‘Scorpion’ Team Talks About Those Romance Shockers
Spoiler alert! This post contains spoilers for the May 1 episode of Scorpion. Do not read further if you haven’t watched the hour.
For Happy and Toby, their planned wedding went awry as the “quick” case they were working on spiraled. Fortunately, best ma’am Paige was able to put together a last-minute intimate wedding in Kovelsky’s parking lot.
“I think at the end of the day, every one of the writers on the show is a bit of a romantic,” executive producer Nick Santora says with a laugh. “We wanted to have a nice moment for these two. They’ve been trying to get it done for three years; especially Toby. We put on our Cupid’s wings and tried to think of what the nicest moment would be.”
(And they aren’t the only ones feeling the love for the moment: On set, the crew spontaneously applauded after the first take when Toby and Happy were pronounced man and wife.)
Walter and Paige’s coupling was more of a shock: The previous episode ended with Walter effectively firing Paige from Team Scorpion. When they reunited for the wedding, Walter realized (with help from his friends) that he needed to tell Paige why he let her go, and he confessed he loved her—but knew she didn’t reciprocate. Paige assured him she loved him, too, and the duo snuck away…only to be caught by Toby, Happy and the rest of the team.
The decision to get Walter and Paige together after three years of will they/won’t they came early on in crafting of the season.
“Maybe the first two or three days when all the writers were together in the writers’ room and we decided this moment should occur at the wedding,” Santora recalls. “They would have this epiphany in the most romantic setting, but not until after we had pulled them as far apart as we could.”
“We’ve seen the complications leading to their coming together,” adds executive producer Nicholas Wootton. “You really get the sense that [as writers] you’re going to start running yourself over and doing the same things over if you don’t push things forward in the direction it was inevitably going.”
And the show won’t walk back on the couple’s progress.
“They are together now,” Santora insists. “That is not saying it’s going to be easy. But they now have a commitment to each other; they can’t just kiss once and pretend it didn’t happen. They’ve made this commitment, and they’re not going to jerk around with it. It will send ripple effects throughout the entire team. It’s not going to be a smooth transition. Walter has never been in love before, and he’s going to have to learn how to navigate that. Paige has never been in love with a genius before; she’s going to have to figure that out. We think it’s going to be a really rich area to explore.”
To get more scoop on the long-awaited “Waige” hookup—and how they’ll survive their deserted island adventure—we chatted with McPhee and Gabel.
What has your social media feeds been like since CBS released the “I love you” tease?
Katharine McPhee: I like seeing their little fan edits of the quick clips they’ve managed to put together in little photo collages on Instagram. That’s always fun. I quite enjoy seeing the excitement. They definitely seem to be responding, so that’s great.
When were you actually looped in that Walter and Paige were going to take this big step?
Elyes Gabel: I actually don’t think I knew until maybe an episode before I read the script.
McPhee: Yeah, same. I think we only got it about an episode before.
Gabel: Here’s the thing when you do serialized TV: You still sometimes get information way before and sometimes it will be sprung on you. That’s just par for the course.
This does come as Paige has been gone for the month. What was their mindset in the moments before the confession was made?
McPhee: I think that the way it was written when Walter said, “Paige, you know I love you and I know you probably don’t feel that way”… I think he thinks for a moment that she’s not going to feel the same way, and without a hesitation, she’s on the complete same page. I can only speak for my character, but her feelings have always been there, but she sort of just accepts this is the way it’s going to be, but it doesn’t make her feelings go away.
Specifically looking to Paige for a second, do you think that she was thrown when he thought that she didn’t have feelings for him?
McPhee: The way I look at it, there’s not enough time in that scene for her to even think that way. He said he loved her and her response is, “Of course I love you.” I don’t know that there was enough time for her in that moment to even get that deep into thought about it. I mean, they’ve had a lot of time to think about it [prior to this].
And then their newfound relationship is outed moments later when they get caught making out in the closet. Are they happy to not have that secret, or are they a little frustrated that they were not able to have a few minutes with it just being theirs?
Gabel: I remember shooting it. I felt a little bit like Walter—there was a tinge of embarrassment there of being found out. Particular part of undress and we’re in a dark, small cupboard. I think it was more of a place of Walter [wanting to get] back to what he does normally, but you’re in the position where you can’t really be the leader of the group because you’re in a cupboard making out with a woman.
McPhee: Well, the frustration also, too, that ran throughout in episode 24 and 25—and it really serves more of the comedic aspect of the show—just because it was a running joke that neither Happy and Toby or Walter and Paige could get a moment [on the island]. It really had more to do with just serving a funny moment, a funny scene throughout the last episodes of these lovebirds who can’t get a moment alone; that frustration that comes with a sort of pent-up, new sexual tension between all of them.
