On the second episode of Scorpion this week, titled "Forget Me Nots" we delve into a very interesting case for the team. They have to save the world from a nuclear war while dealing with the continuing tensions between all the relationships and a revamped Agent Gallo.
For our recap and my gushing over how much I loved Robert Patrick's swagger... take the jump.
At the Nuclear Missile Silo 61AX in Keflavik - SW Iceland, a couple of Americans freak out when the missile launch system they're supervising activates itself and starts prepping all systems for launch. They can't override it. Alarms go off.
Cut to Scorpion where Toby and Sylvester kill time playing human bowling, complete with an Evel Knievel helmet and a surfboard on wheels. Toby is doing it to impress Happy, who's in deep concentration, finishing her latest project; a clever mechanical toy gadget, full of delicate movements. "It's made of hard metal but it's so delicate and so beautiful," Toby is taken by her ability but she doesn't get fazed by it and takes the toy away. Makes you wonder if she's making this to impress him as well, since last week he was so impressed by the other woman's gadgets... in more ways than one.
Drew comes to pick up Ralph for school, but before he goes, he takes Paige aside and shows her a brochure for a school for gifted children in Portland where he's been trying out for a baseball team. She acts defensive right away; she has never said she'd move for sure. But he meant it when he said he wanted to give her informed options besides staying in Scorpion. She promises to take a look, just as they hear the blast of a turbine nearby.
Walter and Ralph have been experimenting again, this time for a science fair at school. The project is obviously on the dangerous side, so Drew questions why not just make a volcano. Walter dismisses it; he thinks that's the fail safe excuse for parents that can't think of something more stimulating. Paige jumps in to police it before it gets ugly, sending Drew and Ralph on their way to school.
Paige wants Walter to be nicer to Drew, but he mocks his choices, and that's when he spots the brochure. She tries to explain that there might be a chance she's considering it since Drew might move there. He grows defensive and refuses to give her his real opinion on the matter, even though he's clearly upset. Paige is disappointed that he'll only offer a weather commentary about the city. He questions the logic behind Paige's opinion that Ralph would be better off with two parents instead of one, with Drew of all people. He finds the suggestion ridiculous, insulting her and even blaming her stance on something taken out of a daytime TV show, but she doesn't bite.
Paige gives him a pass for that one, and she'll be understanding of the fact he didn't have a good relationship with his father, but she wants to give Ralph a chance to have one. Walter finds that biology is not a good enough reason to tie Ralph to Drew's wishes, who he considers an adolescent because of his life choices. For him, Drew is a dead weight. It's highly offensive, to be honest, but she also asked for his thoughts on the matter. So there.
Cabe arrives with the week's case. They meet with Homeland Security Director Merrick (David Fabrizio â€“ Californication, Bones). There's been an attempt hack to a facility, but they won't disclose enough information for Scorpion to make their usual assessment. He just wants them to examine the code to find the perpetrator, but they should know it won't be that easy.
After Walter introduces a code that brings back what's been redacted by the government to the file, and they argue that they would find the truth either way, Merrick decides to come clean. Cabe finds humor in the fact his nerds beat his boss.
The data shows American missile locations within the country and abroad. That means nukes hidden in foreign locations, strategic to controlling their enemies. Sixteen years ago, Milocevich desired to bomb the Kosovo area to take over. Meetings were held in the US secretly with the Kosovan President to prepare for a military response, but in the meeting an attempt was made to kill Bill Clinton, then President of the United States. Some of their Secret Service agents were wounded, including Bruce Jones (David James Elliot â€“ JAG, Mad Men). He was in charge of the "football" - a case with a remote detonator, all the launching codes, and locations of the American nukes. While he was being taken care of at the Hospital, the football was stolen. The codes were changed immediately, but now it seems like whoever took possession of the football has managed to hack their way into the system and is activating it at will.
Sylvester doesn't think that they'll be able to track the hacker in time, so Happy thinks that the only solution is to find the football. Even after sixteen years, Toby thinks that approaching Jones might give them a clue about who stole it. They gather up and leave, joking about Cabe's old man reflexes... Just you wait.
Jones has been secluded to a recovery home; he's succumbed to a mental disorder that manifests in a condition very much like dementia. He's hostile toward the staff and Scorpion as well, but they don't care. They take him to headquarters, where Toby throws everything but the kitchen sink at the man to try and trigger memories that might help them. He's anything but cooperative. Paige thinks that what they're doing is cruel because he still thinks he's in the Secret Service, and Walter hits a Eureka moment. Because of his research to find a cure for Megan, he knows that if Jones is still living in that moment in time, he has access to those memories. Stimulating it with an electrical current might ease things up. This method makes people's brains and bodies more powerful.
Walter volunteers to go through it to convince Jones, but Toby refuses to let him, so Cabe volunteers to take the opportunity. Toby warns him that this an experimental technique and no one wants to be the one to put Gallo's life at risk. They take on it anyways. Cabe takes it like a champ, considering they just wired a car battery to his head. When they're done, he doesn't feel any different, only that... he is. The jolt made him sharp and improved his reflexes. They've made a Super Cabe... Cabester? Galloman? The Electric Cabe? ... Someone stop me now.
