Television: Scorpion, "Revenge"

Unfortunately, Scorpion is starting to become very by-the-numbers. It does not require nor command my full attention.

This episode was about stopping a group of high-end thieves called The Ghosts, headed by a man named Javier. There is probably an interesting story or interaction that could have happened, but instead it all comes secondhand through Cabe's old Fed friend Simone. Her partner was killed by Javier and his men some seven years before, and she has been after him ever since. When Sylvester is harmed by an IED left behind at a crime scene, Walter is also determined to get—wait for it—revenge.

Except not really. Walter spends most of the episode the same way he spends most every other episode, which is to say he spends it denying his feelings.

I get it. I do. I have a high IQ and could do an entire series of posts on how I handle feelings and respond to situations. The portrayal of Walter in Scorpion is actually pretty spot on based on my personal experience, but it's not all that exciting to watch. We all know Walter will say, "Fine. I'm fine," any time anyone asks if he's all right. This response is what we've learned is the accepted, "correct" answer (and geniuses generally want to give the correct answer), but it's probably almost never the true one. Still, all the viewers know Walter is not okay. We're all waiting for the breakdown. If every episode is Walter giving the stiff upper lip, the show is going to become very wooden very quickly.

I'll credit Scorpion with trying to do the subtle stuff. The Megan/Sylvester relationship that is developing is nice. Walter's awkward response to an invitation for drinks was, again, pretty accurate; the show could punch that up a bit, in fact. Remember that, outside of our usefulness, we don't usually understand why anyone would want to spend time with us. It confuses us, and often makes us a bit suspicious, when someone proposes to "hang out."

But some stuff is almost too over the top. After all that concern, Sylvester comes out just fine. So either the doctors were exaggerating the injuries or . . . This is near miraculous? I'm not sure what to believe there. While it was a given, based on convention, that Sylvester would survive, I feel there should have been more struggle; maybe it should have gone on for a few episodes, them not knowing for sure how damaged Sylvester would be. Oh, yes, they decided to punch up his anxiety instead, but that really just translates to "more of the same."

And the manufactured moment of Walter's hesitation leading to Javier's death. Sigh. So cliché.

The triangle of Paige/Walter/Drew is being handled pretty well, though. Not that there should be more of it. There's just the right amount now; more would be overkill.

It's a good show. I like it. And I understand the need to make development a slow process, else one runs out of things to do. And/or the show becomes something completely different, which will turn the audience off. Like, you can't have it suddenly be all soapy and relationshipy. That would be awful. But we're already tired of Walter's withholding, and Toby's longing for Happy, and Sylvester's neurotics. These things are established and yet every episode seems to be mostly about these things again, some more. We need these characters to stretch a bit. And I think the writers have been trying to do that, at least with Walter, but honestly, it's not enough. He just keeps snapping back into his mold. Time to bend him out of shape a bit more. Get him out of his comfort zone.

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