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Scorpion: 1.17 “Going South” Review

This week on Scorpion, the team goes south to Mexico to retrieve Zoe, the daughter of a tech billionaire, and Walter puts his foot in his mouth.

On the Case of the Week front, the episode follows the usual procedural formula of the team’s plans going awry until the last ten minutes. The team gets to Mexico and then the kidnappers zoom by in a van and take the money, and when they go to find Zoe using a landmark from her proof of life video, the team walks into a trap with motion-sensor machine guns. Finally, after rescuing Zoe and an actual Mexican standoff with members of the cartel, the team uses their own rigged rifles to get away.

Case closed!

Except not for Walter who, during a television interview, didn’t mention anyone else on the team in regards to Scorpion’s success with various jobs. The few mentions of the other members described them all incorrectly and Happy was called super nanny while Paige was called the engineer. Sigh.

You’d think that after sixteen episodes and at least eight months of working together (if I did my math correctly,) Walter would remember to talk about his teammates and friends.

What bothers me about this plot is that we’ve been shown multiple times that Walter does, indeed, care for his friends and hold them in high esteem. Walter’s told Sylvester that Sylvester is the bravest of them all, apologized to Happy for causing her stress when he stopped eating due to his work with Mark Collins, articulated that he cares for Toby and Paige, and even had heart-to-hearts with Cabe.

All of the main characters have had a moment (or more) with Walter that highlight how much he cares for them.

Yet, in an attempt to advertise the team, Walter just forgets to mention everyone else? It’s not that I don’t think Walter can be self-centered. He absolutely can be and is a lot of the time. He’s also a textbook Procedural Protagonist who doesn’t deal with feelings until something dramatic happens.

However, it just seems like the writers included this plot to cause some character drama despite the trajectory of Walter’s character growth having already moved beyond “self-centered genius”.

Hopefully when the origins episode airs, we’ll get to see just how far all the four geniuses have come in their time and friendships together.

On a positive note, the plot does work as a way of showing that Walter still has a long ways to go when it comes to being a team leader, which is emphasized during scenes in Mexico when everyone is mad at Walter because he won’t listen to them. Sylvester is so annoyed with the situation he even blurts out that he and Megan are dating. The comedic timing is perfect since this occurs right after the hostage-takers have grabbed the money.

Considering Megan and Sylvester kissed in the first minute of the episode that ship has fully sailed. Plus, Megan was told that she’ll never walk without braces again, so she doesn’t really want to keep any secrets from Walter—or have any regrets. So, at some point this episode, Sylvester was going to tell Walter.

While I do wish there were more characters and relationships that weren’t strictly portrayed as heterosexual, I am so glad that the two relationships we’ve been presented with in the show so far are both very fun and portrayed in a healthy way. It’s really refreshing—especially on a CBS show—to get relationships that aren’t undercut by all the usual character-pain and sadness.

(I’m thinking of the usual primary protagonist who has a quest to avenge murdered loved ones or the even-more-usual “everything is the worst” storylines.)

Obviously, Megan, Sylvester, Toby, and Happy all have their issues and worries in life, but none of their difficulties are played as a tragic One Character Has To Fix Another trope, which is rarely seen in procedurals.

Now if only Scorpion’s writers could take a page from the Elementary’sand/or Person of Interest’s writers and introduce some characters who are diverse in sexuality and gender.

Ultimately, Walter does apologize for not including the others in the interview, and he tells them that he hates fighting with them. He also reaches out to Sylvester and calls him kind, generous, and a better human being than Walter ever will be. He also explains that it’s not that Sylvester isn’t good enough for Megan; it’s that Walter worries how Sylvester will react when Megan eventually passes away.

Fortunately, Sylvester understands risk and cares too much for Megan to not spend what time they do have together. Tears in my eyes. TEARS. The episode ends with Megan dancing with Sylvester by standing on his feet and—even more tears.

The episode isn’t a bad one by any means. We get our usual amount of drama and comedy with a teeny bit of romance for Sylvester and Megan, which of course made for epic emotional development for Sylvester and Walter and developed the Megan Having MS plot, but the underlying hurt due to Walter’s words took away from what could have been a pretty superb episode.

Grade: B+

Image courtesy of CBS


  • 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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