Scorpion (S04E19) "Gator Done"

This week on ‘Paige (Katharine McPhee) teaches Walter (Elyes Gable) how to be a normal human being’, Walter learns the value of white lies when he inadvertently upsets Paige over breakfast. Paige is trying out a new, healthy breakfast menu, and Walter gets the privilege of the first taste. Unfortunately, he takes Paige’s “be honest” a little too literally and covers the meal in syrup telling her he is trying to mask the taste. Paige explains the concept of telling white lies to protect another’s feelings but Walter purely sees this as inefficient and denying her the opportunity to improve.

The team’s mission this week involves preventing the outbreak of a potentially Zika-like virus spreading like wildfire throughout New Orleans courtesy of some infected mosquitos. Luckily the team, having had some time to prepare for this, have already readied a solution. They have genetically modified some sterile mosquitos to release into the population, which will mate with the female virus-carrying mosquitos and eliminate that generation before they can reproduce. Sounds fairly straightforward, right?

Well, as any Scorpion fan should know by now, this team has the knack of turning the simplest of tasks, such as opening a canister of mosquitos into life-threatening situations, such as Paige nearly being eaten by an alligator and Cabe (Robert Patrick) nearly dying after being poisoned by a tranquiliser. So let’s break it down and find out exactly how the team managed to turn this simple task so far off the rails this week.

When they get to the National Reserve in New Orleans, which is where the infected mosquitos are residing, they calculate the exact location the sterile mosquitos should be released in order to most effectively spread themselves amongst the existing population. Being in the middle of a lake, however, means the team need to head out on a motorboat to reach it, which of course is where the fun begins. Whilst speeding across the lake, Walt accidentally drops the canister into said lake, and just before he can fish it out, an alligator comes out of nowhere and swallows the canister, mosquitos and all, whole.

The team contact Happy (Jadyn Wong) back in LA, who hacks into the National Preserve database, where she finds the nesting location of the specific alligator, luckily Walt noticed a distinctive scar on the alligator’s snout which enabled her to track it. Happy then explains to the team how to build a metal detector out of parts on the boat and a scientific calculator which Walt “never leaves home without” to enable them to track the canister, and thus the alligator. Once located, their plan is for Cabe to lure it with a raw chicken and snare it, giving Walt the time to shoot it with a tranquiliser. Cabe, it appears, isn’t great at making the chicken very enticing to the alligator, so Toby (Eddie Kaye Thomas) takes over, who has more success. The alligator gleefully devours the chicken, but the rope becomes entangled around Toby’s wrist and Cabe tries to prevent him from being dragged in, whilst simultaneously trying to get out his pocket knife to cut the rope. Amidst all the chaos, Walter tries to shoot the alligator, but his first shot ends up in the water and his second ends up in Cabe.

With Cabe in danger of dying if he isn’t given the antidote before the poison reaches his bloodstream, the team split up. Toby takes Cabe back to the road where he can receive the antidote, whilst Walt and Paige will continue on to retrieve the canister. With Walter running low on ideas, he remembers a particular plant which grows in this area, which is colloquially known as the ‘pukeweed’. As the name suggests, the pukeweed will make the alligator throw up shortly after it is ingested, and the canister and mosquitos inside will be safe. The pukeweed however, grows in a rather tall tree, so Walt gets back on the phone with Happy who talks him through building a harness to climb to the top. With Happy rushing through the instructions as if she were explaining it to herself, Walter can’t keep up and begins to blame Happy when Paige reminds him of their talk about white lies earlier, knowing that Happy wouldn’t react well to Walt’s original tactic. Walter proceeds to take the blame for not being able to build it himself, and Happy slows down her instruction for his benefit. The pukeweed can eventually be removed from the tree, stuffed inside another raw chicken and fed to the alligator.

scorpionpaige - Scorpion (S04E19) "Gator Done"
Paige (Katharine McPhee) ended up in the water trying to retrieve the canister

Toby, meanwhile, is not having a great time trying to get a giddy Cabe back to the road so he can receive the antidote. Deciding that it will be faster to go alone and return to Cabe with the antidote, Toby leaves Cabe, but a shriek not five seconds later and Cabe comes stumbling through a clearing to see Toby up to his waist in quicksand. He initially tells Cabe to get a vine to pull him out, but when this doesn’t work, Toby tells Cabe to get a large rock to quickly push him through the quicksand and into the water below without him suffocating on the way down. In his tranquiliser dart addled state, Cabe couldn’t find a large rock so helpfully decided to return with a bunch of small rocks instead. Cabe then collapses, face first in the quicksand, at which point Toby decides that this is all the weight he needs to push them both through the quicksand and bring them up through a small pond next to it. Eventually, they make it to the side of the road, and Cabe gets his antidote in the nick of time.

Back to Walter and Paige, and having fed the alligator the pukeweed, it isn’t long before they spot the canister floating in the water, and Paige stands on the edge of the boat with the net ready to scoop it up. But don’t think the drama is over yet, as she gets ready to reach the canister, the boat hits a tree stump in the lake and Paige goes overboard and into the lake. She swims over to the canister to retrieve it, but the alligator isn’t far behind. Whilst remaining perfectly still, Happy gets on comms and reminds tells them that the boat can move at 50 mph, whilst an alligator tops out at 20-30mph. Tossing Paige a rope, she grabs a hold of it, but barely has time to register what is happening before she is whisked away from the alligator and through the lake at 50mph. With seconds to go until the mosquitos in the canister run out of air, Walt opens the canister and releases them, preventing the virus from becoming a pandemic.

Away from the main storyline this week, Sylvester (Ari Stidham), Florence (Tina Majorino) and Ralph (Riley B. Smith) are getting the public’s opinion on their new water filtration system when Patty (Nikki Castillo) turns up in tears – she had her first tardy today. Knowing how much of a stickler Patty is for time, Sylvester presses her for what happened and she eventually admits that some of the popular girls at school slashed her bike tyres and she missed first period as a result. Incensed, Sylvester in his role as Alderman, and Ralph in his role of boy crushing on her head to the school to talk to the principle. While Sylvester berates the principle for not taking this seriously enough and refuses to leave until something is done, Ralph has another idea. He takes a dozen bike locks and chains the girls’ bikes up in elaborate fashion (how he knew which ones their bikes were, I don’t know). Incredibly proud of himself, Ralph is soon brought down a peg or two by his mother who admonishes him as soon as she finds out, telling him that he has probably made the situation worse for Patty instead of better.

Later on that evening, Walter overhears Paige complaining to Ralph about a lecture Walter has arranged for them to go to. Overhearing this, Walter puts those white lies into practice again, telling her the lecture has been cancelled so she can go home with Ralph. After asking around the team to see if anyone is free, Walter is then seen sitting in his car pulling out his phone. We know straight away who he is texting, and sure enough, Florence gets in, excited to see the lecture with him. This can only end badly, as Paige is going to see this as a date even though Walter might not recognise it to be one.

Best one-liners
Sylvester: “Look at you, at your age, spending your spring break saving the planet.”
Ralph: “No one parties like I do”

Happy: “How’s the prehistoric beast?”
Toby: “Just took a dart from his butt!”

School Principal: “I’ll look into it and if there’s something to be done I’ll handle it. How’s that sound?”
Sylvester: “Like bull nuggets”

Toby: “I always knew one of the stupid ones were gonna kill me but I always thought it was gonna be Paige!”

Scorpion will return with a brand new episode next Monday, March 26th at 10/9c on CBS.