This week on Scorpion, the guys are tasked yet again with saving the world. No biggie. Tensions between three European countries have everyone on the brink of World War III and it's up to the boys and girls to prevent it when one of the country's leaders suffers an attempt on his life.
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Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus have the world on edge as disagreements over their borders could provoke war; many different countries have locked in allegiances with each, and a global military response could be around the corner if an agreement isn't reached.
Cut to LAX Air Traffic control. An unidentified plane appears on the radar only to then mysteriously disappear from the screen. As you may or may not have anticipated, Scorpion is behind this clever hack; Sylvester modifies the icon so that the radar can't display it. He's fearful and nervous; things like this can land him in jail but Gallo and Merrick, his boss from Homeland Security, force his hand. This plane carries the leaders of the countries in conflict and if the region learns that talks happened with no agreement, it could end up triggering the war. Sylvester doesn't believe that hiding this meeting from the public will do them any good.
Walter sips his coffee in the middle of a race track and a sports car bullets towards himâ€¦ or so we think. He's developed an elaborate 3D projection system that allows the feel of being surrounded by this reality. Paige interrupts his virtual reverie, amused by the fact that he's still playing with his "gameâ€ - Walter is somewhat baffled by her dismissal of this gadget and she makes it even worse, comparing it to a kid's toy that Walter doesn't even know existed. I gotta give it to the girl, I love it when she doesn't drool over Walter's epic talents.
Paige is concerned with the situation at hand and she's written a report about the countries as a guide for them to facilitate the peace talks. But Walter got distracted with his groundbreaking, state-of-the-art toy, and didn't get around to reading it. He doesn't even understand why she took the initiative to write it. The truth is that she's gone back to college and is taking night classes on European history, so this was the perfect opportunity. Learning this, Walter doesn't understand why she's even gone back to school, but for Paige this comes for the betterment of herself and setting a good example for her son. You go girl, don't let the genius bully get to you.
The problem with Paige's studies goes deeper for Walter; he doesn't believe that Liberal Studies are based in any foolproof reality. Paige sets a boobie trap for him, asking how he'd act around the Lithuanian president, not having read her report, and he fails miserably at knowing the proper customs. His ego won't let go though, and he still dismisses it.
Back to Gallo, where we learn that Mister Cabe is just another fanboy, of Westernsâ€¦ calm your horses, he's from a different time, when comics weren't the thing. His excuse for watching a movie over and over again is to learn the lay of the land of the compound where the meet will be held. Happy is unhappy about Toby's attitude change; he's more attentive and cute and she's annoyed by the fact that he's allowing this to happen in public. Gallo feigns distraction but he knows better; the man is trained to sniff out conspiracies, and an office romance is fragrant before him. She clings to the fact that they haven't really kissed but Toby sees the glass as half full.
Off to the compound ranch, and the country leaders arrive in their respective helicopters. Security is tight and the tension thick. First to arrive is Lithuanian President Dimitri Kreshenko (Timothy V. Murphy - Sons of Anarchy) and his Chief Advisor Miko Aleskka (Matt Lasky - Grimm), then Merrick announces Belarusian President Boris Sakovich (Christopher Caroll - Boston Legal) and Latvian President Juris Nikonov (Rob Locke - Agent Carter) - Paige corrects this last statement, Juris is actually the Latvian Prime Minister. She's already pushing buttons with her knowledge. They didn't read her report either.
Rene Munoz (Fernanda Andrade - Sons of Anarchy) from the State Department, greets Gallo and Merrick; she'll be there to keep the leaders at the table shall the tensions climb. Paige seizes the opportunity to get in the woman's good graces and hands her the report she madeâ€¦ but cocky Rene isn't really appreciative of her kindness.
The leaders get to Scorpion's set up, each being filmed and put in scenarios in their famous offices to fool their countries and make it seem as if they're back home. Walter's testiness and lack of knowledge of proper protocol irks the Lithuanian president. Paige tries to stop him from making a fool of himself, taking him aside. Rene intervenes and scolds Walter for his lack of finesse, warning him to not speak to the president in that manner and prohibiting Paige from speaking to him at all, benching her. Totally unwarranted. Jealousy abounds.
The group gets to the actual peace conversations, but only fighting ensues. Rene tries to make them behave and abide to the rules of parliament to proceed forward, but Paige sees that this will lead them nowhere. Instead, she suggests they soothe the mood by sharing mead, as she knows that someone would have brought a drink in to toast in for a successful meet. Rene jumps at her, questioning, hushed. But Paige was right, again. They calm down and proceed to pour themselves some spirits. The woman is not happy and goes to Cabe to request that Paige be removed from the grounds. Tough luck, he won't please her, she just did both their jobs by smoothing things over. As the leaders toast and sip, Kreshenko starts to choke and falls. He's been poisoned. For the first time in the episode I say, now they're going doubt my girl!
