Welcome to the episode where I thought all my ships would get together and my dreams would come true… that’s if, you know, this show were ending today and we weren’t being set up for what will be more of the clever plays Scorpion brings every week.
Episode 1x16, entitled “Love Boat” marks the comeback after a three-week hiatus and on a timeline that puts us splat in the middle of Valentine’s Day celebrations. But this is Scorpion, so you know that this won’t be your conventional love fest.
For the recap and review of this week’s episode, you know what to do.
The episode starts in the middle of the night, fifty miles away from Pendleton on a weapons transport truck. They’re intercepted; some unknown and rather cruel assailants shoot and kill the crew. The bandits break the into the cargo area and unload armored cases.
The bearded and longhaired leader of this operation, who we’ll come to know as Christoph (Michael Filipowich – 24, CSI) orders them to take the rockets and leave the bodies… something that in my head sounded like the infamous line “Leave the gun, take the cannoli,” from The Godfather.
Cut to the garage and Toby catches Walter hacking into a reservations site to snag a table for two at a hip restaurant on Valentines… for him and Paige. “Business meeting,” he says. Sure. Toby doesn’t buy it either. It is just too convenient that Drew just signed a month-long contract to pitch in Portland. Yes, this is not convenient at all. Walter insists on the innocent nature of it all, even though he picked the place based on Paige’s suggestions. Toby knows better; it’s a date.
As Paige settles in for the day, she sees Sylvester writing a Valentine’s card that he quickly hides when she inquires. We all know who’s going to get this card, right? Psst #Melvester.
Cabe arrives to inform the team of their mission. They have to recover the shipment of lightweight rocket launchers that were stolen from the weapons manufacturer last night. Christoph, a man that has never been photographed but is known for his dealings with dangerous countries, has been singled out for this crime. These rockets he stole are menacing as they’re equipped with lasers that make it almost impossible to shake off once they lock on target. Remember this, folks.
Christoph is using a luxury cruise to transport these rockets out of the US, so they have to infiltrate the ship to plant GPS systems and track the buyers of these weapons. They plan their approach and study the places where they could be storing them, and thanks to the interconnectivity between the rockets, they need just a few minutes to carry out the operation.
Sylvester is scared as always to go into this mission, especially since it’s on a boat. Toby finds out that they can infiltrate the cruise passing as the posse of Chaz Bonesteel, a twenty-five year old multimillionaire that has no exposure to social media. Verifying his identity would be hard.
Sylvester will pose as Chaz, Paige as his wife Allyssa, Walter as Bonesteel’s valet, and Cabe… he’s going to be the trainer. And so, all my prayers to put Robert Patrick in sport clothes have been answered. I’m done. Oh wait, I still have thirty-six minutes plus commercials to watch. Sweet.
Sylvester is the only one that can pass for that age, but he’s also the one that’s terrified of going anywhere near the water. Walter assures him that they’ll be off the boat before it anchors away.
Happy and Toby command from the garage while Sylvester cites all the instances where a boat tragedy has happened including the Titanic. Paige is not having it and they’re all dressed for the part, including Cabe in a sweatshirt. Maybe next time we can have him as an undercover biker, yes? Paige and Sylvester go to their luxury suite while Walter and Cabe rush to locate the rockets stored in the cargo area.
Embarking took longer than expected, and they can’t trace the signals of the rockets. A member of the crew comes into the chamber and accidentally locks them in. They won’t be able to leave the boat and they have to disengage the lock without tripping the alarm system. Sylvester freaks out at their departure; he doesn’t know how to swim, but Paige won’t let him lose it. Chaz Bonesteel - the part he’s playing - would be a champion swimmer, so he has to get over it. Then, Ralph’s school nurse calls her; he’s sick with the chills so she sends Toby to pick him up. When he comes for the kid, he discovers that Ralph faked it all to cut school and avoid delivering a Valentine to a girl he likes. Even the kid has a ship.
Cabe and Walter finally come back to the suite, and the new plan has them getting off in Cancun. They don ear bugs to communicate between themselves. Gallo warns Paige and Sylvester to stay in the room until further notice but Captain Caine (Patrick Fabian – Castle, Scandal) invites them to his table for lunch. They’re going to have to play the part.
When they exit the room, Walter runs into his ex, Janice (Kelley Jakle – Pitch Perfect, Workaholics) – we last saw her in the Pilot. She assumes that he’s working in the cruise as tech support. She recognizes Paige as the “waitress from that diner,” and doesn’t understand Paige’s role since Walter denies they’re dating. He tries to explain that they work for the government, but she doesn’t believe him, and it’s then that Janice is called by her fiancé; her wealthy fiancé. Walter’s ego is wounded, for sure.
