Scorpion's winter premiere rolled out on Monday, January 4th and it came with smashing numbers! The sophomore show delivered one of it's strongest episodes yet and promises to up the ante as the year unfolds. But what exactly happened this week?
Check out our detailed recap and review after the jump.
North Eastern Africa - Marrah Mountains; a Special Forces team stealthily patrols in the middle of the night when they are attacked by surprise. Their intel was wrong and they’re surrounded. Special Forces Capt. Decker starts a video transmission to inform of their dire situation when we cut to… Sly taking Cabe’s blood pressure. Even when Gallo questions if he’s doing it right, Silvester is more than qualified, being a hypochondriac and all. Cabe’s doctor wants him to keep track of his blood pressure because they’re high even if he’s in good shape. The answer as to why he’s at risk comes in the form of a flying bagel to the face, when Toby nonchalantly tosses him one. God knows this team really doesn’t do healthy.
The shrink’s cheerful entrance, wishing everyone a happy new year, gets dampened when he misses the mark and hits one of Happy’s inventions. He braces for impact, everyone does… but she surprises the room by reacting calmly and recognizing that it was just an accident and that’s not worth getting upset over. But the phrasing seems familiar to Toby, who recognizes it as one of the mottos from his archenemy and fiancée stealer: Quincy Burkstead. ‘Memba him? From the College episode? Anyhow, moving on.
Toby is not happy and it gets even worse when Sly finds the psychologist’s book between Happy’s belongings. She’s trying “Saying Yes to Life” as her new thing for New Years, and Toby should be so happy… but this is his nemesis, so no. He claims that resolutions don’t work, but Gallo thinks they just have to have willpower, as he gets dared by Paige and Toby to quit coffee since it would help his condition, but so would less worrying about crazy geniuses.
Toby makes this interesting of course, making a wager of $50 that Gallo can’t make it a day without coffee. But let me repeat that, QUIT COFFEE. Someone should go to jail over that sort of cruelty. Robert Patrick breaks my heart as he drains his cup and takes the bet. I think I’m having palpitations. Anyhow, we’ll talk about my addictions later.
Walter weighs in; resolutions are apparently a way to promote productivity, and he points out that Megan asked him to be more open, so he’s resolved to be more social… which in Walter’s case means to be online and join social media. The team criticizes his cheat with a clever pun at the expense of the Kardashians (good one, guys). Walter has recorded a video of their pet Ferret Bueller that receives a ton of likes in just ten hours but they still don’t agree since they claim that he’s not really being social… and AccaExcuse me!? Nah - ah. I’ve got a fandom of over 22 years that can attest that being online is very much social.
In any case, the point is that these kids need to go outside and Paige is forcing Ralph to do so as well. He even invited Walter to go camping with him, but he’s already complaining that the whole thing is too low-brow technology for his liking. Knots are really his thing; velcro is. Paige will have none of that; she wants Ralph to fit in, even mentioning how she regrets not giving him a sibling that would have provided better socialization. This mention rattles Walter a little. I’m not ready for a Waige baby. Nope. In any case, she makes him promise he would play along and behave like a normal person.
Katherine arrives with bad news, their case is complicated. The Pentagon lost contact with one of the satellites that controls surveillance drones; hence why this group of men were given the wrong info. They have limited ammo and they’re getting pounded out there. They’d been sent to Darfur to fight a genocidal warlord that has been killing the villagers at the border towns. They need Scorpion to fix the signal to the satellite to coordinate support and accurate readings from the drones. They can’t send in planes because this was an unauthorized mission that would reveal they breached the area without consent.
Sly calculates that the satellite they need will go over Antarctica in 12 hours, and that’s where it would be most favorable to try to transmit the repairing signal. They have to do so in record time before sunrise in Darfur. Daylight would expose positions. Sly stays behind to coordinate while the team prepares to face the cold. Bad day to quit that coffee, Cabe.
As the team arrives to the site, a storm begins to roll in. The pilot gives them a set of warnings, including an advisory to stay inside because a white out is on the way. So you know they will, right?
The team starts setting up, and Toby throws around quite a few puns. He gets a sneer from Happy and a threat from Cabe who’s running on empty without his caffeine. Walter connects with the garage while Cabe and Happy get the antenna ready for transmission. This is going to be a super fast mission… not. The weather is getting worse; Walter sends the patch but Sly can’t see it. Paige notices that the signal crashed. The storm is interfering with the reception. This is what you get with DIRECTV. They can’t wait for the storm to pass because Decker would get caught once the sun rises in Darfur. The only way to do this would be to scale a nearby mountain, braving the storm. Toby doesn’t think this is a great idea, but the men are counting on them. They get ready and establish measures to come back to base thanks to Ralph’s advice; compasses don’t work in the south pole, so they have to go old school. This is all great since they’re walking into a blizzard.
