Nothing says “Happy Valentine’s Day” like a near-death experience with an exploding helicopter on the rafters of a skyscraper, right? It’s not how Walter planned his first Valentine’s Day with Paige, but unfortunately, that’s what ended up happening. “Nerd, Wind and Fire” was perhaps the most aptly named episode of the season to date because those three things sum up the plot pretty nicely!
Paige was forced to stay home during this case because she contracted the flu, which is a concern that is all too real right now in the U.S. So, she missed out on the action that went down as Walter, Happy, Toby and Cabe saved the life of a doctor stuck in a helicopter that had crashed into a skyscraper. The helicopter was several stories up in the air, teetering on rafters and leaking fuel that could have sparked at any moment, so I honestly think it was a good thing that she was back at the garage. Plus, if she hadn’t been home, she wouldn’t have found that tape that’s been hiding under Walter’s bed for months!
The Valentine’s theme was subtle in this episode, and I was a little disappointed. I was hoping for some more awkward interaction between Walter and Paige as Walter figured out how to actually do Valentine’s Day, but his attempts at romance were still entertaining. Except for the bear mascot. Like Sly, I think the expressionless faces on mascots are creepy and resemble death. That was a hard “NOPE.” But, Paige appreciated all the effort Walter put into making sure she had a wonderful Valentine’s Day, even if she was sick.
But, that little tune Walter was quick to throw away was her favorite surprise. And let’s be real, we all knew it would be. We’ve been waiting forever for her to find it and I’m glad it happened during this episode. Though the lesson was extremely overshadowed by the helicopter action, Walter still realized that his efforts to put a personal touch into the relationship works much better than trying to follow the “good boyfriend book.” That’s something I personally wish more people understood, especially around holidays like Valentine’s Day, so I was really happy to see this!!
The heart-wrenching aspect of the episode was definitely seeing Toby realize that he’s infertile – or, as he puts it, his sperm are “like little politicians” because they just sit around and do nothing. His voice quavered as he explained his condition to Happy, but because they’re a power couple Happy was quick to pick up his spirits. The real kicker was when the rest of the team gifted them enough money to cover the cost of the fertility treatment they need to get Happy pregnant. Sure, Scorpion is still going to be in debt for a while. But they take care of their family – even the members that aren’t there yet. I’m not crying, you’re crying.
On a slight tangent, there was something positive about this tragic situation. Happy spent the better part of the episode high-strung and distracted because their test results hadn’t come back yet, and I was honestly expecting her to be the one who was infertile because, well, that’s usually how it goes. Seeing the gender roles reversed in this scenario regarding childbearing was incredible. I’ve had a lot to say about the writing of this show, but I will say this: the decision to make Toby the infertile one in the Quintis relationship is by far one of the best writing moments of season 4.
Why? Happy wants a baby more than almost anything right now. She has defied gender-stereotypes in nearly every way since the show began, and her desire to be a mother is one of those exceptions. The writers had the chance to write in an obvious twist by making her infertile, but that would have been too great a stereotype to make Happy conform to. It’s expected, it’s overdone and, frankly, it’s gotten to the point of being pretty sexist because it places so much significance on fertility as an aspect of a woman’s happiness.
But placing this twist in Toby’s lap opens up a new gateway for thoughts on gender stereotypes in media. Not to mention the fact that the episode named and explained his condition, further bringing attention to the fact that infertility is not just a female issue. Rather than shoving infertility on a woman and making an emotional display of it, the writers gave this issue to Toby, a psychoanalyst. Tell me that’s not the raddest thing you’ve seen on TV in a while.
On a better note, Ralph is getting closer to his dream of dating Patty! He’s still got quite a bit to learn about dating, but the remorse he felt about making Patty’s crush fail trigonometry shows that he is learning. He even pointed out some romantic sub-moments he noticed between Sly and Florence. And he’s right, the fact that Sly didn’t use hand sanitizer after being touched by Florence is a dead giveaway. One step closer to that romance I’ve been predicting!
So, I know I just talked up the writing for “Nerd, Wind and Fire,” but it looks like next week’s episode is going to be really dumbed down – literally. It looks like “Dumbster Fire” is going to show us a side of these geniuses we didn’t know they had, so get pumped for that! “Scorpion” airs tonight at 10/9c on CBS!