In the previous episode of Scorpion, the monumental news of the Baghdad operation came to light. Cabe resigned, and Paige also decided to leave the team because of her fears of Ralph becoming Walter. This resulted in him grabbing a Ferrari loaned by Elia and driving like a madman to drain his frustrations, but trying to avoid a coyote, he ended up going off the road and down a cliff in the middle of the night.
Take the jump for the recap and review of Scorpion's season finale.
"Postcards from the Edge" starts the next morning with Toby doing a roll call of what he's named "Scorpion 2.0". He's trying for levity, but no one is having it; both Happy and Sly are in total discomfort with the way things were handled. While Silvester clings to the hope that the team will remain together, Happy is already looking for another gig. For her, without Paige and Cabe, they're back to where they were a year ago, with no actual North and no money. Sly has been trying to get a hold of Walter, but to no avail. Happy thinks that they need to forget about what they were and move on while Toby refuses to side with her and keeps fighting for their team.
They call Cabe but he ignores the call. He's getting his new assignment from Merrick. He will now lead TSA from a desk in Pomona, and Merrick doesn't quite care for what Gallo thinks of this new job. He's actually happy, because Scorpion's demise frees funds for projects that he favors more. What's possibly more satisfying for him is the fact that he can blame Gallo for the collapse of the Scorpion initiative. But Cabe doesn't take it, calling him out and reminding him that he's just jealous that the team was able to save more lives than he ever could. Merrick sets out to throw new threats but Cabe hands him back the new assignment folder and his badge, lobbing back: "You can take this assignment and shove it..." Okay, then. I love it when Robert Patrick and Cabe Gallo get down to the subtleties of this business.
Silvester talks to Megan, and finds out Walter missed their weekly doctor's appointment and that is definitely a big warning sign for them. He'd never flake on her despite anything that happens in Scorpion. They set off to trace his phone, and Happy sneakily dials Paige. It's nice to see that even she's caving in to her worry.
Meanwhile, Paige is getting ready to leave for Maine. Ralph is not happy at all and has been calling Walter multiple times with no response. The kid just wants to say goodbye. Cut to O'Brien's cellphone and a count of unanswered calls, a bloody hand. So this might not be just avoidance on his part. Back at Paige's apartment, she forces her son to pack for their two-day trip. He doesn't want to go because he knows this will lead to them leaving forever. Paige tries to call Walter again, seeing how sad her son is, but she gets the machine again and proceeds to leave a scathing message for ignoring Ralph's calls.
Just then she gets a call from the garage. Thinking it's Walter calling them back she answers with a snarky remark, but she's wrong, it's Happy who's calling, and she's also looking for Walter. This is when she learns that Paige is leaving for Portland. Happy doesn't waste the opportunity to let her know how disillusioned she is about her decision after getting them to trust her and get used to Ralph. She regrets she was ever part of the team. But Paige doesn't take this sitting down, reminding Happy how much of a mess they were before she came along. Happy, on the other hand, blames her for getting into Walter's head and for causing him to be MIA right now.
Walter has disabled his GPS and cloaked his phone. Sly can't track him, but Happy reminds them that they don't need that to find him. They just need to track the car and Elia would have the information they need. They get to his office but they're cockblocked by his receptionist who is quick to threaten to call security because of their annoyance. So they set to wait while checking out the swanky place. Sly wonders if this is just a set up for Walter to transition into Elia's think tank, but Toby dismisses the thought even when Elia's digs are obviously so much better furnished than the garage will ever be. He warns him to not get swayed by the display of money and organization and that Happy should be already in position.
We soon find out their actual plan: Elia is in the middle of a meeting with Asian investors when Happy lands on his meeting room table, via an A/C vent above. She needs the VIN number of the Ferrari to locate Walter and along the way accuses the billionaire of poaching their boss for his own purposes. She won't leave without an answer.
Cut to Toby, Happy and Sly going up what could be the Hollywood Hills, tracing the car thanks to the information Elia provided. They don't see the car and suspect the man mislead them, but when they try Walter's phone, they hear the ringtone go off nearby... close to the turn on the road from where Walter went off the cliff. The broken guard rail is an obvious sign that a crash has happened.
