Scorpion, “Young Hearts Spark Fire,” was written by the team of Paul Grellong, Jay Beattie and Dan Dworkin and was directed by Mel Damski, who last directed “Revenge.” The team of Beattie and Dworkin joins the writing team from Revenge, The Event, and Criminal Minds among others. As has become typical, the case of the week – this time rescuing teenagers lost while hiking and then trapped by fire – is bookended with the personal stories of the team.
The episode begins, as it so often does with members of the team playing a game. This time it’s just Toby (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Happy (Jadyn Wong) on the roof. Happy is folding paper airplanes and she bets Toby that she can get the plane to go across the road and through a window. They wager a dinner date against Toby doing Happy’s laundry for a month. Happy teases him that he wins either way because Toby will probably enjoy doing her laundry – perv! Happy “loses” when a truck unexpectedly runs into the paper plane, preventing it from reaching its destination. In reality, Happy is really the one who couldn’t lose, but she’s still reluctant to label what they have or go too fast.
Meanwhile, Toby has put together a presentation for Walter (Elyes Gabel), outlining all the evidence that Walter has feelings for Paige (Katharine McPhee). Walter is appalled at being discovered and denies it. He goes on the offensive wanting to know why Toby is obsessed with him and Paige. Toby tells him, “I find emotional dishonesty offensive.” But more importantly Walter is his friend – and Toby doesn’t like Drew (Brendan Hines).
Cabe (Robert Patrick) saves Walter from further interrogation by coming in with the case for this week – some kids got lost out hiking and the Santa Ana winds are kicking up too much dust to be able to simply spot them from the air. It’s a nice way for Cabe to show Walter that the equipment he designed for Bagdad is actually being put to good use to help people, not kill them. Walter asks what made Cabe think of using he equipment, and Cabe confesses that he thinks about Bagdad a lot. I have a bad feeling that as we close in on the end of the season, Walter is going to find out Cabe’s secret and cut ties with him.
As always, I really liked how the team worked together to adapt the equipment to the task. Happy identifies the show prints and Toby analyzes the group’s social dynamics to figure out a pattern. In fact, I wish the show would spend more time on working out intricate solutions to complex problems. I like watching them use their brains, but the show has clearly gone in the action hero direction. This continues to be an issue for me with the show.
Ari Stidham is terrific in this episode. I liked that he was able to work some stuff out about his own military father through Marcus (Rick Ravanello). However, I’m getting a little tired of Sylvester going from being an abject coward to a super hero in every episode. We’ve already established that while he’s big, he’s not strong… except now he is. I think these scenes could have been just as powerful if Sylvester had simply had to help Marcus walk rather than pulling him and then full on carrying him. I did like Sylvester’s quick thinking to hide in the metal pipe, but I’m now still a bit skeptical that that would work.
I’m really not clear why the whole team had to go in the helicopter except to put them all at risk. You would also think they’d want to send a search and rescue helicopter that could have accommodated the missing teens too. That said, I did like Sylvester having to calculate how they could get out of the downed helicopter, but again, it then went too far. Walter, logically, should have stuck to the order. There would still have been an opportunity for him to wait anxiously for Paige and help her down. Instead, we have the Wile E Coyote moment of Walter simply crouching out of the way while the helicopter crashed down within inches of him. It’s just that little bit too much that pulls me out of the show and has me rolling my eyes.
I think the basic rescue of the kids could have been exciting enough. Adding the fire, seemed like over kill and really was when the fire suddenly trapped them. However, as silly as it was, I did love Happy making the rope swing to get them to “safety” and Walter simply running and jumping on it to test it. I also really liked them MacGyvering the green plume of smoke.
Ratcheting the stakes up also does allow for our couples to be pushed into almost declarations of their feelings. Happy can’t really ignore that Toby said that he loved her – even if he didn’t quite finish, we all know. We also see Paige and Walter reach for each other. And in fact, the tension also allows Cabe to tell the whole team that he was really worried about them.
In the end, the characters all come to a new understanding. We see Toby and Happy on the roof, and Toby isn’t taking back what he said. His comment that he “chose in the moment to be honest” resonates with his comments about disliking emotional dishonesty at the beginning. Markus tells Sylvester, “You’re one tough son of a bitch. I’d be proud to call you my kid.” It’s a mark of how far Sylvester has come.
Walter is not impressed by the counsellor having to propose in the woods. It destroyed a helicopter and thousands of acres of wilderness! Cabe says, “the heart wants what the heart wants.” Walter pragmatically points out the heart is just a piece of flesh. Cabe then says, “Spoken like a man who’s never been in love. Cabe is intrigued by the board, but can’t figure it out, though he suspects it means he needs to give Toby more to do! The final scene shows Walter erasing the board, leaving just the two stick figures surrounded by a heart. The heart wants what the heart wants…
What did you think of the episode? Did part of it go too far for you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!