Toby rushes to his side while all the men surround the fallen president, but Merrick pulls him away bringing Dr. Chong (Keong Sim - Glee) to treat Kreshenko. In reality it's that Merrick doesn't trust Toby at all. Maybe we oughta boot Merrick and Rene off the island with how helpful they're being. Panic ensues as the man is still non-responsive. Guns are drawn, accusations thrown and threats made.
They need to figure out who attempted to kill Kreshenko; everyone is a suspect, and they're in lockdown. They need an antidote for this poison. Chong thinks he can remedy the situation temporarily with atropine and adrenaline, so he sets out to administer it. Meanwhile, Cabe sends out Toby and Paige to try and calm the men down before another fight breaks out. Walter points out that were the tensions to climb even higher and the talks to fail, a military scenario is most likely a reality. World War III, no matter how obscure or small these countries are.
They set an electronic block around the compound to prevent communications to alert of Kreshenko's situation. They'll catch everything in this cyber noose and Sylvester will impersonate the recipients. Of course, this option is not okay by him.
Paige and Toby have trouble trying to figure out guilty markers on men in the room, everyone is too agitated. She remembers a lullaby that is quite popular in their region, grabs her phone and plays it on the sound system; lo and behold, the bears begin to mute. While the crowd disperses, Paige overhears the Belarusian president joke about Kreshenko's condition, bringing up a folk story that sparks her memory.
Chong is about to administer the adrenaline, while Walter and Syl monitor the cyber noose, when Toby barges in stopping Chong from injecting Kreshenko. What Paige overheard was a reference to an event that triggered the first war between Lithuania and Belarus. Coincidentally, back then the Lithuanian President's daughter died from a snake bite. The convoy from Belarus hadn't been able to attend the funerals because of a dust storm. The Lithuanian government thought they were just making up excuses and the diplomatic faux pas triggered a four year war between them. This could be revenge, and injecting Kreshenko with the adrenaline would have made it worse, making the venom rush faster to his organs.
Merrick laughs at Paige's theory, and calls Gallo out, asking if he's really going to let this waitress intervene. Walter calls him out as well; if they're to judge people over past employment, Merrick had been a store santa to pay for his college studies. Oh, Burrrrrrn.
Paige snickers and so do I. She's sure of what she heard and the historical reference: the symptoms match the lore of what happened back then to the president's daughter. It has to be a snake bite. Chong wants to continue the course of treatment, but Gallo prevents it by stepping on the syringe with the adrenaline. He trusts his team, much to Merrick's disgust. He's livid; Cabe's actions are out of procedure and now they're liable. They're on lockdown as well, no one will leave until Kreshenko gets well or dies. He won't be taking the blame alone. I really hate this guy.
Toby and Sylvester set off to figure out which Belarusian snake would cause the symptoms the man is showing, while Happy, Paige and Walter sneak out to the snake sanctuary on the Pacific Coast Highway to locate the proper reptile to make an antidote. And then is when I figure out that there's going to be snakes on this plane and I want off. *shudders* Happy worries about the lockdown, but sure enough, Cabe has the knowledge to work around that.
You see, because he's such a fanboy of these Western movies shot on the compound, he knows exactly where to go. Sylvester and Toby use the 3D imaging software to hack into the surveillance system and make the guards think that someone is taking pictures of the site. Director Merrick deploys them to try to catch the intruder, leaving posts unattended and allowing them to reach a secret door in the horse barn. Gallo knows about it because it's on a DVD commentary of his favorite movie. And you laughed at the fanboyâ€¦ tsk tsk!
Merrick and the guards go crazy looking for the photographer that doesn't exist and then he figures it out, rushes back to the team and catches them as they wrap up their A/V equipment. He boots Toby and Sylvester out of the room to serve Cabe with a verbal slapping, mocking his trust in the team and undermining him. Gallo stays put but defends his position, and Scorpion. Merrick won't have it, accusing him of being mesmerized by Walter. But he just thinks that Merrick is threatened; their job is to save people not their own asses, he says. But Merrick delivers the low blow. He wants to know if Cabe thinks that Walter would trust him and look up to him if he knew what really happened in Baghdad with the software Gallo had him make?
