3x01-3x02: I have yet to go through these episodes outside the Quintis track (just assume I've seen all their scenes and think they're perfect), but I kind of bounced through the Waige clips and I am not yet ready to endure the full strength secondhand embarrassing parts, but the very quiet "I went to Tahoe to tell you I love you" that Paige never hears did a number on my heart. You'd think the impact of that statement would be lessened given that he had just said it in the finale, but you would be wrong. Never stop staying it.
3x03: True story I have spent 40 damn minutes in the past 2 days watching the Space-Trippin' scenes. Prior to this month, I had seen it referenced as a shipper's holy grail a lot, and always gone "yawn. pass. who cares about anything that involves dancing," but after I spent a lot of time at work week thinking about how much I loved 3x17 precisely because we got to stare straight into Happy's thought processes about her deepest fears/insecurities, and what a shame it was that Walter wasn't one of the loopy ones, I realized that we didn't get it because an episode like that already existed for him.
First we learn important gleeful things: "You think about that kiss all the time. What I wore...my perfume...how my lips felt."
(fact: I was suuuuper underwhelmed by that kiss due to his hands being useless at his sides before jerking away too fast; the YouTube fanvids have shown me UST moments so charged they could power a small lamp so I maintain they could have milked that moment for all it was worth, even if they kept the abrupt ending...but this quote is really aiding my MemoryShop)
And "I never forgot how you looked in [that dress.]"
And that his favorite adjective for her is "stunning," after which we get Sly's "we should not be listening to this" and Toby being all "shh just stop it's amazing."
(for your reference:
The petty scowl on his face before sending Angry Tim/"space debris" blasting off into deep space nine and relaxing back into his bliss is THE FUNNIEST THING. Honestly, out of all Walter's fantasies in this episode, that one is my singular favorite.
Also I kind of love how well choreographed/directed the dancing is, because it is this amazing blend of almost pulling off suave while still giving off faint overtones of "awkward penguin courtship ritual." Like it somehow manages to convey that in his head, this is really romantic, while in practice it is actually still the amateur boyfriend hour. All the awards!!
And while I stand by Space Paige's vocal affectations being annoying, in a way that makes sense for the situation but which I still don't have to like, there is nothing but NOTHING like getting the purest and most heartbreaking confession straight from 197's previously claimed non-existent feelings department: "I know I can't be what you need, I know I can't be emotionally present the way that you deserve, but I always thought that...that eventually, you'd want to be with me. And that's why it hurts. Because I love you."
See? Never stop saying it! Also everything hurts and I"m dying. That tiny little speech is like five things in a row that are the equivalent of a baseball bat to the gut. I'm not good enough / you deserve the world / I wish you would want me anyway...and then the rest can't even be translated to anything more painful than what it already says.
BTW I absolutely love Toby/Elia/Sly's matching expressions running the gamut from jaws dangling open to "huh. oddly impressive" and back to nauseated grimacing as Walter runs the gamut from "smooth pickup lines no one knew he had in him" to "making out with his own hand." ("If he knew we were seeing this he'd choose to remain in space." #accurate)
"ALSO HERE HAVE A CASUAL RECOVERY SCENE AT HOME," in which my favorite part is his self-conscious attempt at better shirt closure.
Followed by one thing nobody managed to spoil for me: Elias The Wise counseling Walter on his emotional issues about Paige and pointing out that his subconscious literally chose the slightly higher risk of death over the option that kept him on the planet where she was in love with someone else; maybe consider figuring out how to handle that better, mm-kay buddy? Good man,
3x10, This Is The Pits: In which Walter decides yet again that great risk of dying doesn't seem so bad in the face of a world where Paige loves Tim; and where Paige's mother sure looks like she's going to ruin another episode for me until SUDDENLY, a wild Protective Of Paige's Feelings Walter appears and calls off his participation in any current or future deception scehemes. "Conning Paige may have been an efficient way to impress her, but it's not the honest way. If she ever found out, it would hurt her very deeply."
