Scorpion’s “Sun of a Gun” is the fourteenth episode of the season and it continues with Walter’s intentions to become more social. And he does so by going speed dating with Toby and Gallo acting as his wingmen. While hilarious in a variety of ways, this is a highly ineffective way to socialize even for normal adults. The only catch happening at this soiree is the cold that Toby scores from the barman sneezing on his drink. Even poor Cabe strikes out, being relegated to the “Sunset Circle” with other middle aged singles. Never mind Walter, whose attempts to establish a conversation are horrendous.
To find out what other kinds of adventures and troubles the team gets in this week, click after the jump.
The truth of the matter is that even Happy is confused and worried at Walter’s strategy to hone his social skills; she’d assumed that this process would have been an opportunity for the relationship between Paige and him to flourish. While Paige herself claims to be okay with it, abiding to their agreement to not act on their feelings, she isn’t able to hide her scorn towards the idea of Walter dating other people. It is indeed a laughable idea.
Walter has given some thought to the people part of the speed dating experience, claiming that they can’t handle honesty, but Toby and Paige know better. The speed daters hated Walter because he can’t differentiate between honesty and an insult.
Cut to the case. Cabe announces that he’s coming to the garage, checking in to see if Sylvester is in. This already sets the dude on an anxiety trip, which happens to be totally justified because Gallo shows with no other than his father! ‘Memba him? The dude that made Sly a tight knot of insecurities and such? They haven’t seen each other in 9 years, 3 months and 2 days. Kenneth Dodd is a specialist in unconventional weapons of mass destruction and he’ll be part of their operation. He believes that a sun gun, a weapon thought to be impossible to construct, not only exists but it’s currently being tested by Bahari - a North African country. They could have access to prototypes left behind by the Germans who invaded the country during WW2 and were the original designers of this project. The weapon has the ability to redirect solar rays and use them to hit targets thanks to special reflector sodium cells attached to a satellite. Mythbusters tried to do this, it was a great episode.
The repercussions of the use of this weapon are catastrophic, and Ken has been looking for it since Sly was six years old. He hadn’t had proof until yesterday when a dash cam caught what could be a weaponized concentrated solar ray. Still, Sly really continues to doubt the veracity of his father’s claims. President Rahal - the ruler of Bahari - came into power via a military coup but he craves international acceptance while his people crave food. Scorpion needs to find this weapon and stop Bahari before they can use it; Homeland Security doesn’t have the ability to track it. To locate it, they’d be hunting for heat sources in the middle of the desert. Walter and Happy figure out a way to isolate the trace left behind via a device that could track the residue of the concentrated solar energy. No biggie. Even Sly’s dad is confused.
Because Rahal wants to appease the international community, he’s accepted inspections over the high levels of energy coming from their desert. He’s been advised that a team will visit to check that those ratings are not chemical or atomic. Team Scorpion has to go to Bahari, well everyone except Toby who’s sick as a dog, and no matter how many excuses Sly comes up with to avoid hanging out with his dad, Walter won’t let him stay behind. I don’t blame you, Sylvester - your dad is super condescending.
When they arrive, the scene is awful. The poor clamor for food on the streets while the president stays behind very tight security inside his luxurious complex. Rahal greets them, with the expected kiss-ass schpiel, claiming that all they’re going to find is a nation hungry for growth and acceptance. “Food might help,” Paige mutters to herself.
Ken questions Rahal about the recent flare that was caught on camera, which Rahal attributes to a malfunction in one of his solar turbines, showing them a building that caught on fire in result. Happy thinks it could be plausible, fanning the flames of Sly’s penchant against his father’s theory. The president has prepared festivities to celebrate the team, but they check into their room in the meantime, scour for any hidden surveillance equipment and get going. Toby is running surveillance from the garage while Ralph takes care of him, ironically.
Ken wants to check the burned down facility and Happy advises that they should look for the biggest storages because those would be big enough to hold the weapons they’re looking for. As they divide the load of work, Sly attempts again to get on a pair apart from his father but his skill set won’t allow for that. And it gets even more complicated as Walter gets called in by the smug president, who’s trying to court him as his Chief of Technology. Meanwhile, Ralph continues to surprise Toby by pampering him with his favorite meals.
Happy and Cabe go to the burned out building and they find no trace of helium that would account for the use of the sun gun. Maybe Sly is right, but the fact remains that the weapon could have been used to blow the building and the panels are hidden elsewhere. Cabe wonders how one would shoot such a weapon and which angle would achieve the shot since he just spotted a blimp looking very out of place. His theory is that Rahal used it to test the prototype and accidentally shot one of his buildings. Now they just need to figure out where the weapon is located.
