101414-aq-scorpion104rev2Last night’s Scorpion has the team escaping to Vegas for some fun on their own. Agent Gallo wasn’t happy about it and they got into a fair amount of trouble… So how did Team Scorpion fair out on their first solo flight?

Was it too soon? Was the team able to survive after this experience? Did they win the jackpot and are they all retiring to Europe?

For these answers and more, click “Read More”

 

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After helping solve another case, the Scorpion team is ready for some recognition and freedom. Walter wants to go public on their existence but Cabe Gallo, his mentor, is hesitant. Walter wants to make it happen for them, so he has taken a private consulting job in a casino in Vegas. Gallo isn’t convinced that they’re ready to take on that sort of independence after just a few cases. He’s protecting not only them but everything that he’s put on the line for Scorpion to happen.

Walter ambitiousness doesn’t sit well with Cabe; he worries that his self-appointed children will make a big mess without his supervision. But Walter doesn’t care; defiant, he makes it clear that he’s going to be calling the shots this time around.

The operation starts on a bad foot with the team: He tries to keep Toby from actually going to Vegas; as we know, he has a gambling problem that has been brought up in the past. Paige intervenes, reminding him that they’re a team, and that they will take on this mission as one.

When they arrive at the casino, to make things interesting, Walter dares Toby to a bet. Ironically, if he can resist engaging in any gambling while on the mission, Walter will give him his entire paycheck for the job, but if he fails, he’ll get Toby’s. They meet Renee Connelly, played by Alicia Lagano (Castle, The Client List, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) who’s the owner’s daughter. They’re impressed by Scorpion’s proposal to find out why they’re losing money even though their attendance rates are up. Losing money compromises new projects that she’s been developing with her father. While they settle in, the team takes a few minutes to enjoy the change of scenery, and this annoys Walter to no end; they take pictures, enjoy the amenities, and relax a little, but Walter is anxious to get the show going.

They meet with Bob Connelly, the casino’s owner, played by Corbin Bernsen (Castle, Psych, The Young & The Restless) who joins them in the process to detect the reason for their problem.

After analyzing all the variables, Walter determines that Ronney, one of the floor’s dealers, is too slow and has him fired, regardless of his pleas. Paige calls Walter’s attention to his insensitivity towards not only his team but also the dealer but he doesn’t sympathize, simply stating that they were hired to do a job and that’s what they’re doing. Paige is shocked by Walter’s emotional detachment, which seems one of his biggest challenges throughout.

Having finished the job, Walter wants to leave right away, but the team has other plans. They will go enjoy themselves. Just as they’re about to scatter, Walter detects an anomaly and he manages to warn the team right before men pull weapons and shoot into the crowd. Happy manages to save Paige from the path of an oncoming bullet but the robbers manage to take off with $10 Million.

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The police aren’t too keen on the fact that Walter and the team fiddled with the security system just before the robbery happened. It only gets worse when they isolate the audio of the casino floor and hear Walter as he tried to warn his team that the robbery was going to go down. Walter gives them permission to search their room, convinced that they’ll find nothing to incriminate them. Paige urges him to call Cabe and let him know of the situation but Walter won’t budge. The police search Walter’s luggage, only to find some of the money that was robbed from the casino. Someone is framing them and Walter is arrested.

He decides to defend himself at his hearing but his stunt backfires and he’s set with a bail of $500,000 based on the fact that he’s too smart and could be a flight risk. In his desperation, he tells Toby that the bet is off: he has to gamble to win the money to bail him out.

Now, they’re on a deadline: the county clerk closes in two hours, which means that if they can’t bail him out, he’ll have to spend all weekend in jail and Sylvester fears that Walter could lose precious time to find evidence to clear his name. Toby argues that they could also clear his name. Not only Walter has talent, and he challenges Sylvester, asking him “Who ruined you?” to which he responds “My father”, revealing more about these character’s backgrounds.

They set about winning the money needed for bail while Paige and Happy try to figure out who framed Walter. They discover that the surveillance video from their room has been swapped since it doesn’t match the pictures that they took of themselves when they arrived. They also find out that there will be a hearing about the expansion of the Crimson casino, and considering Renee’s worries that they were tight on money, an expansion project doesn’t quite fit the story.

Sylvester and Toby get creative to win the money, but they’re running short on time. Happy and Paige find out that Bob Connelly’s new project had been held because of missing permits but now it has been cleared. They suspect that they bribed someone and the robbery is an insurance scam to cover for the money they spent. Toby analyzes the chances of doubling their money at the roulette wheel, betting everything, against the group’s best judgement.

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Walter ends up in a cell with Ronney and he’s about to get beaten up when Toby, passing himself off as his defender, tells him that they won’t be able to bail him out before the weekend. They lost all the bail money, confirming Walter’s fears and distrust in Toby but he isn’t having it.

Toby accuses him that his true motivations behind his need to see Scorpion thrive is the need to prove himself to Cabe, to please the father figure that he sees in the agent. His objective is solely personal and his need is to always be right. Walter counters with the many times that he has had to save him from his own mistakes and that he was once wrong about something: trusting him.

Paige takes the lead to pull the group together. If they can prove that Bob Connelly owed money it could establish a motive to frame Walter. They’d need to hack into Walter’s newly installed security system at the casino, which is virtually impossible. The only way by sneaking in and connecting directly to their servers. Easy enough, right?

They glide on a zip line from the next building to the roof of the Crimson. From there, Happy and Toby enter the ventilation system, while Sylvester mans the rest of the operation from the ground, connecting to the casino’s wifi.

