Last week’s episode of Scorpion sent a few of the team members spiraling into a horrifying alternate reality sparred by their deepest fears. Wow, that sounds familiar. Oh wait! Almost that exact same phrase can be used to describe the “Playtest” episode of Black Mirror! Except instead of a virtual video game reality, Happy, Sylvester, and Cabe are trapped inside their own heads after they are exposed to a deadly, hallucination-inducing fungus. They are all trapped in separate rooms of the facility and if they are exposed to the fungus for too long they will die, so it’s a race to save their lives.
What I really enjoyed about this particular episode of Scorpion was the intimate look we finally get into Happy’s mind. Over the course of the series, Happy Quinn has grown from a quiet, emotionally detached, blowtorch yielding badass to a caring, even at times sensitive, blowtorch yielding badass. There have been plenty of times and scenes where Happy lets a bit of emotion out and viewers can infer the source of her pain, but this episode actually allows us to see Happy’s fears as she sees them. This is especially powerful when we learn that Happy’s innermost fear is being left alone, as a child at the orphanage and now as an adult, by Toby. The sequence is particularly heartbreaking because we know that Happy’s reluctance to be with Toby stemmed from the fear that he might one day grow disinterested and leave her.
But of course, we know Toby Curtis and we know that there is nothing in the world he loves more than Happy, and he went on to proclaim such in a beautiful speech. AHH I LIVE FOR QUINTIS MOMENTS!
Next we see that Sylvester’s deepest fear is… chickens? Yes, literal chickens. But also, quite poetically, his deepest fear is being a chicken himself. In the midst of Sylvester’s attempt to win a local election (a plot point which has spanned most of season 3), Sylvester must face a tough opponent in an upcoming debate, and Paige talks him through his fears until he is able to rid himself of the hysteria and get out of the room.
Finally, we see that Cabe’s fear is getting older, which is imagined through Cabe in a 50s sitcom. It’s up to Walter to pull Cabe out of his hallucination, and at first he doesn’t think he will be able to because he doesn’t understand how to deal with an emotion as complex as fear. Paige helps him by saying Walter’s greatest fear is problems he can’t solve and saving Cabe is he problem right now so he must face his fear or else Cabe will die. The whole episode is very meta. Walter brings his logic to the fear issue, questioning why exactly Cabe fears getting older in the first place. He determines that it is not because Cabe fears death, as Cabe constantly faces the chance of death through his work at Scorpion. Rather, what Cabe truly fears is becoming weak. Walter explains that Cabe is the strongest man he has ever known and age does not make you weak, but is a collection of strength.
The three face their fears and make it out of the infected building, but not before we’re giving a glance of what appears to be Paige’s biggest fear — Walter making out with a really hot girl. I’m not even kidding. The moment is just a few seconds long, but it seems Paige and Walter really have some things to talk out. GOD WHEN ARE THEY JUST GOING TO GET TOGETHER?!
They make it back to LA where Sylvester wins his debate thanks to his newly learned ability to face his fears and we’re left with an adorable scene of Happy dreaming that her and Toby met many years ago as children and were always meant to be together. AWWW!
So when will Paige & Walter actually get together? It’s anyone’s guess. Will Waige be the season’s big finale moment, or will the writers opt for heartbreak over romance?