Anthony Skordi

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Photo by: Will Hart/NBC

WARNING: SPOILER ALERT

We’ve witnessed the once unflappable Raymond Reddington, starting to question everything during the last few months, on the NBC series”The Blacklist.” The self-assured “Concierge Of Crime,” whose instincts seemed flawless, (Apples, everybody likes apples.) morphed into a man watching his empire crumble in front of him. Raymond now evokes comparisons with King Lear, and Tony Montana, like the protagonist in Scarface, he’s making rash and impulsive decisions, that come back to haunt him. Reddington feels his power slipping away, as the aging British monarch did, which eventually drove the King to madness.

Red’s concerns are many, the underworld’s abuzz with talk of his series of defeats. Death’s claimed many valuable members of his operation, including his money-launderer Zach Smoll. Smoll died in the middle of a monetary transaction, costing Reddington 20 million dollars, along with an old friend and trusted associate. Dissension’s reared its head within the Task-Force, as the “Boy-Scout” Agent Donald Ressler’s started to question Team-Red’s mission. Task-Force leader Harold Cooper shows his displeasure with Reddington, in an escalating power war.

The Immediate Threat:

When we last saw Reddington, his world had gotten rocked when Natalie Luca told him that Isabella Stone forced her to kill Zach Smoll. This week’s episode opens with the sound of a car crash and a graphic informing us that we’re in Paris, then we hear the AC/DC recording of “Shake A Leg,” on the soundtrack as we see the victim’s now dead body’s crashed through the windshield and his head’s now on his car’s hood. A man and woman emerge from the vehicle that slammed into the man’s car, the woman smiles and says they got him good.

We soon discover the victim wore a prosthetic leg, as the man reaches into the car and removes it from the corpse. The woman removes a cover on the top of the appendage allows several rolls of bills to hit the pavement, she’s after the bonds also stored within. She then tells her colleague she gets a kick out of their job and they flee the scene.

Turns out the victim was one of Reddington’s couriers and the bonds belonged to Red. We find this out as Raymond meets with an old and trusted associate Stratos Sarantos, during a meeting at a café. Reddington tries spinning it as a momentary setback, but his associate reminds him the loss is one of many recent defeats for Raymond’s operation and people have begun talking.

Reddington displays a forced smile and tells Sarantos that he’s got his eye on three cargo ships in France and wants his associate to evaluate them. He gives Sarantos tickets for Stratos and his wife Corina to Monte Carlo, and tells his old friend to romance his wife and enjoy the gambling. He smiles again and says they’ve been through worse, and then sees Elizabeth Keen arriving for her meeting. Sarantos leaves and thanks Raymond for the free vacation.

Lizzie asks Reddington the identity of the man, and he replies that he head’s Red’s Mediterranean shipping fleet. Keen’s surprised at the revelation that Raymond has shipping operations, but he quickly changes the conversation to inform her he’s got the latest member of the Blacklist for her. The Task-Force’s next target’s the person who engineered the murders of Smoll and the courier, Raymond says he only knows the woman by her alias, Isabella Stone.

Back at the Post Office, Keen explains that Stone’s a character assassin whose latest mission’s to destroy Reddington’s empire. Just at that moment, Ressler gets a call on his cellphone and he’s clearly shaken when he hangs up and rejoins the team. Cooper starts assigning his agents their roles in the case, but Ressler objects to doing more heavy lifting for Reddington. Cooper says he understands his agent’s mindset, but they’re pursuing the case.

Donald and Samar, reach out to a DGSE official, in an effort to get information on the car accident that killed the courier, but the official’s reluctant to cooperate. That’s until Ressler reveals that the victim in the accident was a courier for Reddington, suddenly the man agrees to give them everything they need in order to capture Reddington.

The French send a copy of a surveillance tape from inside a tavern that the courier visited just before the accident. Once again Aram Mojtabai puts the team on the right path, noticing a man keeping tabs on the courier, who then leaves the pub shortly after the courier departs. Using facial recognition software, Mojtabai identifies the man as Chip Murphy, a former NCIS Agent who fell off the grid after leaving his position. He’s got a storage facility in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where Keen and Ressler head to.

The manager of the facility refuses to let Donald and Liz search the storage unit without a warrant, but Keen decides to bend the law and picks the lock of the unit. The unit’s filled with computers and filing cabinets containing information. Lizzie quickly finds a folder with pictures of Smoll, the courier, and Stratos and Corina Sarantos. She immediately calls Raymond and informs him about the file, when she mentions Sarantos’ name, Reddington abruptly says he needs to go and disconnects.

We find ourselves in the Sarantos’ hotel suite in Monte Carlo, Stratos wants to head to the gambling tables, while Corina wants to bask in a hot shower before joining him. Stratos puts on his white dinner jacket and kisses his wife goodbye, pleading with her to hurry as he needs his good luck charm.

Corina starts to get ready for her shower, when she’s startled by two women standing in the suite, one holding a pistol. We recognize one of the women, as Chip Murphy’s partner in the murder of the courier, the other woman’s holding the pistol. Corina begs them not to shoot her, the woman clutching the firearm assures her she’s not getting shot, the gun’s to keep her quiet as her associate strangles her. She then grabs the gown that Corina had planned to wear, telling the corpse she needs to borrow it.

Sarantos finds himself having quite a run at one of the tables, when we see Murphy standing nearby disguised as a waiter. He pours a sedative into Stratos’ drink and then informs his associates. A crowd’s gathered around Sarantos’ table, so it’s too loud for him to understand Raymond when he calls to warn him. Murphy once again communicates to his associates, and the woman carrying the pistol storms into the casino in Corina’s dress and wearing her sunglasses. She then slaps Stratos face and screams she’s had enough of him and Raymond Reddington. Sarantos believing it’s Corina tries to find out what’s wrong, but she starts to walk off with Stratos in pursuit.

They get to the Sarantos suite and Stratos sees his wife’s dead body on the floor, and soon after falls to the floor himself as the sedative takes effect. The woman’s joined by Murphy and her female associate and they call the front desk from the room next door, saying that the couple in the next suite are having a terrible row. The other woman screams in mock-terror as they hang up. They position Stratos’ body right next to Corina’s now wearing the gown, and place his hands around his wife’s neck.

Raymond meets with Cooper and they discuss whether Stratos will give up information on Reddington, Red assures Harold that Sarantos’ loyalty’s not in question. He just doesn’t want his friend to disappear down some black hole, because he refuses to cooperate with French officials. Cooper sends Navabi and Ressler to Monte Carlo to try to bring Sarantos back to the States.

Samar’s excited about the assignment as she’s never been to Monte Carlo, but Donald’s almost comatose. He finally reveals to her that the phone call came from his mother, and his brother’s about to have bypass surgery. He wishes he could be by his brother’s side and he’s angry he’s on a mission for Reddington, instead of with his family. He says to Navabi that it’s like they work for Reddington, and he should sign their checks.

When the agents arrive in Monte Carlo, they find that their efforts to bring back Sarantos to the States, blocked by a French detective named Gautier. Sarantos keeps stating that he got set up but Gautier scoffs at his story, saying that there’s only one means of exit and that witnesses from the next room called security during his fight with his wife. Navabi realizes that the room next door has an adjoining door to the suite and asks for access to the room and the information of the former occupant.

