In an explosion of all things LA and current, Scorpion delivered quite a loaded episode this week, as always. Love, fear, jealousy, and plenty of daddy issues were mixed in for a very nice pace.
For my recap and review, just click “Read More”
Walter is street racing in a rental car, for science. Slavomir races with him (Zoran Korach - Justified, Bones) - a Serbian that’s expecting two cars if he were to win. Walter is cocky about his chances of winning but he fails to calculate a variable - another car comes out of an intersection, almost making him crash and he loses the race. He now owes Slavomir.
Back at headquarters, the team tries to figure out how to win the race facing the same obstacle, even while they question why is he doing this. Walter claims it’s a hobby, but Toby knows better. He knows that Walter is trying to distract himself from something.
Meanwhile, Paige tries to get Ralph excited about hanging out with Drew, his father. Toby notes that it’s a coincidence that Walter’s new need to be distracted showed up as this man entered their lives. Paige recruits Walter to give Ralph a pep talk; he failed a Math test and that’s not like him. Ralph hesitates for a second when he questions him, looking back at Drew who’s waiting for him in the back of the room, and he wonders if maybe not being himself is for the best. I thought this was quite smart and communicative for such a kid.
They’re called into this week’s case: Harold Reed, a murder victim. The victim was a music blogger killed when someone broke into his office. LAPD’s Robbery Homicide Lt. Archer, (Lochlyn Munro - Castle, Lost Girl) is on the fence about having them involved but they found a half erased equation on the victim’s whiteboard that could be an important lead, hence why they were summoned. It’s an algorithm that optimizes a music product; the program embeds a signature that they tie to Peyton Temple (Scott Mescudi - The Cleveland Show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) one of the registered numbers in the victim’s cellphone.
All the while, Slavomir continues to harass Walter over the phone. He needs to pay this debt. As the tension builds, they research the victim and the suspect, and they find that Reed was at Peyton’s place for three hours the night before. That doesn’t give them enough reason for a warrant, and Walter is frustrated that they can’t pursue this avenue. Against better judgement he tries to jump Peyton’s hedge but Toby stops him, questioning his risky choices. He’s onto him, he’s doing this to distract himself from Paige, Ralph and Drew. Walter denies it and claims that risk is a relaxant to him, but Toby is not buying it. Walter starts to make his way through the garden but he’s shocked by Peyton’s electric security system.
Walter convinces Peyton that he’s just trying to talk to him and to call off the dogs. Peyton denies any connection to Reed’s murder and he’s very leery of them; they’re not the first to break into his house that day. Peyton is a music prodigy; he created a formula to compose a mathematically perfect song. They figure that’s why Reed was involved with him. Peyton discovered that someone had been using the technology without his authorization, most likely from a version that was stolen from his home ten months ago. Very wealthy artists have been profiting off of it; he should be a “Zillionaire” by all accounts, but Peyton regrets that the only thing he’d want is to have Reed alive. They were close friends.
Any known artist would be discredited if the truth came to surface but Peyton is not sure of who’s the source offering these services. Scorpion offers to protect him at their headquarters and he’s hesitant but Happy wins him over. Toby takes notice; she’s smitten by Peyton.
He privately provides Walter with a list of names and songs that he’s sure are a product of his creation. No one believed him in the past, so he’d resigned to just let it go. Reed wanted him to rewrite the program to fight back, and he would have, but now he finds no motivation since Reed has been murdered. He took it as a sign that he’s not meant to be in the music business.
Meanwhile, Toby wants to know who’s on this list; he’s convinced today’s hits are lame and a product of it, but Happy finds this fixation something unattractive in a boyfriend. He’s stoked she even meditated about it, seeing it as a good sign that he’s wearing her down, while Paige sees it as a rejection. But he’s relentless and plans to invite her for a date to a Monster Truck show. He won’t ask her now; she’s distracted by Peyton, and Paige accuses him of avoiding the situation very much like Walter does… “Music is Sexy,” she claims. Toby has the odds against him. Sylvester, who’s overhearing the exchange, reads between lines; Paige was involved in some music activities in the past, but now it’s a private matter. And you know… she was, on American Idol, but I’m straying away from this reality.
