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Scorpion - The Old College Try & Dam Breakthrough - Review - "Double Shot for Fall Finale Wrap-up"

Here’s a roundup of the final two episodes of Scorpion for the fall. “The Old College Try” was written by the team of Rob Pearlstein and Nick Santora and was directed by Christine Moore. “Dam Breakthrough” was written by the team of Paul Grellong and Nicholas Wootton and was directed by Adam Rodriguez whose other directing credit is CSI: Miami. Most people will recognize Rodriguez as an actor – as Delko on CSI: Miami and currently as Delgado on Empire and Chavez on Jane the Virgin. I was really impressed with Rodriguez’s direction, especially the terrific performances he captured in the final scene when Walter’s (Elyes Gabel) emotional dam finally broke.

“The Old College Try” was a fun episode with a fair bit of comic relief, which worked well after the emotionally charged “Arrivals and Departures” with Megan’s (Camille Gauty) death. This episode wrapped up Ray’s (Kevin Weisman) story – at least for now. As the episode opens, six weeks have passed since Megan’s death.

(Riley B Smith) is putting together a time capsule for school. Sylvester (Ari Stidham) puts in a comic, Toby (Eddie Kaye Thomas) puts in his graduation picture from high school – to which Happy (Jadyn Wong) asks “You were a cute kid – what happened?” Walter comments that there is no point in looking back. Only the future matters. He’s clearly in avoidance mode, refusing to think about either Megan or her death. Sylvester, however, says that he misses her every day. He’s sad, but cherishing his memories.

Walter, meanwhile, is burying himself in attempting to clear Ray’s name. Paige (Katharine McPhee) pushes Walter about his feelings. He tries to deflect her by pointing out that Ray has barely left the camper because it’s the anniversary of his partner’s death. Paige tells Walter that he’s focusing on someone else’s pain only to avoid his own.

They are interrupted by Cooper (Peri Gilpin) arriving with a case. There’s a hacker threatening economic meltdown, and Sylvester traces him back to a college campus, meaning the entire team is headed back to school. Not surprisingly, Paige is the only one with fond memories of college. Sylvester has to infiltrate the wrestling frat. It seems like it’s going well at first until they drop dirty jockstraps all over him as a prank. By the end of the episode, Sylvester realizes he’s already in a frat, a better frat – Frat Scorpion!

Cabe (Robert Patrick) goes undercover as campus security. It’s a nice moment when Cabe is actually able to make Griggs’ (Scott Michael Morgan) dream of being a real cop a bit of a reality by enlisting him to help with taking down Ryder (Billy Ray Gallion). He even lets Griggs put the handcuffs on him!

Toby goes undercover to apply for a job from his old nemesis, Quincy Berkstead (Jeff Galfer), who also stole Toby’s fiancé. Willie McGinest makes a cameo as himself as another candidate for the job. As it turns out, Quincy is the only one that the team gets a signal from, so Toby and Cabe take him prisoner. Just to torture him, Toby throws what Quincy thinks is sulfuric acid at him, but is really water. Toby accuses him of screaming like a girl, but it turns out Quincy isn’t really involved. Quincy does tell Toby that Toby ruined things with his fiancé all by himself because Toby is narcissistic, playing cards rather than paying attention to his fiancé and even missing her birthday. He tells Toby to stop blaming everyone else but himself.

Happy goes undercover at a sorority, and it’s hilarious to see her all dressed in pink! She is her usual sarcastic self, but like Toby and Sylvester, she ends up finding out something about herself. I loved Happy’s questions – they were hilarious! But she also gets a good piece of advice from one of her “sisters”: You can’t really have a surrogate family until you lower that wall. Wong is terrific in the scene in which Happy, alone in the bathroom, asks her reflection, “Why can’t you be normal?”

