Television: Scorpion, "Rogue Element"

The episode title makes it sound like some kind of car commercial, but the episode itself was about Cabe's ex-wife Rebecca becoming a target when she stumbles across incriminating evidence against a farming corporation.

The whys are kind of irrelevant. Politician refusing to sign a bill that hurts smaller farms, yada yada, they blow him up to get a more sympathetic person in office, yada yada, ex-wife mistakenly accesses a secret computer file, yada yada. The plotting is relatively plug-and-play.

What the episode is really about is Cabe's past and (as so many episodes have been) his fatherlike relationship to Walter. We see that Cabe and Rebecca are still friendly and learn that it was the death of their daughter Amanda that tore them apart. For Walter it's especially awkward; Cabe is like a father to him, and he doesn't know how to treat Rebecca because he's never met her. She's some weird, absent stepmother. Toss in the fact that Walter doesn't do emotions well to begin with and the situation is ripe for floundering.

Other floundering occurs when Drew tells Walter that he has a tryout with the Portland Sea Dogs, and if all goes well he hopes to convince Paige and Ralph to move to Maine with him. To his credit, Walter appears to be doing his best to remain neutral, or at least to primarily consider Ralph and his needs. But what does Ralph need more: a dad or people who understand how he thinks?

Definitely, the emotional elements and character interplay were the more interesting aspect of the episode. A procedural is a procedural is a procedural, so it's going to take character to make a show stand out, and Scorpion does that pretty nicely. But we do need to stretch a little away from so much Walter. And the persistent vagueness about what happened to Cabe's daughter is somewhat annoying. (Also, her name was Amanda. I'll try not to take it personally.)

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