Warning: Spoiler Alert
With New Year’s in the rear view, it would only make sense that our team would try improving their daily life. First Cabe who is getting medical care from Sylvester-a hypochondriac. Happy is reading a self help book by Quincy Burkstead-Toby’s nemesis. Walter is heading his late sister’s advice to be more social and cultivate relationships-that creates a scary notion of Walter involved in social media and familiar with the Kardashians. In addition, Ralph has a boy scout-like trip and instead of inviting another child, he has invited Walter. Paige is very clear that Walter is to participate in everything for Ralph’s sake regardless of his personal feelings on their relevance to modern society.
Tonight’s mission deals with a rescue of the military special forces variety. They can’t send in typical reinforcements because that would be using official resources for a mission off the books. Instead of Darfur where the special forces are, they will be traveling to Antarctica. The air is thinner and the satellite signal can travel further. An effective satellite signal could be used to send in drones for cover.
Walter: You can’t send military planes in if you’re not supposed to be there.
Toby: Do you even read the Constitution anymore?
Once on site, Happy constructs an antenna to boost signal strength and Walter works to upload a software patch to the satellite. They aren’t in Antarctica for 5 minutes before a massive storm roles in. The storm is interfering with the signal strength. They can’t upload the patch with a poor signal. Walter’s new plan is to go out into the literal blizzard and potentially temps in -40 range to find a higher elevation to hopefully upload the patch.
The weather and terrain are even more treacherous than they predicted. They are already running out of time. If the freezing of fingers and toes wasn’t frustrating enough, the antenna rig is now frozen and broken at the same time. The team can’t see two inches in front of their face due to the white out conditions. The next plan to secure the antenna involves going back to the base camp hut for MRE heating elements to melt ice around the pole of the antenna creating a sturdy base. As they start to make their way back massive hunks of ice break off and fall like anvils on Wiley Coyote. One of the ice hunks severed the rope keeping a manageable distance between each team member and Happy lost her comms.
Toby, Walter, and Cabe all engage in a bro-fight over whether or not they should allow Toby to venture off alone for Happy. Doing so could jeopardize the rescue efforts in Darfur. Toby could get just as lost as Happy and die from the cold. Walter even vows to not let his friend die, but letting Toby go solo is not the best idea.
Toby: She’s your friend. She’s the love of my life. If it were Paige out there, would you go back to the hut?
Toby pushes on and Sylvester does the math. Happy has no more than 41 minutes before she freezes to death. Both Happy and Toby are both moving toward the sun instinctively. Around the time the viewer gains confidence that this could work, Happy literally falls off a cliff into a ravine.
As time becomes more and more of a factor, it becomes evident to the special forces team that the probability for success diminishes with each passing minute. The Captain asks Ralph if he could record a message for his family. The message is heartbreaking in and of itself. The Captain is married, with a young son and a baby on the way. Stakes just got raised on this mission.
From inside the ravine, Happy tries to pull off a MacGuyver move to climb out and it doesn’t even come close to working. Meanwhile, Toby trudges on. Getting colder by the moment Toby discovers his comms no longer work as it has frozen solid. In a desperate attempt, Toby even speaks to God. A bargaining technique for an admitted atheist.
Toby: Ok God, maybe you can hear me. I know I don’t really believe in you but there’s no atheist fox holes or blizzards for that matter. Look, if you really need a soul that badly, then take mine. Leave her alone, you got that? Did that come through loud and clear?
Cabe’s theory on the MRE heating packs seems to be working. They antenna is repaired and up. Signal strength is restored, but they still need to get back to the hut and then there’s that whole two team members slowly freezing to death.
Happy sits in the base of the ravine softly singing the lyrics to R.E.M.’s Shiny Happy People but her words begin to fade. Meanwhile, Paige turns up the heat on Cooper to get a rescue team out. Cooper in turn threatens to ‘tell on’ the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs by telling his wife about who really was responsible for their missing cat.
Toby pushes on and stumbles upon something very important. Burkstead’s book that Happy was reading. She threw it up over the ravine when she was still trying to climb out. She is virtually frozen solid when Toby gets to her. The pain in his voice when he can’t find a pulse is convincing. He finds a very slow pulse which is enough to instill optimism. Toby starts talking to her while he removes a huge blanket. He wraps both of them in it hoping to radiate what little body heat they both still have. Toby’s next idea is grounded in science even if it does not appear so. They need to get naked. Skin to skin contact will transfer heat faster.
The Captain feels the end is near. Down to only his sidearm, he tells Ralph he needs to turn off the camera. Not to conserve power, but because he doesn’t want Ralph to see what’s going to happen next. Ralph gets almost emotional and all but promises that Scorpion will save him because Scorpion never fails.
The Pentagon now have control of the drones and attention needs to be changed to Happy and Toby. There is a machine about the size of a toy chest that they can use to hear vibrations in the ice. Cabe pulls out a shallow sled, but they will have to move it uphill.
Sylvester is losing hope that they have much time left. What they don’t know is that Happy and Toby are together and Toby’s naked trick might buy them valuable minutes. As they slowly freeze to death Toby whispers to Happy that he never thought he’d be this fortunate to go out this way…with her.
The machine in the ice thing is actually working, but there is one problem. Walter can only hear one heartbeat. Inches from death Walter and Cabe find Toby and Happy. Happy is unconscious but there is a faint heartbeat. Toby can barely move but can gesture a thumbs up after checking her pulse again. Walter has an idea to use the MRE heating units to warm them from the inside out by breathing the steam. As they come around, Happy is alarming alright with the fact that they are naked.
Cabe and Walter pull them up with everything they’ve got. Still very cold but clinging to life, the helicopter that Cooper demanded arrives. Ralph is still very concerned that his new friend and Special Forces Captain might not be as safe. Just then the satellite feed kicks back on. The Captain is fine and has a great question for Ralph. He’d like permission to name his unborn child after Ralph.
Happy invited her Dad to the garage with a question about a particular song that’s been stuck in her head. He produces an old VHS tape. On that tape is video of Happy’s Dad and Mom with her as of yet unborn baby daughter. Apparently, they would dance around listening the that R.E.M. song which may answer why it’s been stuck in her head. The video provided one other tidbit. Happy’s parents were much more free and happy than she has ever been. In that moment it seems Happy has made a decision to strive to get to be that “Happy” (Yes, pun intended. Sue me). Her father explains that she just needs to find what makes her happy. She looks out and sees Toby entertaining Ralph with a card trick gone wrong.
Paige invites everyone to the roof where she has set up a defacto campsite with tents and all. Cabe calls not sharing with Sylvester because of his snoring problem. More importantly, Happy suggests that she and Toby be ‘bunk mates’. She claims there will be no hanky-panky, but at the same time suggests she may still be a little cold internally and would not oppose a little more of that spooning from earlier. The intimate moment that we must believe will happen has to go on hold. There are camping festivities to be enjoyed. To make thing even more interesting, Walter brought back coolers of snow, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what happens next. Or maybe it does.
Walter (after getting hit with a snowball): You don’t start a snowball fight with a genius, unless you can win a snowball fight against a genius.