This week on Scorpion, the team has to protect a witness that’s due to testify in court against a dangerous drug cartel. Things don’t go as planned and they have to come up with their best tricks to help her escape.
For our recap and review, you know what to do!
Continuing with what the previous episode set up, Toby and Happy were due for a date, right? Well… when our girl shows up, all dolled up, “Mr. Harvard Degree” oversleeps because he overdid it with the pills, leaving her hanging. This doesn’t bode well for Toby, who’s going to suffer her wrath for the whole episode and even probably a lot longer if we’re to judge by Happy’s attitude. No matter what he does, it’s just not going to be easy to get back in her good graces.
Walter talks to him; he’s not comfortable with a personal situation getting in the middle of business. But Toby won’t give up. The problem is that Walter is swimming in the same waters with his unspoken love for Paige. Toby continues to push; he wants him to take action to get something started before Drew comes back.
Back at the lounge, the news reports on Maya Hernandez (Ginger Gonzaga - Anger Management), who’s due to testify against a cartel in court. A shoot out has happened in one of the preliminary hearings and havoc ensued. Surely, that’s just a safe and great idea to put her face on the news, everyone!
While Walter takes a call from Cabe, we learn what will be this week’s obstacle for Sylvester. His favorite yogurt has been discontinued, and the only one left in the fridge is past its “sell by” date. And how healthy could it be to eat this when he’s such a germophobe…? Can we all stop for a second and realize that yogurt is a bacteria-riddled cup of goo? How can he eat yogurt to begin with?! Paige chastises him for not understanding what’s really scary, considering that this woman on the news almost got killed over testifying. It just so happens that this will be their new case.
Cabe briefs them as they walk and talk at the Department of Justice with the US Marshals. Hector Menjivar (Jason M. Olazabal - Blue Bloods) is the leader of this cartel that’s basically turned into a transportation hub for all illegal means. Maya used to be the book keeper, since she was a teen, but technically she’s not part of the cartel. Her husband was a driver for the cartel, but they killed him and now the marshals are forcing her to testify or they will implicate her. The deal is dirty, but she was promised protection that they couldn’t deliver and this is where Scorpion comes in.
They devise a strategy to transport her without being spotted but Maya is not very keen on their choices; the jumpsuit they’ve chosen to disguise her as an inmate is small on her, and she doesn’t believe they’re going to protect her.
They scatter in their convoys while Sylvester guides, but they have to slow down because a school bus is ahead of them. Walter is suspicious immediately: it’s an ambush. Shooters with rifles start to fire at the armored vehicles, and they start to back away from the streets they’ve been blocked into. As they try to escape, they end up under the Sixth Street bridge. A truck strikes the car transporting Maya and Walter with the lead US Marshall and it crashes against one of the support beams. Hector climbs out of the truck and starts shooting at their SUV. They want Maya.
Walter rigs up an explosive made to stun the cartel attackers by putting the shotgun shells inside a handkerchief and into the console, accelerating the car until the heat of the engine makes them explode. The front end passengers are as stunned as the people outside and Walter and Maya take advantage to rush out and into Cabe’s SUV which arrives just in time.
Toby thinks there’s a mole inside the LAPD or the US Marshals, because there couldn’t have been a mistake in their plan. That means that they’re on their own with no chance of back ups or help if they were followed. They can’t trust anyone. Writers, this is where you include an X-Files nod.
They need a new car so they go to a nearby second hand car dealer to exchange their Tahoe. The guy is hesitant; this car is a government vehicle and it smells wrong. They want to exchange it for a gas guzzler van that barely can be called a car, but it’s what they need; no one would believe that they’re escaping in that. Hell, I don’t believe it. So Toby plays his magic on him, plucking at all the right strings. The dude caves and off they go up the windy roads of Santa Clarita in their brand new, old, stinky van.
Cabe is taking it in stride, enjoying the nostalgia of driving this car while the guys hole up in the back. Paige takes this time to do her “job” to empathize with Maya. She’s not exactly “nice” and Sylvester is already freaking out over the fact that the car isn’t very fast and the cartel is very well equipped. He throws around some calculations, but Maya counters them, making the scenario even worse. She’s accurate to the T, which makes Toby and Walter suspicious of her abilities.
Paige then turns to Happy; trying to connect with her about the current situation with Toby. But she’s tough and won’t change her mind, even when Paige points out that this is just a matter stemming from her experiences as a foster child. The lack of trust is going to ruin this for them. Paige believes they can make it work, but Happy doesn’t even bat an eyelash. Toby is definitely screwed. And so they may all be as the truck starts to overheat.
