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Scorpion: 1.12 “Dominoes” Midseason Finale Review

Trigger Warnings: drowning

This team just can’t catch a break on difficult cases, which is par for the course on this show, but this case is extremely hard.

While at the beach, Walter and Megan witness a rockslide that’s trapped a little boy, Owen, in a cave just an hour away from drowning.

Paige is extremely distressed because she can’t bear the thought of Owen drowning, and she’s worried about Ralph’s disappointment about Drew leaving for a tryout before Christmas especially because she had been in the middle of listening to the others talk about all of their terrible Christmas memories when the call had come in from Walter, who, before the rockslide, had been talking about how Christmas sucks out loud.

Walter’s faith is in science, which is why he’s super excited about a drug trial that could cure Megan’s MS.

In the first five minutes, Scorpion touches upon four things: Walter just believes in science, so obviously Christmas is just a holiday to prey on the masses; Megan’s wish is to live her life to the fullest before death rather than living as a guinea pig; Paige’s obvious love for her son and continued wish to make him happy (even if Drew’s a butt); and the rest of the team’s terrible childhood memories being formative experiences—and not just with the holiday.

And, all in five minutes too. The writers brought it this episode.

Unfortunately—like all midseason finales—everything that can go wrong will go wrong.

No one can get to Owen because his position is so precarious, his lung has collapsed, and his right leg is under a boulder. Sylvester, who is terrified of dying like Owen might, made the wrong calculations, so the team now has fifty-four minutes rather than the hour-and-a-half for the team to save the day.

Walter makes his way to the sinkhole to get Owen a breathing device that will allow him to breathe underwater.

Which, I know that the reason Walter doesn’t help Sylvester through his mistake is so that Megan can because ~~Relationship Building~~, but Walter really couldn’t take the one minute it would have taken to give Sylvester a pep talk?

Poor Sylvester is having a terrible month.

Happy and Toby go to the garage to build a micro-jack to move the boulder on Owen’s leg, and Toby finds out that Happy had been working at her father’s garage and still hadn’t told him who she was. Toby tells her she needs to tell her dad who she is because she still has a chance to reconnect with family, which makes me wonder if it was Toby’s dad, who got him into gambling at the horse-track during Christmas, is dead or just not around.

Side note: The show has toned down the “I’m a really good behaviorist.” bit, and now, Toby’s lines sound more like the way Elementary’sSherlock manages to pick up on everything with Watson’s knowledge of medicine (like with Owen’s lungs) thrown in for good measure.

Honestly all four of the team’s “geniuses” have been toned down a bit—even Walter.

And, Walter’s ability to interact with others without shutting them down has grown incredibly. It’s the first season, so there’s still a lot of growth to be had both for the characters and in the writer’s room, so it’s a good thing that the characters are changing, but I want the writers to be consistent.

Paige is also becoming less of the “genius translator.” She does have to step in from time to time as to avoid the occasional faux pas with people-in-charge, but the others have shown that they, too, are learning the art of “think before you speak”, which all the super–smart, know-it-all, great-at-our-jobs protags in CBS crime shows need to learn.

(At some point, I need to do a comparison of Toby, Sylvester, and Walter with Sherlock from Elementary and Reid from Criminal Minds.)

Toby and Happy make their way back to the beach with the micro-jack, but time is running out because Owen is now underwater without a way to breathe due to another rock fall having cut-off the air-flow to Owen. Sylvester returns to help move the breathing machine after a stern talking to from Megan— about Owen, the one actually dying, compared to Sylvester, who just feels like he is—before another rock falls, but the breathing tubes are still pinched closed.

Cabe’s “son, son” just barely gets Walter to not go back into the sinkhole before Toby makes it to the beach. Walter is finally able to get Owen up out of the sinkhole—barely alive but expected to make a full recovery. While the case is all about getting a kid home safe for Christmas, there are quite a few messages for the audience—and the characters.

Christmas is about being with loved ones and that miracles can happen.

Cabe calling Walter “son” the entire episode shows that it’s obvious that Walter and the others are now Cabe’s surrogate kids, which makes me fistpump in excitement.

Megan has regained her faith in the impossible and decides to go on the drug trial.

(Also, what’s with CBS —acting like everyone in the United States celebrates Christmas? Still, I can get behind found families helping each other get through the holidays.)

After Owen is taken to at the hospital, Happy seeks out her dad, who tells her that he knew who she was the first time and explains that he had left because, after her mother’s death, he didn’t feel like he was good enough for her.

The truth is good enough for Happy who invites him to Christmas dinner with the gang. I was really pleased that the show followed up with this plotline and Sylvester’s fear. CBS shows, while great at procedurals, usually take more time to return to the character sub-plots.

At Christmas dinner, Walter puts on a light-up Christmas sweater that Paige gives him, and they gaze at each other from across the room tenderly. Sylvester also kisses Megan on the cheek under mistletoe (how cute), and Happy shares a hug with Toby who gets a hat from her to replace the one lost in Bosnia, so all the ships are sailing this week.

(Even if they’re all hetero as heck.)

I appreciate that the writers are slowly but surely developing these relationships because so often romance goes two routes: where the couple will have, like, two romantic scenes and then end up together, and the audience is left to wonder when the heck their relationship developed; or the couple will have a lot of romantic scenes but never get together because ~drama~.

At least, in Scorpion—even if there’s never a kiss—the audience can be happy knowing that the relationships are deepening.

And, finally, Cabe gets to be adorable with Ralph while the episode ends with a Rube Goldberg machine that causes snow to fall all around them.

Overall, the episode hit all the beats needed for a midseason finale except a cliffhanger. There’s drama and the anticipation that something could actually go wrong, character development, romance and a return to previous plot bits. Plus, the pace of the episode was super-fast compared to others, and while I was completely sure Owen was going to survive, all the twists and turns made it feel like his death could really be an outcome.

I guess I’m not going to get to see the other characters be the main hero at any time soon. Though. because—once again—Walter ultimately saves the day.

Which I understand since he’s the ostensible main character, but I just want to see the others do more than just be the supporting cast who help Walter finally save the day.

Scorpion returns in January, so if you haven’t already watched the show, now is the perfect time to marathon it!

Grade: A+


Image courtesy of CBS

Author

  • Seher

    Seher is a Managing Editor at The Fandomentals focusing on the ins and outs of broadcast TV. Representation on screen and behind the scenes are one of many specialties. Otherwise, she's reading away for her anthropology graduate program. pc: @poika_

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