They rush over and peek out over the edge. Sure enough, the red Ferrari is hanging onto the rocky surface, but only just and by the magical powers of physics. They yell his name, and manage to get his attention and Walter finally picks up the phone. Happy warns him of his state, one wrong move and he'll fall 300ft. Stay very, very still. Easier said than done, and so we have a textbook teaser of what's to come in this episode.
With Police and Rescue on their way, the guys rig a camera phone to a toy helicopter that Happy was crafting as Sly's birthday present. This allows them to communicate with him and see that Walter has been pinned to the seat with a piece of metal; he can't move, it's too close to his spleen. Walter runs some numbers, and even when Sly wants to avoid the somber prediction, he figures there is about a 97% probability that he'll die. The Police gets there, and Toby volunteers to handle them - this is a bad idea - this would have been Paige's job, which puts them in the unavoidable position of telling Walter that she's leaving for Portland today. Toby gets frazzled that they only sent two patrol cars, and the cops are not quite buying the urgency nor allowing them to be part of the rescue plan. Neither Toby nor Happy manage to have a good bedside manner with the headstrong policemen, and end up getting arrested. She instructs Sly to call Cabe and admits that Paige would have totally handled this better.
Later, a lot more cavalry has arrived, and so has Gallo. He no longer has the perks of a Homeland agent but still has a truck and the attitude to fake it. So what if he flashed a scuba certification instead of his badge? Anyone would bend over after a commanding order from Robert Patrick, and so the Fire chief (Michael Wiseman - NCIS, Vegas) agrees to free Happy and Toby and get moving under their orders.
When Cabe peeks out over the cliff he sees the gravity of the situation. Walter grumbles about Gallo being at the scene, but this is not the time to fixate on grudges; he can yell at him later. So they put a pin in it. According to the Fire Chief, the fastest way they imagine they could rescue Walter is via a helicopter but O'Brien worries that the wash will disturb the car. The only other option is sending a team of climbers from the bottom of the canyon and that would take more time than Walter has considering his injury. Still, Happy goes with the man to check on the equipment and try to cut down the climb time. Walter isn't positive about the outlook, so he requests that they try to get Paige and Ralph to the site. Sly informs him that they've been unable to do so for a while and Toby tries to dismiss the ominous thoughts that he knows his friend is having. Cabe sends a patrol car to Paige's home to try and get her.
Walter is totally aware of how this could end, so he confesses to Cabe that he let himself be irrational about his emotions and his reaction about the whole Baghdad situation was over the top. Gallo assures him that he was right to be upset, but Walter knows that Cabe wouldn't have intentionally hurt him, ever. He's very thankful for Walter's forgiveness. In the spirit of no more secrets between them, Walter also confesses that he was the one responsible for keeping the grass green at Cabe's daughter's gravesite - just another hack. He doesn't say why and he won't confess that he cares about the man, but the love is there.
Toby examines the maps by the edge of the cliff when he spots that the car is catching on fire. According to Happy, the oil pan most likely caught the sparks of a short circuit. Water will move the car from the spot, and foam or gel would be hard to control as a means to extinguish the flames. There's really no effective option. They need to drain the oil before it burns and reaches the gas tank.
Meanwhile, Paige and Ralph are about to leave, but the kid won't budge. He knows Walter enough to know he wouldn't dismiss him and not pick up his calls. But Paige convinces him that most likely he's just going through a lot and they should lay off of him for the time being. They leave just before the cops sent by Cabe arrive at her door.
Happy and Toby craft a canon with the fireman's hose, a camera tripod, needles from the ambulance, some duct tape and a piece of fabric from a fireman's jacket. They only have one shot, and it has to be super accurate, before the fumes and the heat get to Walter and he passes out. She shoots... she scores! The oil drains and they prevent the fire from spreading. The problem now is that the car's weight has shifted because the oil has drained. Walter needs to compensate by leaning back on the seat which means that he'll disturb the wound on his side. Doing so, the car shakes and he's no longer impaled but now he's bleeding out. He's fighting to stay conscious. Toby figures that Walter can cauterize the wound to stop the bleeding, but he needs to be awake. He reaches for some of the wires and gives himself a jolt. Looking around he also finds a silver pen that he can heat up with the cigarette lighter to seal the wound.
