Television: Scorpion, "Charades"

In which Paige attempts to teach Walter how to talk sexy to ladies.

Okay, so what actually happens is (a) Paige has a dream about Walter, and (b) a CIA analyst falls in love with a Yemeni woman posing as an aid worker and steals deadly chemicals to "help" her because he thinks she's using them to grow crops. Seriously. Love makes bright people dumb. By, like, a lot.

And that is the underlying message of the episode, which has Walter spouting the idea that love is a figment of the human imagination. Kind of stupid on his part, since data shows that emotional connections between, at the very least, a parent and child are real and serve an evolutionary purpose. But maybe I'll give Walter a pass on that since he was speaking of love in the romantic relationship sense. It also serves an evolutionary purpose, of course, by ensuring the continuance of the species, though why one needs "love" to mate is a fair question. Love is more necessary for the maintaining of a family unit that will ensure the survival of the young. I suppose Walter would be fine just writing up a contract saying he promises to provide for any offspring or something.

Love is, of course, in large part a chemical reaction. The bonds form over a longer period of time; the chemical is what motivates you to stay long enough to form those bonds.

Whatever. It hardly matters because Walter belies all his protestations with things like telling Paige she has a nice voice and stroking Ralph's hair when the boy falls asleep. The need for the connection is there, even if someone like Walter doesn't know how to go about making it. He's convinced himself he doesn't need those bonds with others, but that's only because it's too difficult for him, and he's not used to anything being difficult. It's a problem with geniuses: When things become challenging we either (a) focus (if it's something we enjoy) or (b) walk away and say it isn't worth the time and effort. B is the easier choice when something is difficult; we like to do what's easy because we feel good about ourselves when we complete a task. Love and relationships, however, are not tasks that can ever be "completed." They are ongoing and hard and there's no finite answer. Does not compute.

As for the episode, Walter gets sent in to meet Fatima while the team searches her hotel room for the missing chemicals. Paige is on com, telling him what to say and do, basically how to flirt. Walter is endearingly bad at it, of course. Fatima invites him up to her room and knocks him out, puts him on a plane with the idea of exchanging Walter for the chemicals. And Leonard, her CIA boyfriend. Because, again, love makes people do really stupid things like give up a chance to escape because you want the guy. She actually did love him.

At the end of the episode, Toby tells Paige to find the one thing that is most important to her and make her decisions based on whether they would hurt or help that one thing. Of course, her one thing is Ralph. So: Does moving to Portland with Drew help or hinder Ralph? What about Scorpion? It's pretty clear Ralph gets a lot out of having Walter and the guys around, so . . .

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