Meanwhile, Ronney tries to attack Walter. He counters back with a sensory trick that makes the guy nauseous. (I’ll be keeping this in mind as a trick to try on my brother, by the way.) He tries to make peace with the guy, offering to help him find his correct career path, and he learns from him that years ago a magic act allowed a man to exit the casino without detection. This could be their lead and Walter needs to tell this to the team. He creates a homemade device that warps the pins of the lock of his cell and escapes without being spotted.

As Happy and Toby exit the ventilation system, security spots him; they separate and Happy accesses their security system. Sylvester connects to the network but a traffic control officer makes him move from his vantage point in the car, interrupting the wireless communication. Toby runs away from security while Sylvester struggles with his fear of driving and creating a traffic jam on the strip. As Happy urges him to move, Walter spots him and takes over the car, getting back to wireless range. They complete the transmission but now Happy is about to get caught by security. Fret not, Paige comes to save the day, having thrown herself down the zip line and through the ventilation system to save Happy: payback from saving her from the bullet on the casino floor.

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The girls escape and join Walter and Sylvester. He wants to reach Toby to pick him up but Happy thinks that their call could get traced, and to trust Toby’s abilities to get out of the casino. Unfortunately, Renee has caught him and decides that she would rather drop him in the desert.

In the meantime, the team still has to figure out who’s trying to frame Walter. The files they stole reveal that Bob Connelly’s accounts are big enough to not need to go into an insurance scam, hence throwing their theory for a loop. They analyze the escape route of the robbers; they’d need to exit through a service door that would have been opened by a casino badge holder. When they pull the access log files, it shows that Renee Connelly was the one to help them exit.

Meanwhile, she’s in a limo with Toby as they drive to the desert and it’s there that he figures out that she’s the one behind this plot. Her father didn’t include her in the expansion of their empire and she’s using the money they robbed to build her own better venue and drive the Crimson into the ground. She makes him send out a text message luring the team to meet them in the desert, “directly under Orion’s belt”.

When the team meets him, a gloating Renee and her associates emerge to give them a shovel, hinting to a very ominous future for the team. It isn’t until she spots Walter that she realizes something is off. The cavalry arrives in one very kickass scene: Helicopters, Escalades, and a whole slew of agents in black jump out of nowhere to take them down, commanded by an equally smug Agent Gallo. Walter figured out that Toby’s message had a clue in his text message: Orion’s belt isn’t visible during that time of the year.

The police figures out that Renee had been scamming the casino for years, earning Walter an apology from them prompted by Paige. Sylvester praises her for her leadership skills, recognizing her role in this team.

Walter dreads the “I told you so” he foresees from Cabe, but he surprises him by not exactly gloating about it. Walter requests his help to get Ronney out of jail and give him a cut of his check so he can start his own business, finding some kind of growth in his empathy towards others.

As they begin to climb into the car back to Los Angeles, and Toby and Walter start to bicker about their roles in this mission, Cabe does what my dad threatened to do many times when I couldn’t stop fighting with my brother: they have to walk home and if they don’t have enough money, Cabe recommends that they take another private client. Oh, burn.

He takes off and leaves the two men arguing away as they walk through the desert night. Toby figures that they got into this mess because of their need to prove something to someone and admits to Walter that he was right; he has been a screw up many times and how it isn’t fair for their friendship. Walter lets him know that while that may be true, he’s an asset to the team and that he was also right in calling him out in his ambition to prove to Cabe that he was ready to be independant. He decides to prove him that he can change, trusting him to gamble the little money they have left to afford a ticket back to Los Angeles.

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On a second and third watch, I have to admit I enjoyed the episode a bit more than my first watch, though, it wasn’t exactly my favorite. Must be my dislike of all things Vegas. The reality is that the topic of the father figures is getting to be a bit too frequent, and granted, it has evolved to them actually admitting that this is a driving motivation for the characters, but perhaps we can take a break from it from time to time. It feels weird requesting this, especially since I really enjoy these moments when Robert Patrick and Elyes Gabel are involved.

On the other hand, I really like the way they allowed Paige to find her role in the group. She’s a peace-maker, and like we’ve mentioned before, someone that’s naturally in touch with the emotional side that the team lacks, and in this episode it played to their advantage. I wonder if we’ll ever get to a point where this lack of connection with the emotional side can actually be explored from their scientific point of view, hence making it more understandable for the team. I gather that if they rationalize it, they would actually work towards finding that inside them.

Another welcome part of this episode is the evolution of the relationship between Happy and Paige; the confidence between these two was great and not undermined by your token standard female bonding. That was smart and well played.

Toby’s “problem”, as it was explored in the episode, remains unchanged. Instead, the characters sort of embraced it, and I wonder if this is going to be their way to deal with it or if this is being saved for a longer arc.

I found interesting the small tidbit about Sylvester’s father and I’m betting that when we finally learn how is that his father “ruined” him it’s going to be very heartbreaking.

I thought that I should make a mention of one of the guest stars this week. While all of them rocked, I think Alicia Lagano drew my attention because in the few moments on screen she took possession of the character and that was a welcome showmanship of her abilities. I’m not used to see her as a baddie and she’s quite good at it; it didn’t seem gimmicky and it fit her right.

For the shorter and perhaps, not so politically correct version of my reviews, you can always follow me on twitter at @AviQuijada and read along as I livetweet the show. I also invite you to follow @ScorpionCBS during their airings for a lot of fun commentary by the cast and crew. Scorpion has been doing great in ratings, and I’m convinced that an order for a second season is just around the corner.

Don’t forget to tune in next monday, at 9PM on CBS.

 

 

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