Paige and Ralph continue on their way to LAX. The kid is upset; his project with Walter is not finished. He's going to miss him. Paige admits she will too.
Toby instructs Walter on how to cauterize the wound and its a gory scene. Sly can't take it and Cabe pleads with Walter to stay still enough so the car doesn't shift anymore. Walter confesses to Toby that one of the most dreaded visits to Vegas he did with him, a trip that involved getting chased by mobsters, some illegal gambling, and having to hitchhike their way back to LA, was the one of the best weekends of his life. The cauterization procedure works, and this might just save him. Cabe congratulates Toby for his efforts but they have to hurry because the way that Walter is revisiting his memories with them tells him that he might be giving up.
Ralph and Paige get to the airport and set out to buy snacks when they spot the news on the monitors, freaking Paige out so much that she takes off, even leaving her bag behind, and preventing her from calling the team from the road. Ralph worries sick.
At the cliff, the climbing team is finding it difficult to reach Walter; it's going to take longer than anticipated and this might not work. The maneuvers they've been doing have shifted the terrain and any movement will make the car go off the cliff. Walter still wants them to get Paige, but they haven't been able to reach her phone. That's when Walter goes down memory lane with Happy, and how she rigged a pay phone to be able to make free calls back when they were scraping for jobs. She won't have it. She won't have eulogies. But... that's when a crow lands on the hood of the car... tipping it slowly and making everyone hope that the bird doesn't move, because now the balance of the car depends on this ominous sack of feathers.
Happy starts tossing ideas around and then she remembers that she saw a construction crew on the way to the site and she's got a solution. Meanwhile, Walter explains to the bird what will happen if he flies off. Sly worries about his buddy's mental health, but really, I consider this a fairly sane coping mechanism. What? No?
Paige rushes through the streets, battling traffic while they catch a radio show interviewing a professor that doesn't give offer hope for the situation; he doesn't see a way where Walter makes it out alive. She rushes to dismiss the expert's opinion, because the man doesn't know what Scorpion is capable off. Ralph is visibly upset.
Happy arrives with a crane she stole from a construction site, and she's not even the slightest worried about it. She then delivers the plan to Gallo: he's the one that's gonna be doing all the dirty work... becoming SuperCabe, Galloman, the Invincible Cabester (I can keep going) and swinging from the crane's cable until he reaches Walter and pulls him out of the wreckage with a second cable. Gallo's face at Happy's plans is precious. Even with the preparations, if something were to go wrong, Cabe could be pulled down with him and they'd both die. The man doesn't care. He needs to save his son.
Sly instructs Walter to open the passenger door so Cabe can reach in for him. He carefully reaches out, tries to open it, breaking his collarbone while at it. Finally, Paige arrives, fighting off the people keeping her at bay. The boys deliver the last set of instructions to Walter, but he refuses to do anything before he speaks to Paige. He's again being irrational. Toby warns him that if the bird moves just even the slightest, he's a goner. He won't open that door completely until he gets his way, Toby states. For him, he's been staging all these walks down memory lane to tell them that he loves them in his own stoic way. So he won't let them do anything until he gets to say goodbye to the remaining members of the team, especially because the maneuver might not even work to begin with. So Walter pleads with Cabe to tell something to Paige, and just as he's about to tell him what he needs to confess, the bird moves again, making Cabe run away to Happy and with the bird effectively starting a crowblocking of this love confession. Dang it.
Everybody scrambles. Happy is not ready; they only have one line so Cabe will have to use his bare hands to reach out to Walter. The bird is about to fly away and Toby and Sly run to the edge of the cliff. Paige runs to the crash site just as Happy maneuvers the crane to position, suspending Gallo in the air as everyone else looks on in suspense. Paige makes it to the edge and Walter hears her voice and starts making his confession when the bird finishes his evil plan to sabotage it all and ...flies away. He rushes to open the door. The car slides, but Cabe is right there and reaches in to grasp his hand just in time. They make a deal to not let go, and I have flashbacks to Titanic. Thankfully, there wasn't a selfish redhead and broken promises this time around.
