Get your GPS out, because we're in new territory here.
This week Scorpion brought us two new episodes on consecutive days, airing on Sunday and Monday, and thank god for whoever thought of this idea. This is the review for episode #14 "Charades" where a confused Paige deals with Walter going undercover while he seduces a foreign operative.
Take the jump for the respective recap and review.
The episode opens with a dream; Paige has seen herself in her room, worried that she's just had sex with Drew... but instead of him, we see Walter. She's also surprised at this. He's there because she's been thinking about him. Toby notices that she's frazzled when she gets to work and she claims that a dream she can't remember kept her awake. But she remembers, alright. "It means you enjoyed it," Walter claims. Oh, oh... Paige!
Cabe serves them with a new case. There's a leak in the CIA LA branch, an encrypted message was intercepted making its way to the government of Yemen. The message is a love letter; the boys claim it's a code within a code. Paige disagrees - she thinks is just a communication between lovers. They decide to selectively profile whoever is behind this and detect what has been leaked.
At the CIA, Agent Miller (James Black â€“ Anger Management) claims that it could be anyone from any area. They get to take a peek at the tech area housing an array of gadgets that Happy dismisses because she claims she can do better with simpler things. The flirtatious CIA agent demonstrating the gadgets impresses Toby with gecko gloves and a bulletproof shirt that she blasts at with a Glock, challenging Happy to match that. The girl is definitely not happy... especially because Toby points out that while she's just as smart, the difference is that she's nice, unlike her.
The CIA summon their top agents for interrogation, but they wouldn't have the knowledge to come up with the level of encryption that was used. They need the nerds. Toby can't find someone matching their spy profile. So Paige insists, what if the message really was just a love letter? A nerd in love, if you will. They should look for whoever matches the behavior of a person in a relationship. Walter questions Paige's rationality revealing his awkward dating past. Even Cabe looks down on him.
They focus on Leonard (Mackenzie Astin â€“ Scandal). Cabe grills him about the reason why he would communicate with members of a hostile government. He could face treason charges if he's been helping terrorists. He admits he sneaked out chemicals, but to Seema (Nazneen Contractor â€“ 24, Star Trek Into The Darkness), an aid worker. While it is illegal, he insists it's for a humane cause, to create pesticides to help their crops. They're in love.
Walter claims that while love is imaginary, the chemicals are not. He has already delivered two components and has to deliver a third one that combined could also make nerve gas. Seema is playing him, but Leonard defends her vehemently. Walter doesn't get it. Toby claims that love makes you do crazy things but Walter dismisses it. "It's just a chemical reaction," he claims. Paige laments how cynical he is about the whole thing.
They con Leonard into recording a series of phrases to feed a program that Walter created to emulate people's voices. He used it to ditch school once. Paige is surprised that Walter ever played hookie, but the truth is that he just wanted to go to a scientific convention in Dublin. Not so surprised anymore, but as Toby points out, "the heart wants what the heart wants... and so does the brain."
Paige coyly discusses her dream with Toby. She admits to feelings for a person she shouldn't, and doesn't want those to cloud her judgment. Toby assumes that she's referring to Drew, but he also knows that she's not telling him all there is to the story.
Walter sets himself to call Seema through Leonard's phone, but he's awfully awkward so Paige takes the wheel. She plays the part, impressing the boys with her charms. She tells Seema that the third chemical is in a higher security vault and that Marvin, the guy in charge, is too by-the-book to be bribed. Seema proposes they get the access card to the lab; they need to con Marvin into a meeting with Leonard that he'd ditch, and she'll swoop in and take care of it.
They could arrest her based on this recording but the other two chemicals are still out there. They need to recover them and find out what their plans are. Someone needs to pass himself off as Marvin, but everyone is needed, so that leaves Walter... and his horrible flirting skills. Paige will be his Cyrano. He's going to need all the help he can get, cause Homeboy... just... no.
Paige picks his outfit and warns him about Seema's ways. Walter will need to flirt back but Paige doubts he even knows how. She does a "practice run"; it's ridiculous and endearing and oh.my.god. poor Walter, because Paige is bringing it. She bats eyelashes and smirks, and rationalizes caressing him over the fact that Seema would do it. Walter really doesn't enjoy physical contact but two seconds later, Paige comes at him with all her feminine spells, and I feel for the guy, 'cause damn gurl. He's clearly affected by her. He'll be ready, he claims. *Ahem*. He might also need a cold shower.
Toby doesn't spot any spies among the guests of the bar as Walter waits. But then Seema shows up; she's hot. Walter is a dead man, or so Toby thinks. She's jovial and flirty, and Walter plays his part as Paige whispers to him pick up lines through a bug. Seema has a honey-trapping reputation and is wanted for two murders. This makes Sylvester quite nervous as he approaches them at the bar and demurely scans her hotel key so that Toby and Happy can check out her room.
Paige continues to coach Walter's flirtation as Seema flirts back. She gets touchy as anticipated. Walter chokes and Paige has to talk him down from the intrusion. She's good, she's really good... and Cabe is obviously suspicious of his agent.
Toby and Happy have trouble accessing her room, so he figures they can use the gecko gloves the hot CIA agent gave him so Happy can climb to the 10th floor. Seema tries Walter's jacket, but the card isn't there, obviously. She wants to get in his pants, literally, so she invites him to her room... and they're in trouble. Happy climbs the last feet of glass wall but the gecko gloves stop sticking and she's about to fall. Sylvester coaches her to swing into the balcony. The risky move has Toby just about drooling over her.