Meanwhile, Hector and his goon drive around looking for them, and spot Cabe’s SUV at the dealership. They force the information out of the pudgy salesman, of course. Poor guy didn’t stand a chance.
The team stops at a gas station; Happy sets up to fix the problem with the radiator while she bickers with Toby. At least they’re exchanging words, not pleasant ones, but, yeah, words. Gallo can’t stand the stubborn fight and asks them to cut it out. He really acts like their dad and even when he claims not to like it… he really does seem to enjoy it.
He orders everyone to stretch and hit the restrooms before they have to take off. Sly tries to get his cherished discontinued yogurt while the girls dart for the bathroom. Paige notices that Maya grabs a pack of chocolate covered pretzels on her way in, a salty and sweet snack, like the ones that she used to crave when she was expecting Ralph. Maya’s jig is up; she’s eleven weeks pregnant and bitter at the fact that she’s in this situation. She doesn’t think that the government or Scorpion can protect her at all.
Outside, Happy, Cabe and Sly are waiting it out when Hector and his goon come in. Happy screams for Gallo right away and this is when mayhem ensues. It’s been awhile since I’ve uttered the phrase: “Wow, that slowmo was just SO cool!” but I did at the sight of this scene. It was shot in a way that really made it so attractive visually. I have to give mad props to the work of this episode’s Production Designer, Joe Comeau, Director Kevin Hooks and DP, Robert LaBonge. I mean, I was mesmerized, even by the straws flying through the air.
Happy, Paige and Maya hide in the back of the shop, while the goon looks for the girls, menacing. Walter and Toby brace outside by the van. How they missed the guys coming in is beyond me, but they set up to get the van running and to get out of there. Happy tries to come up with a diversion to escape, and right away Maya lists her with a recount of the available supplies around them, because… she’s memorized their position. This amazes the other two girls. Paige slithers over to reach a roll of paper towels and a toilet bowl cake that she tosses to Happy. She’s gotten a hold of a propane tank that she preps and aims just in time to save Maya, shooting the the cake directly at the goon’s throat.
Toby improvises a coolant out of malt liquor and they’re almost ready to go. Meanwhile, Cabe continues the duel with Hector inside. Condiments and such fly around them as they’re hit by the bullets until Gallo runs out of ammo. Hector is smug, he’s about to shoot him when Walter comes through the wall with the van, knocking him unconscious. They all jump into the van and rush back out, leaving a pretty destroyed convenience store behind.
Sly is worried that Hector is going to catch up regardless. Maya thinks that the best way is to let her go, because by her own calculations this van would never make it to a top speed that takes them to safety. That’s when Paige calls her out. She’s a genius, just like the rest of the guys. That’s also when they learn that she’s pregnant. This just keeps getting better and better. Happy suggests that the only way they’d gain distance from Hector would be getting a race car. It just so happens that Maya knows where to get one.
They get to the mansion of one of Hector’s acquaintances; Ricky Lambert, a hacker that handles their illegal papers. He happens to owe Hector some very important amount of money, so Gallo and Walter pass themselves off as Hector’s enforcers and try to get a new ride out of this man. Only it’s not going to be one of the sexy speedsters up front, but the luxury RV parked by the side of the house.
The man is nervous by their presence and lets them in at the mention of Hector and a quarter of a million dollars he supposedly owes him. Toby and Maya feed Walter with numbers and manipulative lines to get the man to cave. Walter is awkward as can be but Toby coaches him to act scary… this is hilarious, and Gallo’s support is great. Lambert caves, and the guys run out and climb into the RV. But the hacker is scared still and puts in a call to Hector, who obviously knows nothing of this deal, and now their plan is blown.
Gallo tries to get the monster vehicle out of the driveway but he gets it stuck on a rock, losing precious time that allows the security guards and Lambert to run out to shoot at them. The rest of the team starts to freak out but they manage to get the RV going and drive out of the gates, closing them again to try and stall their pursuers. Happy and Toby blow the tires of the van so that they can’t follow and they get on the road.
Maya is pessimistic about all of this, it’s never going to end. People fear Hector too much. They kill for him, so she’s as good as dead regardless of the shooter being the man itself. The thing is that to stop Hector and his ties, they need her knowledge of his books, his operation, everything that will put him behind bars. “But what if they didn’t need her?” asks Walter. If they recreated the books with their skills, she would be free to escape. But Gallo thinks that’s fabricating evidence. Still, he caves too, and lets them go with it under his supervision. Happy takes the wheel of the RV.
