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