Scorpion “Dam Breakthrough” Review (Season 2 Episode 12)

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In the winter finale of “Scorpion,” the team banded together to combat several potential disasters that befell a town directly in the line of fire of a “Dam Breakthrough.” From potential Christmas Eve power outages to a mass flooding, there was never a dull moment on this episode, which also culminated in a breakthrough of another kind- the emotional variety.

As most of the gang prepared for Christmas by trimming the tree and making goodies and the like- well, aside from a Grinchy Toby, who wasn’t much for the holiday- Walter tried to perfect a “non-melting snow,” which, if successful, could potentially be a financial windfall for Scorpion. The idea being, if it worked, he could sell it to ski resorts and the like to use during off-season, when the real deal was in short supply. Pretty cool! (No pun intended.)

Alas, before Walter, accompanied by Ferret Bueller, the cutest sidekick this side of Clyde the Turtle on “Elementary,” could test it out via a sled, Cabe arrived with a holiday gig that couldn’t wait. It seems that an unexpected downpour had caused a variety of calamities, including mudslides and fallen trees, one of which was in danger of taking out a transformer, which, if not rerouted, could conceivably take out the power for thousands of people- not exactly the ideal scenario for celebrating Christmas, needless to say.

The team, as per usual, were able to address that problem in short order, only to be confronted with yet another one, hot on its heels. I’m not entirely sure how they did so using an inflatable gorilla and a tarp, but I’ll leave that for the science nerds out there to address, because I genuinely have no idea. Either way, there was a crack in a nearby dam, which, if it burst, could flood an entire town at the bottom of the hill it was perched upon, which would do a damn sight more than inconvenience people- it could kill them.

Not helping matters was the fact that the town couldn’t be evacuated because the two main roads were blocked by debris from the aforementioned mudslides and the storms. If the team alerted the townspeople at large, hysteria could take over and more people could be hurt trying to escape than would be if they could just remedy the situation. So, obviously, Team Scorpion went with plan B- seal the cracks in the dam and save Christmas for the townspeople of “Whoville,” as Toby termed them.

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Of course, this was all easier said than done- isn’t it always? From there on out, it was one thing after another. First they came up with a concoction made from Walter’s fast-freezing mixture to temporarily freeze the water near the cracks in the dam, so that Cabe could rappel down to the outside of the dam and seal said cracks with a concrete mixture concocted by Happy. Toby provided the color commentary, but of course: “I haven’t seen a crack that terrifying since my proctology rotation.” Lol.

Success was achieved on both ends of the equation, but then Cabe’s rope started to fray, necessitating some quick thinking on Walter’s part, who had Cabe make ad-hoc concrete “stairs” to ascend back up as his rope out-and-out broke, which was pretty neat. No sooner was this crisis averted when yet another presented itself, in the form of more debris from the mudslides and storms wedging itself in the dam drainage pipes.

Faster than you could say: “MacGyver that bad boy!” Happy had made another device on the fly, this time constructed from a car battery, a conduit cable and an outboard motor from a handy skiff on the property. This also worked, but then the device got sucked into said pipe- and Happy along with it!

So, once again thinking quick on his feet, Walter came up with a plan to intercept Happy at the pass and net her like a fish using sandbags and a web-like plastic material also on the site. (This was one handy site, in terms of stuff being on hand that they just happened to need, am I right?) This also worked, and Happy was saved, which is a good thing, because that would have been a real bummer Christmas if someone on the team- or anyone else, for that matter- died.

The next crisis occurred when two of the three turbines broke, which meant that the water was not going to drain fast enough to avoid disaster. The only thing Walter could come up with was a real “hail Mary” of an idea to toss a “tsunami bomb” into the water in just the right place in order to cause the water to reverse (!), thus alleviating the water pressure from the dam and keeping it from bursting yet again, only this time for real and not just a few cracks.

