Scorpion: Rogue Element Review

Cabe’s past comes back to haunt him amidst the death of a congressman

“A congressman is dead!”

Okay, so a congressman dies this week as the major problem, something that feels like a situation that we’ve seen happen before on this show. Regardless as to whether congressmen in danger is something Team Scorpion has dealt with before, it still certainly doesn’t feel like the most high stakes situation, even if there are incredibly bad CG exploding boats happening around it.

Drew is still a big presence on the show, almost as much as any of the rest of the cast, and he still sticks out like a sore lobe on a genius’ brain, as he talks about things like “crushing” Proton Arnold with the best of them. Meanwhile, Toby is still the show’s go-to comic relief, but that doesn’t mean the show isn’t past putting him with dialogue like, “Safe house? More like a haunted house! You see what I did there? That was a joke.” It’s clunky stuff here. And repeatedly through the episode we know certain things only because we are told those same things repeatedly. We’re at the point where the show should have a little more confidence in their viewers.

Cabe begins to start acting all suspicious and covert-y while out with Walter and you realize that it’s probably time that we get our first big Cabe-centric episode of the series. Appropriately enough, this week’s client is Cabe’s ex-wife, Rebecca (something that’s announced in the heaviest of ways), and it turns out that someone is trying to kill her (something that’s said in even heavier fashion). And hey, wouldn’t you guess that it’s also somehow connected to that exploding congressman?

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Having this face from Cabe’s past is a welcome addition here, as well as getting to see this seldomly seen, more vulnerable side of him, but almost every single time someone is talking to her, it’s steeped in the fact that she’s Cabe’s ex-wife, as if we couldn’t be clear of this unless we were constantly being told it. Rebecca makes a brisk observation and, “No wonder she’s Cabe’s ex-wife!” is exclaimed. It’s one thing to shoehorn character development out of Cabe by bringing in his ex, but at least be more subtle and restrained about it.

This episode moves along pleasantly enough, just like every other episode of Scorpion does, and while there’s something to be said for consistency and conveniences, mixing up the formula and taking some risks, now that the show’s been assured a full season would be the better game plan here. We get our typical Scorpion action set pieces like Walter hanging from the side of a building and math-ing his way out of it and his level of genius determining if he’s going to break any bones or not. It’s all just fine.

Things get a little more exciting when the Team Scorpion HQ gets ransacked, robbed, and the newly acquired Proton Arnold arcade cabinet is stolen. Before it got taken I was going to even suggest that Happy leads the team into turning Proton Arnold into the latest member of Team Scorpion, because why not? One of them might as well be a sentient arcade machine at this point. They’re all barely humans. Keep pushing the absurdity here.

All of this becomes a lot less about a dead congressman and more about the pseudo family formed between Cabe, Rebecca, and Walter. All of this is played very big and there are constant shots of each of them looking at each other affectionately and right from the start it’s more than clear that a reconciliation between Cabe and his ex-wife is imminent.

I don’t want to be harping on this show all the time, but it’s setups like this that make Rebecca’s kidnapping in the final act all the more telegraphed and have less weight to them. Wouldn’t all of this have meant a little more if Rebecca was involved in the death of the congressman and Cabe had to actually struggle with this moral decision and what to do? Or at least have had Rebecca willingly gone with her captors, working with them, and faking the whole ordeal. For a team of geniuses, these guys are solving pretty similarly structured problems each week.

That’s why a robot Proton Arnold makes all the sense in the world.

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2.5 out of 5