Upon receiving the information, Aram identifies the woman who occupied the hotel room as Charlotte Hart, and finds a connection between her and Chip Murphy. They both worked for a well-known Washington socialite, Judith Pruitt, widow of a former high-powered CEO who got tried and convicted in a pyramid scheme in the nineties. Pruitt believed her husband Gavin was innocent and she was devastated when he was murdered by a fellow convict.

Keen believes that Pruitt’s motivation to destroy reputations centers on revenge for her believing her husband got unjustly convicted. So she goes after guilty individuals, exposing their sins to the planet, despite any collateral damage she causes. Pruitt’s scheduled to attend a function that evening honoring philanthropist Dr.Justin Sperry, head of the Justin Sperry Medical Foundation.

We find Raymond in Monte Carlo, going by the alias of Mr. Bloom and telling two officers that his gray Mercedes got stolen right in front of him. He describes the two car-jackers, saying the white one had a pony-tail and the black one was all bulked up and must drink a lot of muscle-shakes. He annoys the officers with his extended way of giving them the vehicle’s license plate number.

A woman named Joy welcomes the guests to the event honoring Sperry, and informs the audience that they’re donations have assured that they’ll be able to continue helping children around the globe. She then introduces Sperry who comes onto the stage in a motorized wheel-chair. His enthusiasm’s apparent as he asks the audience doesn’t it feel great to help others. The applause gets interrupted as news alerts on guest’s cellphones report that one of Sperry’s medical volunteers just got arrested in Nigeria, charged with trying to smuggle $22 millions in bonds, held by one of Raymond’s shell corporations. Sperry’s informed by Joy, excuses himself and gets wheeled off the stage.

The Task-Force realize that Stone’s behind the effort to discredit Sperry in order to hurt Reddington. Cooper tells Liz to assemble a SWAT Team and get over to the event. Stone’s sitting in the audience and informs her team that Sperry’s been wheeled off the stage and for them to get ready.

The Monte Carlo police arrested Dembe and Baz for stealing Mr. Bloom’s car and Raymond identifies the pair as “Pony-Tail and Muscle-Shake.” The officers ask Red for his passport again to finish up the paperwork, when Raymond socks one of the cops in the jaw, grabbing his pistol and pointing it at the two officers. He then grabs the other gun and instructs the officers to release Dembe and Baz. He’s about to lock them in the same room, when Gautier shows up, and gets locked up with the uniforms.

The trio then go and spring Sarantos from his cell, Stratos tells Red that he knew he’d come. The foursome start to run, but are soon confronted by prison guns with rifles and Sarantos gets shot badly in the back. Dembe tells Raymond they can escape, but Stratos wouldn’t survive. Sarantos tells Reddington to give him a pistol and leave him there. Raymond knows he’s got no choice and kisses his friend and tells him what ever happens he’s got Reddington’s support. The trio run off and we soon hear the sound of a gun and realize Stratos took his own life.

Liz arrives at the event and she’s informed that Sperry went home via the service that transports him and that Judith Pruitt insisted on following them, so Justin wouldn’t be alone. Joy says that Pruitt was the only sympathetic person in the hall, that most people had left the event screaming and cursing.

Pruitt and her team wheel Sperry into his home and he calls for his housekeeper Charlotte, but Judith informs him that Murphy slipped a sedative into Charlotte’s brandy. They’ve wheeled into the room containing an indoor pool and basically give him a choice, he can read a false statement implicating himself and Reddington, or be dropped into the pool strapped into his wheelchair. After initially refusing, Sperry agrees to do it after Pruitt rolls his chair to the edge of the pool.

Raymond contacts Harold and Cooper’s madder than a wet hen, chewing Red a new one for trying to break Sarantos out of jail. Reddington replies he did what he thought was necessary and Harold gets irate, telling Raymond that he lost a friend that he said would do anything for him, due to a rash decision. Reddington tries to change the subject to Isabella Stone and Cooper tells him that Navabi, Ressler and Keen are heading to try to stop her as they speak. Reddington says he needs to speak to her as soon as they take her into custody and then says that wasn’t a request.

Cooper nearly strokes out as he tells Raymond that he’s stood by him as his agents and his superiors have complained. He then basically tells Reddington that he’s gone way past crossing the line, and soon finds himself talking to air as Red hangs up. After Reddington hangs up, Dembe quietly says that perhaps they shouldn’t have gone there. He says that Raymond’s putting himself in more danger every year, every day and that people are dying around him. After a moment of silence Raymond says he doesn’t know how to respond to that.

Sperry starts to read the statement that Pruitt handed him, when the SWAT Team arrive. Pruitt pushes Sperry’s wheelchair into the pool and he sinks to the bottom. Keen gives her weapon to a SWAT Team member and dives into the pool to rescue Sperry. Murphy pulls his gun and gets shot to death, the officers arrest Pruitt and Charlotte Hart, Liz’s able to save Sperry.

Pruitt’s questioned by Ressler and Navabi about who hired her to go after Reddington, but she refuses to cooperate. She says to the agents she’s surprised that they don’t commend her for going after a member of their most wanted list, but the agents stay quiet. Ressler says that she’s facing a life sentence, but she could strike a deal if she’d be willing to tell them something. She smiles and says she could tell them a lot, but she won’t.

Pruitt’s being transported from the Post Office to a prison facility, but the vehicle she’s in gets ambushed and ends up crashing. Reddington’s team extract her from the vehicle bruised and bloody. Raymond says to her that it’s time for the two of them to talk.

The Build Up To Redemption:

I’ve purposely divided this recap into two sections, as the Tom Keen subplot will serve as the introduction to the Blacklist spinoff, that debuts on February 23, while the main series goes on Winter hiatus. Once again the writers have put a Red Herring into the mix, as we find out right after the credits, when Lizzie wakes Tom up, after he fell asleep on the couch.

She tells him that while she was feeding Agnes, she watched the news and saw a report that his father died. They turn on the TV and there’s an anchor giving a report stating that Howard Hargrave died after his private plane crashed. She starts talking about his career and his starting Halcyon Aegis, when Tom shuts off the TV. He gives off a rather blasé attitude, saying he’s not going to pretend to grieve for a man he never knew.

Lizzie’s surprised by his reaction and Tom says that when he met his mother, she offered him a job and he turned her down. He tells Liz that they’re his past and he wants to concentrate on his future, which revolves around her and Agnes. Lizzie counters that he can still have them while searching for answers, he replies the only answer he’s seeking is when he became the old guy that falls asleep on the couch?

Before we proceed, time to reveal the Red Herring to those who are still unaware. Howard Hargrave CAN’T be dead, as he’s scheduled to be a semi-regular character on Redemption. The man pictured is actor Terry O’Quinn and he’s scheduled to appear as Hargrave in some of the upcoming episodes. So unless we’re going to explore science fiction in the spinoff and Hargrave’s a ghost, we’ll find out in the upcoming weeks why Howard faked his death.