They also had to figure out a way to get the town below to turn off their power long enough to do all this, for reasons I wasn’t entirely clear on, but whatever the case, with an assist from Ralph and Paige, they did just that, and the town shut down their power and Toby tossed the bomb into the water in the meantime. Although he missed the mark, it still worked and the water did indeed reverse in a ginormous wave. Not a real word, I realize, but none of that was probably actually possible, either, so we’ll call it even.

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Yet another situation resolved, the town restored its power again, and peace was brought back to Whoville for good this time, thank God. And even Toby’s heart grew three sizes that day, amen. Even better, he got another shot at the girl, when Happy allowed him to kiss her for the first time since their relationship went south way back in the first season. Nice!

As icing on the cake, Walter discovered when they returned that he had won the long-in-the-planning contest that he had been working on as long as I can remember, involving the rocket back at team headquarters. In an interesting move, Walter opted to forgo the grant award, in favor of shooting off the rocket on the beach with his sister’s ashes inside, which was kind of crazy, but also sweet. Besides, one assumes he could simply rebuild it from scratch again, right?

More importantly, it brought about the closure Walter so desperately and obviously needed, as throughout the episode it was clear all that holding in of emotions was driving him to the brink of sanity, as evidenced by all the incessant talking to himself, which was a recent development that did not go unnoticed by the ever-vigilant Toby. Walter vowed to Paige to try and share what he was feeling with others more from there on out, and even broke down crying, resulting in much hugging from the others, as well as Sly declaring them brothers, not just brothers-in-law.

For those who complained that we sort of skipped over the grieving process somewhat in the last episode, this must have been a welcome and satisfying development. I actually kind of liked that they delayed it somewhat, as grief often comes in mysterious ways. Oftentimes, at least one person feels compelled to hold together for the rest of the family, and in this case, Team Scorpion is nothing if not as close to a family as Walter has, with no offense intended to his actual parents. However, that tends to take a toll on a person, eventually leading to, if you’ll pardon the expression, the emotional dam bursting for real, which one assumes was not unintentional on the part of the writers, metaphorically speaking.

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In addition to this much-needed moment of closure on Walter’s end, there was a lot of fun moments scattered throughout the episode. My favorites include: a helium-induced Toby being joined in a chorus of “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” by the unlikely duo of Cabe and Happy (talk about a Xmas miracle!); the sight of Cabe making his own stairs on the side of a dam; Happy being netted like a fish as she swooped by in the rushing water; and that breathless moment where Toby missed his mark and it seemed like the bomb wouldn’t go off after all, shortly followed by the sight of that dam water going backwards in a huge wave.

Also, there was the nifty sight of the town lights turning off, then back on, after the disaster was averted; Toby calling for the ferret (“Bueller? Bueller?”– I see what you did there, “Scorpion”); Walter finally breaking down in tears; the “California Snowman” made of sand (!); and, of course, the rocket launching as the team watched on, with Walter and Paige tentatively holding hands as they did so. Good stuff, all around.

I don’t think we could have asked for a better winter finale, as the show hit all the necessary beats for a solid episode: it was action-packed, funny, poignant at unexpected moments, and full of wow-inducing sights and oddball touches and flourishes. Further, it wrapped things up just effectively enough to not feel too open-ended as we head into a brief hiatus until next year’s episodes start back up again. In other words, it was as good as a stopping point as a fan could ask for, I thought.

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What did you think of the “Scorpion” winter finale? Did it hit all the right beats for you emotionally? Especially in light of last week’s slightly more anticlimactic episode, which was mostly played for laughs? Was there anything you would have liked to see that they didn’t do?

How did you feel about the various character developments? Are you glad Happy finally gave Toby another shot at things between them? Do you think Walter and Paige will get together next? Will Walter continue to let himself “feel” things more deeply, as he promised Paige he’d try to? Is there such a thing as a “tsunami bomb” for real? Any predictions for the rest of the season? Sound off down below, have a merry Christmas (or whatever- you just do you) and see you next year!