The dread is all over Cabe's face. What if he tells Walter? Merrick threatens. But Cabe is not a fluffy baby goat - as some may think - and he bites back. What Walter knows of that operation will be up to Cabe, and only Cabe. I can't wait for the hell that he promises to Merrick. This episode is so full of things by now and I'm barely at the halfway point.
Happy, Walter and Paige reach the road. They need a car to get to the sanctuary, and Walter hears an oncoming truck. He asks Happy to punch him in the nose, and she's happy to oblige. They stop the taco truck that appears and come up with a story that he fell while hiking. The kind driver goes to the back to get some ice and they use the distraction to push him from the truck and drive off, promising to return it.
Happy drives, of course, and they may make it there in one piece, maybe. Walter improvises a collection cup for the snake while narrating how it won't be easy to get the authorities of the sanctuary to hand over a snake and put their necks on the line for their unbelievable story. So the "bestâ€ idea is toâ€¦ steal the snake.
Meanwhile, things are even worse at the compound. The Belarus dignitaries have been cuffed to their chairs to prevent any quarrels or flight attempts. It's a violation of the Geneva Convention but who cares at this point? The accusations have the Lithuanian party on edge as well, and Aleskka - the Chief advisor to the president is quite violent. He's also attempting to communicate with someone via text messages.
Sylvester freaks out trying to find the snake, there are too many to discriminate and he's deflecting, claiming this wasn't his idea. Toby tells him that there's no "Iâ€ in Scorpionâ€¦ well, Tobyâ€¦ I've got news for youâ€¦ In any case, they intercept Aleskka's text message, "everything is in place, moving forward.â€ He's sends this to an artillery distributor. Very fishy. If Aleskka is in the weapons game, he'd be trying to provoke a war. It also means that they're looking for the wrong snake: if the Lithuanians are behind this attempt, it stands to reason they'd be using a regional reptile - the Adder snake.
The guys get to the sanctuary, where they blend in with a group of kids on a school trip and Paige distracts the guide with some southern accent magic. Toby and Syl try to figure out a logical reply to Aleskka from his co-conspirator, but they've been made. The tower of a man comes after them and they comically try to overpower the man, but he breaks a window and escapes. Cabe and Merrick come to their aid, but it's too late, and the man runs out through the compound grounds.
Happy helps deflect and Walter climbs on the rafters to grab the snake from above the cages. Kreshenko is getting worse by the minute. The hunt for the snake gets complicated when as part of the exhibit, the guide prompts one of the kids to hit the rain effect button outside the displays and Walter slips and falls on to the space filled with very poisonous snakes. Many match the description of the Adder, and Walter makes the very risky and quite crazy decision to let himself get bitten by one that's been hissing at him nearby. Did I tell you I'm disgusted by these things? Sure enough, he starts to exhibit the same symptoms as Kreshenko, and way to take one for the team.
Happy grabs a trash can and breaks the display's window. They need to create a carrier for the venom. They grab a ferret from another exhibit. They plan to inject the snake venom in the ferret's bloodstream with a small dosage would ensure that the animal won't die but would still create the antibodies. They rush back into the taco truck while milking the snake and injecting the ferret. That has to be one of the craziest lines I've written in a while.
Back to the ranch. Gallo hunts for Aleskka at the old western movie sets; a shot hits nearby, and he responds. It becomes a kickass shoot out worthy of all the movies he fanboys over. More shots, a roll over, and isn't it nice that Cabe is ambidextrous so that the man can switch and shoot? He's a killing machine. Cabe aims for the Saloon sign, and it falls on Aleskka, knocking him out cold. "Next time let your horse do the thinking. He's smarter.â€ The catch phrase sounds lethal in Robert Patrick's voice. Man, I can't frigging wait for #XFilesRevival.
The guys arrive at the compound just in time, and how come that taco truck made it all the way over to the building without getting blown by Merrick's antics? In the rush to get Walter out of the truck, they slip and fall, and the ferret escapes. Walter is delusional, Chong doesn't think that he'll make it. Paige is about to go back out to help Happy look for the ferret when Walter starts to confess that he cancelled the date he'd set up for them at the restaurant. Watch this become secret little smiles in the next episodes.
Happy finds the ferret, and Toby and Sylvester rush to try to figure out what Walter's plan was. Chong is getting desperate and proposes to inject Kreshenko and Walter with the ferret's blood, but Toby won't allow it, delivering a threat that clearly turns Happy on. They need to separate the plasma in the blood and they need a centrifuge. Handily, they have a taco truck so sure enough a salad spinner has to be in there somewhere. They extract what they need and wait for the antidote to do its work. Sylvester fears that even if they save the president, the leaders are so distrustful that they'll never reach an agreement. So they need to figure out a way to motivate them.
