Scorpion: The First Stage of Grief And The CIA

Courtesy of CBS
Courtesy of CBS

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Walter sits at Megan’s hospital bed side, back seat driving every decision her doctor’s have made. Outside the room, Walter’s drive to save her is conflicting with Sylvester’s priority of maintaining her quality of what life she has left. Walter cannot accept slowing down for any reason at this stage. If Walter was an athlete, he’d be the “refuse to lose” at any cost type.

At the garage, Walter leads a meeting to outline his plan for saving Megan’s life. Laying out the financial time line is one thing, but Paige asks what is the actual plan to save Megan. His answer is something straight out of the plot to the movie Transcendence. Walter plans to download all of Megan’s thoughts, memories, dreams, etc until such a time where he can upload them to another vessel. There is concern on every face in the room except Walter’s. Walter, has now completely changed his focus to cold calling wealthy clients in the hopes of poaching start-up capital before he can win the 15 million he plans to win by building his rocket.

A new face enters the garage. A member of the CIA who informs them that Homeland has agreed to share Scorpion for this particular op at a dramatic pay increase. The CIA have developed a secret (big surprise) airline. A fleet of specialized aircraft whose sole focus in life is to serve the CIA and the CIA only. One has gone down. Sylvester by way of video conference plots the plane’s trajectory. He believes it has landed in or near Area 51. The team agrees to take the job but under the stipulation that their significantly raised fee (150k) all be turned over to Walter for Megan.

The irony of an episode title, “Area 51” is that the only non-genius, is the only one giving any attention to the alien conspiracy angle of Area 51. Happy has constructed a device that will track the Tungsten allow that she believes the CIA must’ve used to improve plane vibrations. Happy instructs Cabe to stop the van. Just over the hill, they find it. Which is great, but we know better at this point. Problem #2 should be on the horizon.

Toby: In your face invisible spy plane! Let’s leave.
Cabe: There’s no tail number, we’re being paid a bundle, let’s make sure that’s our bird.

After literally seconds of snooping around this plane, we find AB- blood infused with nutrients, zip ties and chloroform. Someone aboard this plane has an agenda, no matter what the CIA dossier says. The CIA contact offers to more than double their fee if they can get to the bottom of this. Walter agrees with no hesitation and Happy forcefully suggests that everyone will continue on this mission for Megan’s sake. Since the men they seek are not in the plane, the next logical step is to venture into the nearest populated area of any size. That…would be Area 51.

How exactly does Scorpion gain access into arguably the most protected military base on US soil? They hitch a ride. Happy creates a device that uses the plane’s reflective panels to create an intense light. Think magnifying glass + sun = dead ants. But in this case the ants are a big delivery truck.

Megan’s test results were not great. Intubation would be the aggressive next step. It would be Walter’s next step. Megan, however, wants no part of intubation. She also finds a nice way to suggest that Sylvester needs to stop being the voice of Walter when Walter isn’t around.

Once inside the dismount the truck and slip into the sewer system to access the medical records using the sewer’s network to access medical records. Those records are heavily protected. Happy finds a utility phone connected by a PBX and used as part of a trunking system. Sorry, this episode is a little too much down my ‘9-5’ alley. It’s a red phone connected by a thing that allows for heavy call traffic. This small immediate plan works. Sly is able to find their ‘target’. On the way out, Toby, Happy and Paige believe their out of the woods so to speak. Until a small unit of military police find them, aim their guns on them inside a sewer system.

Cabe makes a solid effort to get Walter to accept that there is still the margin for loss when it comes to Megan a notion that Walter cannot accept. Before leaving the plane, Walter notices what look like massive hard drives or small servers on the plane. Each one can store 2 petabytes. Unheard of today for a device the size of a home desktop tower computer. Quickly, Walter makes the connection. Massive storage, insanely high res photography setup in the plane’s undercarriage, flight plans that have this plan following its own footsteps around LA, NY and CHI. This plane is spying ON American cities. What’s worse? If whoever this is perpetrating this crime could combine the designer of the plane and the plane’s tech to rebuild them and sell them off to any hostile government. Before they can get off the plane, a off-road vehicle approaches with two men and the guy they came to kidnap. Walter and Cabe are still on the plane when it takes off.

