This week on Scorpion, a member suffers an accident at a crime scene and shakes the whole team. Emotions and patience get tested, all the while trying to catch ruthless and violent criminals.
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A high-end safe manufacturer is attacked by a group of masked assailants. During the strike, the gang doesn't steal anything. Instead, they open a sophisticated vault and take pictures of it, casing it in the field. They kill the owner and one of the employees, and deploy IEDs in their wake.
At Scorpion it's business as usual. Ralph has been bonding with his father but Walter is leery of this progress, and possibly, Paige's growing attachment to Drew. As he comes by to drop off Ralph, Drew invites her to dinner. She doesn't say yes... yet. The guys doubt that there's no feelings left because she's the mother of his child. Paige doesn't want this to become a public discussion and Walter avoids the subject as they go off to meet Cabe for this week's case.
At the crime scene, we meet Interpol Agent Simone Taylor (Karolina Wydra - True Blood, Justified) She's Cabe's old buddy; they go back to an international operation, seven years ago. Interpol suspects that The Ghosts are behind this event - a brutal gang of thieves for hire. They're led by Javier Acosta (Christian Ochoa - Burn Notice) They worry Sylvester, and he argues that this is a job for law enforcement. Taylor laments that they haven't advanced on the case in more than a decade and they bring Scorpion in because of their blooming rep.
The vault the gang opened is a very specialized technology that only a few institutions have and Interpol believes that The Ghosts are planning to hit the places with that technology in place. The IEDs they threw exploded to cover their tracks, destroying any DNA. Sylvester doesn't think they have the skillset to go after these people. Walter listens to him, but continues on. Sylvester then discovers an explosive left by the gang. And then it goes off. They rush him to the hospital; the explosive launched shrapnel into him, leaving extensive damage, burns, and brain swelling.
Scorpion must continue solving the case so Walter calls Megan to look out for Sylvester while they're gone. Cabe is worried that this personal attack on the team is clouding Walter's judgement, but he dismisses it because he doesn't react like that by nature. He prefers to focus on finding out who's using the TD-9000 technology and prevent any future strikes.
The team comes up with a list but they have to weed them out. Everyone but Walter is justifiably distracted and they feel incomplete without Sylvester's abilities. Paige wants time to adjust for the team but Taylor thinks they're the perfect team because they are the most invested. Paige isn't happy at this disregard even when Walter continues to push through.
Toby does act out in the wake of the events though. Sylvester and he are very tight, he even sold his comic book collection when Toby couldn't afford to pay rent. He worries that he may not have the opportunity to pay him back, dwelling on the possibilities, but Happy doesn't let him be negative about it.
Sylvester comes out of surgery and his condition is still very delicate but stable as they managed to extract a piece of shrapnel that was lodged in his chest. Megan asks for it so Walter can analyze it. Walter continues to analyze the data, urging Paige to get Toby and Happy to come help him. She is badgered, between him and Taylor, who continue to think that they have to suck it up and solve this before the gang disappears again.
At the hospital, they analyze the piece of shrapnel, and stress continues to course through them. Taylor has never seen something like this before, and it leads them to who could be the manufacturer of the IEDs. Toby and Happy zero in on an ex-con named Dirty John Tucker (Ronnie Gene Blevins - Criminal Minds).
They then stage an interrogation where Toby passes himself off as another suspect and they fake a torture session on him as a scare tactic. Tucker confesses that he built twenty boxes for the IEDs under very specific guidelines. He identifies Acosta from one of the pictures; he was violent and impatient. Taylor says that Acosta is cool headed, so something is off. Walter thinks that if they only have five devices left after their attack, it means that they could only strike a vault that's small enough for them to go in and out and erase any trace with only those five IEDs.
Meanwhile at the hospital, Megan sits by Sylvester side, prompting him to wake up but he goes into a full blown grand mal seizure. The doctors are not sure of the aftermath, and the team takes it hard, but Walter continues to deal with this his own way. Paige is leery of this method, and asks for a minute to process. He allows it, dismissively, and leaves with Taylor in tow. Paige asks Taylor to allow him his own time to process as well, but she won't and Paige snaps. There will be repercussions on this team after they get the work done. That, Taylor does not see.
But there are personal stakes on her side as well.
As she goes to Walter to connect with him, sharing her own coping mechanisms, she lets him know about an encounter with The Ghosts in an operation seven years ago that left her partner bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. It's what drives her, and while she knows they need to grieve, they can't do it now. Walter can't allow The Ghosts to get away, so she pushes, invading his personal space, trying to connect with his own disconnection. She wants to catch these guys too and celebrate with a stiff drink when they do. They come back to the team, and Paige is uncomfortable with the way that Taylor and Walter are relating to each other.
