Warning: Spoiler Alert
The cold open of tonight’s episode reveals a strange man in some sort of military issue vest and maybe even G.I. glasses as well shouting Walter O’Brien’s name. Then we find Ralph has taken apart his new telescope in order to clean it piece by piece. Paige wants him ready for school so he can take his long division test. Walter chimes in without missing a beat.
Walter: First optics test is to check for spherical aberration.
Paige: Actually the first test he needs to do is for long division, so we can’t be late for school.
Walter: You really think we need a test to determine if he knows long division?
Paige: Point taken, but he still needs to be at school on time.
Agent Gallo shows up yelling for Walter, again. This time he needs Walter and Walter only. He mentions the name “Mark Collins”. Walter immediately recognizes the name and asks Gallo to keep this one quiet. As in away from the rest of the team.
At a military installation Gallo and Walter walk (it’s very West Wing-esque). Then they are joined by Mykelti Williamson (best known for Ellstin Limehouse-Justified or Bubba Blue from Forrest Gump). In the interrogation room this Mark guy directs 90% of his dialogue to only Walter. Speaking in numbers and what would sound like code. He intentionally got himself caught in this manner because he knew he could get Walter in the room. Walter needs to go to his house and piece together what’s happening. And it’s big. Walter is oddly explicit about the team not being told.
At the Collins residence, the team is picking up on items in the yard (like a massive handmade dish surrounded by fencing) and sensing that this is a residence of one of their kind. Happy figures it out first and no one is pleased about it. Toby is particularly vocal. They are painting the picture that Mark may be smarter than all of them and that was a detriment to the team. Walter is off just by being there. Essentially, this boils down to the team taking a job to upgrade a nuclear power plant.
The power plant was set to begin a cool down process that would lead to being dismantled 8 years from now. The only problem is the that the system cannot regulate itself so it’s not cooling down. It’s heating up. Walter’s plan is to get Mark in the room and lead them to the fix.
The team is not alright with this. Everyone who knows Mark is treating him like plutonium (pun intended). Everyone except Walter. There is something missing here. Once inside, Mark just starts spouting out directions and orders, which no one is alright with. Walter keeps trying to bring it back to doing the job, but it’s not going well.
While nothing is clear at this point, one thing is starting to take shape. Mark created this problem for Scorpion to solve because he wants something from Walter and/or the team. I really hope it isn’t to get back in. Mark wants to initiate the first step of the upgrade and Happy is adamant that if they don’t check the infrastructure of the very old system, the first step could cause an immediate meltdown. Walter chooses Mark’s way and that does not go over well with Happy. Who apparently was the one the pulled Walter back to sanity after a ‘rabbit hole’ experience with Mark.
The download is almost complete when there is an explosion. Protocol would dictate that this is where the meltdown procedures take effect. Sirens and lots of running. They have to get out before the blast doors close. Which is fine for the General, Sylvester, Paige, and Mark. Not so good for Walter and Gallo. But much worse for Gallo who is stuck on the wrong side.
In the panic of not knowing how to get Gallo out, Walter tells Gallo what he’s hiding. 5 years ago, Walter had Mark committed to an asylum. The good news or at least it seems like good news is that they found the right pipe that could take Gallo out of the plant and far from radiation.
Gallo: Hey, listen, kid. If this doesn’t work out, I’m glad I got to know you.
Sylvester (flabbergasted): A man gives you what may be his last goodbye, and you say okay?
Toby: You could use some time on the couch.
Next scene opens up on a California beach. Two bikini clad young women in beach chairs. Then amidst the waves, Cabe Gallo walks out of the water like something out of a trashy romance novel. Back at the plant, Walter and Sylvester are programming the update. Once the update is received, the system should drop the core temperature to a regulated safe range.
I just really need the team to fix this problem and throw Mark down a deep hole. Now he is doing his mind games thing on Paige, and I’m not alright with that. At the plant there is a little breathing room and Gallo inquires to why Walter is not more pleased. Walter tells a nice little story about what it’s like in the rabbit hole and how hard it is to get out. Just then Walter checks something. Then the pieces come together in a hurry. Mark set this all up. Knowing every move before it’s made. This is the outcome he wanted. To prove his worth.
At his house Mark stages his big stand. This is the moment that he hangs what Walter did to him over his head. With a nuclear meltdown imminent. Then a series of number games that correlate to dates and actual events. Eventually, Paige of all people is the one that tips the correct answer. Mark yells out NO and Gallo shoots him in the leg. Once the code is put in, Walter sends the update and with what feels like 10 seconds to spare, maybe, crisis averted.
Toby: Aaaawwwwwww. (long pause) I know this might be awkward but I for one am against Mark rejoining the team.
Walter makes one last (hopefully) visit to Mark before he gets locked up again. This time I imagine a super max penitentiary. Mark asks the question he’s been sitting on for so long. Why wasn’t there room for one more on your precious little team. Walter’s response is telling. “There is. Paige. She binds us.” Implying that not only was Mark bad for the team, but a ‘normal’ is more worthy of keeping around than the one person who test the limits of Walter’s intelligence.
Walter sought out Happy to thank her for what she did 5 years ago. And also to mention that Toby went after Mark to defend her honor. Then Happy looks across the room at Toby with a look that says something. Not sure what, but it said something. Maybe the “Tappy” (Toby and Happy) ship may just come sooner than expected.
Paige comes in and essentially forces the team to cook Italian food together as a way to unplug from their aggressive thought processes. Then she pulls Walter aside. Mark put it in her head that she and Ralph are just an experiment. She needs to know if that is true. And if it is to know now.
Paige: If you’re trying me out, to see if I work with this team…
Paige: If that’s what’s happening, and I could end up being a failure and I could end up getting discarded. Just tell me. I can handle it, but don’t do it to Ralph. He’s grown attached to the team, especially you and I don’t want to see him hurt.
Walter: You are one of us. We can’t do this without you. Good?
While that brings this week’s episode to a close, do not under any circumstances miss next week’s episode and subsequent recap on NJATVS. If you missed the show promo for next week, we have a crossover episode about to take place. I’m not going to be any more specific than that. But I’m sure I just woke up my wife and my son with my reaction to it.