They run the same therapy on Jones, walking him through the tale at the ER sixteen years ago. Images come back, but nothing too precise; the doctors yelling instructions, the treatments, random blurry images, but then he remembers a man with a blue finger taking the case... and the word "Maplethorpe". He's overwhelmed. The guys try to figure out who would be the person with the blue finger and theorize as to how is it even blue, so they decide to check on the Hospital records to see if there was someone treated for a broken finger. The records are stored at Homeland Security, since the case was off the record. The girls stay behind to take care of Jones while they investigate.
The storage at this place reminded me very much of CSM's lurk places at the FBI; the fact that Robert Patrick strolled in with such swagger, like he owned the place, made it so much easier. They can't find any indication of someone with a broken finger and Director Merrick informs Cabe that they're estimating that another hacking attempt might put them on a launch pattern in two hours. Gallo discovers that Agent Khara (Navid Negahban â€“ Homeland) was given Nitroglycerine for a heart condition. No Secret Service agent can serve with a heart condition. He's hiding something and Toby thinks he knows how to get it out of him.
Meanwhile, back at the garage, Jones is driving the girls insane. They set to prep him some food, and Happy makes use of the time to comment about Paige possibly moving to Portland. They've been eavesdropping. While Paige doesn't want to talk about it, Happy makes the same comment that Walter did: Portland is cold. Paige is annoyed by the fact that they seem to just go for this answer, for this fact, but Happy rationalizes that facts are the foundation of logic... and that Ralph would be bored in Portland. But Paige has figured it out; they're hiding behind facts and numbers to avoid facing uncomfortable topics, such as how they'd feel if they left. The more it scares them, the more they hide behind data. Happy doesn't take the bait.
Paige goes to give Jones his snack but he has taken off. They're in trouble.
The boys wait for Khara outside of a coffee shop. Toby dips his hand in ice water while at it as part of his strategy, all the while Cabe is marveled by his revamped senses and abilities. He has the sensorial system of a sixteen year old thanks to the therapy.
Khara exits the shop and Toby runs at him, passing himself off as a friend of his brother, while shaking his hand. He won't let go, and Khara gets spooked. Cabe intervenes, making him tolerate Toby's experiment, and sure enough his finger turns blue because he has Raynaud's Phenomena. It's set off because of stress and the cold, stealing that case would be stressful alright. He says that he has an explanation, but he suckerpunches Gallo and books it. Fear not, The Electric Cabe takes off in pursuit, jumping over the hood of an oncoming car, and onto Khara, detaining him, cuffing him and turning around like the super agent he's become. You go, Galloman.
Why would Khara, a high ranked agent with a spotless record steal the football? Cabe did some digging, and it turns out that the man had elderly family members in Pakistan, jailed for no reason over political pressure. After the event, charges were dropped. While they're now free, they're still in danger; he won't talk. Cabe prompts Walter to find an alternate solution.
Paige and Happy look for Jones, to no avail. Walter calls to ask them to take him to the Hospital because he has an idea. They're screwed... but that's when Paige spots a realty sign about a property on Maplethorpe Road. That's the word he was mumbling when they juiced him, so they rush over there.
They find him in front of a house, where a distraught family doesn't know how to get rid of the man that keeps asking for a woman named Lorraine. He's confused and upset. While he's grateful for the fact that the treatment they've done on him brought his memories back, he now he has to face the rap of the time he didn't have any of those memories. Like remembering that he's lost track of her, a secretary at the White House he was in love with. He ran away from her when his condition worsened, but she also ended up moving to Los Angeles and while he intended to track her, it slipped through the cracks of his own illness. He wants to go home.
Instead, the girls take him to Walter, where they stick Jones into an magnetoencephalogram machine. This will track when his memories get activated because of stimuli. Cabe brings out Agent Khara, who he recognizes after a while, and gets angry at the fact that he ruined his life. Khara's voice triggers his brain, and working through the phases, he remembers him in the room, dialing a number.
They go back to Scorpion, where they recreate sensory elements of that day in the hospital like smell and sounds, the feel of his clothes and light setting to help trigger his memory. He needs to recognize the sounds of the phone and then they can track the recipient.
Gallo arrives then, announcing that the hackers have broken through the defenses; one missile has been activated and is aimed at St. Petersburg, Russia. They have no way to stop the terrorist from pushing that button and they only have thirty minutes. There's no real motivation behind the attack, the terrorists just want to provoke a war that would cripple both Russia and the United States.
Jones manages to figure out the sounds, and the phone number leads them to a charity for Middle-Eastern children. They track the leader and the last known address is to a boathouse, nineteen minutes away. Jones, Cabe, Walter and Toby go after the guy while Happy, Sylvester and Paige stay in the car. They locate the boat, but Toby's cellphone ring gives away their presence and the guy shoots at them while they pursue. Jones saves Cabe from a fatal shot. The terrorist runs away but Happy spots him, and takes off after him in the SUV.