Tom starts watching the news reports about Hargrave’s death and his curiosity gets the best of him. He calls up Dembe and tells him that he needs to set up a time for him and Raymond to sit down and talk. Keen comes to visit Reddington as Red’s assembling some sort of mechanical device, which we find out later is a cuckoo clock for Liz and Agnes.

Tom starts asking Raymond for answers about his father, but Reddington says that he knew Howard Hargrave many years ago in a strictly business capacity. (Possibly, yet another Red Herring. How could Raymond possibly know that Tom’s Christopher Hargrave, if he had just a cursory relationship with Hargrave?)  He says he knows that Hargrave struggled against his own inner demons and that he didn’t even trust his own wife, Tom’s birth-mother Scottie Hargrave. Red goes onto say that he knows Scottie and finds her to be an unlikable creep and warns Tom to stay away from her.

Tom goes back to the apartment and starts digging through piles of newspaper clippings, he must have gathered after finding out his true identity last year. We see article after article, about both Howard and Scottie Hargrave and their son Christopher’s disappearance.

After doing some digging, Tom rings the bell of a former police detective Harold Kotchwar. The former cop almost slams his door in Tom’s face, but Keen catches his interest when he brings up the Christopher Hargrave disappearance. Kotchwar says that kid didn’t disappear he got killed, but Tom says that’s impossible as he’s Christopher Hargrave.

In the final scene of the evening. Liz comes home and tells Tom that she thought about what he said and he should leave his past alone. Then she sees the police tapes that he got from Kotchwar. There’s a tape on pause that Tom was watching when Liz came home, it’s the videotaped confession of the man that says he killed Christopher Hargrave.

Courtesy of CBS

Courtesy of CBS

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Two words. “Walter” and “Dating”. Walter is dating the coordinator from last week’s speed dating cold open. It is a train wreck yet a painfully cute. Toby pulls out his coms in a show of defeat. Back at the garage, Toby tries to prep Sylvester for his audition/interview to get on Jeopardy. He doesn’t actually want to go on Jeopardy, but Jeopardy money could be enough to buy the naming rights of the pediatrics ward of the hospital he and Megan would frequent when she was hospitalized.

NASA has scheduled an unmanned rocket launch. There is a problem with a sensor. Due to Walter’s experience with his last rocket project, they’d like Scorpion to do what they do in order to salvage the launch date. The Scorpion-centric part of my brain says to be skeptical about the weather excuse the NASA official just gave.

It seems NASA didn’t stumble upon Scorpion by way of the phone book or Google. The Homeland liaison is none other than former Director of Homeland Merrick. Merrick is not exactly pleased about the situation. He seems to take a little joy in reciting his recent resume to Cabe whom he holds personally responsible.

Walter, Paige and Toby do their part from the garage when Walter’s date Linda arrives. Flushed face with tears in her eyes, all she can say is “I’m here for Walter”. Walter greets her but now everyone can tell something is very wrong. She extends a flash drive and Toby identifies that she is in shock. He tells Walter to just put it in. The flash drive has a very straight forward message. Sabotage the NASA launch or face the consequences. Linda opens her jacket to reveal the consequences. She has a bomb strapped to her torso.

Walter does as Walter does. Citing the facts and losing all scope for the humanity of the situation. Paige tries to reel him in on the emotional side of this. Walter tries again. As he tries to put her at ease, we find out that she is in fact very flustered. Present situation excluded, she only reached out to Walter after watching the Notebook and compelled by the sense that she would just die alone. Walter vows to save her, he just doesn’t know how yet. Time is running out and Cabe is getting pressure from the NASA handler. In that moment, Walter decides he’s not going to let Linda die. They are going to sabotage that rocket.

Happy and Walter devise a plan around the fuel tanks. Fuel being the last thing that goes into or on the rocket. The NASA official buys into it but Merrick insists on playing babysitter. The man behind the threat on Linda’s life is on top of them, figuratively. Walter wants Toby to retrieve a couple of satellite dishes from the nearby diner. Toby’s not gone 30 seconds when Linda’s phone rings. The voice noticed Toby’s departure. Toby returns with the dishes and almost immediately Linda’s phone goes off again. This time it is not the bomber. Walter created some pre-made in the can text messages to be delivered to Linda’s phone in an effort to follow-up. This one reads “hope you’re having a blast”. Poor word choice. Linda makes it very clear that their date, despite what Walter thought, went very badly. Walter absorbs her little rant and suggest that yelling at him has no effect and he still plans on saving her. Clearly, it affects him though.

The team at NASA has accurately sabotaged the rocket. It will fire and launch but never reach the destination. Which is the good news. The colossal bad news is that Happy just noticed them unloading Nitrogen tanks. Nitrogen being used to recreate the atmosphere inside the rocket. Which they would only do if they expected to be transporting humans. They brainstorm a way to overcompensate for the fuel tampering they’ve done. But every scenario ends with either Linda dying or three astronauts dying. Walter decides to let the bomb go off, but he has a plan.

The plan involves the gel like the kind Walter used to prove Ray didn’t kill his partner, a skid plate, and a plexi glass case to hold it all. Regrettably for her, Linda is within ear shot and hears all of it. Toby and Happy figure out a way to use a technique from the movie Speed to loop surveillance camera footage. Shortly thereafter, Walter and Linda have a moment together. He apologizes for doing everything wrong on their date. He admits that as a genius he is disappointed in his inability to navigate basic social interaction.

At the launch site, Merrick gets word that Scorpion has not left the premises and they need to before they can lock down for launch. That’s about the time the Toby finds a match on the bomb’s wiring signature. An anarchist who died three years ago. So what’s the correlation? Merrick was the agent the put him away and consequently knows everything about him. Merrick is behind this issue. Both Linda and the rocket. Merrick has motive and means. And Merrick is currently headed toward the rocket. Not good.

Merrick walks up on Happy and makes no attempt to hide that he is in fact behind the whole thing. Happy stalls long enough for Cabe to arrive and engage Merrick in a good old-fashioned government agent fist fight. As it turns out, not exactly a galloping surprise, Merrick always was dirty. “On Beijing’s Payroll for years”. Now he has to pay the back in other ways now that he no longer has Director level intel. The fight continues and Merrick takes a fall. Off a NASA sizes launch tower. So no, he’s not alive. The rocket takes off on time but with Merrick dead they think they’re in the clear. that is of course until the heat from the rocket launch must’ve triggered the detonator they neglected to retrieve.

The bomb is going to go off. Thinking quickly and selflessly Walter grabs the skid plate and lowers it into the rig. Linda can’t handle the weight of it and Walter jumps in with her. He positions the plate they slowly moves around her. He begins to tell her their date was not the worst date he’s been on when the bomb explodes destroying the rig and sending the two flying. Despite a few broken ribs, Linda will be fine.

Outside, Linda and Walter share a romantic (not really) moment by Ambulance lights. Linda apologizes for saying some of the things she said, in part about her date and how weird Walter is. Walter offers to take her out again. Despite her newfound context for dates being scary after being blown up, she declines. She is gracious and mentions that Walter will make someone very happy, suggesting that Linda just isn’t that someone. This prompts Walter to share a little of his mindset that he should be sharing with Paige.

