Monday, April 30, 2018

On Scorpion, Romance, and "Love" Based on Feelings


I was a big fan of CBS's Scorpion from the time we bought season one and started watching it, at a time that allowed us to catch up to current episodes a little more than halfway through season 3. It was exciting, intense (a little too intense in the sinkhole episode, though), and I LOVE the characters. They're well developed, each very unique, nerdy, dorky, socially awkward, funny, just all around awesome.

The romance was something that I considered to be better than in most mainstream stories. Despite the Walter citizenship fiasco, Happy and Toby got married, and remain happily married. Sly and Megan had ups and downs and you knew from the start it had to end sadly due to Megan's MS, but they got married. Seriously, he started dating her and then married her knowing she was dying of MS any day, wanting to make her last days the best they could be. If that's not true love, I don't know what is. Walter and Paige were will they/won't they, and there was Paige's brief relationship with Tim (a really great guy who everyone hated because he wasn't Walter), and besides, she was only dating him to try to forget Walter, but you judge from the other relationships and you figure it's only a matter of time before they get together. They've been through a lot together, they know each other really well, they're close friends, and Paige has done a lot for Walter's EQ (Emotional Quotient). It's going to be great. After all, the team always functioned as a family where rifts never last for more than an episode or two.

It's going great. And after Walter has a sort of freak out, he tells Paige he loves her, she tells Walter she loves him, they're finally a thing, and Cabe, the dad of the team, says that it's about time. Season 3 finale is pretty awesome, and we've got promises of a great Walter/Paige relationship and the hope of a Happy/Toby baby.

Then season 4 hits, and it feels like all the character development, the growing love between Walter and Paige, and the precedent of relationships leading to marriage goes down the toilet. This relationship that should have been based on years of friendship and knowledge and trust in each other has devolved into nonstop, feeling-based relationship drama. Paige has gone from Pollyanna to downright mean. Walter's gone from telling everyone like it is on everything (and thereby creating issues with potential customers) to hiding from Paige the fact that he basically went on a date with the neighbor whom he dreamed he kissed and who has developed a crush on him. And it ends in a violent break up and a schism in the team. And it was horrible.

I felt like the writers forgot who Walter and Paige are. How much they've been through together. How well they know each other. How after three years of working together in high stress, life or death situations, they should know exactly what they're getting into, whether or not it's going to work, and their love should be far deeper than the circumstances of the moment make them feel. They shouldn't be all of a sudden acting like teenagers with an infatuation.

Because feelings are not love.

I've come to the conclusion that I really don't like when couples say they "have feelings" for each other. You see it all the time in books and movies and shows. But that begs the question "What kind of feelings?" Infatuation? Probably. But what happens when infatuation fades?

Feelings are fickle. They're influenced by circumstances, hormones, that Facebook argument that made you hopping mad, the beautiful sunset, the washer that flooded the laundry room, the candlelight dinner, the kid's temper tantrum, the trip to Disney World. And if a relationship is based on feelings, it won't last.

When you take away the infatuation, what is left? When the fluttery feelings and twitterpated behavior get lost in the realities of life, is there anything left? Not that there's anything inherently wrong with being twitterpated. There isn't. It's when that's all there is that there's a problem. Fluttery feelings don't cause one to sacrifice one's self for the other person. Twitterpatedness doesn't forgive unconditionally.

Love does.

Feelings are not love, and I think that's what the Scorpion writers and so many writers who came before and who will come after miss. It's what so many people in the dating world miss. Feelings are great, but they are fickle. And as Progo said in A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle, "Love isn't how you feel. It's what you do." I love my family just as much when I'm annoyed with them as when we're getting along great. Romantic relationships—both fictional and real—should be no different. Not dependent on feelings. So much deeper, from your very core, there no matter what, causing you to love sacrificially. Causing you to love the way Jesus loved us, the way love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.

That is true love, not this fickle, feeling-based infatuation.

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends."
—1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts! I love getting comments. Please keep them clean and relevant to the post. Thank you!