Walter and Peyton have a suspect: Lucky The King (Method Man - CSI, The Good Wife) he has multiple hits on the list of songs produced by the program. He’s a rich, powerful music producer known for his fraudulent ways. Toby suggests they confront him head on, provoke him and plant a listening device in his office while at it to listen to any possible calls to his accomplices. They go to his offices and while Peyton and Paige are scared that this guy could flip on them, Walter thinks that with Paige in the room the chances of him flipping out are minimal.
Toby poses as Peyton’s lawyer, accusing Lucky of stealing the songs, daring him to prove them wrong. If they went to trial he would lose all of his precious possessions including an orange Lamborghini parked out front. Everyone seems to have one, but Walter.
Peyton continues with the plan, persuading Lucky to talk privately and assuring him that he’s just interested to know if he knew Reed, and why was he contacting him. This distraction allows for Toby and Paige to plant the mic near his phone. Lucky doesn’t care if they “sue” him and while the team can now monitor his phone - he only makes one call: to his internet service provider, he’s got a seriously bad connection. Even when they think it could be code talk, they agree to continue monitoring him while they climb back into their van. It could be a bust, but something’s off. Same thing goes for the brand new car the DOJ just gifted them: someone has rigged it. They climb out in a rush and it explodes. Poor brand new van. Cabe is gonna be pissed.
Lucky is taken into custody, but he denies all implications with the bombing. Cabe informs them that he has pretty solid alibis for all the crucial moments of the case, and he has a powerful attorney by his side on top of that. Walter arranges to have all area security cams examined and Gallo advises that they should head back to their place. This might be more than they can chew.
While they’re back at their place checking out the footage, Drew calls Paige to consult with her since Ralph seems withdrawn. Paige dismisses the worry, but Toby knows better and prompts Walter to intervene to help Ralph and Drew. He suggests that Drew buys a program of the game to have Ralph make calculations based on the player’s averages and their best use.
Happy and Cabe find a lead on the surveillance video, a man with former military training and probably outsourced from Lucky’s security detail. A different camera angle shows a more informative piece of news that Cabe is familiar with; the guy belongs to Night Ridge Security. They’re heavily into the music business, a wealthy company known to law enforcement. Cabe takes it personally; no one messes with his people. Sylvester hacks into their mainframe and finds Dustin McBride (Con Schell - Castle, Revenge) the bomber. Gallo sets off to deliver this information to Archer and have the LAPD pick him up.
Happy engages Peyton into some admiration for her own musical machines and instruments, but while he’s charmed with her, he doesn’t fall for it. He’s long walked away from playing music. While Walter walks him out, he offers for him to be part of their group; Peyton doesn’t quite believe he’s one of them, but he acknowledges that what he’s offering is what he misses from Reed, the support he gave him. He advises Walter to not hide from anything, and just then they get attacked and Peyton is taken by McBride.
They agree that if Peyton was taken it’s because they need him for something and that a third party might be involved. Going through the list they detect that all the artists on it are managed by Owen Sugar (Matt Gerald - Castle, Intelligence) a client of Night Ridge.
The team rushes to his place but to avoid angering Cabe for not calling him right away, they set themselves up on a neighboring rooftop to surveil his place. Sure enough, they see McBride right away talking to Sugar. They have to act fast and rush to the rescue; Peyton is unconscious, McBride has to get information from him but Sugar has ordered to kill him afterwards.
As they sneak into the apartment which Paige and Sylvester help them navigate, they almost get busted by McBride who’s ready to dispose of Peyton. In a desperate attempt, Toby sends in Happy and Walter, dragging a drugged up Peyton down the staircase, while he creates a diversion by passing himself off as an eager artist trying to get Sugar’s attention. He tries but it goes south fast; McBride and Sugar hang him outside the balcony for his trespasses.