By this moment, Hector has arrived at Lambert’s. The hacker apologizes and offers a way to get them back. Meanwhile, in the RV, Toby takes advantage of the fact that everyone is distracted to talk to Happy. Different from everyone else that has caved one way or another in this episode to different situations, she’s not as malleable, no matter how many times Toby explains that he really wants this relationship to happen. Happy gets irritated and he continues to argue, but what he doesn’t realize is that what aggravates her is that she’s no longer in control of the RV. Someone has hacked into the vehicle’s computer… Lambert is manipulating it and this won’t end well with the rig accelerating downhill and with a sharp turn coming up.
Paige takes the wheel while Happy and Walter figure out how to hack into the computer. Emulating Keanu Reeves in Speed, they both slide alongside the moving RV on a couple of wheeled bodyboards guided by rope. When they slide under, they reach the computer controlling the rig but Happy drops the screwdriver that would allow them to reach and disconnect the hard drive. Walter thinks he can make do, so Happy returns to the RV; the seconds tick away. Walter has issues squeezing himself into the gap of the control box, but just in the nick of time, as Paige struggles to control the RV, very much like Sandra Bullock, Walter manages to turn the control off and they cruise the turn and stop by an embankment nearby.
Everyone rushes out, looking for Walter under the rig. He’s made it. Everyone can breathe now and Gallo gets an idea. He calls the local Sheriff’s office.
Cut to the RV sailing through the hills again, but Hector has caught up, shooting and cornering the vehicle until they reach a turn where he finds himself in an ambush by the local law enforcement and a commanding Cabe Gallo that this time has a gun full of ammo.
It turns out that the guys hacked into the system of the RV so they were never in danger. And they have already arranged for Maya’s escape, via Canada. Gallo doesn’t mind that the prosecutors won’t be happy; they have the tools to get Hector and company behind bars.
Maya is stoked by the amount of danger they went through to protect her, but for them this is a given; they swore to protect her and she’s one of them. Sly observes that Maya is going into so much danger to protect her child, so many risks, and Paige completes it by saying that’s what you do for someone you love. “Hear that, Walter?” Toby rubs it in. Walter meditates about this.
Back at the garage, they listen to the news coverage of what transpired today, and the deals the cartel and moles are already trying to strike with the prosecutors. Maya dodged a big bullet, and as much as this is a successful day, one thing is clear, Happy continues to be scorned.
Sly found another past due date yogurt. He won’t dare eat it, and this is the last straw for Toby at Silvester’s cowardly ways. He needs to take risks as well, even when Sly rubs it in that Toby took a chance with Happy and it didn’t work out. But he took a chance at least! So to aggravate Sly even more, Tobby opens the yogurt and gorges it down. Now he doesn’t get to have the yogurt because he didn’t take the risk and someone else took the chance from him.. and this allegory goes for Walter as well. After some rationalizing, Walter runs out of the garage in search of Paige.
He arrives at her apartment; from the window he can see the darling scene of a mother serving dinner to her child, a smiley Paige with a sweet Ralph… and then, Drew, completing the group. Walter’s face crumbles. He may already be too late.
Written by David Foster and Rob Pearlstein, “Crossroads” is an episode that I have to say was pretty solid in terms of action, a lot better than last week’s. Every event and cast member was used effectively despite some incongruent instances that I let go because I don’t demand total and complete accuracy with how believability is treated in this show. Come on, we’re on the 20th episode of a fantastic genius group that makes stuff happen. Crazy stuff.
In any case, I really liked the chance to see a genius that was actually, somewhat, a normal person. Even when this person was being chased and threatened because of it. It shows that you don’t necessarily have to be secluded and bullied; her circumstances were unfortunate but it was not because of her genius, but because of bad choices and bad risks taken.
This takes me to the Ship situation this week. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. But at least in the case of Happy and Toby, it happened because they wanted to move forward. Regaining her trust will be a pain, but if there’s anyone headstrong enough in this show, that’s Toby. I applaud him. Fight for your girl, don’t let her go.
I wish the same could be said for Walter, and I have to give it to Elyes Gabel here. My poor heart felt for him and how painful it will be to bounce back from the assumptions that a simple scene could make him jump to. Is he really too late to get the girl? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Right now, he’s his own worst enemy.
Robert Patrick, as always, was the best at timing. He’s just great like that; it’s an understated ability that I’ve enjoyed throughout the show. He can do it all, and I really don’t say this as blind praise. We’ve seen him tackle action, drama, comedy, and much more, and I really have to nitpick to find things I don’t like about his performance, and those rarely make it to the review.
I welcome the fact that this episode, while it had quite a few dramatic undertones, was still light in that particular Scorpion way. I hope that we can have Camille Guaty back soon for more ship development on that front. I suspect now that Walter has suffered a setback in his intentions with Paige, he’s going to be focussing back on his efforts to save his sister.
Don’t forget to tune in on Monday at 9PM on CBS.