Paramedics take over when they lower Walter to a gurney while Ralph and Paige rush to his side. As they regroup at the hospital, we learn that he has a set of broken ribs and punctured spleen. Sly tries to make the best of the situation by bringing balloons to lighten the mood. But that might not happen just yet, as Elia walks into the waiting room, irking everyone. The guy seems genuinely worried. I really don't buy that he's a bad guy. He doesn't want to break up this family, and offers them jobs at his think tank. They all rush to refuse the offer, with Paige ending the argument with a statement assuring him that Scorpion is not corporate material. Seems that everyone is back on track. She's changed her mind, and maybe they won't be leaving after all.
A doctor comes out to give an update on Walter and allows them to visit for a bit. He's happy to see them all, even the balloons. Walter remembers then this story about Sly and him filling balloons with tapioca pudding, but Silvester stops him from walking down memory lane once again because a simple "I love you" will suffice. Walter is so happy to see Ralph and Paige, but he needs to get on his meds, and with the promise from her that they'll see him when he's back to work, a smile is put on his face.
Sly takes off to see Megan and bring her up to speed, and Cabe has plans that include Epsom salts to alleviate the strain that swinging from the crane put on his back, but Paige wants to hang back for a bit in case Walter needs anything. Happy will babysit her son and even invites Toby to join her at it. Ralph thanks Paige for not following through and leaving them.
Paige walks back to Walter's. He's out for the count in the blue darkness of the room. The solitude allows Paige to make some confessions of her own, of how it bothered her that their final memory together would have been a fight. She's glad that wasn't the case. She checks that no one is looking, then dares to confess that she really cares about him, as she tenderly kisses an oblivious Walter O'Brien. She delivers a soft caress... and we fade to black.
"Postcards..." brought Elyes Gabel's best performance of the season, in my opinion. It was very emotionally charged considering the nature of his character, but also because of that particular "handicap", the way he walked down memory lane with each member of his team, the urgent yet stoic way with which he delivered Walter's need to see Paige and Ralph, made the situation even more heartbreaking. Character-wise it proved that Walter has grown and evolved. It was a bit unfortunate that Paige wasn't there to witness how he's very human, how he actually values everyone so much, and how he can be different than the detached genius she doesn't want as an example to her child. Nothing like a life or death situation to bring things into perspective for so many.
It was also rewarding that there's hope at the end of the tunnel for the relationship between Cabe and Walter. Robert Patrick, as you know very well by now, is one of my favorites. We've seen him range from being insecure and riddled with guilt to embodying the kickass Cabe Gallo that puts everything on the line to rescue the one person that really matters to him. Even when that person is so bent upon not allowing him in. I thoroughly enjoy Mr. Patrick's abilities, and I'm glad they let him play different shades to this character that could have been just another tough law enforcement guy. Instead, fans have been rewarded with a character that's very whole, and that speaks very highly of what Robert can communicate and the quality of the material he's given.
Another pleasant ride is the one led by Ari Stidham. Even when he's there for a lot of comedic relief, the moments where he's had to develop Silvester's softer and serious side have been really enriching. This is a storyline that speaks to a lot of the youth that I see everyday online, where the bullying is so present and people need a good example to follow. This is one of the biggest successes this show has had for me in it's freshman season, putting the spotlight on the aftermath of societal practices, allowing the audience to reflect on it, whether they're aware or not. Sly's character has evolved, growing braver while still having obstacles to overcome, old and new. With Ari's performance you forget about stereotypes and you see the real attractiveness of this character: his candid kindness, endless faithfulness and genuine love for those around him.
Jadyn Wong's work in this season finale was also one of her most solid performances this year. While she's usually one of my favorites because she's the kickass lady of the bunch, this time around she combined her comedic/action timing with an ease that tells me she's finally, completely in control of the land. Happy Quinn is a character that I've grown to be proud of; she doesn't have to be a girly girl to be feminine and Wong has walked that line very well. She's always an equal, which is the dream-like scenario for many of us out there. While her character's romantic side still needs so much development, it is not because it doesn't exist. I look forward to seeing much more of this side of her when she works through the deep rooted fears Happy carries because of her traumatic childhood.
