Scorpion (S04E16) “Nerd, Wind and Fire”

In lieu of an episode next week, we celebrated Valentine’s Day a week early on Scorpion and Walter (Elyes Gable) is determined to put all of his research into this holiday to good use and “check all the boxes” needed for a good Valentine’s Day – even though Paige (Katharine McPhee) has come down with a bout of the flu.

Whilst Walter is busy focussing on giving the Paige the perfect day, Happy (Jadyn Wong) and Toby (Eddie Kaye Thomas) are too preoccupied with the impending results of their recent fertility tests to think about Valentine’s Day. Regular watchers will know that they’ve been trying for a baby ‘Quintis’ for some time now, and it seems that this plot will be advanced somewhat before this episode is out.

Ralph (Riley B. Smith) meanwhile is excitedly running down the stairs every time he hears someone enter the garage, as Patty (Nikki Castillo) is coming over to ask him to go to the dance with him – or so he thinks. When she does turn up, it emerges that she only intends to ask him to tutor the boy she does want to take (Joey Defore) before he fails his trigonometry class and his parents stop him from going. After not featuring in the previous episode, it’s great to see Ralph back, and he steals the show on several occasions today with some great one-liners and comebacks.

Walter, settling the flu-ridden Paige into bed, turns on the TV for her to watch and sees a helicopter stuck on top of a building with passengers trapped inside. “Sounds like the kind of case we normally get called for,” remarks Paige and, right on cue, Walt’s phone rings. “Hi, Cabe.”

Walt, Happy and Toby head out to meet Cabe (Robert Patrick), where they are told that high winds are making it impossible to get up to reach the helicopter. Happy points out that they could simply wait for the winds to die down, but Scorpion wouldn’t be Scorpion without someone’s life being on the clock, and it turns out that the people trapped inside are doctors and the only ones who can successfully perform an operation to save a man’s life in the nearby hospital. Team Scorpion better get busy.

Back at the garage, Ralph is busy ‘tutoring’ Jesse – Patty’s crush. When I say tutoring, what I really mean is teaching him all the wrong things so he’ll fail the test and Patty might ask Ralph to go to the dance with her instead. This not so subtle strategy is picked up on by Walter, Florence (Tina Majorino) and Sylvester (Ari Stidham) throughout the day, but despite their best efforts to persuade him to stop, Ralph persists with his plan.

Another who is persisting with their plan is Walter and his checklist for a perfect Valentine’s Day. After the staple gifts of chocolates and flowers earlier, Walt’s next gift for Paige is a singing telegram by a man dressed as a bear. What follows must be excruciatingly awkward for Paige – think of that feeling when people are singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to you and crank it up a few notches. Paige heads back to bed and Florence, having recently got over a similar illness to Paige, brings her over some of her homemade medicine. Stopping off to speak to Sylvester on the way, Sly immediately puts his foot in it by letting it slip that Paige knows about Walter’s romantic dream. To head this off, Florence makes sure Paige knows there is nothing between her and Walter, she could never be attracted to him. It’s sweet that Paige, despite her jealousy of this dream, takes offence to this, telling Florence that Walt is “an amazing man” and there’s nothing wrong with him.

On her way out of the garage, Sylvester makes a joke and Florence laughs and touches his hand after just being with a sick person. Ralph noticing Sylvester get back to work without disinfecting his hand notices something. Sylvester has a crush on Florence.

Back at the site of the helicopter crash, Walter has a plan that will, as usual, involve him attempting a crazy death-defying stunt. Using a canister of oxygen and a winch, he creates a zip line from the adjacent building and, using a second canister, propels himself across to rescue the doctors from the wreckage. At this point you’d be correct in thinking that things are going too smoothly; once Walter gets over there he realises that there is a static charge across the helicopter; if he touches it, the fuel will ignite and the chopper, doctors and Walter will go up in flames.

Quick to think of a remedy, Happy tells Walt he can use a homemade anti-static gun, but to do this she will need to turn the power back on. Whilst this is normally something she could do in her sleep, she is still distracted by the thought of the results of the fertility tests. With Toby assessing that the patient may only have ten minutes left, he hacks into the system to pull up the results and put Happy’s mind at ease. What follows is thirty seconds of uncomfortable silence. There’s nothing wrong with Happy, Toby tells her, it’s him that has the problem – or as Happy so eloquently puts it “It’s your seed, not my soil”.

