Scorpion Season 1 Review “Dominoes”

Scorpion Episode 12 Dominoes 01

The latest episode of “Scorpion” was one of those episodes that could only have ended in two ways, and, it being a Christmas-themed episode, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion which of those it would be, in “Dominoes.” However, that said, it still managed to be a gripping bit of television nonetheless, no doubt because of the even pacing and unique ideas at work, as well as what is swiftly becoming one of the more well-oiled ensemble casts on a new show this season.

The episode kicked off, fittingly enough, with a compare-and-contrast look at how the world at large was spending the current holiday season, as compared with how the team was doing the same. As most reveled in Christmas music and decorations and the like, the team blared Black Sabbath while going about their usual routines, with nary a festive decoration in sight. Naturally, there was one exception: Paige, who became a one-woman Xmas machine, pumping the team into shape, despite a sorely lacking sense of holiday spirit- albeit not without good reason, as most of the team had never had much in the way of what one might call a “normal” Christmas.

Of course, being California-based, the scenery, as beautiful as it may be, it doesn’t exactly lend itself to being the typical Christmas setting, either- a fact driven home by Walter spending the day of Christmas Eve on the beach with sister Megan. As Walter attempted to pitch her on the latest round of potential drug trials for her condition- unsuccessfully- a boy named Owen played nearby. Next thing you know, there’s a rockslide and Owen, to everyone’s horror, is trapped underneath it in a sinkhole that almost immediately starts filling up with water as the tide mercilessly comes in and out. Could Walter and the team save the day by saving the boy?

Well, as we’ve established, of course they could, but that still didn’t stop the episode from being surprisingly gripping and riveting throughout. For one thing, the show managed to keep coming up with seemingly impossible scenarios that made it seem like there was no way this kid was making it out of there alive, to the point where you had to wonder if he was going to make it after all. No mean feat in a scenario that seemed inherently predictable, I must say.

In addition to the rising water factor, the kid’s foot was trapped under a rock in a sort of a variation of the movie “127 Hours,” only with a much-quicker ticking clock of issues that only got worse as the episode progressed. For instance, the kid naturally started to panic, which in turn caused him to hyperventilate, which in turn was an even bigger issue as Owen had also injured his chest, making it doubly hard for him to breathe in the first place. A PVC pipe was inserted into the cave-like enclosure in order for the team to communicate with Owen, but it was clear the situation was getting worse before it got better, given the circumstances.

Things took a turn for the dubious when Walter came up with an idea that could buy Owen some much-needed time as breathing became more and more difficult for him. I’m not sure how sound the science and technology is for the devices that Walter and his team came up with, but being as how this show is indeed grounded in reality, I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt in terms of realism as it at least seemed plausible, if still somewhat dubious. I mean, injecting oxygen in the kid’s blood so that he could essentially breathe underwater without actually breathing in at all? Is that even a thing?

I certainly couldn’t say, but even if it seemed far-fetched, you nonetheless couldn’t help but root for the plan to succeed, in spite of its inherent craziness. And, as aforementioned, you couldn’t help but assume it would, lest “Scorpion” deliver one hell of a bummer Christmas-themed episode. Naturally, that proved not to be the case, as Owen did indeed make it out alive and the team did indeed save the day, though it was certainly touch-and-go for the poor kid throughout. All’s well that ends well, though, so there you go.

As ever, I loved that each member of the team was crucial in helping resolve the situation, and that it also put everyone in a scenario that, in spite of the decided anti-Christmas vibe established early on, forced them to come to terms with their essential humanity, despite their often cold given exteriors. Sure, it was inevitable that the team would save the day and that the episode would end with the team embracing the holiday spirit and doing the whole Christmas thing, complete with gift-giving and a massive feast and the like, but it did feel earned, so it was hard to be a Grinch about it, as it were.

Besides, that Rube Goldberg-ian set-up at the end that served as Ralph’s Xmas present was just plain neat. I’m admittedly a sucker for that sort of thing- I blame seeing “The Goonies” as a child of the 80’s- but come on, if your heart wasn’t warmed by the sight of snow in California, I’m not sure you have one. It really was very sweet, and I loved how everyone got their respective moments, from Cabe getting a present of- what else?- a new pair of cop-friendly sunglasses, to Toby getting a new hat to replace the one he lost, to Happy finally connecting with her long-lost father, to Walter getting the requisite ugly Christmas sweater.

I also liked that the show evenly parceled out said character moments without seeming to rush anything else on the episode, in terms of the main story at hand. A lot of shows like this just barely have time to solve the case, much less include some nice character bits at the beginning and the end of the episode. (Witness, for example, the latest “Elementary.”)

This one not only dealt with the story at hand in a nicely-paced fashion, but allowed for some solid character-driven moments throughout the episode as well. That’s pretty impressive, no matter how dubious some of the science seemed at times. All in all, it was another great episode, and among my favorites of the season thus far. Well done, “Scorpion.” Keep up the good work, and I’ll keep watching.

What did you think of the latest episode of “Scorpion”? Did your heart also grow three sizes too big in light of the resolution of the story at hand, or did your Grinch-like ways overpower it? Did you enjoy the character moments, too? How about the developments with Happy and her father and Walter and his sister, respectively? Were they handled well, in your opinion, or was it all a bit cheesy to you? How cool was that bit at the end, with the machine the team constructed? Do you think Walter and Paige will end up together? Sound off down below and I’ll see you next year. Until then, happy holidays!