Happy rushes through the room to find anything that could give away the location of the chemicals, and Walter and Seema are already on their way up. He tries to stall; Paige recommends saying that there's another woman in his life that could complicate things; what's really interesting is that he complements what Paige suggests, adding information that speaks of Walter's true state of mind about them.
Happy finds a key to a storage facility but they're just outside the room. Walter needs to distract Seema to allow for her to sneak out, so he plants one intense kiss on the spy, pushing her up against the wall outside the room. Happy exits, and the rest of the team is just shocked at Walter's resourcefulness.
The guys take off while Sylvester and Paige stay behind to help Walter distract the woman until they discover the chemicals. According to Toby, Seema is not that into the whole makeout session. They settle on the couch and Paige continues to guide him; Seema's dress comes off, she climbs on him, and that's when Walter accidentally confesses he loves hearing "her" talk in his ear... he wasn't referring to Seema... and Paige, accidentally too... acknowledges it. She's in so much trouble.
Meanwhile, they find the chemicals at the storage facility but trigger a sensor that warns Seema. She tries to fool Walter into believing the beeping alarm is nothing, but he knows better and so does she. Seema grabs a gun and coldcocks him on the head, rendering him unconscious and finding the bug.
Walter wakes up cuffed inside a private jet. Seema has made a deal while he was out to have Cabe deliver the chemicals and Leonard in exchange for Walter. Cabe boards, slipping him a lock picker. Cabe wants her to release him, but since they didn't bring Leonard to the exchange, she will be taking Walter as a bargaining chip until they're in neutral territory. She is indeed in love with Leonard, so Cabe offers to make a deal for him if she uncuffs Walter. But she doesn't believe him; she shoots Gallo in the chest and dumps him out of the plane. They start taxing with Walter on board. Luckily Cabe was wearing the prototype bulletproof shirt.
Walter provokes a fire on board and makes the on-board oxygen tank explode. The blast opens a hole in the side of the plane, and knocks the woman and the pilot unconscious; the plane moves fast without control. Walter can't access the cockpit. Happy drives motorized boarding stairs to get to him before he runs out of runway.
When they reach him, Walter first throws the chemical's satchel to Sylvester. Next, he has to jump before one of the engines blow, but Seema wakes up and battles him with a knife. He ends up pushing her and she accidentally sticks her knife into an outlet and electrocutes herself. He jumps out of the jet, just in time for the pilot to accidentally slip off his seat and hit the brakes.
Toby and Walter unwind about the case. Leonard and Seema will go to jail and Walter can't believe that she'd risk so much for something not real. Paige overhears, and wow, does that put things in perspective for her.
Cut to musical montage: Toby fixes up Walter's burned arm while Ralph spots; the bonding moment of the night over some science. He jumped out of a burning plane; they can't believe they've become action heroes. Walter settles in to read a story to the boy and Paige finds it endearing. Toby goes to her and tries to tackle advice for her once again, comparing her situation with what they just went through. She just needs to figure how this would affect her most important thing, Ralph, and make sure she's always taking care of it.
Before they say goodbye for the night, Paige touches upon how crazy it is that this whole evil scheme failed over someone being in love. Walter thinks that romantic love is a fairytale â€“ it's drunk science. He dismisses it so that it just breaks her heart. He wishes her â€“ ironically - sweet dreams and requests her to record a new outgoing message for them... because he realized what a nice voice she has.
I know that each week I throw predictions out there for what I'd like these characters to go through next, and have always been pleased with the outcome for the most part, and if not, pleasantly surprised by the take the writers chose to present in the development of the storylines. I don't think it's a mystery to anyone that I'm totally invested in these characters by now.
Having said that, and with my obvious background as an X-Files fan, I'm used to the slow burn of unresolved sexual tension between characters (I mean, seven years of handholding and gazing...) So having had this big leap at emotional awareness happening in episode #14 of a series is somewhat new to me. I was actually expecting a longer road for Paige to realize that she indeed has been bit by Walter's presence in her life. And the same goes for him. Though we all know that this doesn't mean that the road ahead is easy, nor that they've actually acted upon feelings that they still haven't mapped out, what happened in "Charades" was very well played. They're trying to play the guessing game... and that dance can be entertaining but also painful.
I won't get ahead of myself if you haven't seen the next episode. The review of that I will publish in the next couple of days, but one thing I can say is that I'm really interested in the way that dramatic events and circumstances will play out for these two, especially as the rest of the team catches up on what's going on. Of all the people that suspect, I gotta say that Cabe and Sylvester's reactions were the best ones.
If I'm to speak of the case this week, I thought it was a bit standard for my liking. I questioned the feasibility of lack of more control within the CIA, the fact that no one aided them when the woman took Walter to a private airport, no police operation involved, etc. But I guess you could counter most of my questions with suspension of belief, or the fact that Scorpion likes to operate this way, away from the institutionalized public forces. I still can't get over the fact that the plane stopped short of blasting through a hangar...a little too convenient, but I understand budgetary constraints.
As for Toby and Happy, I like the jealousy game, because as much as I like her, she plays it rough too much, undermining him sometimes. It's nice to see - and make her see - that other people could desire him. I'm kind of ready to move this process from "admiring each other" to "deserving each other".
Next episode "Forget Me Nots" builds upon the ships, with many of the threats that rock them. Cabe may also turn into a super hero. I'm so ready for kickass Robert Patrick.