Walter has seen his friends find each other. Sylvester and Megan. Happy and Toby. Walter also fears he will die alone. He feels like he stands out as odd, even in the one setting where that should not be the case. One difference being, if he did die alone, it would be Ferret Bueller that would eat his body and not a cat.

The lasting theme at tonight’s conclusion is quite simply, “be yourself”. Cabe is going to be himself. An aging government agent that loves John Wayne movies. Sylvester is going to be himself and let his significant mind be his personality. And now Paige is even making it as clear as she can that Walter need to be himself. It’s not as off-putting as he thinks it is. There is even a long stare when Walter hears Paige place a to go order over the phone. Normally not odd. But this time in response to Walter feeling like he can’t even eat what he normally would and not turn off normal people, Paige orders fermented fish

Courtesy of CBS

Courtesy of CBS

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Walter is speed dating, just wrap your head around that. It goes exactly the way you might think. Walter is being Walter and most of the women sitting across from him have no idea if he’s being complimentary or insulting. Cabe just seems to reject the notion that he belongs in the ‘second chance circle’ or that he should have any idea what it’s like to be a member of AARP. Toby running the tech to assist with tips for Walter seemed fine enough until his bartender sneezed in his drink. Now Toby has the flu.

Happy engages Paige about Walter’s speed dating. When Walter decided to branch out, Happy was under the impression that Paige was under the impression that Walter’s branching out would be with Paige. Paige quickly rejects the premise. However, it is obvious that Paige is not as “cool with it” as she claims.

Cabe calls and only asks if Sylvester is there. Walter confirms and hangs up. This puts Sly in a very awkward mind-set. Moments later, Cabe hands him a dossier and claims the ‘issue’ is in the folder. Sylvester begins to read and plops down like his emotions just quit on him. Sylvester’s pulse is instantly racing and he concludes that he cannot participate in this mission. For one reason. The inside contact and weapons specialist pertaining to weapons of mass destruction is none other than Sylvester’s father.

Senior Dodd has been trying to find evidence of an attempt to build a satellite with enough reflective material to cover 10 football fields. That surface area could harness enough solar energy to essentially weaponize solar power. And until yesterday, all of this was conceptual. He believes a formerly occupied African nation found old buried prototypes and continued working on the project. The bigger issue is the Daddy issues (that appear to be well founded) that may create complications later.

All goes to plan in the beginning. This time, they are identified as Team Scorpion, their identities are not fake. Sylvester keeps trying to distance himself from his father to no avail. A presidential aide enters the room to politely request Walter’s presence. Then when they try politely decline it is clear this aid is not permitted to take no for an answer. With Toby in his ear, Walter presents himself to the President. The President sees himself as an equal. So much so that he believes they are both geniuses. Even claiming that he has a higher IQ than Walter at 203. Funny thing is that 205 is the highest ever recorded.

The team has split up to cover two different angles. Sylvester, Paige, and Ken (Mr. Dodd) look into a destroyed building by what appears to be weaponized solar energy. While the hangar has tons of solar panels, no evidence of the “Sun Gun” which Sly is all too happy to point out. Sylvester has an idea. By lighting three different paper airplanes on fire and sending them over the solar panels, the light from the flame would send by a beam of energy back. Which is exactly what happened. Dad 1 Sly 0.

They grabbed the weaponized solar panels that were strategically hidden behind the typical solar panels. They need to smuggle them out to build a case against the President. With Walter still playing genius buddy with the President he creates a distraction. Sylvester ran the numbers on how to transport the panels using a blimp. Ken gives him grief on the off-chance his numbers are off. Sylvester calculated in meters while Happy game dimensions in feet. Sylvester’s numbers are off.

The President is none the wiser but another problem presents itself. The President wants to hire Walter (at a healthy seven-figure salary to start) to build him a rocket. The first step in creating a space program. Problem is, the President I doubt is interested in a space program. He’s interested in a vehicle to get his ‘sun gun’ into orbit. Walter believes the President has the ability to mass produce these panels. “You don’t build a turnip truck unless you already have turnips.” -Toby

The President takes Walter to a steam bath, where he does his best thinking. Walter rushes in too hot and fast. Toby begs him to butter the guy up first. Walter claims he’s flattered and wastes no time accepting the President’s job offer. And just like that they get the information Walter needed. The President said Walter would work during the day and cool off in an Olympic sized swimming pool at night. That pool is the perfect cover for the panels. The panels cannot be exposed to sunlight and the pool provides that cover and it also creates a cooling system that would also aid in the production and preservation of these panels.

Sylvester, Cabe, Happy and Ken continue the search. They believe they’ve found something but it takes Sylvester doing some thinking. It appears there is an old tank with a value they may be used to corrode. After that, Cabe takes a moment to share something he’s learned working with Scorpion. As a military man himself, Cabe has found these geniuses respond better to a velvet glove than a hammer. Ken just looks confused. Sylvester has created a MacGuyver way to create acid to eat through the lock.

Under the lock, they’ve discovered enough panels to make a sun gun twice the size of what they anticipated. The President isn’t manufacturing panels, he just found the German motherload. They plan to use the concrete and lime as mortar and make one big cement block housing all of the panels making them ultimately unusable. Cabe and Happy split to deal with the President and a transport out of there. This creates a wonderful opportunity for a potential growth moment between father and son? Just as that seems to happen, Ken’s bag gets bumped and one of the original plates is exposed. It receives what little light there is, and sends a beam of light upward. This knocks the hatch closed and at the same time, melts it shut.

Their nice moment turns combative very quickly. Nothing overtly hurtful but it becomes apparent that Ken doesn’t feel he can trust Sylvester because he doesn’t know Sylvester. As if he blames their poor relationship on Sylvester’s leaving when he was 14. Sylvester begins to hash out his Daddy issues that do indeed seem well founded. Even including his demand that his father admit right than and there that Sylvester is not the son Ken wanted. Then Ken realizes the mortar has already set. With them standing in it. In this moment of despair there is a breakthrough. Whether it’s the prospect of dying together or a cold father letting go, Ken tells Sylvester why Scorpion got this mission.

Ken: You know, when I went to the Pentagon with the evidence of the sun gun, I…I recommended your team for the project. I did. I read all about ya. I was trying to reach out. You’re right Sylvester. We never really connected. I wasn’t prepared to raise a kid like you. There’s no manual on how to raise a genius. If there were, I would’ve read it a hundred times cover to cover because I loved you from the moment you were born. I just didn’t know how to show you. (Hug)

Walter, Happy and Paige attend the President’s shindig in order to get his smart watch. The smart watch that controls the main gate. The President is about to leave momentarily. Paige jumps into action and creates an impromptu karaoke situation. Now sure, you could see this as an excuse for CBS to get Catharine McPhee to sing on camera, but this is more about Walter. He starts off bad, but it gets better. Not good, but better than you might expect. Now Happy needs to try to lift the smart watch. Happy is successful but it only buys them about 60 seconds.

The reconciliation attempt in the bunker is ongoing. Then Sylvester interrupts Ken. Ken tries to explain that he can’t ‘undo’ the mistakes he’s made. Undo. Using the original panel that sealed them in, Sylvester thinks they can undo it the same way. He explains how Ken will have to throw the panel, Sylvester will hit it with light, then Ken needs to catch it again in order to use it to free their feet.