Ken, Paige and Sly go to a warehouse that holds numerous solar cells. Their device is not detecting any helium here either, but Ken is determined that Rahal is hiding the panels in that building. Sly doesn’t even try to humor his father, begrudging him for chasing after this weapon all of his life. They have to hurry because guards are circling the compound, so Sly decides that to put his father’s theory to rest he’ll fly a fire lit paper plane across the space and if there’s a weaponized panel in the room it will capture the natural light and it will trigger the weapon. The measure backfires when the planes fly over and sun beams strike down on different spots. Ken runs towards the simple sun cells and discovers sodium panels underneath. Rahal has been hiding them in plain sight. Taking the panels out would be hard, and Ken doesn’t want to leave them behind for a later retrieval because it would give Rahal the opportunity to hide them. But Cabe has a plan.
Walter continues to humor Rahal in this meeting at his office. He’s aware of the adverse image he has, but claims that he really just wants to help his people and for that he needs Walter to build him a rocket. In their room, Happy and Sly pow wow calculations to put the sodium panels in the blimp and let it float loose to be recovered later by the Navy Seals that would pick it up from the Mediterranean. Calculations need to be exact as it could land in enemy hands, but stealing these would delay Rahal’s plans considerably. The problem is that Ken mistrusts their skills, specially Sly’s abilities to deliver. I really dislike this guy. He takes the cells out and plans to take pictures for evidence while Walter and Toby mess with the cameras and stage a distraction to get Rahal and the guards to the opposite end of the complex so they can approach the blimp.
When they get to the hill where the craft is stationed, Sly realizes that he interpreted Happy’s measurements wrong and that he only has a few seconds to recalculate the right moment to let the blimp loose. His father wants to abort the mission, and it turns into yet another scoff about mistrust. Sly manages to catch the wind in just the right angle to release the blimp just in time, and hide from the guards coming up the hill. His dad doesn’t even acknowledge the effort.
Back at Rahal’s office, Walter discovers that the man has a smart watch that he codes twice a day to control his gates. He claims that he’s a benevolent leader but he has to fight those that oppose progress. It’s hard for him to trust anyone, but he trusts Walter to lead their space program and shows him the plans for the rocket.
The Navy confirms the blimp is on their way and everyone takes a breath until Walter comes back confirming their initial fears: Rahal may already have a way to produce the sodium panels and even have advanced in the production of the sun gun. They can’t leave until they make sure he has no ability to attack. Sly is thrilled.
They have to locate the storage for these unused sodium panels, but there are too many buildings that could be suitable. Walter will have to whore himself out for more info, and it’s just so convenient that he invites him to a sauna. This is just awkwardsauce. Rahal trusts him to make his plans better, but Walter is coming on too strong trying to figure out the president’s motivations. Toby keeps giving him advice on how to butter up this guy but if speed dating was awful, this is just another level of bad. Ralph hands Toby yet another pampering item. It doesn’t make sense that this kid knows all these things, oh, but it will, soon enough.
Walter accepts Rahal’s job offer and he’s ecstatic, telling him how he’ll do great working with their German equipment during the day and cooling off at their Olympic sized pool at night. Bingo. This is where the cells should be being manufactured and hidden. They plan to sabotage it by turning the place into one big block of mortar using the sand surrounding the basement under the pool, the water from it, and limestone from Rahal’s fish tanks in his office. They need to act fast and watch out for guards and security systems and deliver before their absence is noted given tonight’s celebrations.
Happy and Walter get into Rahal’s office but he’s coming so they rush to hide away. Meanwhile, Cabe, Ken and Sly go to the pool’s control room. They find the hatch leading to the secret storage but they need to break the lock. Ken is once again putting Sly down on his abilities and ideas but Cabe knows better and gives him some solid piece of advice. Cabe should just adopt them all legally and send all these others to a parenting retreat.
Thanks to the lab’s vent system and Sly’s inventive solution they manage to create hydrochloric acid that eats through the lock and they gain access. Inside they find more panels than they foresaw, but the good news is that the panels aren’t new. Rahal has only reactivated an old lab instead of learning how to create new technology. This is actually good news, but they need to rush to bury the lab under mortar before they get caught.
Walt and Paige head to the party while Happy delivers the lime and then goes back to the party. They plan to steal Rahal’s watch so that they can all escape come the time. Meanwhile, Cabe will steal a car and coordinates with Ken and Sly to mix the mortar at the right moment for them to escape and join him. While they get to work, Ken tries to compliment Sly for his work opening the hatch, but this conversation just leads to the memory of him not being around in his life to learn just how smart he was. Ken tries to correct the way that Sly is mixing the mortar, throwing a bag to the side and hitting his own, revealing sodium panels hidden in it and triggering a solar ray that strikes the hatch door, sealing it. Ken never trusted their plans so he took the panels; this is a huge insult to Sly, and honestly everyone. Ken’s argument is that he couldn’t trust someone he barely knew because Sly left when he was 14 years old. I’m sorry, Ken. I have zero sympathy for you. But that’s fine, as Sylvester points out, they’ll have enough time to get to know each other now that they’re trapped.
Sly’s comm fell in the mortar when he dove out of the explosion of the sun ray, they can’t let the others know they’re in trouble. This stress only heightens their frustration and they start letting out all the resentment they’ve kept all these years, feelings of abandonment and huge disappointment. Sly believes that he wasn’t the son Ken wanted. In the middle of this diatribe, they don’t realize that the mortar set around them. Good times.