There’s a wonderful moment at the end of the episode when Happy completely lowers her wall to help Toby cross one thing off his bucket list. I loved her taking him out to slow dance before they leave the campus! It was nice to see some movement again in the Toby/Happy romance…

The case itself had lots of fun moments. I loved Happy using the chainsaw and bolts to take out Ryder. I also loved that they got to use the vintage spacesuits to take down the quantum computer and stop the ransomware. I also loved Cabe pretending to be DEA to stop the loud bass from the music.

Sylvester has a bad moment in taking out the quantum computer, and Paige uses Megan to help him through it. This scene once again contrasts how Walter and Sylvester are dealing – or not dealing – with Megan’s death. Walter freaks out when Paige brings Megan up, telling her this isn’t the time to talk about his sister. But Paige isn’t doing it for him and tells him so. She tells Sylvester to thing about how proud Megan would be of him and to know she’s with him. Afterwards, Walter apologizes for snapping at Paige.

Walter’s undercover assignment was as a drama teacher, which was hilarious. Paige points out that drama students are ALL EQ! Walter gets away from them as soon as possible, but as he is taking Paige home after rescuing her from Ryder, they just happen to run into the drama students again. The hassle Walter, telling him he teaches because he can’t act. He then completely shuts them up by doing a fabulous dramatic reading from Romeo and Juliet. Walter explains to Paige that he simply memorized all of Shakespeare to pass as a drama teacher. Walter maintains that he was simply acting or faking it, but Paige points out that the speech he chose was one about loss and grief – subtly suggesting that that might be why he nailed it…

Walter returns home to check on his experiment to prove Ray’s innocence. He’s encased the air tank in a mixture. If bubbles escape, it clears Ray. When he returns to the garage, Ray has discovered the tank – with no bubbles. Walter said that he had a theory that the tank was defective and the death wasn’t Ray’s fault. Ray asks why, and Walter explains that he was worried about Ray. At the last second, bubble appear! Ray realizes it wasn’t his fault and hugs Walter. He tells Walter that he never thought he’d have another friend like Danny – but clearly he does now in Walter. However, Ray realizes that he’s been hiding out – from his own feelings and emotions – for ten years, so he’s leaving. Ray tells Paige that Walter knows how she feels but that she will need to go to Walter – Walter is never going to make that first move.

As the episode ends, Paige tells Walter to put something in the time capsule that means something to him. She also tells him that she knows that there are things that mean something to him. Tellingly, Walter puts in a picture of Megan with him.

I really liked the fall finale episode. It had a case with a real “Christmasy” feel – in that the team was saving the Whos down in Whoville. I also really loved that because it was the holidays, the dam and power station were abandoned, and the entire episode was just our core team. This, of course, is the episode in which Walter’s emotions about Megan’s death finally are dealt with and that final scene is simply one of the best ever on this show – exceptional performances by Stidham and Gabel in particular.

As the episode begins, it’s raining heavily and the team is complaining about the unseasonal El Nino weather. However, they’re all working at getting a Scorpion-style white Christmas. Paige is decorating the tree, but Toby is the big humbug.

Walter is talking to himself – and Ferret Beuller! How adorable was FB in that little hat?! Paige immediately senses that Walter is struggling to come to terms with Megan’s death. He’s simply trying to keep himself from thinking about it – or her. Walter is working on a new scheme to create non-melting snow and plans on toboggan down the snow covered ramp. At least he was wearing a helmet… Cabe interrupts with news about trouble at the power station.

While the rest of the team is being briefed, it appears that Walter isn’t paying attention, but in reality, he’s working overtime. When Paige asks for his attention, he spins around the blackboard and shows that he’s solved the whole problem! All the while, talking to himself. Paige pulls Toby aside and tells him about this new development, so Toby rides with Walter to the power station.