The storm is awful, the team is struggling to advance, visibility is almost zero. They reach a rocky formation where they will be able to set up the antenna to transmit the patch and send over the drones to the team in Darfur. As if there weren’t enough problems, another arises when Happy tries to put together the base of the antenna and it snaps due to the temperature. Paige suggests they hold it while the transmission is being sent but the winds are far too strong to even try. Cabe suggests they move to a larger formation that would shelter them better. Meanwhile, Capt. Decker manages to communicate, anxiously asking for an ETA on the drones and obviously doubting Scorpion’s abilities, especially since a 9-year-old is part of this team. But Ralph isn’t intimidated by the snark and provides with a cheat so that the soldiers can fool their attackers into thinking they’re a bigger group. High five, kiddo. Mamma Paige is proud.
The team continues to have issues attaching the pole to the antenna. It keeps breaking because it’s too cold, so Walter realizes they can use water as a bonding material since it would freeze. To do that though, they would have to go back to base to get the heating bags that would melt ice. Their window for the transmission is becoming smaller by the minute. Just when they start moving, a shelf from one of the rocks above them cracks and falls on them. They try to avoid them but in the hustle, the rope snaps and Happy is nowhere to be seen. They shout for her, but the wind and the snow make it difficult. Her communication device fell out as well, and she starts getting frantic as she shouts for Toby. Cabe and the boys can hear her shouts, but pinpointing her location is impossible because the sound is distorted by echo.
Sly and Paige worry from the garage that she’s in danger of freezing to death if she isn’t found quickly. Walter and Cabe decide they have to also get moving to save the soldiers so Toby becomes impatient and sets off to go find her in the blizzard. His plan is crazy, and the other two men try to stop him. Happy might be their friend but for Toby, she’s the love of his life - still Walter tries to stop him, and that’s when Toby throws an “emotional punch” - If Paige were the one lost in the tempest… would Walter go back to the hut and look for her later? Erm… I’m going to go with no.
Toby starts towards where he thinks Happy might have rolled off to; meanwhile Sly and Paige know that the odds of them surviving are quite low, so she rushes to get Katherine Cooper on the phone. Toby can’t see anything, Walter and Cabe are walking towards the base to fix the antenna while the first promises they will send a search party for him and Happy, but Paige gets a piss poor response from Cooper - no such party can be sent in this weather. She’s in no mood for this lack of cooperation.
Capt. Decker contacts them again, chatting briefly with Ralph, but Sly can detect that the guy is stressed as hell… I mean, evil genocidal poachers are shooting at them, so no biggie. But Ralph’s got it and he sends him a song that he might relate to as a way to get his mind off the stress and into a more productive mood. Fall Out Boy - “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” it is. Ten points for you. This kid is cooler than any of us. Meanwhile, Happy screams into the blizzard, growing desperate, and suddenly falls into a huge and deep cavern in the ice. I’m not okay.
When she comes to, she’s half frozen. She starts looking for things in her backpack that might help her get out of the ditch. Cabe and Walter arrive back at the base, and he’s already crazy worried that he might lose his friends in the snow. Toby still can’t find Happy and the storm is getting worse.
In Darfur, Capt. Decker is under heavier fire as the sun starts to come up. He gets desperate and asks Ralph to record him as he leaves a heartbreaking message to his wife, son and unborn baby. Paige is about to break down, Sly is going to faint and I’m about to need a quarter of scotch.
Meanwhile, Happy is trying to use her rope to reach to the surface and almost makes it out but the ice keeps breaking. As she lands on her back, she sees the infamous self-help book she’d been reading and in true happy fashion, she cusses it and throws it out the ditch. Things are not looking good for our gal. Toby continues to search; his comm system, also too cold to work, breaks as he tries to fix it. He’s so desperate that he starts to pray… or well, actually threaten god to leave Happy alone.
Cabe and Walter are back at the rocks and set up the base for the antenna. The water trick works and it’s solid enough for them to hook up the dome. Sly triggers the transmission and it works, so Walter and Cabe rush back to try to track Happy and Toby’s whereabouts.
Down the ditch, Happy is almost frozen, singing “Shiny Happy People” by REM to herself.
Paige is back on the phone with Katherine Cooper. The authorities keep refusing to send help since the storm won’t allow any visibility. That’s when the chairman calls to confirm that they’ve pulled every favor imaginable to get them rescued, but no-can-do. However, Katherine won’t let it go and blackmails him telling him that his wife will now learn who’s really behind the disappearance of her dear cat unless they can get the team off the glacier. She’s kind of a badass… with a soft spot for kittens.
Toby continues to call out for Happy in the middle of the storm and then he spots the book that she threw in a fit of anger. He rushes, sees her down the trench, unconscious and decides to jump in. She doesn’t react at all, but there is a slow pulse. Toby rushes despite being almost frozen himself. He puts her into a sleeping bag ( we know the drill, right?) and apologizes because this is not the way that he envisioned the first time they’d be naked together, but hey... body heat is body heat.