Paige, Happy and Walter try to figure out how to get the smart watch. Cabe is hot wiring a car to be ready to go. The guys try to charm their way to get closer to Rahal, but they keep getting interrupted. So Paige stages a “surprise” for the dictator. Walt and her go on stage and dedicate a song to their host, “Don’t go Breaking my Heart” - a duet by Waige.
All the while, Sly tries to figure out a way to get them out the vault. Ken confesses that he’s been reading all about Scorpion and he was the one that recommended them for the job. He was trying to reach out. He was right, he wasn’t ready to raise a genius and he loved him but he didn’t know how to show him.
At the party, Toby instructs Happy to work her charms to get Rahal to dance with her and so manage to get the watch off his wrist. She manages while Waige sings, enjoying themselves. Happy signals her friends that she’s got it, so they conclude their song and step away, just before Rahal realizes he’s been had.
Ken starts getting pessimistic about their chances and wishes that he could undo things. That gives Sly an idea. They can undo the hatch. They use the sodium panel and Sly’s phone flashlight to toss around the device and hit the hatch door to blow it and then use the light to break the mortar. They run out, the team reconvenes at the truck Cabe has hot wired. They use the watch to open the gates and escape, trapping Rahal inside.
Back in Los Angeles, everyone is exhausted from the trip, but Ken and Sly make amends. Ken apologizes and is glad that Sylvester has found the right family for himself. Bye, Felicia.
Meanwhile, remember how Ralph was doing all these nice things for Toby? Turns out that he was following Happy’s orders. The kid wonders why she’s being so nice and caring when she usually just screams at him and she confesses that she’s falling for the guy. D’awww!!! Quintis lives!
Walter wonders about the lyrics of “Don’t go Breaking my Heart”, and asks Paige if she thinks the couple in the song were being honest to each other. She suggests that Elton John would be the only one in the know but that the use of honesty and white lies is a fine balance in social interaction. Walter wants to elaborate, but Ralph is there… and he probably shouldn’t since the kid is curious about this conversation. He pays her a compliment about her singing before heading towards the door to have dinner and she stops him, questioning if it was a genuine one or just appeasing her. So he counters back with the advice she just gave him. She won’t let go of the subject, so they’ll join him for dinner until he confesses. He accepts, only if she explains who’s Elton John. Oh, Walter…
“Sun of a Gun” may go in my list as one of those Scorpion episodes where I get more convinced about the validity of the family you get to choose over the family you’re given. If you’re a nerd in an online community, you totally know what I’m talking about.
It is really heartbreaking to see how Sylvester, being the amazing human being that he is, couldn’t get a set of parents that could see past that. A father that would enrich his life and even learn from him. Even more infuriating seeing that his father is a completely selfish human being despite me wanting to be compassionate and understand his own fears. But I’m sorry, you’re an adult. What if instead of an intelligent kid, he’d gotten a sick one? Would he also ditch him? It’s irresponsible, and also shows that he hasn’t quite grown out of his immature ways. Ken really didn’t make me feel an inch of pity for him, he doesn’t deserve the son he has. I’m so glad that Sly has Cabe as a father figure and the team as his support system.
Sometime soon, I would love it if the writers were more realistic about travel times or make them just invent a teletransportation machine, ‘cause even getting one of my besties to fly out of Honolulu to LA takes more time than flying out of Bahari, according to these timelines. Also, I’d love to see Kat McPhee a bit less put together while in the field. A good example is Happy, ironically. Maybe Katherine is just that pretty and Unicorns don’t do casual/sporty.
Now for the lighter moments of this episode; the funniest bit this time around was Cabe Gallo speed dating. Part of me wanted to be mad at the caricaturesque representation of middle age women, but let’s face it, there are many women out there like that. It was also a brilliant way to make him sit in the realization that while he may be hanging out with youngsters all day long, he’s getting long in the tooth. I loved Robert’s reactions, and I wonder if in real life he gets any of these moments? He’s got a bike club to keep him young, though.
Quintis was alive and well and I loved the nice touch between Ralph and Happy, conspiring to get Toby while he remained completely in the dark. We’ll see if the Doc actually bought the charade next episode. But I’m happy she’s following through and I’m also happy the way this is being handled by the writers. I honestly feel it is more interesting than Waige… but that doesn’t make the other pairing less attractive either.
Paige and Walter are stuck in this dance of denial that gets amusing sometimes, but it’s almost too naive and chaste for my liking? I don’t know if I’m maybe shooting myself on the foot here, but despite Walter’s immaturity or stark understanding of human nature, I feel like we’ve reverted to an idealistic way of treating this relationship. It would be interesting to know, with Ralph paying attention to these sentimental exchanges between the people around him and obviously growing up, what does he think about Walter replacing Drew or even having unfounded feelings about having to share his mother’s heart.
Another entertaining week for the Scorpion crew.