Eddie Kaye Thomas might be playing the one character that I feel hasn't had that much of a dramatic evolution. Yes, Toby's bent up on conquering Happy and we did have an episode that dealt with his gambling, but I hope for a deeper exploration of his backstory or even just his nature, without the usual comedic deflection he often employs. This is the thing: I rarely have a problem with Toby, and that in and of itself is a problem. I don't want to be in agreement with him all the time. That's in counterpoint to what Walter's character provides for me and I enjoy that complexity. I want Toby's character to make a mistake he can't back away from or talk his way out of. I know, it's a very odd thing to request but I find myself needing to have more conflict with this peacemaker.
Riley Smith has grown into his character as well, and this is important because Ralph is the B story objective of this series. "To help (Paige) understand her genius son..." it's right there in the premise every week, but to achieve that, they have to understand this boy themselves, and even help Ralph understand himself. I like that he's gone from being an almost unresponsive boy to an entity on his own accord. He makes choices, good or bad, is autonomous to what the grown ups expect or want him to do, without losing that sweetness that characterizes him. Having said that, I'm at odds of what his challenge will be next season, because I'm mostly comfortable with the progress Ralph has made so far, and I wonder, besides the recurrent Daddy drama, what will be the conflict that he'll have to face that's his and only his, not provoked by someone else's problems.
Then we get to Katharine McPhee. Being the one allowed to always be in touch with her emotional side, Paige is so easy for me to empathize with, and that's so nice. It doesn't mean that I'm on her side every time and that's great. At the beginning of this finale, my reaction towards Paige's decision making was visceral; I honestly hated her choice even when I understood it. By the end of the episode, and this is separate from the plot pleasing my desires, I was really satisfied by not only McPhee's abilities to embody this wake up call Paige is submitted to, but it also reminded me of the journey the character has gone through. This woman has lived her life pretty much centered around her child's needs. She knows what's important to her, but often forgets about her own desires, and it's nice that by pleasing Ralph, by letting go of the safe option, she's allowed herself to at least admit what her true feelings are. Are they terrifying? For sure, but I think everyone can agree on that. Falling in love, allowing yourself to be vulnerable, is one of the most terrifying things in life.
The end scene reminded me of The X-Files: "Redux I & II". Fans of both shows will see the common places. It was a beautiful scene, and part of me hopes that Walter in some way or another remembers this first kiss.
Overall this was a great finale; written by Nick Santora and Nicholas Wootton, it was an action packed episode despite having been centered around just the one location.
Scorpion is a show that's been criticized and praised with equal passion; some expect scientific accuracy to a T which is not delivered at times, but on the other hand many criticize the exposition the writers allow for the sake of delivering these scientific facts through the episodes. While I can agree with this to some degree, that more imaginative ways can be found to deliver the science, the "show - don't tell" part of filmmaking, recognition has to be given to the team behind this show. Nick Santora and company have managed to deliver a first season of a story that delves into science to a deeper degree than shows such as The Big Bang Theory, walking the dramedy line comfortably, and slowly carving their own very respectable place on the list of the most watched shows these days. They're serious about not taking themselves too seriously, and that's great. It's a fun show that has the opportunity to dig into topics that were disregarded on Television before. For a first season, it's solid and now has a road to explore and improve.
I'm curious as to what a second season will bring. I don't think that Elia is a "threat" that's over, and with Cabe no longer part of Homeland Security and the ticking clock around Megan O'Brien's illness, much more is to come. That last part was perhaps my one gripe about the finale... there had to be a stronger presence of his sister, Walter doesn't get to say goodbye.
You can enjoy the episodes via CBS.com and follow the creators and actors on Twitter. I hope you give this show a chance if you haven't already and we'll be getting ready for more of the Scorpion team in the Fall. Thanks to everyone that has been following our reviews and as always you can follow me on Twitter for more ranty, passionate TV watching.
Images courtesy of CBS Entertainment.