Warning: Spoiler Alert
Taking advice from Ray would never be advised. I’m guessing especially tonight. During another community service bonding experience, Ray writes three letters on the palm of Walter’s right hand. “WWRD” what would Ray do. Walter gives a lecture at a Tech conference and finds himself getting unsolicited attention from an attractive woman at a bar. Now is not the time to think WWRD. Accepting a drink offer from a strange attractive woman at a bar would definitely qualify as not the time to think WWRD. And no Walter, a Long Island Iced Tea is not a caffeinated beverage.
Meanwhile, no one can reach Walter. Not Paige, not Cabe, not Mr. Elia. That latter name will carry more weight as Walter is almost always trying to impress Mr. Elia and this latest job will be no different. However, circumstance got in the way. After being unable to reach him, Cabe and Paige drive to his hotel where they find him passed out on the floor next to his bed. When they asked what happened, he claimed he only had one “Rhode Island Iced Tea”.
Team Scorpion has been hired by Mr. Elia to see to the tech side of a roll out of the first smart building. A large corporate sized office building that will leave a zero carbon footprint. However, during their roll out, the building is experiencing ‘glitches’. Walter gets to work. Moments after connecting his laptop, all of the building’s systems begin to fail.
Happy checks on the geothermal pumps for the building. One is already burning releasing embers into the air and the HVAC system. A second pump explodes with Happy in the room. Next goes the elevator grid. The sprinkler do not engage. Walter instructs Sylvester to get the kids out of the building but this worm (computer virus) has infected the building. Sly can’t get the kids out because all of the doors are locked remotely.
It doesn’t take long to deduce that the worm must be inserted into the system directly. A diagnostic check shows the building fully operational at 6:23 and infected at 6:25. In those two minutes, Walter was installing software. This worm came from Walter. Finding the woman from last night becomes paramount. Paige and Cabe leave to find this ‘Stella’. While they leave to find Stella, the elevator that Toby’s in begins to fill with smoke. The geothermal room Happy’s in begins to fill with smoke. And the room Sylvester is in with all of the kids begins to fill with smoke.
Paige calls to get more information on Stella. It would be obvious to a child that Paige is not alright with the notion of Walter spending an evening with some floozy. While Happy and Walter struggle to put out the fires, Toby catches a break and is able to completely remove a ceiling tile in the elevator. Walter is willing to risk his own safety to put out the fires. They may be more riding on this job than the others are aware of. They believe the fire is out. However, the burning embers moving through the air ducts created multiple fires elsewhere. As the smoke begins to fill varying rooms, Sylvester’s stress level increases. Eventually he tries to put himself in the team’s respective shoes. Happy would build something. Sylvester goes head first into a large fish tank to retrieve the large in water carbon filter in order to make breathing masks for the children. He is remarkable cool under pressure for the sake of the children.
Toby finally breaks out of the elevator just to find the room he’s now is engulfed in flames. Toby finds insulation in the walls and covers himself with it strapping it down with duct tape. Armed like the Michelin man, Toby prepares to take on the flames. Toby actually gets to the server room before Walter and Happy, something he wasn’t sure he’d be able to do. Now the worm has the servers spinning too fast. If they reach a certain speed, they’ll explode. As Walter and Happy arrive, Toby is still in the server room. He didn’t notice the door lock behind him. A safety precaution to contain the fire. So now what we have is a Star Trek 2 moment. Toby (Spock) trapped behind the glass exposed to the elements with a frantic Happy (Kirk) banging on the glass thinking there is still a chance to save him. Just as I’m falling straight into a Wrath of Khan moment, Walter decides to engage a safety protocol that will suck the oxygen out of the room. This will likely at the very least knock Toby unconscious if not kill him. Happy looks at Walter as says what we’re all waiting for.
Toby: You cannot suck the air out of this room Walter!
Happy: You even say the words ‘greater good’ and I swear…
Cabe and Paige find Stella looking much less impressive. She claims to not know anything about the nefarious plot to upload a virus to Walter’s computer to sabotage Richard Elia’s big day. Paige is naturally skeptical. Meanwhile, rejecting the a Spock like fate, Toby jumps back into the fire attempting to put it out with the use of his insulation suit. Time is running out and Walter makes the decision to pull the oxygen. The look Happy gives Toby as the oxygen rapidly leaves the room almost makes up for dating a tool and flaunting it in Toby’s face for the last couple episodes.