What can you preview about how Walter and Paige are handling being on this deserted island, especially in light of their new relationship?
McPhee: There are lot of little funny moments where Paige says to Walter, “Are we ever going to get a moment alone?” So there’s frustration, but there’s also positivity from Paige. She has said a couple of times that she has chosen to stay positive, and I think that goes along with her newfound relationship with Walter, being hopeful. What do you think Elyes?
Gabel: Well, I think what’s the most interesting is first of all, I think there’s a optimism that we have in terms of Walter. Because when you’re imbued with love, or when you have this new overwhelming emotion, I think he sees things with a little bit more of rose-colored glasses. So he was really looking at that in a really positive way, to a degree where he’s not being as effectual with overcoming the obstacles. I think he tries to show his love for Paige and it would be better for him to be a little quicker and efficient with regards to getting off the island.
McPhee: I forgot how sort of nerdy Walter is when he steps into this trying to be romantic relationship guy. And Paige’s reaction is a little taken aback by it. Like, “Whoa! Who is this guy?” And also there’s that level of excitement that comes across as trying too hard and she said to him, “Hey, let’s just let things happen naturally and see where they fall.” And I think it’s a different side of Walter that she wasn’t expecting. [Gabel laughs.] I enjoyed playing that, “Everything’s gonna be okay. Let’s just be natural, Walter. Let’s see where things fall.” And as she walks away from him, I enjoyed playing that sort of big-eyed concern with Paige. Like, “Uh-oh, this isn’t going to work out.”
Gabel: And there is the company politics. The social dynamics where you have the competition between two sides of the group. That still is very much a very, very big situation that we play. We have two groups: Who can figure out the best way to get off the island? And there’s the whole situation with teams conflicting again until somebody else shows us the error of our ways and that we should be working together.
The showrunners teased a big final scene for Walter and Paige. What can you preview about it?
Gabel: It was very, very nice.
McPhee: You get to see an item of clothing in Walter’s closet that you’ve never seen him wear in real life. [Gabel laughs.] I actually said to our costume designer a bunch of times, “Why am I wearing a white shirt? Walter never wears white shirts.” And they’re like, “I don’t know, that’s what they wanted.” And I jokingly said, “I already that on another show called Smash, in the pilot, where I came out wearing a white t-shirt. But, hey, they want to reinvent the wheel, then let’s do it.” I was fighting for one of his very sexy plaid shirts that he frequently wears on the show, but that’s what you have to look forward to.
Gabel: And my incredibly sexy sneakers.
When they leave the island, what do you hope for Walter and Paige going forward as they settle into their coupledom?
Gabel: I honestly like it when there are more obstacles than when everything is cool and nice because you get to play conflict. That’s what the nature of a series is. If everything is cool and there’s resolution, that’s not very interesting, speaking in a very general way. So I would love it, in whatever way there are some obstacles: Whether it’s somebody else comes into the fray, or what happens when a genius gets the girl of his dreams he’s incredibly attracted to and whether it’s a problem with him maintaining the relationship or idiosyncrasies. The latter is actually the one I like more because it basically brings up characteristics of someone like Walter; I enjoy that side. … Things aren’t going to be completely rosy; he’s a weirdo dude, who is going to do weird things.
McPhee: When you’re in a romantic relationship and you have to work together, people often talk about in any sort of work situation that has always created challenges: Some people make it work for themselves, but I think it definitely changes the dynamics. It changes the way people relate to each other in situations; maybe they become sensitive about certain issues. So I think that the way they relate to each other is going be different now because they have a level of intimacy they didn’t have before. I think that alone is going to lend itself to a lot of interesting moments between the two of them.
I’m sure somebody coming in and being an obstacle, that’d be interesting to see. We’ve already sort of seen it before, but maybe on a different level when someone comes in creating jealousy, and seeing how they deal with those sort of emotions.
Gabel: And it would sort of be funny if Paige comes in and tries to give him a cup of coffee every morning, and he doesn’t want to be drinking coffee. Or if he wants a coaster rather than have ring marks. It’s like that stuff starts to get on your nerves…but I like it anyway.
Is there anything else you want to fans who have waited all this time to see this big Walter and Paige move?
Gabel: Thank you for the wait!
McPhee: Thank you for patiently waiting, and being excited. We’re excited as well for this journey for our characters, too!
Scorpion, Mondays, 10/9c, CBS