Television: Scorpion, "Talismans"

In which Walter leaves his sister Megan, who has MS, at the garage with Sylvester for two days because he doesn't have time to drop her off at her care facility before leaving on a mission to Bosnia. (And yes, Bosnia is "still a thing." Though it's a fair question; geniuses tend to lose track of current events if they aren't actively engaged in them. In fact, they lose track of pretty much everything unless they're actively engaged in them. I suspect, however, that the "Bosnia is still a thing" line was designed to inform/remind the viewers that it is, in fact, still a thing.)

Um, so, yeah . . . Walter, Toby, Happy, Paige (why Paige?), and Cabe go with three soldiers to Bosnia to get some data/technology from a fallen aircraft. And also to bring home the dead pilot's dog tags for his son. Except when they find the aircraft, there is no dead pilot, nor is there a computer. So off they go to rescue the pilot and get the computer. Pretty straight forward, really.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch garage, Sylvester uses his fabulous people skills to give Megan a pack of cards for solitaire while he does geek stuff. She does some decorating, then ekes Sylvester's story out of him: His parents found him difficult, so he hacked a bank and stole some money and ran away at age 16, but then Walter found him and "saved" him, so to speak. The important kernel of information was that the bank/government never found him or made him pay for his crime. This will be important later, I'm sure, though how Sylvester is on the payroll now . . . Well, no, never mind. That's actually not too difficult to believe when thinking about the government and the way it operates.

Obligatory happy reunion of the pilot with his family (especially since they thought he was dead). Also obligatory moment of Walter being awkward when someone is nice to him. But at least he makes the effort to be nice in return. I guess we're supposed to take that as progress.

A rather sedate episode overall. Megan is, I think, supposed to give us yet another facet to Walter; he's the center around which all the spokes spin, and Megan is just such a spoke. Each person in the show connects to Walter, and that's fine, but what's needed is more of the characters connecting outside of Walter. He can't be everyone's reason for existing. No matter how great he is or how much they owe him. Else the Walter worship on this show is going to get old quickly.

Television: Gotham, "Lovecraft"

We now have something called "winter finales" in television. Shows that play over a full season (meaning 20+ episodes rather than 8 to 13) take a break for the holidays and may not come back until February sweeps. Gotham had its winter finale last night, but the only really important bit of information you need to take away from it is that Gordon is in big trouble and so is being sent to work security at Arkham Asylum.

This might make the second half of the season more interesting than the first has been. But I hope we'll still have Bullock around because he's one of the best things about the show.

Other points for last night's episode include a team of assassins trying to find and kill Cat because of her ability to identify the Waynes' murderer. Turns out Lovecraft—the guy Dent was so set on catching—was still just a low man on the totem. (The assassins kill him, too, btw, which is what gets Gordon in trouble; they use Gordon's gun.)

A large portion of the episode is devoted to Cat and Bruce stuff which doesn't work well in large pieces. But it was nice to see Alfred use his skills in new ways. Meanwhile, Penguin is tasked by Falcone to find the mole in his organization. All pretty basic stuff and nothing to be too excited about. It's the switch to Arkham that provides the springboard for fresh angles and material. I'll stick around to see how that plays out . . . Which is exactly what the writers and producers want me to do.