Paige urges Walter to go back and get Toby out of this. He offers Peyton in exchange for Toby, claiming that they just have to go to their headquarters to do the exchange. As they ride the elevator down, the boys brace themselves while Happy hacks into its system and drives it amok disorienting McBride and Sugar enough to buy time for Cabe and the LAPD cavalry to arrive.
The police find a box with a hard drive that belongs to Peyton. Its the program. Sugar has made a lot of money off of his software and Walter wonders if proving that could put Sugar’s Lamborghini on an auction list by tonight, hence solving his street racing problem. No such luck,. “Try four years,” says Cabe.
They begin to upload the program and send it to Cabe for evidence. Happy tells Toby that she was relieved they could save him, the move was idiotic but ballsy. As he’s about to ask her out on the date he’s planned, her attention drifts back to Peyton who’s found his way back to her instruments, leaving Toby heartbroken once more. The guy is playing again, basking in the notion that even when his program made the perfect song, what makes it perfect is the human factor of creation.
As he continues to hit the keys, Paige joins him, belting a few verses of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”, capturing everyone’s attention. It’s Katharine McPhee, guys. She’s awesome like that. I like that they didn’t drag the moment out too much for the sake of showing her abilities. Just then, Drew and Ralph walk in and Walter struggles to keep himself in check; he’s clearly jealous while seeing Drew’s reaction to Paige’s lovely voice. But she’s not even phased by Drew’s presence. All of her attention goes to her son.
Drew thanks Walter for the advice but he’s still having trouble getting through to Ralph. Walter sets off to have science make this happen for them: he arranges for Sylvester and Drew to play catch while they monitor the speed and movements of the pitch. The mechanics fascinate Ralph as they use the observations to improve his father’s pitch. Walter encourages Ralph to congratulate his father for achieving this, providing for a way to bond between them. Paige is happy that this works and Walter figures that Ralph failed that math test to level with Drew. Paige fears that he’s doing this so Drew doesn’t leave him, but Walter makes an observation; as much as Ralph tries, he can’t deny his genius, it’s who he is. Drew needs to get to know him.
Now it’s the end of the day, and Peyton asks Happy out, much to Toby’s hurt annoyance, and decides that he’s better off if the program doesn’t exist, he has to make real music… so he destroys it.
Walter still has the problem of the missing Lamborghini that he owes but then he remembers - Lucky the King owns one. By the looks of their surveillance he also has huge network problems, so Walter makes a deal. He borrows the car for the night in exchange for giving him super speedy internet. He meets up with Slavomir for a double or nothing race…. maybe next week we’ll learn if Walter now owns two luxury cars.
I have to admit that on my first watch of this episode I wasn’t as invested as in previous ones. There’s nothing in particular that didn’t interest me, in fact I was entertained with the street race bit, I’m a huge Fast & Furious fan. The case was pretty solid, and the dynamics moved forward. Still, this is an episode that if I were to rewatch episodes in a row, I could skip it.
I can make a comment though on something that bothers me from time to time: when it comes to weaving in Robert Patrick’s character, the transitions sometimes feel forced. Or to put it differently, I feel that he’s used but not naturally explored. Cabe comes in and out but we lose track of what his life is once he’s served his purpose. There’s no actual reference as what his day to day is while we get a glimpse of this for the rest of the characters. I know it’s a challenge when this is an ensemble cast and the team is supposed to be the focus of our attention. Hopefully next week we may be getting an insight into his world, but I’d like for those details to come more naturally for future episodes. Does he go home to eat by himself? Is his closet filled with an endless selection of Armani suits? I need a look into his world.
As for the ship watch this week: I’m loving what they’re doing with Toby and Happy. I wanted them to put obstacles along the way and it’s working out, while Paige and Walter’s dynamic is getting richer.
Hopefully they can also tackle Sylvester’s storyline from its emotional standpoint some time soon. We know there's plenty of Daddy issues there to collect from.
Scorpion airs on CBS every Monday at 9PM. Make sure to tune in and follow their Twitter feed under the handle @ScorpionCBS.