Ken: This is ironic, after all these years, we are finally playing catch.

The plan comes together just as they drew it up…with some typically Scorpion drama mixed in. When they get back to the garage, Sylvester stops short. Ken says it may be time for him to get back on the road. Claiming Sylvester’s mother gets lonely. Ken suggests she might want to see Sylvester, but he resists. Ken apologized for not being the family Sylvester needed, but admits he’s glad Sylvester found the one that was.

Throughout the episode, Ralph kept bringing some of Toby’s favorite things to him. Favorite soup. Favorite cartoons. Toby fast asleep from the flu, Ralph asks Happy why she wanted him to do all of that?

Happy: The truth is, I’m falling for the guy.
Ralph: Gross.
Happy: I know, right?

Walter probes Paige for the benefit of truth vs. deception. He was honest in speed dating and that went horribly bad. He was dishonest parading around like he was impressed with the President. Which one is it? Paige claims that slight dishonesty can save a person’s feelings. He then complimented her on the karaoke performance. She then questions if that was a sincere or slightly deceptive compliment. He won’t answer. She then invites herself and Ralph to join Walter for dinner until she finds the truth.

Courtesy of CBS

Courtesy of CBS

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.

Courtesy of CBS

Courtesy of CBS

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Paige walks in on Walter talking to no one but holding Ferret Bueller. A genius talking to himself would not be a first by any means, but it seems to concern Paige. Walter quickly asks about his ammonium nitrate. When Paige confirms its in the garage, Walter passes off Ferret Bueller and dons a bicycle helmet. Walter has ‘scienced’ his way to fake snow that doesn’t melt and plans to Clark W Griswold it down the stairs on a sled. Before Paige can shove Walter down the fake snow, Cabe comes in with a job, and to demand to know what Toby did to his SUV.

A fifty foot pine tree has fallen over and significantly damaged a power station. Toby feels like this is not a job for them, until the contact mentions how they need computer and engineers skill. Walter, while talking to himself, turns a very large blackboard around to reveal his plan. Toby decides to ride with Walter after Paige mentions that was the second time she saw him talking to himself.

The leaky roof of Walter’s car has been dripping on Toby’s leg. When Walter won’t open up about why he’s talking to himself post Megan’s death, Toby looks for napkins in the glove box. But instead he finds a not empty coffee can. Walter tells him not to touch it. Toby not only touches it, but also shakes it. When he sees Walter’s reaction he stops to look inside. Walter has not had time to spread Megan’s ashes yet.

The team scurry to execute Walter’s almost Wiley Coyote plan. This would include a tarp over the building in question, balloons and a massive inflated blue gorilla with the word ‘sale’ on it’s chest. Not so hectic that Toby didn’t have a moment to suck down some helium. Despite the look on Cabe’s face, he and then Happy follow suit, in order to execute a lovely piece of comic relief with their high-pitched helium voices.

Toby: Grandma got run over by a reindeer…
Cabe: Coming back from our house Christmas Eve…
Toby and Cabe together: People say there’s no such thing as Santa…
Happy: But as for me and Grandpa we believe…

Paige and Toby watch from the doorway as Walter runs through computations out loud. Toby’s diagnosis, the grief has forced his inner monologue outward. Toby also believes no progress can be made unless Walter wants it. Outside Walter inspects and is pleased with their structure. Just then a loud sound is heard. Happy confirms that it was a pressure crack in concrete about 15 feet thick. A nearby dam.

Right about the time Cabe breaks the bad news that there is no evacuating 100,000 people with no roads that have now been closed due to flash flooding, there is another crack in the dam. The dam is at 110% capacity and below are 100,000 people celebrating Christmas Eve that have no idea of the impending doom on the high side of the valley.

There is a new problem and an eventually problem. They need to somehow plug the crack. Walter thinks they can freeze just the water around the crack using the ammonia nitrate. That should buy Happy enough time to create a quick drying concrete patch, but someone will have to repel down 200 feet to do it. Toby is relieved to find Cabe has volunteered.

Walter has rigged a very long pvc pipe with a make shift trap door held by string. When it’s at the right depth, pull the string the chemical released, gets pulled towards the leak and instantly freezes. At that point Cabe who is in position just above the crack will use a back pack type rig that Happy’s constructed to apply the quick dry concrete. Everything works as planned until Cabe has to swing to reach the last portion of the crack. The cable frays and thinking quickly Walter tells Cabe to use the sprayer to create rock climbing like foot holds. He is able to do enough to get above the crack line and plans to walk up one step at a time.

New problem. The mudslide that caused all this in the first place is preventing the reservoir from draining. They have about 30 minutes before the concrete dam starts losing its structural integrity. That’s when Toby has an idea. The dam needs a colonoscopy. Happy of course has a schematic for just how to pull this off, but it will take everyone. By attaching an outboard boat motor propeller to a long metal hose which is connected to a car battery, the hope is that this will chew through whatever is clogging the drainage system.

The water pressure after relieving the clog is too strong. Happy and Cabe try to jump out of the water but the jumper cables to the car battery snag Happy and take her under water. They have 64 seconds to save her before she drowns or meets the turbines and certain death. Walter grabs orange highway netting and Sly grabs sand bags. They wait for her to make it to the next point where the water is exposed. They drop the net and sand bags and save Happy by catching her like a bass fish.

Next problem. Two of the three turbines have failed. With only one turbine there won’t be enough power to drain the reservoir in time. Walter is still talking to himself. Toby gets in his face and tells him of Paige’s resounding speech about people not statistics at stake. And if Walter is going to talk the computations out, he will fight his nature to talk it out to Toby. Which becomes the catalyst. The river feeding the reservoir needs to fight its nature. It needs to flow in the opposite direction.

Walter and Happy collaborate on a plan involving something called a Tsunami Bomb. By dropping this bomb at just the right point, it will hit bedrock and for almost half of the water volume back up river. They just didn’t factor in the newest crack that showed itself on the wall of their command center. Cabe and Sly use the rest of the concrete solution to patch the command center crack while Walter and Paige drive to a separate access point. During which Paige mentions all the Christmas lights. Walter immediately does the math, the Christmas lights will kill them all. Time to call Ralph.
Paige believe the emergency alert system is a smarter bet, but Walter has a plan for Ralph.

Walter has Ralph hack into the emergency alert system to send out a message to every cell phone, television or radio for all of the people to cut off their power. A little literary polish from Paige and it works. The entire valley cuts off everything using electricity. With power reverted they reverse the turbine. Meanwhile, Happy uses a laser pointer to give Toby a target for their Tsunami bomb encased in rock salt (the chemical needs to stay dry as it travels. The rock salt will slowly melt away in water). Toby is not as good at throwing a rock salt bomb as he may have thought, he misses the mark. Apparently not as bad a throw as he may have thought. It took a moment, but the bomb did its job, reverting half of the water back away from the dam.

With the crisis averted and the people saved, team Scorpion finally gets to settle in for some Christmas festivities. Walter checks their messages while the rest surround a gingerbread house. We won’t go into detail about Walter erasing a message from Drew and we’ll jump right into the message about the contest concerning Walter’s rocket research. Walter has been declared the winner of the 15 million dollar prize. But slow your excitement. Walter’s about to get really upset. The whole point of entering was to use the money to save Megan.

