Scorpion “Crazy Train” Review (Season 2 Episode 7)

SCORPION Crazy Train

In an episode that split the difference between a more action-driven episode and a more character-driven one, “Scorpion” essentially divided the show into something a bit more manageable for the sake of some bona fide character development, in the aptly-titled “Crazy Train.” As one might expect, the results were somewhat mixed, but at the same time, the main plotline was such that it might have been a little ridiculous to maintain such a fever pitch of action for an entire episode, much as they did last week with the intense super-sized episode, so it was ultimately the right choice, IMHO.

To wit, the overriding- if you’ll pardon the pun- story was that Paige and Ralph were taking the subway when, all of the sudden, it started careening out of control, rising to unsafe speeds and threatening to go off the rails entirely. As such, it was up to the team to step in and save the day, as well as Paige and Ralph, in the process. Well, that, and a trainload of innocent people caught up in someone’s scheme to rob LAX.

So, to be honest, I had no idea LA even had a subway system, and I’ve been there several times, so that in and of itself was news to me, though I assume its common knowledge to everyone else. To be fair, it is an underground railway, so I imagine you wouldn’t know it was there, either, unless you did live there. I’m actually used to an above-ground one, i.e. the Marta train in Georgia, which is more like Disney’s monorail than a traditional subway.

But that said, the idea of causing a subway train to go haywire to distract from a gold coin heist was straight out of the movies, more or less. If last week was a spin on “Die Hard,” this was basically “Speed”-meets-“The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3,” with a little bit of “Runaway Train” thrown in for good measure.

That’s not to say it was a bad episode, mind you, as the show put a spin on the storyline that was uniquely its own that kept it from being a complete retread, just as it did last week. Further, it did so in a relatively stealth amount of time, opting to not overplay its hand, in favor of some character development that was actually relatively fun.

To that end, we got Toby engaging in his first sparring match, which did not go well at all, which was then bookended by the big reveal of what Happy was up to for real with the mysterious Chet (Pete Giovine)- she wasn’t going out to a traditional club for a date, but a comedy one, to do, of all things, stand-up comedy!

As with Toby, poor Happy crashed and burned, getting nothing but crickets in the process of telling her science and mathematics-based (!) jokes- well, except from a howling-with-laughter Sly, who found her to be the bee’s knees. Otherwise, these two would-be lovebirds better keep their day jobs.

The good thing about all this, including the main plot at hand, was that it exposed some larger truths about the characters in the process, without hitting the nail too hard on the head. (Though the same cannot be said for the force with which Toby was hit, after taunting his opponent in a way that was a little too close to home.)

Basically, all concerned, faced with a lack of forward momentum in all of their respective would-be relationships- save Sly, of course, and his already has a built-in limited shelf life, unfortunately- opted to act out in ways that sort of took their minds off the real issues at hand. In other words, because Toby and Happy couldn’t be with one another because they’re both being stubborn, they sublimated that burgeoning love for what amounted to hobbies in an effort to avoid thinking about the situation at hand. Unfortunately, they both suck at said hobbies, which is kind of hilarious.

SCORPION Crazy Train

Meanwhile, Walter, in a smarter move, is doing the same thing, only with something he actually is good at: working on the rocket. Unfortunately, his frustration with knowing how to proceed with Paige is manifesting itself in much more sinister ways than the others, in that he has a propensity as of late to throw himself into dangerous, life-threatening scenarios without giving much thought to how it would adversely affect those who do care about him, especially Paige, which isn’t good for anyone.

I don’t know if I’d go so far as to call it a death wish, but he is behaving in a very haphazard manner, and that’s going to be a problem eventually if he doesn’t watch himself. This fact was certainly not lost on Paige, who, while acknowledging that what Walter did to save innocent lives was very brave and self-sacrificing in the noblest of ways, was still very selfish in that it would have left everyone else to deal with the fall-out, if Walter had been seriously injured in the process.

To that end, instead of thanking him for saving her life after the train-full of people were safe, she smacked him across the face instead, chastising him for endangering his own life that way. She did have a point, especially in that it would have been far less dangerous, not to mention made more sense, to simply jump back over onto the disconnected train everyone else was in, once it was disconnected and everyone’s safety was secured.

Instead, he risked his life by going for plan B, a nutty plan to jump from atop the train into the rafters in hopes of snagging a wire taken from the stop request signal onto something up there. It worked, but just barely, and without Paige’s knowledge until after the fact, which didn’t sit too well with her, understandably. Not in the least since he’d all but let her and Ralph believe he was doomed. Although, to be fair to Walter, by all accounts, he probably should have been.

So, as before, some of the “science” here was sketchy at best, not in the least the scene in which Walter jumped onto the train in the first place, managing to grab a hold of the bars outside the window as the train rushed by at some 90 mph! Is that even possible under the best of circumstances? I’m guessing not, though admittedly, I’m not an expert. The rest seemed fairly reasonable, but that was a big problem for me personally.

Oh, I already know what some of you are going to say: what else is new? This is a show that constantly thumbs its nose at “traditional” science, in favor of showing the viewer a good time. Either you go along for the ride, or you don’t, simple as that. Still, they don’t have to flaunt the impossible as much as they do. The show could still be entertaining without being so far-fetched at times, IMHO. But maybe that’s just me. The show continues to do well in the ratings, so I guess if it ain’t broke…

scorpion cbs 05

That said, this episode was undeniably a lot of fun, with some really funny moments and some great character flourishes as well. For instance, how great was it when Toby came out to his big fight to the strains of, of all things, “She Blinded Me with Science”? Or when the ref declared “He has more degrees than a thermometer, more knock-out punches than a Frat-house refreshment table…the Doctor of doom, the therapist with a hit list…” Lol. Funny stuff.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, there was Happy’s “jokes,” which were just as awful as you’d expect them to be. Tellingly, both she and Toby suck at their chosen “hobbies,” probably because their hearts aren’t really in it in the first place.

Less effective was Ray’s revelation of his fire-fighting sob story, which managed to make him more sympathetic, but little else, as he remains easily the most annoying character on the show. I’m sorry, but no offense to actor Kevin Weisman, who’s doing the best he can with limited resources, but I just don’t find his antics very funny, so the attempt to make him more relatable just didn’t work for me, really.

Much more effective was Paige finally calling Walter out on his death-defying actions of late. Toby let him off with barely a slap on the wrist for quite literally killing him on the last episode, so a slap in the face was actually less than he probably deserved. Maybe it’s Walter that should be in that boxing ring, not Toby. Maybe the experience might knock some sense into him.

Then again, masochist that he seems to be, maybe he’d actually end up enjoying it. Either way, it’s about time someone laid into him about it. Only time will tell if it did any good, though. My guess is Walter has a bit farther to fall before he hits rock-bottom. But will he be able to get back up when he finally does? We shall see.

So, what did you think of the latest episode of “Scorpion”? Did you buy the way the team solved the subway situation? What did you make of Walter’s self-endangering leaps on and off the train? Does he have an actual death wish? Or is he just being careless? What did you think of Toby’s boxing prowess, or lack thereof? How about Happy’s stand-up skills? Or Ralph’s grace under fire? Sound off on this and more down below, and see you next time!