Did you catch this week's Scorpion? We did and here's our recap and review! Click after the jump for our rambly thoughts about "Cuba Libre."
On this week’s episode, Walter deals with the consequences of his car accident last season; his counselor is advising he admit his altered emotional state was the motive behind the wreck. This obviously is a big “no” for Walter, who’s adamant to deny that the City of LA had anything to do with his rescue, but that it’s Cabe Gallo who he has to thank for it. His lawyer warns him that he will go to jail unless he accepts his approach.
Meanwhile, as the team hangs as usual and Toby offers to spend his newly-found free time to fine tune Sly’s romantic skills, in enters Gallo’s old friend, Sonya Balasevic (Izabella Miko - Chicago Fire) a girl he saved from the war in Croatia as a child and helped to get adopted by an American couple. Cabe even gave his own Silver Star as a keepsake for her bravery. Everyone is impressed. She has been working to avenge her family through the Hague and wants his help to hunt Zoric (Dimiter D. Marinov - NCIS, Agent Carter) who’s the man behind the genocide. He has an electronic ledger with the information of 23 other assassins of the time. A lead points to him being in Cuba, and she has a blood sample of the man to compare his identity and prove it.
Walter, Toby and Happy figure out a way to build a system to run this comparison in record time. Sly is against the whole plan. Cabe gets their new boss, Director Molina, on their side to help, off the record - it seems - at first. She recommends they acquire undeniable proof that this man is Zoric, per the Hague’s request. She has to avoid creating an international crisis when the US is in talks with Cuba.
The device to compare Zoric’s DNA is more than ready. Paige continues to push Walter about taking the arrangement his lawyer suggested, pointing out that every decision in his life is made based on logical choices. But he really won’t change his mind. Sonya also represents a problem with how he’s dealing emotionally with this operation. There’s much at stake for her.
Once they get closer to the island, they jump into the sea from an airplane, and Walter has a moment when he sees a wet Paige emerge from the waves. We got a similar shot last season with Robert Patrick, so it’s only fair for the boys. Walter though, is having a hard time controlling those emotions he doesn’t have.
Alfonso, Molina’s inside guy arrives giving them a slight hard time with some good natured - albeit cruel - socialist heckling. With their help, they locate Zoric to confirm the assasin’s identity. He usually changes his appearance to escape. It seems like a swift operation. But as Cabe and Walter stakeout the place, and Alfonso waits in a second car to trick Zoric and get a sample of his DNA, their car explodes, killing their allies. Zoric gets away; he probably planted the bomb. Stakes rise as they fear that they’ll get snuffed out by the government and be blamed for the attack. The team avoids the authorities and continues to hunt for Zoric, even though now they can’t have as much help because Molina can’t get any more involved. They have to meet the previously arranged flight back, or else. Sonya freaks out about it; she needs to avenge her loved ones and every chance that she’s had in the past has been foiled.
Sly memorizes the Cuban Visitor’s Guide, because there’s no way internet will help on this island. I agree. They manage to corner Zoric at his barber while he’s trying to change his appearance again. He settles with a towel over his eyes as the old man works, and Happy taps into the sink drain but no blood comes out with the water and suds. This man is a great barber… and deaf. So he can’t get spooked to make him knick Zoric. Gallo and Walter move inside the building, take the barber away but as they’re about to collect the blood sample, Sonya comes in as well and grabs for the blade. She goes through the motions, posing as the barber since Zoric can’t see her, and cuts him slightly to hand the sample over to Walter. Positive Match, but Zoric makes them.
After a lively fight, where Walter end up pointing a gun at the assassin, they arrest him under the authority of the Hague. They send Happy and Sly to search his house for the ledger, offering a deal if he just tells them where it is, but he won’t budge, instead provoking Sonya. Walter asks her to get a grip and not let her emotions put them in danger again, just in time for Paige to arrive and listen to him. He’s not helping his own denial. Sonya resents Walter’s pep talk, claiming that her emotional state is the actual drive that’s gotten them so far. Paige pleads her to see both sides of the coin, and how over-reacting might endanger them and how middle ground would bring her balance.
They improvise a truth serum out of flowers and manage to get information about the location of the electronic ledger. It’s locked inside a bank. Cabe plans to take the man with him inside and force him to open the box now that he’s under the effects of the drug but the serum conflicts with medication that Zoric was taking and he’s down for the count. And now, they have an APB on their backs.
They gather up ideas and get Sly to climb up a pole to throw and cancel the alarm, and create a noise cancelling device to cut through the concrete of the roof. Meanwhile, Cabe finally gets through Sonya’s obsession and pleads with her to not let hate destroy who she is. The team manages to get Happy inside the vault. But as they access the security box, they discover that they need Zoric’s thumbprint to access the contents, which they solve by using an impression of it on a sticker wrapped around a chorizo, or you know, a thumbrizo. Never a dull solution for this group.