The team is excited for him, but you can see the emotion welling up behind his eyes. Then he notices Ferret Bueller is missing and his cage is open. Instead of reflecting on Megan or the money, Walter moves into panic mode over Ferret Bueller.

Toby: Bueller…?

Walter finds him moments later and returns him to his cage. He demands to know who left the cage open. This is where even the genius mind snaps. Paige tries to calm him down by claiming no harm no foul as the ferret is safe.

Walter: I closed the cage. I always close the cage.
Paige: Well its ok now, the ferret is safe.
Walter: WELL I COULD HAVE LOST HER. Don’t any of you comprehend that? I don’t want that! I didn’t want to lose her.
(Paige comes around to get closer to Walter)
Walter: I didn’t want to lose her. I didn’t want to lose my sister.
(Paige holds him close as the wall protecting his emotions comes crumbling down)
Walter: She was…I miss her so much. (He backs away from Paige) Oh I’m sorry this is unprofessional.

One by one, Walter’s friends walk over to embrace him in his moment of vulnerability. Then Walter gets an idea. Happy had been working on a launch pad on a nearby beach. Instead of taking the money, money that was intended to save Megan, Walter decides to send his ‘meal ticket’ into flight.

Happy after hearing Sylvester’s story about not wasting any time with Megan, decides to take that advice. She tells Toby that she doesn’t want to waste any time. Logic would be, if last year she kissed him and it didn’t work out, this time he should kiss her. Despite the lame logic, Toby doesn’t waste any time and goes right in. This time it may have actually worked.

Walter and Sylvester stand by the rocket. Walter mentions how she always loved the stars, so why not send her up to be with them. He then extends the can with her ashes. “Maybe the husband should do the honors”. Sylvester takes the can and places it in a lock box onboard.

Sylvester: We didn’t really talk about it, but technically when I married Megan, it made you and I brothers in law.
Walter: You know, I’ve always found that term to be antiquated. How about we just go with brothers?

The team watches as Megan’s ashes attached to a real rocket ascend the heavens. Walter as he watches the rocket mentions to Paige that he heard what she said about opening up and thinks maybe its time he fight his nature. Then Paige opens her hand in an inviting way, and this time Walter doesn’t run.

Courtesy of CBS

Courtesy of CBS

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Ralph has a ‘Time Capsule’ project for school and Walter is very unimpressed. Walter would rather Ralph only study math and science, or in Walter’s mind, the subjects that matter. In addition to that, is being very Walter about Megan’s passing. Sylvester on the other hand is taking as one might expect him to.

Sylvester: Hey Walter, I have a lovely picture of you and Megan for you…
Walter: No thanks, I know what we both look like.

Cabe walks in carrying an evidence box that looks rather heavy. Inside the box is the air tank that once belonged to Ray’s firefighter friend. Ray has always felt he was to blame for the death of his friend. Walter would like to take a stab at disproving that idea. Problem is that as Paige points out, Walter may be using this project for Ray as a means to compensate for the mourning he is not doing for Megan.

Cooper arrives with tonight’s mission. A while ago, Homeland received a ransom demand. It was a small amount of 20,000. They paid the ransom and this time need Scorpion as the new demand is 250 million or they will shut down the Federal Reserve. This news sends Sly into one of his typical rants about just how dangerous life is. This is a fire sale, in the computer savvy world. Shut down the fed and everything about our economy falls. Not just big business. Everything. Post apocalyptic barren version of ourselves.

Cooper: That’s why I need you to access the Fed’s server and kill this ransom-ware.
Walter: Well I’m already in and it’s not happening. Every time I try to break the code, it changes. As if it’s adapting.
Sylvester: Welp! Walter can’t get in. Should I start hoarding canned goods?

The next step is one that no one involved would be thrilled to take. Scorpion is going back to college. They’ve traced the point of upload to a student activity center. There were four groups that had the floor reserved. A wrestling team, a sorority, the Psych department, and a drama club gathering. Try to play the Match Game pairing each of those four groups with the Scorpion member expected to infiltrate said group.

Happy can build small pocket-sized devices that will pick up any nearby electronics and measure its specific omitting frequency. I one of them gets close to the computer that uploaded the ransom-ware, they’ll know it. Toby is the only genius excited about the prospect of going back to college. This time it will be different. Sylvester will try to get close as a college wrestler. Happy is going to pledge what I’m sure is a pink and frilly sorority. Toby will try to get hired into the college Psych department that is headed by his arch-enemy. And Walter will be a visiting Drama professor. Even Cabe will parade around as a new campus security rent-a-cop.

Even in their ‘costumes’ Toby and Sylvester find things on the campus event calendar they’d rather be doing. Toby’s motives are typically Toby while Sylvester is enthralled with the exhibit on campus of old space suits.

Sylvester is first up. In his large track suit, Sylvester tries to fit in with these jocks and it doesn’t take a genius to sense the Carrie moment that’s about to happen. Sylvester gets invited into the annual team photo on the front steps of the fraternity house. When a number of dirty jock straps fall on him from the second floor, Sylvester has had enough and leaves. No frequency readout.

Walter isn’t in character 10 seconds before two drama students get a little too uppity about the use of non-PC language and Walter is compelled to destroy them. He gets close enough but no frequency readout. The drama students (especially the woman) keep pushing. Walter doesn’t have to reach far to squash them with nothing more than a dictionary meaning of the term ‘you guys’ to represent a group of people, having nothing to do gender. He drops the proverbial hammer and makes his exit.

The most painful of all of these experiences might just go to Happy. Happy Quinn standing emotionless (not a surprise), wearing a pink plaid skirt, a pink hooded sweatshirt, hair down looking about as thrilled as she would be if she were learning to crochet. Later one of the pledges approaches Happy with an almost upsetting optimism. She makes an analogy to this sorority being her surrogate family when she’s away from hers. Her tone may have been annoying, but the wheels in Happy’s head are turning.

Toby complains to Paige all the way up to and including the waiting room for his ‘job interview’. He sits down and there is a large in stature man already seated. This person is very familiar. Took about 3.2 seconds to realize who. I looked over at my wife a demanded to know, “Why is Willie McGinest on my show?” For the uninitiated, Willie McGinest used to play professional football for the New England Patriots. I don’t know the purpose of this cameo and it serves as little to no help advancing the story.

Inside the meeting room, we have high noon at the OK Corral, battle of the behaviorist. Dr. Burkhead takes the first shot, Toby goes along for the ride momentarily then uses his understanding of the field to tell Burkhead exactly what he needs to in order to drop his defenses.

Cabe meets with his new boss/partner, Griggs. Griggs is not at all excited about the job. He had aspirations of being a police officer like his father. Even mentions what it would be like to take down real bad guys and slap on the cuffs. Then Paige informs Cabe they have a ping. The good (or bad depending on how you want to view it) Doctor. Whatever tripped the ping was unhelpful. The Doctor’s phone is clean, no trace of the ransom-ware at all.