Walter and Cabe finally find the rockets, and he sets off to hack them while sitting in a crawlspace but one of Christoph’s guards spots Cabe in the cargo hold. Gallo claims he’s lost but Raoul doesn’t believe him. He wants to know whom Cabe works for, but that’s when Walter swings from an overhead pipe, all Russian gymnast like, and attacks him. They get into a struggle; Gallo gets the upper hand but the thug escapes, obviously going to tell his mates. They have to rush.
Paige and Sylvester struggle to act as the Bonesteels at the Captain’s table, fending inane questions from the guests and being treated to frog legs and escargot. Sylvester is about to barf. I’m sorry, I’m part French and this is even hard for me, garlic butter or not. Just then, the captain gets called away.
As Cabe and Walter are about to make headway into their plans, the engines idle and the Captain calls for all passengers to gather in the ballroom on the main deck. Cabe suspects that they’re trying to locate them. Caine tries to calm the passengers but Sylvester notes that men are blocking the exits. That’s when Christoph appears and attacks the Captain, who doubles over in pain. They’ve taken over the ship.
The terrorists take all the cellphones away; they look everywhere for Cabe and Walter but they can’t find them or the rockets. Christoph becomes very threatening; he starts to verify everyone’s IDs and if they don’t match the ship’s manifesto, they’re going to be in trouble. Obviously, Sylvester and Paige are in danger.
Cabe warns Homeland, and they’re sending a chopper; they cannot let Christoph find them and the rockets. The terrorists could shoot them down. Walter is almost done hacking them but Christoph’s goons will get to Paige and Sylvester before that. Walter reassesses the plan and asks Gallo for one of the beers stored in the cargo area they’re in.
Cut to Ralph, Toby and Happy at the garage. The kid is explaining to Toby that he wanted to give Sloan, the girl he likes, a Valentine, but this other kid did it before he could. Toby advises that he has to be persistent; “some girls don’t know what they have even when it’s right in from of them.” Nice, Toby; way to be subtle when Happy is just inches from you. She entertains the conversation, and asks Ralph if Sloan and he are friends - maybe the girl doesn’t want to jeopardize the friendship, maybe she’s never had a best friend like him before, maybe it means a lot to her. “Don’t take it personally and be patient.” Toby asks just how patient “Ralph” has to be, timeframe wise. Ralph has no clue as to what this conversation is really about anymore, but Happy and Toby share looks, and there’s just so much left unsaid when the phone rings.
Walter needs to access the intercom while they pack the rockets into duffle bags in the cargo area. They use a beer can to hook it to the wiring to communicate with the terrorists. On the main deck, Christoph reaches the Bonesteel’s names in the manifesto; Sylvester urges Paige to stay put, but the man grabs one of the hostages and threatens to shoot her in the head if Allyssa Bonesteel doesn’t come forward. So a very scared Paige steps up, claiming that she left her ID in her suite. Christoph sides up to her, embracing her in a kind of sickly way, and whispers to her that he suspects she knows where his cargo is. Janine knows that Paige is undercover; she’s bearing witness to all of this. Paige denies any knowledge but the man has no mercy. He gives her three seconds to answer him even though she pleads mercy because she has a son. He doesn’t care; if she doesn’t respond, Ralph will be an orphan, and he will go after him as well.
Walter comes through the intercom claiming he has the cargo. He won’t identify himself, and Christoph shouldn’t care; he should only care about the rockets. But the man isn’t satisfied, as he claims that the hostages are more precious and he’ll kill them one by one unless Walter delivers the weapons immediately. But if they do, they will shoot the rescue helicopter, and that isn’t an option either for Cabe.
Happy locates another vessel nearby, a Japanese destroyer. Christoph gives Walter five seconds to comply with his request; Paige shakes in fear. Happy has to hack into the Japanese system to try and achieve Walter’s unknown plan. Time ticks away, Christoph is about to shoot, but Walter concedes in the last second, setting a meet on the Lido deck. The terrorists take Caine and leave Paige behind, as Walter and Gallo wait outside, holding the duffle bags just over the water and receiving confirmation that the helicopter is just four minutes away.
Walter tries to negotiate that they won’t hurt the hostages if they turn the rockets over, but Christoph is too much of a madman to even allow for any leniencies. They surrender and one of the goons searches them and finds a gun on Gallo. Christoph wants to know who they work for, and since there’s no response, he rams his elbow into Walter, spotting his ear bug and taking it away.
The boys at the helicopter are trying to confirm landing and Christoph makes Cabe confirm that they’re good to go. They’re screwed; they now know he’s an agent and Christoph fires one of the rockets – one of the super accurate, laser equipped, rockets – at the approaching helicopter. They will be hit in ninety seconds, no matter what they do.
Cabe and Walter lean against a railing, and Gallo spots a skylight just under them, signaling to Walter to lean back so they’ll fall through the glass. They land on top of the tables in the dining room. Walter will have a very sore back by the end of this episode. They escape, but Christoph sends his goon after them.