Toby points out that Walter is talking to himself and moving his lips. Walter deflects him, saying he’s just running the numbers. It’s hilarious when Toby finds Megan’s ashes in the glovebox! Gabel is terrific in this scene as well, as he explains to Toby that the urn Megan’s ashes were in was black and she hated the color black! He hasn’t been able to part with the ashes yet – mainly because he is still avoiding even thinking about her death – though clearly, he has thought about her and what she would want. Toby tells Paige that grief has made Walter’s internal monologue external, but Walter has to want to deal with his grief – they can’t make him.

Once again, Walter is contrasted with Sylvester who is riding with Happy. He’s smiling and happy, singing to himself. When Happy asks him about it, he says that he’s thinking about Megan. They may only have been together for a short time, but they made the most of every moment they had together, so he can be happy relieving those memories. When Sylvester asks Happy what she’s thinking about she deflects him and says nothing. Clearly, however, she’s really thinking about all the times she’s put Toby off…

As it turns out, the power station isn’t the real case. We get an HILARIOUS sequence of Toby, Cabe and Happy with some helium… It would have been hilarious with just their voices, but I loved the looks these three exchanged too!

When they hear a giant crack, it leads the team to the dam which is being overwhelmed after a huge mudslide has increased the water in the reservoir beyond the dam’s capacity to deal with it. Naturally, it’s once again Cabe who volunteers to repel down the dam and fill in the cracks. I’m pretty sure that we are totally hand waving at any actual science in this episode… I did love him building his own staircase to get back up after the rope snapped, but how did he get over that final lip at the top of the dam?

There’s a terrific action sequence after Happy gets sucked into one of the water flows. Once again, however, the entire team has to work together to save the day, including Ralph back at the garage! Naturally, the team saves the day – and Christmas for the Whos down in Whoville.

When they get back to the garage, Walter checks the messages – and erases the one from Drew! Who didn’t love that?! He also finds out that he’s won the $15 million grant for the rocket. Too late to save Megan though. At the same moment, Walter sees that Ferret Beuller is missing! And this is finally the catalyst that breaks the dam of Walter’s emotions. He goes from not wanting to lose FB to not wanting to lose Megan. Paige goes to him immediately. Sylvester is also crying. Walter confesses that he misses her so much, and then apologizes for being unprofessional, but of course, the team doesn’t care and everyone comes in to comfort him.

The final scene takes us back to the beach. Walter isn’t taking the money. He built the rocket for Megan and he’s going to use it to send her ashes into space. Cabe tells Walter that Walter could do a lot with that money, but he also couldn’t respect Walter more for his decision to use the rocket as a tribute to his sister.

Happy and Toby share a sweet moment. She tells Toby that Sylvester told her not to waste a moment. She also tells him that last Christmas, she kissed him and it didn’t work out so well, so she suggest that they try it the other way around. Toby is absolutely on board! He goes in for the kiss, and is rewarded by Happy’s “Quality kiss, Doc!” Looks like these two might be back on track! My fingers are crossed! After all, you can only tease these things out for so long…

Walter includes Sylvester in putting Megan’s ashes on the rocket – he’s the husband after all! I love these two together, and I was worried the writers would want to use Megan to wedge them apart. However, the exact opposite happens as Sylvester suggests that they are now brothers-in-law. Walter rejects the term as antiquated – and yes, I was worried – until Walter suggests that they just go with brothers. Yep. Perfect.

The final moments belong to Walter and Paige. Walter tells her that he’s feeling a lot better and that he heard what she said about opening up. He suggests that maybe it’s time that he fought his nature – and I’d add fought a little harder because I think we’ve seen a lot of growth from the character. Like Happy and Toby, maybe it’s going to take Walter taking the lead to make this work, and in the final moments, we see Walter take Paige’s hand! I know this will have made a number of viewers – and readers – very happy!

What did you think of the final two episodes of the fall season? Favorite moments or lines? What are you hoping to see in the next half of the season? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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, Agent Carter, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The X-Files, Defiance, Bitten, Killjoys, and a few others! I'm active on the Con scene when I have the time. 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.
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