Happy overhears a couple in other room arguing about code, the dead professor, and what to do next. Happy charges in uninvited. She clearly announces her intentions and the male advances. Poor decision. A shot to his Adam’s Apple and the couple is compliant. Quickly we discover that they were paid to write code. Not knowing or even really questioning why, they aided in this issue. That is not the bad news. The bad news is that the ransom-ware code has been uploaded to a ‘Quantum’. You can see Walter and Sylvester’s eyes begin screaming.

The Quantum is a super computer that utilizes lasers, much faster than the consumer tech available today. That’s why it kept adapting, it was just faster than Walter, a fact that he open accepts as irrefutable fact. If they can upload Walter’s code, it too could run as fast as the ransom-ware. The Quantum does not look like or act like something anyone can pick up at a big box store. This thing looks like an ice-cube inside of a much larger ice-cube. Incredible environmental and biological fail safes will trigger an explosion if done wrong. Too many things could trigger this thing to blow. Also, if they are to install Walter’s code, they need to get next to it without freezing to death in the -100 degree room its in. A great opportunity for Homeland to commandeer the old space suits exhibit that Sylvester was going to miss.

Sylvester struggles to keep his jitters or vital signs in check as he positions a small mirror to reflect one of the lasers back on itself. The theory is this should slow the Quantum’s speed long enough to allow Walter to upload his code. Then Sylvester freaks out thinking they are experiencing an earthquake. Instead, there is a block party starting up on the street above them. Cabe puts that to a halt by pushing the DJ out-of-the-way and proclaiming he is a DEA agent. All the students scatter.

Walter implores Paige to do something to calm Sylvester. She begins in with that calmly maternal voice of hers she uses when things get bad. Sly pushes back suggesting that this is not the time. All she has to do is mention a who that made him calm. Thinking about Megan put his mind at ease. The pep talk did the trick, now if Walter can only grab the flash drive he dropped with his big One Giant Leap for Mankind gloves. Enjoyably and predictably, he gets it just a time is about to run out. They all celebrate and Walter even apologizes for objecting to Paige’s pep talk. But they will get no response and the man behind the ransom has a gun pointed at her head

They have strict instructions to meet at the ‘Founders Fountain’ with the money or Paige dies. There is a strategic benefit for the bad guy by choosing this venue. He will see anyone coming. Cabe has a plan. Cabe reaches out to Griggs, presumably to let him live out his cop dream. Griggs approaches just being the friendly campus security guard. Rider (bad guy) gives a false story about this being their anniversary trying to shake Griggs. Griggs does an effective job buying time, even offered to take a picture of the couple. Hoping he would soon leave, Rider poses for the picture. Before it’s taken Cabe tackles Rider. Paige steps on his hand as he reaches for his gun. And most importantly, Cabe tosses his cuffs at Griggs who gleefully and awkwardly cuffs Rider.

With the mission well in hand, its time to say goodbye to their second college run. Toby is still very much distraught over the number of college experiences he missed today. Hacky-sac, naked racing, and the winter dance. Prospective eventual love interests pair up for the ride home. Walter and Paige walk through campus when Walter is met with verbal indifference. The drama club. The snotty lady drops a “those who can’t, teach” reference. Walter politely has had about enough of these drama kids and schools them in a way that even surprises me. Walter O’Brien played by Elyes Gabel, who is British delivers the Juliet death scene from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet but in his Americanized accent. And its one of the most brilliant things I’ve seen in a while.

Toby continues wallowing as they approach Happy’s truck. She tells him to wait. She opens the door turns the key and turns up the radio. She comes in close to Toby who is still standing in front of the truck. Happy wants Toby to mark off one thing from his college bucket list, and no it’s not streaking. Happy offers to slow dance with Toby. At first there is a safe distance. Even in the moment, Toby can’t help but ask what she’s doing. It won’t matter this time. Happy is letting down her shield (something the annoying sorority pledge said to her), which Toby was not about to question.

Walter and Paige return to find Ray sitting on a stool staring at the experiment tank that has his former partner’s oxygen tank in it. Ray is as ‘gone’ as we’ve ever seen him. The loss of Tuggle or more aptly Ray’s perceived notion that he was responsible for the loss of Tuggle has dictated near everything in his life since. Ray is calm when he hears Walter’s why. Even asks what would be present if the tank indeed was defective. Bubbles. The solution the tank is submerged in would reveal bubbles. No bubbles, Ray says as he walks away.

Not before Paige notices what Ray did not. Bubbles. Ray comes charging back. The existence of bubbles and his faith in Walter’s knowledge are enough to erase a decade of torment in a single moment. Ray doesn’t say anything at first, but instead lunges into Walter for a bro hug. This news is liberating for Ray. He finds a way to make a joke and referring to himself in the third person for good measure as he lets them know that it might be time to say hello to the world again.

Ray walks over to hug Paige and not call her by her correct name. When he leans in for the hug, he holds it. Not so much for the creepy embrace, but for him to impart some wisdom onto Paige. It seems that Ray’s purpose was much more important than comic relief or the ying to Walter’s yang. Much more significant.

Ray (whispering to Paige): You know how he feels about you. You need to go to him. He’s not able to do it on his own.

Paige doesn’t address that tidbit but does announce she needs to leave to pick up Ralph. She reiterates that she will have the time capsule out of the garage by Friday. She looks back and says that she knows there are things Walter cares about. When she’s gone, Walter picks up the picture of he and Megan that Sly was going to give him. Takes a look at the photo then places it in the time capsule.

Courtesy of Scorpion

Courtesy of Scorpion

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Happy drives recklessly, but not recklessly enough for Walter’s liking. This driving plays like a high-speed chase, including Toby shouting out shortcuts with zero notice and Cabe setting up LAPD assistance. All to get to the airport in time to meet Walter’s parents. Whom he hasn’t seen in 15 years. Beyond the downright adorable Irish accents, there is one major detail that made itself known. There are issues between Walter and Sean O’Brien.

As they walk through the hospital, Walter excitedly tries to explain his research to his mother. The research he plans to lean on in order to save Megan. His father wants no part of it, not even to hear it. He even drops a ‘God’s will’ to which Walter replies, there’s my will too. Sylvester’s attempt to make a good impression on his parents in-law could have gone a lot better. The use of Super Fun Guy as room decor suggests that Sylvester has kids, apparently in Ireland, grown men don’t collect comic book stuff.

Toby and Happy stay out of the O’Brien family drama but in doing so catch wind of our problem for this week. The hospital has fallen under temporary lock down. Happy identifies fungus on the wall near a collapsed kitchen worker. Toby, ironically, is well versed in the species of fungi that apparently took down the cook and has begun spreading on the walls. They are locked down in the middle of an outbreak. Toby is able to stop a doctor passing by and spit out enough information so she knows that he knows something.

Walter tries to leave the hospital to get back to his research for Megan. Paige quickly identifies this as Walter avoiding the situation at hand, namely Walter’s parent’s and Megan’s deteriorating condition. Toby calls Walter to inform him of the developing situation downstairs. Walter gets Happy to find that doctor’s (Dr. Castillo) phone extension. She finds it and Walter calls it. Naturally, Dr. Castillo rejects his help.

