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Scorpion - Love Boat - Review

Scorpion returned after a three week hiatus with “Love Boat” its Valentine episode. The title is a nice play on the love storylines involving Walter (Elyes Gabel) and Paige (Katharine McPhee), Toby (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Happy (Jadyn Wong), Sylvester (Ari Stidham) and Megan (Camille Guaty), and Ralph (Riley B Smith) and Sloan and the television series of the same name and the fact that the case takes place on a cruise ship! The episode was written by the team of Elizabeth Beall and Kim Rome and was directed by Sam Hill. Now that we are getting deeper into the season, it’s nice to see familiar names.

The episode begins with Walter hacking into the website of Escala – an actual, very popular restaurant in LA – to book dinner reservations for Valentine’s night. He tells Toby it’s just a business dinner, but of course no one goes to that much trouble for a business dinner, and as Toby points out, Paige isn’t going to miss the significance of the date or the fact that Drew (Brendan Hines) is out of town – only for a month though. I love the exchange between the two as Toby twits him with “liar, liar, pants on fire” and then tells him to order phoenix dactylifera for dessert – because it’s the botanical name for dates! I love how even their humor is smart!

We also see Sylvester hiding a Valentine card before Cabe (Robert Patrick) arrives with the case. Sylvester, Paige, Walter, and Cabe go undercover to trace illegal guns by hacking into them. I loved Cabe saying he’d be the personal trainer, making Walter play the part of valet and carry all the bags! The plan goes awry when they can’t get on and off the boat before it leaves the dock.

        This provides the opportunity for some hilarious moments from Sylvester as he must maintain his cover as a reclusive billionaire. Sylvester is seasick and hates being on the water – and reveals he can’t swim. I loved watching his face as he has to eat the parade of delicacies, including seared frogs legs, the Captain (Patrick Fabian) has specially arranged for him. I also loved the ridiculous story that Sylvester tells as his explanation of his success.

Walter runs into an ex-girlfriend – Janice (Kelley Jakle). The girlfriend we see him breaking up with at the beginning of the “Pilot” actually. She immediately recognizes Paige as he waitress from the diner and asks if they’re dating. Walter denies it and actually blows their cover by saying they work for the government. Luckily, she doesn’t believe him.
Janice does give Walter some good advice on how to avoid the mistakes he made with her. She tells him that “after a while? You lost interest in me.” When he finds out he hurt her, he apologizes and she tells him, “there’s no malice in you, Walter. Just facts. The fact is, before you get involved with someone else, make sure you can make a real connection. It wouldn’t be fair to her otherwise.” She recognizes that he’s interested in Paige. Walter doesn’t want to hurt either her or Ralph, and he doesn’t want to endanger his relationship with Ralph if it doesn’t work out with Paige.

Paige is quietly excited about their “business” dinner, but Walter cancels on her. He tells her that she’s an incredible asset to the team and he wants what’s best for her and for her to have the weekend off. Paige is clearly disappointed. But, there’s still another 3 weeks before Drew is back…
Happy and Toby provide support back at the garage. Luckily, they’re on hand to collect Ralph when he calls Paige to say he’s sick at school. Toby catches Ralph with ice packs and realizes that he’s faked being sick. Ralph is also having trouble with his love life and wanted to leave after Sloan – the object of his affection - got a Valentine card from Jason before Ralph could give her one. This leads to a nicely thinly veiled conversation between Happy and Toby about their own relationship. Toby suggests that some girls (Happy!) don’t recognize a good thing when they see it. Happy suggests that maybe Sloan doesn’t want to take their relationship to the next level because she doesn’t want to jeopardize their friendship. “Maybe she’s never had a best friend like you before and that probably means a lot to her, so don’t take it personally. You just have to be patient.”

Toby comes through with a terrific (and illegal) fireworks display for Sloan for Ralph. It’s pretty spectacular even if he did misspell RALHP… Anybody else pause to wonder why all these kids were still in school after dark? Regardless, Happy is impressed and it’s enough for Ralph and Sloan. Toby tells Happy, “Love can be misspelled and messy, but it still works. It just needs to be given a chance.” Happy relents and takes Toby’s hand but stops him from giving her a kiss. She promises not to punch him and they are just about to kiss when the Principal (Julie Lancaster) intervenes! Aarggh!

It was nice to see Paige really taking control of the cover as the Bonseils. I loved her pep talk with Sylvester, and she really does prove herself as an asset to the team. The gunrunners take hostages once they realize there’s something going on. We get a nice MacGyver moment when Walter makes a loud speaker out of a can. When Paige is taken hostage, both Sylvester and Walter get hero moments as they offer themselves to Christoph (Michael Filipowich) in her place. In the end, Cristoph turns out to be the Captain in a nice twist.

        The entire team has to work together and again, I love that the show is able to give everyone a crucial role to play – though Toby’s contribution is a little light in the main plot this episode. The best part, of course, is that they have to use Ralph’s hacking skills to save the helicopter.  I loved Cabe asking Walter if he’d done much scuba diving before flipping backwards through the skylight – great stunt! And if you check the picture out, Patrick and Gabel did at least the initial fall - though unlikely they're the ones we see break through. And great special effect of the two missiles colliding!

Sylvester becomes a full-fledged hero in this episode. It’s hilarious when he crawls through the ventilation system to save Paige, but it’s also a testament to what love can make you do. In Sylvester’s case, this isn’t romantic love, but love for his found family. I loved him screaming Bonseil as he jumps onto the escape boat. Now, it does still seem like a huge jump for me that Sylvester can go from being so afraid to being so brave – it’s a bigger leap than the ones between the boats, but it’s fun, so I’m going to shut up about it from here out. I’m still finding that the show does go just a little too far with the dramatic crisis. If the bad guys get sucked under and killed so quickly, how does a guy who can’t even swim not get pulled in? And did Walter have to be caught in the rope? And did the Captain have to come up like jaws? Tone it back a bit show, and it will still be as exciting.

Sylvester is given the courage to pursue Megan as well. He’s hesitating because she’s Walter’s sister and Walter is both his boss and his best friend. When Walter asks where Sylvester is going, Sylvester hedges and says it’s early stages. He’s still not quite brave enough to tell Walter. Walter does say that whoever she is she’s lucky to have Sylvester and then he gives Sylvester his reservation for Escala. I have to believe that Walter is smart enough to realize it’s Megan, but then Walter is remarkably stupid about the people around him most of the time, so I’m betting he’s clueless!

All in all this was another really enjoyable episode. It’s nice to see progress on the Happy/Toby and Sylvester/Megan fronts even if they are going to continue to torture us on the Walter/Paige front. I thought the entire cast delivered solid performances. What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thought sin the comments below!

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Forever, Defiance, Bitten, Glee, and a few others! Highlights of this past year include covering San Diego Comic Con as press and a set visit to Bitten. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.