In Darfur, Decker is down to his side arm and the poachers have figured it out. He’s already saying goodbye to Ralph who’s stood by the video feed all of this time. He doesn’t accept that, but the Captain doesn’t want him to see what will happen if the drones don’t arrive in time. All the parties have been notified and are trying to save them. But now the team has to focus on rescuing Happy and Toby. They need a location but they can’t communicate with them. Ralph remembers that snakes can track their victims through noise, and sure enough ice conducts sound very well so they could track their heartbeats. So they need to build a listening device out of the exploratory equipment the base has, and because they’re the only people around, they would get a very accurate reading. Cabe and Walter drag the equipment out in the blizzard, making Gallo struggle with his health condition. But they can’t stop, the guys have to be really close to death right now.
Back on the trench, Toby is already convinced they’re not going to make it. He already feels lucky that they’d go out like that. Please stop… my feels can’t take this.
Gallo and Walter struggle to get the machine working. Cabe shoots the ice in his most natural badass way to get the electrodes deep in the snow to find the location they’re buried in. They listen but there’s only one heartbeat. Fifteen paces away, they find them but they’re not responsive. But not all is lost, Toby comes to and he can feel Happy’s pulse. They throw them heating pouch in a separate bag so that they can heat the air they’re breathing and so Happy and Toby come to. The first thing she asks is why are they naked. He makes light of it saying that he saw the opportunity and he took it.
So now comes the part about getting them out of the hole. And this is when Paige instructs them on how to use knots and rope to pull them up… seems like that knowledge is useful now, huh? Cabe and Walter struggle but sure enough they bring the guys out of the trench just in time for their rescuers to arrive.
Back in the garage, Paige comes to Ralph who’s sullen and sad about Capt. Decker. but they made it just in time! Scorpion never fails, he says. And now his new military buddy will name his son after him. Daww! Toby hovers around Happy, instructing her to keep warm and drink coffee, but just how much more caffeine will she need? She’s going to jump out of her skin. So he suggests they get in the sleeping bag again… but he gets her a sweater before good old happy snaps his neck. She’s not completely turned off by his attention though… Toby gives the coffee to Cabe, who’s earned it after all these struggles, uncaffeinated. He takes a sip, and I hear you man, that has to be the best cup ever. Cabe wonders about Happy’s health and how they just heard the one heart beat out in the snow. Toby thinks Happy’s heart might have stopped because of the temperatures but Cabe has a different idea. Maybe their hearts were beating at unison… and that’s love… And I almost had to call my dentist ‘cause that was so sweet it gave me a toothache. Toby still owes him for that insanely cruel bet.
Walter fidgets with his phone and Paige thinks that he’s off to continue playing on social media but his time on the glacier made him realize he has to spend more time with the people around him, or making new connections. Happy’s dad comes by, she called him to see why she can’t take “Shiny Happy People” off her head. He produces a VHS tape; it’s an old family video he used to play for her when she was a baby. In it her mom dances to the song with him while they fix her nursery. Slay me with feels, please. She never been as open as the people in the video and she regrets it. But her dad assures her that she comes from a place of joy, she wants to be like her parents, carefree and happy, she just has to find what is it that actually makes her happy… cut to Toby playing with Ralph. Subtext.
Paige invites everyone to the roof where she’s set up an urban camping site for them with tents and such. They playfully set off to pick tent mates and Happy demurely asks Toby to be hers. No hanky panky, but she might be still a bit cold inside so he could help her… he’s in shock.
Walter reveals his gift to Ralph, snow he brought all the way from the glacier. Obviously they start a snowball fight. Paige is amused; her worry that Ralph wouldn’t socialize properly gone as he sees how he interacts with the team. They all go crazy with the the snow, even when Sly really doesn’t want to play.
This is by far one of the most solid episodes this season. And I know, I could be blamed for saying this too much at times, but it really struck a chord with me. Quintis is one of the most consistent pairings in development lately in television. The way that Wong's character is being written is true to her personality, to the challenges she's faced, to the reserve she feels about letting go, and being happy.
Toby, like wise, has walked a road with peaks and valleys that is interesting for me.
What's important about appreciating this show is understanding its nature. This is a fun show that every week invites me to let go and join this universe they've created for themselves. Whether you're a geek or nerd, whether you agree with the way they science or not, whether you're 18-25 or my grandpa, there's a lot in this show for everyone.
I thoroughly enjoyed Robert Patrick's involvement in this one. His character has been getting some fun opportunities to let down his guard, participating in the cheesy moments as well that the show allows. I really enjoy that it gives space for different levels of Patrick's talents and this episode surely kept me at the edge of my seat.
Two things to watch out for in the upcoming weeks:
1) Waige's development: we have been getting a bit of a back burner on this one as we've gone through some serious situations in Walter's life that didn't allow for a stronger focus on this. I expect that this will be shifting in the next episodes and I'm excited because it does seem like they're finally on more of a common ground... although, we haven't seen Ralph's father for a while, and that could be interesting.
2) Speaking of Ralph: I was very happy that they allowed a more active role for him this time around. I really hope this continues to be the norm. Chops-wise, he keeps getting better as he's given more material and that's great because it is like seeing the actual character blossom into feeling easier in his own skin.
Remember to tune in every Monday at 9pm. Check your local CBS listings for more info!
*Certain images are courtesy of CBS Entertainment.