Scorpion Season 1 Review “True Colors”

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On the latest episode of “Scorpion,” the team was, as ever, in hot water with the government after seemingly fumbling a case involving an art heist, in “True Colors.” As such, it was psych evaluation time, and, to be honest, none too soon. (I’m kind of surprised it hasn’t happened already, but then again, this is TV we’re talking about.) Doing the honors was one Dr. Cassandra Davis (Shohreh Aghdashloo, “Grimm”), who the team mostly wasted no time in alienating, save perhaps Paige. After that, we got the story that led to this, in flashback form, twenty-four hours before.

It started out innocently enough, as Cabe hired the team to do some routine security work for a local art museum with a high-end painting being displayed that was robbery bait. Their job was to make sure that security was as tight as it could be, given that the main painting was worth some $100 million, something that curator Dr. Paulson (Raphael Sbarge, “Once Upon a Time”) took umbrage with, having overseen security himself. This wasn’t exactly helped when Walter proceeded to cut into said painting and declare it a fake, much to the horror of everyone present.

However, he wasn’t wrong, and it was time to find out who had stolen the painting and how they’d pulled it off, with the blessings of the FBI and the Art Crimes division, who confirmed the team’s assertions just in time to save Walter from being hauled off. Concluding that the painting was too perfect to have been done by a human, they concluded that it was done instead by a machine, and Cabe took them to someone he thought could help narrow down the potential suspects, none other than Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt, reprising her role from “NCIS: Los Angeles”).

Tracing it to Galactic Toys, and suspect Phil Daniels (voice-over regular Josh Keaton, best-known for voicing the titular character in the animated “Green Lantern”), a chase ensued that ended with the team damaging their new, spiffy high-tech van, on loan from the government. Later, Toby questioned the guy, determining that he’d been hired by Jacques Labeaux (Mike Powers, “Lucky Stiff”), a real estate mogul, who just happened to have a climate-controlled room in his sprawling mansion, and was scheduled to have a charity ball that evening- the perfect cover for spiriting away with the missing painting.

As Cabe tried to secure a wiretap, the team, as ever, went off on their own, which never ends well, and with the help of Hetty, snuck into the party undercover of the wait staff (Happy and Toby) and a high-power couple (Walter and Paige), as Sly monitored the proceedings from outside in the van. Once again, the team fumbled the ball, with Toby wrecking an entire wall of wine in the cellar and Happy wrecking a cake in their hasty escape after the wine incident. Hey, at least Walter and Paige got to have a moment- or two- dancing at the shindig before they had to hightail it out of there, and not entirely by necessity, as we later learned.

Realizing that the curator of the museum was in on it, the team followed him, calling in Cabe to block him from the docks, where he was presumed to be headed to drop off the real painting. He did, and all seemed well- until the car the curator was in exploded after he’d been apprehended, destroying the painting in the process, much to the chagrin of their boss, Director Merrick (David Fabrizio, “Desperate Housewives”)- hence the psychiatric evaluation.

However, it turned out that the team had pulled a fast one of their own, having intentionally caused the car explosion, to cover the fact that they’d stolen the painting themselves, in order to return it to its rightful owner, the Mueller family, from who it had been stolen by the Nazis in WWII, and had never been returned, even after it was found later on. Cabe figured it out, but Walter denied it, and the team took the hit for the greater good, showing that they’re learning to do the right thing, slowly but surely, something that did not go unnoticed by the psychiatrist, who gave them a pass on their evaluation.

She also noted that the team was a safe haven and surrogate family that supported one another and gave them a sense of empathy for their fellow man that they might not have had otherwise, also noting that Walter was clearly sweet on Paige, whether he wanted to admit it or not. In fact, he intentionally stalled cloning Labeaux’s phone at the charity ball, just to dance with Paige a little longer, which could have jeopardized the mission. Hetty later confirmed this, as she noted that Walter didn’t give two figs about art or returning the painting to its rightful owners in the end- he did it because he knew it meant the world to Paige, who adored the painting, and was emotionally invested in the plight of the Muellers.

This was another solid episode, helped by the clever structure and the deft assist from Hetty and the always-welcome Linda Hunt. I liked the case at hand, and though I pretty much knew that the curator was in on it from the jump, sometimes the case can be beside the point in shows like this. Sometimes it’s all about the characters, and getting to know them, and in this case, it was worth it for that alone.

I liked the unexplained stuff going on as much as the explained- the bizarre appearance of chicken feathers on the van after a high-speed chase, the cake run-in with Happy, etc. I also enjoyed the underlying Halloween angle and especially Sly’s costume (the as-far-as-I-know fictional “Super Fun Guy”) and Toby’s assessment of Freud (his own costume subject) as a hack. Ralph’s costume was also cute: a big brain, appropriately enough. Bonus points for featuring the late, great Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man Party” on the soundtrack, aka composer Danny Elfman’s former band from the 80s.

I must say the show is really growing on me, thanks to the likable, often in spite of themselves, team of geniuses, and the great chemistry between them all. Everyone has a nicely defined niche of their own, and the roles are perfectly cast in such a way that you feel like you’ve known these characters a lot longer than you actually have, which is what all good casting should do in the first place. Yes, the cases can sometimes be a bit pedestrian, as was the case in tonight’s episode, but I’ve found that people rarely watch this sort of thing for the cases- it’s all about the characters, and that level of comfort that comes with spending time with a cast that feels like old friends. This one fits that bill to a “T,” at least as far as I’m concerned.

What did you think of “Scorpion” tonight? Do you like the characters? Do you have a favorite? A least favorite? What did you think of the case? Did you figure out who did it before the fact? Is there a type of case you’d like to see them tackle? Did you get a kick out of Hetty’s appearance? Sound off below and I’ll see you next week!