Meanwhile on the ground, the remaining members of our team try to talk their way out of the Brigg by telling the truth. Something that doesn’t carry much weight on a base that often deals with commentary about little green men. The situation is made worse by the deputy Director of Homeland sticking to their CIA given back story.

Creating a temperature change in the cargo hold, Cabe is able to lure the co-pilot down. Then a quick sneak attack and the numbers now favor Scorpion. But only momentarily. Cabe goes up to get the pilot at gunpoint. The pilot thinking quicker, programmed the autopilot to crash into a mountain in the relative near future. Once Cabe doesn’t find the pilot in the cockpit, he fears the worst. He turns to find the pilot facing him. Two men with guns pointed at each other and Walter hand cuffed to a railing.

Happy was able to use Toby’s old cell phone (after Toby fished the evidence box down it was sitting in) to essentially melt the jail door. Once outside they make their way to the roof. The idea is to damage one of the satellite dishes on the roof to open a hole in the ‘cone of silence’. Like a hole in the ozone. This way, they could contact Sylvester.

Aboard the CIA plane Cabe is in a slug-fest with the pilot. Walter turns the key on the off-road vehicle sending it to the front of the plane. This will create a nosedive and give Cabe about 20 seconds of weightlessness. While they’re busy floating and punching, Walter gets the keys. With them he unlocks himself then the little red box that Walter earlier said he could reroute the flight plan with if he could only get into it.

Sylvester has found the plane and sees that it is losing altitude. A critical detail and the g-force of the nose dive has cause Walter and Cabe to pass out at the controls. Sylvester has hacked a run of the mil drone and flies it beside the CIA plane allowing him to talk to Walter and wake him up just in time to level the plane off. Walter successfully rerouted the planes navigation, but that still leaves the significant task of landing a very large military aircraft.

Military police Joe turns back up just as Happy is about to give turn by turn for exactly how to land this bird. The military’s steadfast adherence to following protocol is not always the best course of action. Today is one of those times. Eventually Happy convinces him to let her bring the plane down properly in the desert, with guns pointed at her goes without saying. Walter follows her instructions as best he can but in the end, they land like a kid skipping a rock across a pond. Not gently. They are alive, but the plane is no longer operational in its current state.

Their new CIA buddy shows up in time for Walter to ask about their money and to ask to speak with the scientist who developed the recording devices on the plane. And in a wonderful twist, the CIA contact signals for his men to turn their guns on Scorpion. They know too much. Before ‘taking a ride’, Walter begins to tell the CIA contact how their friend is controlling a drone that is recording every word of this conversation. Walter is clearly bluffing but has enough information to sell it. While his dramatic countdown from 10 was off (Sylvester experiencing some technical difficulties), eventually Sylvester does give Mr. CIA a ‘buzz cut’ with his drone. One of the men using binoculars spots the recording equipment on the drone as it flies by.

As a consolation prize, Happy knowing they have the CIA in a compromising spot, using this opportunity to her advantage. She gets an answer on what really happened over Area 51 decades ago, Cabe gets an answer to where is Jimmy Hoffa, and Toby almost gets an answer to JFK. Most important consolation, Walter gets to take home one of those devices capable of recording over 2 petabytes of data. One less thing on his shopping list.

Paige walks in on Walter during his moment of excitement with what his device’s storage capacity will do for his plan. In a western style stand-off between the genius interpretation of death and the non-genius compulsion to process the inevitability of death. Walter, using Toby, displays a very nice but long-winded explanation as to how they know all they need to know about death. Paige retorts with the question of why. Then Walter unceremoniously excuses himself. But not before he makes it very clear, that no matter the circumstance, Walter IS going to save his sister.

At the hospital it takes seconds for Walter to charge into Sylvester demanding to know why Megan is not on the aggressive treatment track. Something Walter explicitly ordered Sylvester to stay on top of. A brother’s love and a different man’s romantic love for the same woman square off. Walter all episode long has been even more Walter-y than normal. Both men stand firm neither willing to give up any ground. Before Walter storms out, he turns back at Sylvester. In a manner that doesn’t require Toby’s expertise to recognize, we discover that this is not Walter just being Walter. This is Walter fighting against his own need to get through the denial stage of grief.

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