Whilst Toby puts into action a plan to extend the patient’s remaining time, Happy gets the power back on and Walt de-statics the chopper. Walter gets the doctors out of the chopper and sends them down the zip line to Cabe. However, as the doctors are getting off the chopper, the camera lingers for a little too long on the open chopper door, and if you’re a regular viewer of Scorpion or any show of a similar genre, you’ll know that a lingering camera is never a good thing. Sure enough, a particularly strong gust of wind blows the door clean off, unbalancing the chopper and causing it to spin and spark the fuel alight. With the zip wire also out of action as a result of the wind, Walter is now trapped with seconds to go until the impending explosion.
Sylvester recalls the case of a woman in the 1970s who jumped from the eighty-sixth floor of the Empire State Building, only for a strong gust of wind to push her back onto the eighty-fifth floor. Some quick math by Ralph follows and, following the trope of all cheesy good action movies, Walt jumps just as the helicopter explodes, narrowly avoiding the blast. Another successful day for Team Scorpion.

As the team returns to the garage, Ralph confesses to Walter that he doesn’t feel good about sabotaging Jesse. Walt tells Ralph a story about when Ralph’s dad came to Walter for help on playing baseball. Walt wanted to sabotage him in a similar vein to Ralph today, but decided against it and ended up with Paige anyway. Quick to nip this advice in the bud, Ralph reminds Walter that he sabotaged Paige’s first date with Tim at the jazz festival. And put him in a tiny desk in the elevator. And cut him out of the Christmas picture. Walter tells Ralph that Paige was mad at him for a long time for that, and Ralph just wants Patty to be happy.

Heading upstairs to check on Paige, it’s Walter’s turn for some advice. Paige has found the tape Walter made for her a few episodes previously and tried to throw away. She tells him that this was the best Valentine’s present she could have asked for. Sure everything on the checklist was cute, but Valentine’s is about sharing from the heart, and that tape is exactly that.
Happy, having a heart-to-heart with Toby following the results of the test, tells Toby she still loves him, it isn’t his fault and that medical science has a way around these things. Knowing the expense behind these treatments, the team gives Toby and Happy a Valentine’s present of their own. It’s Cabe’s bail money, the pay from their last two cases, and Cabe’s expensive present to Allie, which she has told him to give to them. Whilst they don’t want to accept the money, as Sly says: it’s not for them, “it’s for baby Quintis”.

Walt and Paige, settling down for the evening turn on the TV to a news report – a bus is stuck on the edge of a canyon. The phone rings. “Hi Cabe”.

After a few episodes of stagnation, as far as the plot of Happy and Toby trying for a baby is concerned, we got some pretty significant advancement in this episode, which is sure to have ramifications for the rest of the season and beyond.
The rest of the episode was what we’ve come to expect over the course of the show in following the ‘there’s a crisis, something doesn’t go to plan, Walter puts himself in mortal danger, the crisis is averted’ trend, and Paige continued her slow-but-steady progress on moulding Walter into a regular human being.

Also, wasn’t it great to see Riley B. Smith back as Ralph after last episode’s absence? The characters of Walter and Paige really shine best when Ralph is there to complete the family unit and even though we didn’t get much time with the three of them together in this episode, seeing Walter as a father-figure to Ralph really makes a difference to his character.

Best one-liners
Walter: “Was that Ralph I heard? Can you tell him I really appreciate the accurate trigonometry calculations?”
Sylvester: “I’ll be sure to pass that along…”
Ralph: “Is he making a snide trigonometry comment?”

TV Presenter: “I can’t believe it, but I think someone is going to traverse the gap in these winds!”
Paige: “Walter what are doing?”

Paige: “Toby listen to your wife dammit!”
Ralph: “Language!”

Jesse: “This isn’t really the best place to study.”
Ralph: “You kidding me? You’re getting every one right, just keep going.”
The man in the bear suit walks in
Ralph: “Maybe this isn’t the best place to study”

Man in bear suit: “It’s assonance”
Florence: “It’s asinine”

Toby: “I’m gonna Scorpion the hell out of your patient”

Happy: “Even your sperm is immature?”

Sylvester: “Who’s more vulnerable than me? I get nosebleeds on escalators!”

Scorpion will take a two-week break now and returns with a new episode on Monday February 26th at 10/9c on CBS.