Toby makes a great claim that he will rise again just a moment before he passes out. Walter quickly turns the controls to pump oxygen back into the room but the control panel is unresponsive. As Toby slowly suffocates to death, Happy’s sense of urgency goes through the roof. Slamming her small frame against the glass repeatedly, screaming that Toby’s dying, while Walter tries to think of another way in. Using a pen of a certain density, Happy constructs a sling shot. The pen pierces the glass and the door shatters. Walter goes for the server blades while Happy attends to Toby. She doesn’t hesitate and begins administering CPR. Toby and Happy are more than slightly disappointed in Walter’s lack of concern for Toby.
Walter’s risk with Toby’s life is not sitting well with Toby. They step into the next room to have words. Walter is desperately trying to undo the events at the bar the night before and willing to take unnecessary risks to do so. All to hopefully look good to Richard Elia. Before Walter can acknowledge or dispute the claim there is a new problem. With the team on the 5 yards line (figuratively speaking), the worm somehow has reinstalled itself and is taking the building down all over again. One trip through this nightmare is enough for Sylvester. His composure cracks when the fire eats a hole in the floor and Sylvester is inches from a full-scale meltdown.
Cabe and Paige discover that Stella has been using a dating site that sets up rich ‘sugar daddy’s’ with hookers (Paige’s words, not mine). They gain access to the site’s home office. Now they just need to access the private customer files to find out who Stella has been talking to. Her last correspondence was less than a half hour before meeting Walter.
Sylvester has effectively blown out a window in the hopes of climbing out with the children on a fire and rescue rope latter hanging from the helicopter above. The helicopter cannot get close enough. The rope ladder needs an anchor. Walter has a plan. They break out the window of the room directly below Sylvester’s location. Walter hasn’t yet shared his plan and for good reason. Walter gets in a sprinting stance and runs towards where the window used to be. He jumps out catches the ladder and brings into the window he just jumped out of. Just as the kids are being rescued, Elia’s #2 informs him that Walter is not the savior, he is the problem. Whatever was on that phone, Elia seems to believe.
Sylvester’s harrowing act is not without its own sacrifice. The helicopter has all the children but most pull away leaving Sylvester alone in a room whose floor is about become fire food. Happy is able to rig a device using emergency lights. This will simulate the light from the sun. The right angle and that light will trigger the retractable solar panels the building is equipped with . Then Sylvester can just use them as steps. To scale the wall of a massive building. The plan reluctantly worked to get Sylvester to the second panel, then the power cut out.
Elia’s man received an email implicating Walter in a malicious attempt to steal the building’s tech and plant malware. Both men refuse to listen to Walter so with Sylvester’s life in the balance, Walter does the only thing he can do and the one thing he probably never thought he would do. He overpowers them. He drops Elia’s #2 where he stands and shoves a blade keyboard into the side of Elia’s head. #2 comes back pulling Walter from the server room. Walter puts up his hands and all but begs to save his friend’s life. Consequently the friend who saved #2’s kid’s life.
The email was clearly sent by an anonymous source and Walter convinces toolbag here to let him save Sylvester. He is literally beside himself at the notion of not being dead. Paige and Cabe follow a lead to a satellite office belonging to Richard Elia’s company. Inside the office of an executive, they find the burner phone used by whoever is behind this. One of Elia’s employees. One of the three introduced in the beginning of the episode as one of Elia’s associates. Angered by taking money from his budget to triple the tech budget for the smart building. He has the software literally embedded in his arm. As long as he’s close to the building, he can reload the worm whenever he wants. Paige takes out the perp with Cabe’s truck after Cabe told him to freeze and he didn’t. Then using a tazer, Cabe fried the chip. All systems restored.
Our ‘closure to the job’ scene this week holds a little more weight than normal. One is story line related, the other is a reference that not everyone will catch. Walter comes to embrace (or reject depending on how you interpret it) that as Toby said, he can’t unring the bell. Meaning he can never return to the Walter O’Brien he was when this series started. The other comes from Cabe. “Need a ride John McClane”. Naturally, Walter has no idea who John McClane is. Here’s the beauty of the reference. Walter acting irrationally to save people he doesn’t even know amidst a terrorist like plot. That would be enough. But the reference is made even sweeter knowing that it’s Robert Patrick saying it. Because before Robert Patrick played the T1000, he was one of the armed bad guys disguised as worker in the Annex Skywalk who take out the SWAT team escorting John McClane down the concourse. And he even has one of those great Die Hard lines. When asked, “What do I look like to you?” Robert Patrick turns points his gun and says quite matter of factly, “Like a sitting duck.” Well player sir, well played.