Happy and Toby plow through the Japanese destroyer’s systems but it’s difficult because they can’t hack like Walter. Cabe orders the pilots to hold their course; there’s no time for evasive maneuvers; the less they move the easier is to intercept the rocket. And what are they going to use? Well the Japanese destroyer! And how? Well, Ralph outdoes Happy and Toby and drills through the Japanese defenses with a virus named Ralphy-Boy. The Japanese are flabbergasted and terrified as the virus deploys one of their missiles. The rocket goes straight for the other, intercepting it just as it’s going to hit the helicopter in a spectacular explosion.
The line goes dead; Cabe dreads that they’re too late, but phew! The boys in the chopper are safe, if a little shaken by the close call and a broken fuel line; they won’t be able to make it to the ship. Just then, the goons find them. Again.
Christoph urges them to tell them which agency they work for, before they send another helicopter that they’ll take down for sure this time around. Cabe stalls, giving himself enough time to outsmart one of the goons and use him as human shield as he shoots the other with a semi-automatic. Walter gets into the action, the scuffle intensifies, and the Captain gets a hold of a gun. You think they’re saved… but no! The guy is in it with them, of course… that’s when Walter figures out that the real Christoph is the Captain, and he’d have no limitations to smuggling weapons because of his rank.
They call into Raoul, who’s taking care of the hostages; he tries to take Paige with him, but Sylvester pleads with him to take him instead. The dude has a short fuse. He lets some shots out into the air for good measure and takes her, trapping the hostages inside the main deck ballroom. Sylvester doesn’t stay put; he climbs over to one of the vents, summoning the help of many of the hostages so he can reach over.
Raoul drags a distraught Paige to the outer deck where the terrorists are getting ready to take one of the rafts and load the rockets. They’re going to use her as leverage, but Walter won’t allow it, claiming that he’s a high government asset and that they’ll have bigger chances to negotiate with him than with Paige. He has a point, but we know the real motivation, right? They make the exchange, even when Paige pleads with Walter not to take her place.
Sylvester emerges from one of the outer vents just in time to see the terrorists lower the raft to the water. He beats his fears and jumps to the raft, breaking the pulley while screaming “Bonesteel”. You know I’m using that as my war cry from now on.
Cabe uses the moment to sucker punch the guard they’d left behind while the Captain and Christoph have fallen into the water with Raoul and Sylvester. Walter is tangled into the rope on the raft. The propeller of the cruise ship is dragging the men under, effectively killing Raoul and fake Christoph. Cabe sends Paige to turn off the engines and jumps in to try to save Sylvester.
Paige gets to the bridge and with Happy’s guidance she finds a kill switch just in time. Cabe and Sylvester waddle to the raft, but the Captain emerges and holds Gallo at gunpoint. The people that hired him are sure to kill him for this screwed up operation. Just then a vessel arrives, blowing their horn, distracting Caine, and Gallo uses this to disarm the man.
Back at the port, Janine finds Walter, realizing that he indeed does work for the government. Walter never lied to her, so he asks her to be honest with him too. What were the mistakes he made with her? He doesn’t want to make them again. She tells him that he is who he is, challenging, but after a while what dawned on her was that he just wasn’t that interested in her and that hurt her; “no woman can stimulate his mind forever.” He apologizes even though she admits that there’s no malice in him, just facts. And according to Janine, the fact is that before he gets involved with someone else, he has to make sure he can make a real connection.
Toby and Happy rush to Ralph’s school where a Valentine’s dance is being held. They’ve set up a fireworks display for Sloan. All the kids run outside to see it, hearts up in the sky and her name in lights, with a dedication “from Ralhp” – it’s misspelled, but the kids don’t care. Happy thinks that Toby has ruined it but he makes the observation that “Love can be misspelled and messy but it still works, it just needs to be given a chance.” She looks away and he thinks he’s once again struck out with Happy… but she grabs his hand. It is just so romantic, and he goes in for the kill; he’s about to kiss her but she stops him. At the last minute, she concedes, but the principal of the school comes out enraged and with epic timing for some cockblocking.
Toby runs and collects Ralph and they make their escape, while Ralph worries that he hasn’t sealed the deal on his end. But Toby says not to worry, ‘cause “Chicks love outlaws.”
Back at the garage, Paige checks in with Walter to see if they’re still doing their “business dinner” but he chickens out saying that she’s been working hard and deserves a weekend off. She doesn’t want out of their deal, but he claims that he wants what’s best for her. That’s Tanzanian for “Not me.” Oh Walter, no… don’t shift gears to reverse! You can tell she’s disappointed.
Sylvester finishes his valentine for Megan, and Paige is surprised that he’s hiding it. He’s worried that there would be a problem since she’s Walter’s sister; he’s his boss and his best friend. But Paige dismisses it; Megan is sweet and he likes her. He should go for it. Chaz would go for it.
