellyfish — thousands of them. With Happy, Walter and Florence on the garbage, Sly and Paige try to redirect the boat towards them but the engines won’t run on account of the jelly fish. Walter, having been against working with Florence to begin with, blames the chemist for their current situation and tensions get higher and higher between the team and Florence, who continues to be stubborn and uncooperative. In a first attempt to get the three back on the boat, Paige and Sly fire a harpoon towards the garbage. Florence manages to get herself across on the rope, but Walter and Happy don’t. the harpoon breaks loose, and not only do they lose their chance to get across, but the harpoon punctures the side of the boat as well. Of course it does.

With the boat taking on water and sinking, Walter and Happy minutes away from falling into the water and getting stung to death, and the Coast Guard still hours away, Florence finally accepts the blame. But that does not matter as much as finding a way to fix the boat and to rescue the stranded — close to dying — Walter and Happy. They finally realize that their only choice is to disguise themselves and fool the jelly fish into thinking they are one of them. And the way to do that is to cover themselves with Sly’s fish-based protein shake.

Shockingly, or maybe not so much because weird solutions are their MO, the plan works and Walter and Happy manage to swim across the jellyfish-filled waters towards the boat. When they get there, before getting onto the boat, they need to fix the hole in the boat. In the meantime, Florence managed to prepare a polymer to fix the boat. As they are patching up their ride, a tumble sends Florence into the water. Without the protection of Sly’s protein shake, Florence is stung repeatedly by the jellyfish.

Fortunately, the team manage to get the boat running and Florence to a hospital just in time to save her life, and just in time for Thanksgiving dinner — which their new neighbor is then invited to as well. Things may not be overly friendly between them yet, but they’ve overcome the awkward first phase in their relationship.

Meanwhile at the garage, Toby had the unenviable task of getting Cabe Gallo to open up about his past. Earlier in the episode, Cabe had told Toby, in one of their therapy sessions, about the night his father had died. Cabe tells Toby a picture-perfect story of supposedly one of the worst nights of his life. Cabe talks of the smell of the pine-scented cleaner his mom used, and the perfect popcorn popping on the stove while he watched TV before the cops came over to deliver the news.

Toby had said nothing at the time, but he had picked up on many signs that Cabe was not telling him the whole truth. Consequently, he spends the rest of the day trying to get Cabe to admit what had really happened that night. However, as Toby expertly works on Cabe, he realizes that Cabe truly believes the version of events he is sharing with the doctor. This drives Toby to conclude that Cabe had altered the memories of that night to compensate and cover up something more terrible than his father dying.

Eventually, Toby manages to get Cabe to remember the true events of that night, bringing back memories and trauma Cabe had kept buried for fifty years. Cabe remembers the night his father died. He remembers that he had not been at home watching TV, instead he was with his father. They had entered a store and moments later, an armed man walked in. Young Cabe had seen the gun but was too late to warn his father who, while reaching for his own gun, got shot and was killed instantly. Cabe cannot understand why he’d repressed this memory for so long or why he had replaced it with the other version. And Toby, once again, helps him through this painful journey and they realize that Cabe had felt guilty and responsible for his father’s death, even at such a young age. Toby explains to him that it was not his fault, and that the same feelings of guilt he is suffering from now — that he has let the team down — are just as unwarranted, and that Cabe has to believe he has never let the team, his family, down.

I have to admit that throughout this whole scene, from Cabe remembering to the realization of what he is truly going through, I was sobbing because it was just that good and that emotional.

And the scene after, with the whole family — Allie and Florence included — gathering around the table and Walter insisting that the father, Cabe, sit at the head of the table and carve the turkey, was just absolutely beautiful.

Of course, it would not be a Scorpion episode without the elements of comedy, and this week it was covered by the ridiculous animosity and trash talking between Florence, Walter, and the rest of the team, and by Sly constantly complaining about his day off being ruined and finally by Walter never giving up on suggesting Happy and Toby name their potential future child Walter (or Walina if it’s a girl).

After a few weeks of focusing on Walter and Paige’s relationship, on Happy and Toby’s attempts to get pregnant, and on Sly’s growth, this episode shifted entirely to Cabe and it did not disappoint. I know I said the same last week, but this may be one of my favorite episodes to date — a perfect balance of everything that makes Scorpion so special.


Post a Comment