At this point, they’ve taken enough time that personnel of the bank spot Happy trying to get away through the roof, and all alarms are raised. The worst that can happen to anyone is to go to jail in Cuba. They rush to their planned escape, a plane in a clandestine runway, speeding through a short cut thanks to Sly’s memorization of the Cuban guide. But Zoric wakes up and throws himself out of the car. Sonya won’t have this, she needs to avenge her family, but going after Zoric might have them arriving too late to take the plane. Even with Cabe’s warnings, they go after the guy. The pilot is getting nervous, but Molina threatens him, so he waits.
They catch up to Zoric. Sonya could kill him but she keeps her emotions in check, and they drag him to the waiting plane that takes off immediately, just as Cuban authorities arrive. Phew.
Back in LA, Molina makes the customary press conference where the media assigns the responsibility - or is it the praise? - to her leadership. Toby is on to her though he feels good about the operation. Toby tackled Sly’s contrived way to accept his feelings for Megan through the episode, poking at the usual fears that plague the man, and testing in more ways than one that he can actually overcome these fears to take the plunge, and Sly called him on his ways. He recognizes that he loves Megan, but also called out Toby’s real motivations behind helping him. Luck is not on his side with Happy though, as she continues to be standoffish to him.
Sonya thanks Cabe for his help and gives him back the Silver Star that he had given her to lift her spirits back in the day. They bid their goodbyes. He kisses her forehead. It is super sweet.
Paige and Walter discuss their back and forth about emotions versus logic and his decision to not support being in an emotional state as an excuse for his accident. Ironically, it’s her who makes the distinction between emotional and logical decisions, citing a moment where her situation with Ralph, being a single mother, put her on the streets and without a job. Her logic decisions got them out of the hard moment and only when she was sure that she had control over the situation, then she let her emotions loose. Only then was it the right time. She can’t support them being led by their emotions, it’s not the time. Walter… is crushed and fights her back. She also calls his bluff; he took the job because Sonya’s story affected him, because it meant something to Cabe, not because it was the logical option. Until he can admit to that, he will never move forward.
Toby and Cabe go out to grab dinner while we wrap up the episode. Walter, having accepted his counselor’s advice and now having to do community service, is cleaning the side of the road. The boys drive by, heckling him. That’s when we meet Ray Spiewack, (Kevin Weisman) who you may remember from “Je Souhaite”, talking Walter up about feels and stuff. Spoiler alert: he’ll be a regular in Scorpion.
I know I continuously joke about how the Scorpion writers listen to me and grant me whatever I ask for, and this time around, they didn’t fail to support my hopes that this might actually be true.
“Cuba Libre” brings back a few loose threads from last season and even last week’s episode in some ways. Starting with Walter, he’s got to face the charges for his car accident at the end of last season. Coming to terms with the reasons behind it is the real challenge here; he’d have to accept that his emotions, those pesky things that he doesn’t like to admit he has, were the main reason why he lost all control of his usually outburst-deprived self. The thing is that admitting to it would help his case, as his lawyer recommends, but leave it to the man to deflect and argue his way into another distraction. Mainly because it is so closely linked to the situation between Paige and him.
Another item that got taken care of was the situation between Sly and Megan; even when one half of this ship was not in the actual episode, Silvester actually had some important growth without losing his own identity and quirks.
I’m super excited about Kevin Weisman, mainly because I’ve always found him super funny and one of the most underrated actors out there.
I was very pleased that this episode brought Cabe to the forefront. More of his backstory and more of his abilities to lead and be an active part of the team, plus, who doesn’t love Robert Patrick in a Guayabera? I thought that not only is he really welcoming and believable as a father, but it also shows a lot of coherency as a character that his soft spot have always been those kids that find themselves in dire straits. He lost his daughter, so he keeps saving his children over and over again, while working on enriching his relationship with the one son he’s always wanted to keep.
My gripes with this episode:
“What about the Quinn?” Toby and Happy have me a little bit confused; I hoped that this episode would have them moving forward but that wasn’t the case at all. And I wonder how Sylvester’s realization about Toby’s family life would inform his present need to conquer Happy. Seems like a missed a step and I read wrong what we last saw of them in the previous episode.
“The Cuban reality” - and this is not a thing that any other show escapes - the production design, some of the background actions and some of the wardrobe are too romanticized compared to what is the actual reality. The cars were too new, the common cuban dresses differently, some services used are rare in the island, like a banking app, but progress is coming, I suppose. Many of these visuals are more corresponding to Calle 8 in Hialeah, FLA or the wealthier parts reserved for tourists in the island. The way that the events take place seem a little too much for the amount of time they spend in the island and the traveling times within, and I know, I’m really just asking for accuracy when it probably isn’t needed.
“Molina’s address” - if the US is in talks to open relations with Cuba, and she made this big issue of keeping the operation a big secret… coming out in public to claim that this operation took place, seems to go against the purpose.
“Walter’s back and forth” - even Paige was confused by it at times, and it got to be confusing to me too. Which could be the objective in itself, because they’re both in a state of confusion about this logic over emotions issue.
Tune in next Monday for yet another escapade with the Scorpion bunch, at 9pm on CBS.