Saturday, November 26, 2016

Scorpion 3x09 Review: “Mother Load” (Right Now Everyone in America is Getting Together and Having an Uncomfortable Dinner) [Guest Contributor: Yasmine]

“Mother Load”
Original Airdate: November 21, 2016

This week, Scorpion followed up its last episode with another family themed one. But in this one, we finally meet someone from Paige’s family. After almost two and half seasons of knowing nothing about her, Paige’s past is finally revealed. And, like most of the team, it turns out she didn’t have a perfectly wholesome childhood. I think that is something about her that makes her feel close to the rest of the team — the knowledge that while she may not be a genius like the rest of them, she does share that broken childhood and carries it with her.

My love for Paige grew so much this week after learning about her childhood and then seeing how she turned out to be such a strong and independent woman, an excellent role model, despite what she had to go through.

As the team was preparing for Thanksgiving dinner, they got a last-minute job to check on the foundation of a building. It turns out, though, that the client had used a fake name to get the job and it’s Paige’s con artist mother, Veronica. Also, the job isn’t about the foundation of a building but about a nuclear reactor she found in the building. Naturally, it ends up being Team Scorpion’s job to relocate the reactor, since it’s a holiday and the people whose job it is to do that are all away for the holidays.

In order to accomplish the task, Team Scorpion has to resort to using marshmallows, turning Toby into a human piñata, turning themselves into shock absorbers, driving through a golf range and confiscating both a churros truck and a floating Super Fun Guy. But they eventually do get the job done, sending the reactor to take a dive into the Pacific. Oh, and they also get involved in a gun-loaded car chase because, as it turns out, Veronica lied about practically everything.

The emotional weight of this episode was carried by Paige, and Katharine McPhee did a wonderful job at it. After her initial hostile reaction to seeing her mother, it is up to Toby to take Paige aside, where she opens up to him about her past. She tells him about growing up with a con artist for a mother, who spent a lot of time in prison. This forced a young Paige to lie to people about where her mother was, making up stories that she was away on business. And worse yet was the fact that Paige's father eventually left his wife, taking Paige with him. But he never stopped loving Veronica and ultimately died heartbroken because of the woman.

This was the first we have heard anything about Paige’s past, let alone learn that her father is dead, how he died, and what Paige had to go through as a child. Like I said, it just goes to show just how amazing Paige is for turning out the way she did, and being the amazing mother that she is.

Paige and Veronica’s relationship — Paige’s justified anger and her not wanting anything to do with her mother — carries throughout the episode. And as Veronica’s lies are exposed one after the other, Paige is proven again and again to be right about this woman. Even though Paige is initially adamant that Veronica will never meet Ralph, at the end of the day Veronica extends an olive branch and — with the help of Cabe — Paige tries to make an effort to cross the bridge by introducing Ralph to his grandmother. It was very much like what Walter did last week with his family.

I don’t know where the show will be taking this, or if Veronica will be a bigger presence in the coming episodes. Paige has always been the one to carry the team emotionally, and so this insight into her past is a big development not only for her but for everyone else moving forward.

Another relationship that has taken an interesting turn is the one between Tim and Walter, as the two seem to have found some common ground in order to work together. I personally hope that is real and not just an act because I kind of love that friendship, or the potential of that friendship. It helps for Walter to have a guy friend who’s not a genius. However, Veronica looks like she’s going to cause some trouble there. In the beginning of the episode, she plants some seeds of doubt in Walter’s mind as to the usefulness of Tim on the team. And at the end, she takes him aside to talk to him about his feelings for Paige and to let him know that she’s rooting for him — that she will help him get Paige back. I don’t know what her endgame there is, but something tells me it’s not that good. I still do not trust that woman.

Cabe, meanwhile, has the possibly of a flourishing relationship on the horizon. But that looks like it’s going to be a tricky one. With Sly running for elections, Cabe has become smitten by the campaign manager of Sly’s opponent. After weeks of running jokes about him being old, Cabe finally catches a break (or at least Toby finds a new topic to tease him about), when Allie starts flirting with him. Cabe’s initial reaction is cluelessness about it. I’m excited for Cabe and this new storyline. He spends so much of his time taking care of this dysfunctional team that he deserves a break.

And what does Cabe do about this? He chooses to become Sly’s campaign manager. Talk about creating your own obstacle in pursuit of a potential love interest!

These characters do not like to make it easy on themselves, do they?


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