When Walter wakes up, Paige rushes to him and hugs him right away, but the wall is up once more. Images of what's going on in the border region appear on screen, tanks and fighting everywhere; Walter feels defeated. But this isn't the end. In a skilled setup, they use all of their gadgets to create a simulated newscast that shows that the unrest in their countries escalating to military proportions and with the chaos settling in, as soon as Kreshenko comes to, they sit down again to negotiate and sign a peace treaty.
Merrick gives Cabe a lukewarm congratulation over getting the job done, but he won't forget what he did, and neither will Gallo. He won't forgive him for the threat he put on him about his secret. While it will be evident when they come back that there wasn't any war going on in their countries, the guys doubt they'll ever bring it up, over shame of being outsmarted by a bunch of nerds. Cue the music, and the Gorillaz take us back to the garage.
Happy gets ready to leave, but nonchalantly calls Toby aside to deliver one steamy kiss in the shadows. It was the manly display fighting Chong that made her swoon over Toby. But she won't let him get sappy and leaves. Tread carefully, man. You got the kiss, leave something for the upcoming closure of the season.
Walter recovers with his own version of god awful gatorade. Cabe comes to him to deliver a semi-scold about him taking such a big risk getting bitten by the snake. But Walter had to do it, war was imminentâ€¦ even if fatherly Cabe doesn't like it when he takes these kinds of risks. He's about to say something when the ferret cockblocks the upcoming confession. They overhear Paige freaking out that she can't find her textbook for her class and won't make her test. Walter confesses to Cabe that he doesn't understand her need to go back to school, but the father knows better, she has to compete with a lot of smarts in this team. Walter doesn't understand it. She can't compete with them as much as they can't compete with her; why keep it hidden? Cabe mulls about the million reasons as to why keep it secret, why people keep secrets at all, why is he keeping his own? Intriguing.
A busted water main breaks on Sunset Blvd, so Walter requests a favor to drive Paige through town via police escort. They make it on time, and she laments that she didn't have the time to study at all with today's case. But Walter won't let her put herself down, reminding her of how great she did handling the diplomatic throes between the dignitaries. She can do it all. He's so head over heels for her. He's proud of her and I swoon. Walls, they're a-breaking.
David J. North is behind the writing of "One Bitten, Twice Dieâ€. I have to say this episode felt really solid, in all the Scorpionesque fashion of it all. Even what would usually have a sprinkle of cheese, flowed to the point where it was almost invisible to me.
I'm enjoying a whole lot the development of Quintis (that's the Happy and Toby ship for those not in the know) - The writers have been infusing every episode with bits of information that reveal so much of their own fears and gripes with having a work affair. I love that Happy is the man of this relationship, or let me rephrase thatâ€¦ she's the one with the masculine energy, but Toby brings out the big guns that remind her from time to time that she can allow herself to fall for his charms. I could talk a lot more about the kiss sceneâ€¦ a lot more, but I'm sure everyone is still flustered about it.
I find myself more invested in this relationship and Melvester than Walter and Paige's, perhaps because I know that it's going to hurt at some point. They won't come together easily, there's much deflection, many walls to break and feelings to be hurt along the way for these two. I enjoy those moments where Walter waivers in his own stoicism about letting go and falling for her, and this episode was a sign of how much progress he's made embracing humanity. If only he could remember that he deserves to go for it.
The Baghdad storyline that has been introduced in this episode is what I bet will become the driving force in terms of Mythology. Even though it was introduced a bit later on in the season, I don't find its existence out of place at all. Some may say that it feels like an improvisation brought up now that the writers are sure that there's a second season order, but I disagree.
Cabe is a man of many secrets. They've hinted that their relationship had been strained for a while, that there's much guilt under wraps and broken feelings on both parts. We're just peeling another layer of this onion. And I'm just so happy that Robert Patrick gets to carry this load on his shoulders. If anything "One Bitten" showed yet another set of reasons why he's the right one for this role; Cabe's confrontations with Merrick are threatening and believable, and I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of a threat like the one he delivered. While Merrick's sound desperate and spiteful, Gallo's counter comes from a deeper level, one that sits even heavier as he reflects on why he's keeping this secret from Walter.
As always, the invitation is to tune in on Mondays at 9pm at CBS. And why do I invite you? They're certainly not paying me for this... The reason is simple: I like sharing good stuff with my peeps. 'Til a next time!