Gallo and Walter close in on him through the boatyard with Cabe leading the way, fast and loose. The guy carrying the football is relentless and is armed. Shots are fired from both sides; Cabe saves Walter from a close one but they only have two minutes left.
The terrorist runs toward the rail tracks and throws the case over the electrified fence and in the way of the oncoming train. Happy figures out that they can use the nearby crane and the magnet attached to it. While the case is made of aluminum and not magnetic, and the train is very heavy to be able to control it, they can reverse the polarity of the tracks and make the train halt before hitting the case. It works... and the world is saved. The terrorist couldn't hit the launch button.
Interpol tracks the terrorists, and the launch sequence has been reverted. Cabe is proud of the team, and of Jones; he saved his life like he would have done for POTUS. Jones takes a bow and allows Sylvester to wreck the football, to make up for all the mockery he subjected him to while they worked together. He does a great job with the sledge hammer.
Walter commends Cabe for his great work, and the agent takes a moment to wax poetic about how he didn't notice that time passed and how he is not the same youngster he once was, but time passes. He credits the treatment for his abilities during the case and tells him to cherish his youth. But Walter lets him in on a secret; the effect of the jolts had worn off hours ago. The awesome was all of Cabe's doing. That earns us another swaggering walk back to the SUV.
They take Jones back to his residence; he's thankful for the chance to have a day of fun out there and advises them to treasure their memories since he doesn't get to have his. But they have a final surprise for him, they've found Lorraine. She's there, waiting for him. Maybe it will help him to get better. Its sweet, he's so in love. And Walter sees it. Subtext is oozing all over the place.
Walter approaches Paige over their conversation *ahem* fight *ahem* earlier. He blabbers out an endless list of facts and Paige cannot help but smile at what he's doing. He's hiding again behind impersonal conversation. Walter asks if she's finding it funny, because of her reaction; he just cares to give her the best information and facts about it all. And she knows, that he cares, but that's when Walter takes the plunge and doesn't allow himself to cower away. Ralph has changed his life, making him more human, even though he wasn't interested in changing. He doesn't want them to go, he cares about the kid... and he cares about her. Paige is so impressed and also admits that she'd miss him too.
Ralph and Drew arrive at that moment, breaking the spell; he has won the science fair. He's so proud of himself and so is Walter of the little boy. He also got invited to a birthday party, which is progress for his social skills and Paige couldn't be happier. Walter suggests they go play with his science project, unless they want to leave, to which Paige responds that No, she doesn't want to. Drew... he picks up on this. Stormy times ahead.
Let's talk about the casefile. I found it interesting enough to grab me, but especially because of James D. Elliot's work. I'd seen him in JAG over the years and, while as a guest star there's just so much airtime you can get, I loved the nuances of his performance. I feel that, while the casefile is the casefile, this show is doing well at finding the human factor in the victims of the threats without losing the lightness with which they approach the "enemy" at times. It's not that they disregard the threats, of course, it's more like... they never sleep with the enemy. And I wonder, will there be a time for that? A looming threat that carries on, subjecting the team to dealing with something they won't be able to resolve in just one episode? An enemy which is not quite as dismissible?
Right now, the only arc that plays to that tune is the conflict between Drew and the rest of the team. Which takes me to the next topic at hand. Paige and Walter's dynamic, as I've said in the past, as storytelling and character development, is rewarding to see unfold. Even when we've jumped to developments faster than other shows. As for what pertains to what's actually happening, I'm starting to resent Walter's attitude towards Drew, because as much as it has been said that his ways are adolescent, and that he's holding Ralph back, the show needs to show me how is this happening. All I've seen so far is a caring person, albeit different than him, that worries about Ralph in traditional ways and that is really trying. So either you go and prove to me this theory of yours with facts or, Walter & Co., just accept that you didn't win this battle. It would be pretty unfair that Drew gets discriminated upon for the fact that he's a simpler person, showing that they really cannot tolerate the differences which is exactly what they been subject to growing up. Just saying, it goes both ways.
Toby and Happy, I'm so ready for your big episode. Come on, already! From this arc I really enjoy the consistency of their push and pull, but my opinion hasn't changed on Happy cutting some slack on Toby. Throw the guy a bone sometime.
And then, onto Super Agent Galloman. I really enjoyed the way they tackled that he isn't a spring chicken anymore. When you see Robert Patrick in person, you know that he's far from being the picture of your standard "mature" man. In fact, he's in better shape than many men half his age and has a joie the vivre that is contagious. But Gallo, stuck in his suits, walking the halls of the federal government, he must miss being more agile and enjoying the easiness of a younger mind. I have been asking time and time again to get the man a sports coat, but what this arc made me realize about this character is that, aside from his parental role, he was missing truly being one of them without looking in from above, the chance to be bold and daring, and today he got the chance to live it up. Even when the effects wore off, and especially because of that, it proves that youth is just a state of mind.
Hope you enjoyed this special week of double features, and don't forget to tune in on Mondays at 9PM on CBS.
Pictures courtesy of CBS Broadcasting.