Well, look whose EQ is on point today!! Also HEY FUN FACT this whole "if she ever found out it would hurt her" thing will come back later and be relevant to a certain season 4 lynchpin of a plot arc. Both in terms of why he kept digging in his heels and insisting it was for the best that he not bring any unnecessary facts to light, and in this line that suddenly makes me understand Paige's anger a little better: "I can handle a lot, but not dishonesty. The way I was raised, it just...turns my stomach." I was so busy suppressing my memory of her mother that I forgot about why dishonesty -- even the most innocent and ridiculously unimportant omissions of truth -- would bother her so much.
3x11, Wreck the Halls: I think you mean DECK THE HALLS / WITH CHRISTMAS PRESENTS / FA LA LA LA LA, LA LA LA LA.
Or: I'm just gonna watch this episode again and document various things I love about it, which is basically all of them, but nevertheless.
- The fact that Paige convinced them all to take a (tech free at the cabin!) vacation together: amazing! but also: can we pretend that someday soon, when everyone is coupled up and there is no Crisis Alert, this happens again
- Cabe taking a very active Grandpa role, teaching Ralph how to efficiently peel an apple with a knife and passing said knife down to him, despite Walter desperately trying to assert authority over his parenting domain he only way he can think of: being an overly protective Nervous Nellie
- Walter inviting himself to the Christmas tree hunting party, because Tim already took his soulmate and can't have Walt's surrogate dad and quasi-kid too!, with the following inflated credentials: "I grew up on a farm, where I cut down many trees." (Toby: I've seen photos. It was a dairy farm. Not a lot of trees." / "Yes...because I cut them all down." *defiant chin lift*)
- All of the Home Alone pranks are in fact hysterical
- I'm glossing over it here, but as alluded to before: everything with Toby and Happy in this episode is adorable
- I love the Walter v. Tim showdown about how the latter will NEVER be a real member of Scorpion, because even though I know that Walter is entirely immature and in the wrong here, sometimes there is just something really satisfying about adults being small and petty and vindictive AF. Sometimes childish taunts and name-callling just feel good. Tim's ability to restrain himself from punching Walter in the nose is truly admirable, because god knows the latter deserves it.
- (I learned this week that I have more in common with Walter than I ever thought possible. Mostly his worst qualities.)
- But I also really love the ending. "Despite what you may think, I didn't want this." He knows he f*** up. And I also love that even if Paige believed him, she wouldn't care -- he deserves everything he's about to get for letting his passive-aggressive prank-pulling baby-boy antics lead to this untenable situation.
- (This is also the point -- one of a couple points in the series, actually -- where I think about the fact that he is her boss and that for all people sometimes whine about legitimate romantic relationships in this kind of setup being Bad because of theoretical power imbalances, this is an actual situation where you see abuse of power come into play. It's not especially designed to look like one, I don't think, but where no-fraternization was a ridiculous rule for Toby and Happy to follow, it's a reasonable one for him and Paige. I am too tired to go into any further detail at the moment, but it's worth chewing on.)
- Oh! Back to the showdown: I love that one of his petty complaints is that he resents Tim trying to bond with Ralph. MY HEART. That is the sweetest territory-guarding I've ever seen. Ridiculous, but sweet.
- I almost forgot that Ralph even gets temporarily kidnapped in this episode. Which I think was a real waste of a valuable scenario that could have anchored a season tentpole instead of thrown in with everything else and watered down into no big deal as a result, but that was sure fun.
Oh heavens. I had hoped this would have some good Walter stuff, but I...I had NO idea. Previously all I paid attention to in this ep was Toby kissing Happy's forehead with the "I'm proud of you" comment and how much I liked the running theme of Cabe and Happy being temporary roommates. There is so, so much more to adore.
