The episode was also a great test for Walter, a man often driven by pure empirical problem solving and who is usually hands off from actual engagement with danger. Here, however, he twice flings himself down the hole to rescue Owen. Considering Christmas, and considering all’s well that ends well, Walter even saved everyone the chance to talk the media out of a “Christmas miracle” narrative and just let it be, even though there may be a rational scientific explanation as to how Owen lived. Walter’s reward for his heroism? An ugly Christmas sweater, of course.
Despite the positives, the nonstop, moronic narration by the TV news reporters was annoying. The old axiom about showing and not telling doesn’t even come into play because Scorpion was showing us, and then telling us. Cutting to the talking heads once is fine to establish that there’s media interest in the situation, but to do it over and over again was as irksome as CNN’s real-life 24 hour coverage of a three hour event. I guess it could be said that the show nailed the tone of TV news well, if nothing else.
Also a bit off was juxtaposing the growing crisis at the beach with some light comedic moments with Happy and Toby motorcycle-jacking a biker to get back to the beach with Happy’s device. There was a fine sense of urgency with this week’s crisis, but you never saw 24 cut away from a Jack Bauer ass-kicking to some hilarious hijinks with his sidekicks.
In the end, though, Scorpion does everything a Christmas special of a series should do: be life affirming and crowd-pleasing while still presenting the danger of being defeated and seeing all our characters gathering for a family meal and a Rube Goldberg device to celebrate the occasion. Happy gets to make peace with the father who abandoned her, Sylvester gets to peck Megan on the cheek under the mistletoe, and Walter and Paige get to glance at one and other through the Goldberg device-produced fake snow. It’s a non-denominational holiday for everyone, and by that I mean it was as welcoming to those whose religion is science and reason as it was all that miracles and faith stuff. And as Paige’s son Tiny Ralph might observe, Rube Goldberg bless us, everyone!