‘Tom Swift’ season 1, episode 4 review: Compromise is not defeat

Tom, Zenzi, and Isaac are on the hunt for another capsule piece, but a surprise guest and a dinner invitation muddy the waters a little in Tom Swift season 1, episode 4.

Tom Swift season 1, episode 4 had everyone worrying about their own thing, really. Tom, Lino, Zenzi, and Isaac all had their own agendas going on, and it complicated a few things here and there. Ultimately, this episode pushed forward some of the bigger narrative arc, more than previous episodes, so I’m happy to see us get closer to some real resolution down the road. Especially after the events of Tom Swift season 1, episode 3 (which you can get a little refresher on in our review from last week), but I digress.

Let’s dig into the meat of this episode, starting with Tom’s storyline, because it was the most straightforward this week.

Okay, so our hero, Tom Swift, while on his quest to find the capsule pieces and save his father, stumbles across a closed down rodeo-esque attraction called the Chocolate Cowboys. It’s a small town and an even smaller family business, and they are desperate to keep the piece of the capsule that fell on their property where it is, because it has changed a tree on their property into a healing tree. Tom explains that the sap is being affected by the vibrations of the capsule piece, which is giving it healing properties.

This is one of those storylines that feels a little bit after-school-special-y. Tom knows the capsule piece rightfully belongs to him. The owner of the land knows that he is allowed to throw anyone off his property at any time. He and this landowner are rightfully at odds, both desperate to save their loved ones. Tom wants to save his dad from certain death in outer space, and the Chocolate Cowboy wants to save his family from poverty and destitution. Before Tom finds an ACTUAL, solution, he manipulates them. He gets what he wants and leaves this family to find out that he tricked them.

Tom Swift season 1 episode 4

But then Lino steps into Tom’s storyline and shakes our genius out of his selfishness. Tom realizes that by helping this man and his family, and bringing an attraction to this small town, he can do good things, AND get what he needs to save his dad. I’m glad the episode ended where it did instead of Tom getting everything he wants with manipulation. If he’s able to trick everyone into giving him what he wants, that will not make him a good leader for the company. He needs to learn to compromise and listen to others, and Lino was instrumental in him learning that lesson in this episode. I think this will play a HUGE role in Tom’s character development in the rest of Tom Swift season 1, but we’ll have to keep tuning in to see if that’s true.

Okay, since we already mentioned Lino’s role in Tom’s story in Tom Swift season 1, episode 4, we should probably talk about why Lino was along on a mission he wasn’t even invited on. The Swift family’s youngest stowed away in a closet on the plane and only bursted out once it was too late to turn back. Lino is having trouble feeling like himself after last episode’s realization that something is going on with his body. He quit the fencing team because the kids thought he was some kind of freak, and he keeps finding himself able to foresee immediate future events. Not, like, BIG stuff, but like predicting where the coffee cup is gonna fall, or when these goons walking toward him are going to attack.

There’s definitely a need for Tom to look into Lino’s abilities and see if there’s something different going on with him, but, for now, I will settle for the show’s solution: Lino seeing his mom to see if she can explain things. We know she was suffering from similar conditions right before she disappeared from Lino’s life and the Swift family stopped talking about her. Isaac is close to finding her for Lino, and that is going to help him understand what’s going on, so I’m all for it.

Tom Swift season 1 episode 4

Next plot point to hit would be Zenzi. Thanks to some craziness she is going to finally take Congressman Creepyface up on his offer for dinner. In order to keep some semblance of control, they will be dining at Chez Swift instead of at Eskol’s home. Zenzi takes a few dangerous chances, which Isaac warns against, but ultimately scores big for Tom and anyone that opposes The Road Back’s creedo. She finds a hit list of initials, staring with “BS” for Barton Swift, along with some GPS coordinates of where these threats to TRB are neutralized. She puts together a few different sets of initials, and now Tom Swift and his friends have a chance to protect the rest of the people on the list, if they can just figure out which initials belong to whom.

Lastly, we have to talk about Isaac’s role in this episode. This guy has some truly scary traumas in his past, that much is for sure. We see footage throughout the episode of him watching as he is unable to help his former love. It starts out not very dark, but by the end of the episode, she is bleeding, dying, and Isaac is helpless to stop her. He projects this fear onto Zenzi, who is, admittedly, not being entirely safe, but ends up telling her all about everything post Creepyface-date.

Tom Swift season 1 episode 4

I think what I most like about this episode is twofold: 1) Tom learning that winning, or getting his way, is not always the best way. This is a CRAZY valuable lesson for him. As the possible future head of Swift Enterprises, he needs to learn how to work with people, not just order them around. Hearing people’s needs and adjusting your plans and goals to accommodate others needs, too, is how a CEO keeps his humanity, and how a company can truly market themselves as forward-thinking and inclusive.

The second thing I like about this episode is how it pushed multiple storylines forward at the same time. Lino is closer to figuring out what’s going on with him. Zenzi and Eskol’s storyline has moved along, even if we don’t know exactly where that plot point is headed. We learned more about Isaac’s history, and saw him bond with Zenzi over past trauma. And, yes, another piece of the capsule was retrieved, so Tom is closer to being able to save his dad and bring him back from Saturn in one piece. Hopefully.

‘Tom Swift’ airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW. Episodes stream free the next day on The CW site.