Right about the time Dr. Castillo hangs up on Walter, Toby discovers their cook was sifting for gold nearby before work. His open leg wound became an ideal breeding ground for a very ancient, more resilient fungal species. No, I’m not going to attempt to spell it. Dr. Castillo’s infectious disease team believes it to be a much tamer species and begin spraying it with fungicide which on angers the stronger species. As a predicted behavior, the fungus increased reproduction and sent a massive amount of spores into that air. Most if not all of the infectious disease team are knocked out.

Whatever issues Walter and Sean have, they find a way to put them on hold. Sean brings out two clipboards with Doctor info on them while Walter quickly tries to smear drywall spackle over the door seems to keep the toxins out. Walter talks down to his Dad like he thought the lists on the clipboards would’ve helped when his father’s intention was to use them like a trowel. A tool used to smooth spackle over drywall. Sean points out that the spackle won’t be air tight when it dries. Good thing Paige found liquid nitrogen.

As things get worse and Megan seems to begin to do the same, Sean turns his frustration to Sylvester, wanting to know exactly who he is, what kind of man he is, and why he plays with toys. For a moment it appears that Sylvester will retreat to avoid confrontation. Then, his affection for Megan overpowers his flight instinct.

Sylvester: I’m Sylvester.
Sean: What kind of man are you?
Sylvester: The kind of man who’s been caring for your daughter. The kind that hasn’t left her side in three weeks. The kind that loves her. So you will just have to accept that.

The next step in the plan is to use an MRI machine to slow the power of the main circulation fan long enough to insert a series of metal poles removed from IV stands. The hope being that the poles will prevent the fan from cycling the air. This plan fails almost immediately. The poles fly out from the fan and one penetrates the door. Megan is getting worse and that pole just compromised the door they need to leave out of.

To make matters worse, a woman’s water just broke. Delivery is imminent and the room she and Toby are in could not be a worse location for bringing a child into the world. Toby believes without certain precautions the baby won’t survive in this fungal environment. While trying to sterilize the area Happy notices a large imprint of a hand on a sugar dispenser. That imprint belongs to Sylvester. Sylvester’s compulsion for hand sanitizer may be the break they need. Sylvester wipes his hands with a paper towel. He walks out into the hallway and using a straw propels his hand sanitizer spit ball at a concentrated area. Instantly that area of about 2″ inches looks clean.

Sylvester: I have super powers. I’m bacteria man.

This creates on some level a cure or at least a way to minimize the fungus. Problem is replicating it takes a certain type of mind and all the genius’ Cabe knows are locked in a hospital building. Paige reminds him that there is one remaining genius they know who is not in the hospital. Ralph.

In the meantime, a skeptical father-in-law watches his son-in-law impress in ways he didn’t think possible. Without even thinking, Sylvester ropes Sean into being his assistant in preparing a skin sample, placing it inside a stress relief ball and constructing a sling shot. Under the circumstances, even Sean is a little impressed.

Cabe and Ralph use a leaf blower engine in reverse to create a vacuum through a series of air ducts. Sylvester, using his little slingshot propels the sample ball through the ducts and the leaf blower pulls it through. Ralph did his part and now the sample is safely outside the hospital.

With all the pieces in place, Walter lashes out on a metal rod on the floor. Megan is the most important person he’s ever known and she’s dying while Walter is trapped. He refers to her as the only family he’s got, despite his parents being three floor above them. He even opens up to Paige that he cannot talk to his parents without Megan. Megan is the Paige to his family. She understands him and can translate to their parents, essentially.

Sylvester watches as doctors rush into Megan’s room, she’s seizing. Sylvester reports to Walter who takes it the way you might think. Calm and collected. That is until his second attempt at the door fails. Walter begins screaming at the door and punching it, displaying a level of emotional reaction he has not shown to this point. Paige is at a complete loss as to what to do.

The medical team gets Megan stabilized long enough for Sylvester to make a request of Sean. He wants one moment alone. Sean looks him in the eye and out of a newfound respects, grants Sylvester’s request. A week ago, Megan was depressed because she thought she’d never see the stars again. So Sylvester constructed a small apparatus that projects the stars onto her room’s ceiling. He then very matter of factly confesses his love for her in her present state. Adding that falling in love with her was the smartest thing he’s ever done.

Upon Cabe and Ralph’s arrival, they are barred from entering the building. There are no real holes in place to slide them through. Walter needs to find a way to get the cure inside the building. He begins brainstorming about the pipe access out loud and poses the question, how to get it inside a quarantined building. How to get the liquid mixture to all of the floors? Paige throws out the first thing that comes to mind.

Paige: Boil it. Use the pipe to distribute the vapor. (Walter stares blankly) Bad idea…?
Walter: No that is brilliant.

In order to boil the liquid, Happy will need to access a pipe in the kitchen to heat the other pipe. One problem, the kitchen is covered in fungi. Using aprons, hair nets, and scrubs, Happy covers as much of herself as possible. Wedged between two walls of fungi, Happy successfully creates a flame from one pipe up to the other.

In a last-ditch effort to save everyone in the hospital, Walter reaches out to Sean. He needs Sean to leave Megan’s room and do something that Walter can’t. Sean eventually agrees. Sean gets on the PA system and gives the entire building instructions on how to let the vapor in.

Toby is very close to delivering the baby outside the kitchen. The umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck, which is not a terrible thing to overcome, medically speaking. Toby will need help from Happy, who should’ve returned already. Toby looks over his shoulder and Happy appears. Then collapses. She came in contact with the fungus.

As the vapor billows in reviving doctors, nurses and even Happy. Using a laundry chute, Walter and Paige, back to back crawl up the chute. Sylvester and Sean punch through the drywall to give Walter and Paige a chance to exit the chute. Toby successfully delivered the baby. Megan is not getting better. Her face has become blue and she’s fighting for every breath she can get. Walter appears just in time. She tries to speak. “Walter don’t be afraid to…” Walter calmly tells her to relax and take a moment, then say what she needs to say. She exhales, closes her eyes…for the last time.

When they return to the garage, Walter’s sense of failure is palpable. He begins to unplug everything when his computer makes a notification sound. He sits down and clicks on the message. Megan has Sylvester send the message when she passed. Megan and Walter sitting on the beach. Both looking healthy and happy. Walter (in the video) gets up to grab another blanket. Megan looks into the camera and gives her brother her final words. “Walter don’t be afraid to love.” Everyone in the garage can hear. Mother and Father, Paige, Sylvester. Walter descends the stairs.

Walter suggests that everyone gets some rest. Cabe offers to give Mr. and Mrs. O’Brien a ride to their hotel. Sean stands before Sylvester, looks him in the eyes and offers for him to join them. As Sylvester is now family. Before they leave, Sean even apologized for discounting Walter’s efforts as Science Fiction. A monumental step for a man like that with a son like Walter. Everyone is about to depart when Walter asks if they ever heard the story of the time Megan pulled a fire alarm to get Walter out of trouble (Season 1 episode 2 if memory serves). Everyone does a 180 and comes back into the garage. A makeshift Irish wake in the making. Walter sits and Paige sits next to him. As he begins to tell the story he subtly clutches her hand. He tells the story as the shot fades to black.