Walter invites Sylvester for a night of pizza and drinks while they work on the plane engine project. Sylvester passes because he needs to see someone tonight; he doesn’t reveal the name. “It’s early stages,” he claims. Walter thinks that whoever she is, she’s lucky to have a guy like Sylvester, and he gives him the reservation he had for him and Paige. Sylvester takes off and Walter stays to work on the project for Megan, one of his true loves.
In a structure where Patrick and McPhee play characters that are allowed to let their emotions show, we’re gifted with two actors that excel at it. This doesn’t take away from the challenging task it means to play the geniuses, where each non-conventional character’s DNA becomes the one thing that Gabel, Stidham, Kaye Thomas, Wong and Smith have to tackle each week. They have to make us feel and assimilate life in a way that the vast majority of us don’t.
Kat McPhee’s acting chops continue to sparkle. Lady, you are truly surprising. Paige started out confident and poised, and gradually broke down as it became evident that she could lose everything she cares for, culminating with the moment that Walter trades places with her on the boat. The anguish was real, bringing a level of skill that’s almost sophisticated when she’s playing off of goofballs like Ari Stidham’s gimmicks.
Onto specifics: there are many things that I loved about this episode. Even though we didn’t have Camille Guaty back, I ship Melvester with a passion. It’s so sweet and innocent still, almost as much as Ralph and Sloan. Puppy love, indeed. I do understand why Sylvester is being cautious; not only does he have a gigantic self-esteem problem, but also his relationship with Walter as much as it is great, is also problematic. I am happy that he keeps finding ways to grow a backbone and become the brave person that Megan wants him to be.
Continuing with the ships, I learned today that the Toby and Happy shippers call themselves QUINTIS. I also learned about this Tumblr page. Well done, guys. You exist in the ship lore as well. And what an episode it was for these two. In the literal sense, sparks were flying everywhere, and much of the larger truths came out and it was very gratifying. They vocalized not only what they like about each other but also what they dislike. They’re honest fears from both sides, and honest desires, and I hope that even when we need some angst to keep it interesting, this ship sets sail to open waters once and for all.
Then we have the one person that didn’t get a ship in this episode, that’s if you don’t count that Cabe Gallo owned the action aboard the luxury liner where this all took place. Robert Patrick really worked a great balance with Elyes Gabel when it came to combining their skills; for me, it flowed seamlessly this time around.
If you’ve been following my reviews, you know how many times I’ve asked them to give Mr. Patrick a sports coat. They gave me a sporty Cabe Gallo and I can’t complain; he looked instantly younger. He reminded me of John Doggett, even. To quote Ky Johnson, another XFN crewmember, “Casual Friday really works for him.” But then that brings me to a question: Will Cabe Gallo get sexy? Certainly love isn’t only for the twenty-something crowd. We already tackled that he has an ex-wife that he still has some feelings for, and I dug it, I really did. Could we be looking to have this part of his life developed? I don’t know that bringing Rebecca back is the best idea, but a new interest may be a good take. Learn from Battlestar Galactica; Roslin and Adama are such an epic pairing, and I have a couple of lady pairing suggestions if you would hear them.
Last but definitely not least… Paige and Walter. We all know that this relationship, its ups and downs, will continue for a long time since this is one of the engines of the show. I know it will be a painful rollercoaster as we see Walter come to terms with his feelings and his insecurities; the same goes for Paige. I understood his hesitation in this episode, though it pains me that he has somewhat hinted that maybe he’s not the best thing for her. He’s letting what is actually his best asset become his biggest obstacle when it comes to developing this side of him.
Maybe it is a momentary thing until he sorts it out, but… the truth of the matter is that these misunderstandings and unspoken situations might create new wounds in both parties.
Stating that Walter will inevitably become “bored” of a woman sooner rather than later and because of this all his relationships are doomed, it’s a statement that I’m not willing to accept. In reality, this is a half-truth for all humans; the connection between people fluctuates and it doesn’t mean that because of that then the relationship will never overcome it. Maybe the reason is just that he hasn’t found the right person; maybe it is because he needs to learn to be more flexible. Walter also needs to meet the world halfway.
And by no means to sound crass, and I say this with all my love, can we please stray away from lines like “no woman will ever stimulate your brain enough”? I rarely nitpick at something like this, but if there’s something that I find myself struggling with this show sometimes, it’s the tendency to throw a somewhat technical, detached and scientific language to lines that need to be merely emotional, and more melodic.
I think when it comes to the ending of the episode, it is an understated statement. Walter O’Brien can love, so much that he puts his sister before any of his needs to love differently. Hopefully his gifted brain can figure out that he can have both.
Pictures courtesy of CBS Entertainment.