- Walter cradling Cabe's head while Toby is digging around for the shrapnel
- This looks so simple written out, but just the way he jumps on full alert with that very soft "Yes?" when Rapidly Bleeding Out Cabe says his name...
- Also Walt's generally increasing desperation while trying in vain to get the heart restarted via CPR
- Dr. Toby is once again in incredible form from start to finish; this episode is so good I don't even have to rip it apart for parts -- I know that's what I'm doing, but actually you can watch it straight through and be almost uniformly satisfied from end to end
- I knew there was some kind of hospital scene with Cabe & Walter alone at the end, but GOODNESS GRACIOUS GREAT BALLS OF FIRE not in my wildest dreams did I think there would be a full on "I love you." Repeated once for emphasis, even. Show! You ALREADY had him flat-out tell the helicopter paramedic "he's my father," in a way I don't even think his brain processed as a lie, and gave me a handhold AND gave me an incredible expression in the hospital room to accompany the genuinely regretful "I'm sorry I didn't use appropriate words before we stopped your heart," you didn't need to double-outdo yourself!
- Or quadruple outdo: "I love you too, son." One point for the return phrase and a whole second point for the purposeful last word.
- Honestly I am still not even over my delight that Walter has orchestrated things so that he is waiting alone by Cabe's side the whole time until he wakes up, and looking emotional as hell from the second he does
- OH HEY HAVE SOME MORE EMOTIONAL VULNERABILITY W/ PAIGE. "I know you get frustrated when I take steps backward, but I don't mean to do it, I just do. There are parts of my brain that work so much worse than others." And off Paige's "I know," that heartbreaking little bit of resignation. "You're still mad at me about Tim, aren't you." Yup.
- I could prattle on for another 6000 words on all the really incredible tiny yet effective things Gabel does, face-wise and through various vocal inflections, to convey so much more emotion than his words express, except I don't even know how to describe them. He just does them and blows me away. I can watch the same scene six times in a row and find something different to appreciate every time. That's not specific ony to this episode, I've been studying episodes and gifsets across the series for days, but this seems a good time to mention it because it's pretty strong in this outing.
- Happy: "Hey, Roomie. You might hear that I yelled at you a lot when you were dead? I was just...motivating you."
- TOBY'S UNHOLY GLEE WHEN HE FIGURES OUT THEY WENT TO A NUDIST SPRING. (Walter: We did what we had to do to save Cabe! / Paige: It was very professional. / Happy, with a non-zero amount of unholy glee herself: And naked.)
- Also his unholy glee when continuing to crack jokes about suggestively shaped food items he could pick up for them. (Paige, literally: "I will kill you.")
- (*I don't, um, I don't really know what to do with that bit of insanity in the middle of such a serious episode so I am ignoring it because I am not pervy enough to dwell on it.
- (Although I definitely think that Toby keeps razzing Walt about it later, until Walter is just like, "I did not SEE her PARTS. It was strictly business." / "Funny business.")
- ALMOST FORGOT: the bit at the very beginning, in which Walter seems to recognize immediately that he is in dangerous waters when she asks how exactly he figured things were back to normal, but gamely attempts to explain his calculations for why she theoretically would not be angry with him, only to trail off with a fantastic noise that is basically "eep" when he further analyzes her expression/body language. "...my calculations were off, weren't they." That is just the most perfect "boyfriend figuring out he's in the doghouse" face I've ever seen.
- CABE GIVING HAPPY HIS MOTHER'S BROOCH TO WEAR AT HER WEDDING. HAPPY'S EXPRESSION. *heartfelt sobbing*
- Also everyone's helpful advice to Cabe re: how to recognize flirting, featuring such things as: Toby throwing small projectiles at his head to emphasize that he is a doofus or Paige telling him he sucks at reading girls.
- Lastly, the dialogue is on fire in this episode I would be here all day if I tried to quote it all, but "Because it's kinda messed up to force a snake to bite your friend!" is one I can't resist memorializing.