Toby and Happy can't find an institution small enough that the gang could be targetting, so Walter figures that they may be looking at this wrong. The Ghosts set the attack as a bait to make whoever uses this system move their valuables to other vaults. They would use armored cars that would be a much smaller space that can be managed with a reduced amount of IEDs. They contact the biggest armored car service in LA County; there's only one booking for the day under the name of Huertavas. Taylor knows that a few years back a Venezuelan cartel boss hired the Ghosts to steal $100 million from another cartel, promising them a cut. But he didn't live up to his word and the ghosts barely made it out alive from Venezuela. Now they're back for revenge. Huertavas converted the sum to diamonds and hid it somewhere in the US. The armored company confirms that a safe box is being moved out of Santa Monica. They rush out, but not before Paige reminds Walter that they can't forget who they are because of their need to avenge their friend.
The armored car gets intercepted before they can communicate with them, they shoot them down, and Acosta gets the diamonds while his team mates deploy the IEDs and get away. The team gets there, but the perps already have three minutes on them.
They need to intercept them before they get to the freeway and lose them because they'd escape on their much faster bikes. Cabe and Taylor pilot different cars, herding them through the streets, getting one of the bikers to fall. Walter climbs out of the car and confronts him, slipping his cellphone into his backpack. This allows them to track them as the bikers take off again, but the patrols can't spot them. The three bikers slipped into the sewers so they intercept them in one of the outlets. Cabe and Happy take after two members while Taylor and Walter go after Acosta. Happy jumps from the car to cut through; she sets up and opens a fire hydrant that rains on the bikers just in time to make them slip and fall from their rides.
Acosta shoots at Walter and Taylor as they pursue, but drops the gun in the midst of it. They follow him into a set of warehouses with Walter following on foot when Acosta ditches the bike. He climbs the roof of the building, Walter on his tail, but as the guy tries to get away down a fire escape, the ladder tears from the building and Acosta is left hanging from the ledge. Walter is at hands reach but doesn't rush to save him, and even when he does at the last minute, Acosta falls to his death.
Later, Walter mulls, away from the team. Taylor checks on him while Cabe and Paige watch from a distance; he claims he tried to save Acosta but couldn't. They pushed Walter today, Cabe claims. The whole team was pushed, Paige adds, a little scorned. Gallo didn't want Walter to have this scarring experience on him. He tries to touch upon it with Walter, but he denies having any regrets, he doesn't have those feelings... but Cabe knows better.
The team goes to visit Sylvester. Toby gets to live up to his promise and brings him the whole expensive collection of Super Fun Guy comic books that Sylvester sacrificed for him. The team bids their goodbyes to let him rest but Walter stays behind to lure Sylvester into a brain teaser. He presents the situation on the roof to him from a scientific calculation standpoint, and Sylvester sees through it and puts his worries to rest. If Walter had helped Acosta to try to hang onto the roof, his weight would have pulled Walter over the ledge. There was no way around it. Walter leaves then and Megan stays behind. Sylvester confesses to her that Scorpion was the only place he felt safe, and now that's ruined for him too. He makes her promise that she won't tell Walter. She promises too that they'll get through this.
Walter meets with Taylor on his way out and they go out to get that drink she's been promising herself for seven years. Paige agrees to go to dinner with Drew and they reminisce about their past life together. He still regrets leaving and wants to talk about it but her mind is elsewhere. He thinks it's just about Walter but it's about the whole team. Meanwhile, as Taylor and Walter drink, and she announces that she's finally paid her debt to her former partner, she invites him to spend the night with her and continue the "celebration"... but Walter's mind is also elsewhere.
As it turns out, the whole team meets back at Sylvester's room and they read through the whole collection of comics he now has back.
This episode showed a new side to Paige and Walter's exchanges. She's understandably getting tired of Walter's walls, even when she seems determined to plow through them, even when he's also determined to not give in. It's going to become a question of which side offers more benefits for her.
Likewise, it makes you wonder if Walter really turned down Taylor's invitation because he's unconsciously emotionally involved with his unspoken infatuation with Paige or because he truly had Scorpion on his mind.
Happy and Toby's situation continues to settle, their ease with each other seems more comfortable as they get to rely on one another and let the other know more about their inner workings.
While Cabe continues to be protective of those feelings that Walter refuses to acknowledge, I feel that his stubbornness to embrace them is going to become more damaging than if he were to just admit that he gets affected by what they go through. But for Walter this is a show of weakness he doesn't allow himself. Denial, it is strong in this one. I tend to feel that it's not that Walter doesn't have emotions or doesn't feel them... he does, on a different level, one that perhaps has him cocooned in a shell that breaks a little every week.
As for Sylvester, his own fears are going to become a handicap that could potentially compromise his effectiveness in Scorpion, let alone his mental health, as the team used to be his safe haven. The question is, with his blossoming friendship with Megan, will her mission become trying to help him overcome these fears? Given that in fact he's sheltering himself from a world she wishes she could have all the ability to grasp... it could be a nice addition to her bucket list.
It's nice to have the members of the team always overcome differences and come together as a family at the end, though I wonder, with all the harsh and tension filled moments we've had, if this routine, Walter's leadership style, and their own individual fears and desires, if it will become a corrosive situation that could potentially break this team apart?
Next Monday, we have the X-Mas episode. I promise you, you're going to love it.