This week everything in the world of entertainment was on fire... even Scorpion. A group of hikers get lost and the team has to save them while they face some burning questions of their own.
For the Recap and Review, click Read More.
The episode opens with a church group of six hikers lost in the middle of the Los Angeles Forest for thirty-six hours. The Santa Ana winds rage, and this is definitely not the best place to be.
Meanwhile at Scorpion, Happy and Toby hang out on the roof of the garage. She's making best use of this phenomena by folding paper planes and calculating the trajectory. Toby dares her to guess where it will land; if he wins, he'll take her out on a date, if she does, he'll do her laundry for a week. She shoots and a truck goes by, thwarting her flight plan, and now she has to go on a date with him.
Paige and Walter go about the beginning of their day, serving themselves coffee, just like she likes it. Toby notices right away, requesting a minute of Walter's time. He takes him to the back of the shop and produces a diagram on a whiteboard that explains, according to his calculations, that Walter is in love with Paige. Many details sum up to support his theory: the change of the coffee brew, the lavender diffuser she likes, the dinner he intended to have with her. The reasons why Toby has gone into this character study are not only the fact that he has noticed the dance that these two have been having, and that he feels he should tell the truth to Walter as a friend, but also because Drew will be back from Portland soon, and he really dislikes him.
But no time for love here. Cabe calls in, and they have to rush to help in the aid of the rescue of the hikers. They need to rush; the winds are picking up and the rescue operation will be trickier. Gallo mentions that Walter should bring his tracking system, the one they used in the Baghdad operation, to help them out. I will come back to this in my review.
The system recognizes ground patterns at high altitudes, using laser and satellite imaging, even going through brush and trees. Walter modified a system from "way back" and by the looks of it and his expression, there's some beef about this. They will help the rescue teams locate the hikers for their extraction from the area. Walter is leery about the reasoning behind using his software for this operation, not so much as for why it's being used but why Cabe wants it and remembers it. "Some good can come from it now," Gallo says, and I can't lie, this peaks my interest way too much.
What the frack happened in Baghdad!?
Moving on, Sylvester finds that one of the kids in the group tweeted a picture of them from the site hours ago before they got lost, so they have a point of reference as to when they last had cell service and the place they were at. They can use this to track their footprints with Walter's invention. Thanks to the picture they can identify their shoe soles and that makes their work easier. Toby analyzes the picture as well determining a pattern that the group would instinctively follow as they walk; the body language in the picture tells him that there's a couple in a relationship and they'd most likely walk side-by-side. Paige is surprised he can tell all of that only by looking at that frame and he drives it in as to how much he can tell from his observations. Walter sneers at him, but Toby's calculations help them establish what track they should look for.
When they ask about their work station they're walked over to a helicopter. Sly does a hard pass on this idea right away, listing a bunch of reasons why they shouldn't board it. But Cabe dismisses it and prompts Paige to so some handholding. The thing is that he has to go with them, Walter needs him because he can run the analytics faster than anyone. He's so loud about his complaining that the chopper pilot calls him out, telling him to stay behind, because he "has a strict no cry babies policy". Cabe is not amused but introduces Pilot Marcus Bronson (Scott MacDonald - Mr. Hockey) - The man is tough and demands that they keep it together once they're on board. Their flight will be bumpy. Cabe won't be going with them as there's not enough room, and he hands them over a satellite phone to keep in touch as he mans the operation from the ground. Sly finally concedes and they take off.
Paige coaches Sly through their flight to focus on their task and Walter guides the pilot as they roam the area. Right away, they spot the trail that the hikers would have followed and the system locates their tracks. Walter communicates that they've spotted the tracks but when they descend to the area, they get hit by the winds and what begins as simple turbulence develops into an unavoidable crash. They bank towards the trees, hoping for a chance to survive the landing as Toby lets go of his seatbelt and jumps on Happy in an effort to shield her from the crash.
The helicopter gets stuck on the tops of the trees. Everyone is alright but the pilot, who's nicked the femoral artery with a piece of metal. They need to get off the chopper fast. Sly does the math to aid Happy in a strategy to exit the chopper. He calculates the sequence in which everyone should exit, but as they rush out, Walter, who should rappel before Paige, switches places with her, putting himself in danger. This is so not the time to be chivalrous. He rappels down just in time to see the helicopter crash land behind him. Unfortunately, their satellite phone was also damaged with the crash so they can't communicate their position.
Toby applies a tourniquet on Bronson while Walter calculates on their maps that they have to head to Fiddler's basin, due east. The plan is that they're anticipating Cabe is thinking the same way they are, and will try to get to them at this basin. They will go after the hikers, send a part of the group to look for Sylvester and the pilot who are staying behind, and then all meet at Fiddler's. The pilot is not happy about being left behind but there's really not much of a choice due to his injury. Happy laments that they don't have the satellite phone to communicate, in a very passive aggressive manner that Toby picks up on right away. She blames him for it's demise, since he was holding on to her instead of caring for the device. She thinks it was stupid and careless even when he thinks it was instinctual. They set off to follow their plan, while Sly fixes the radio on the chopper. But, what they don't know is that the bird has been leaking gas on the ground. It will soon get interesting.
Meanwhile, back at the operations center, they have spotted the tail of the crashed chopper but the trees are too thick to spot any activity under them. Ironically, Walter has the only piece of technology that would allow them to. Cabe requests a topography map; he's sure that they made it. He makes the leap too that Fiddler's Basin would be the nearest evac place that Walter would pick. He reaches out to Camp Pendleton for the right chopper that would allow them to fly in these winds. He's not leaving the guys down there. Fiery Robert Patrick is quite fiery.
Back at the trail, the boys make out the hikers footsteps on the trail and detect that one of them has been injured. They can't be traveling too fast. Walter congratulates Toby for nailing the pattern he'd predicted the hikers would use, so naturally Toby taunts him. If he's correct about this he has to be correct about other things. Like his own predictions with Walter and Paige. He risked his life switching places with her. He's making it too evident so he tries to remedy this by not favoring Paige with extra water when she asks for some and making that a point in front of Toby. But he knows better.
Happy then spots a problem. The trail ends and with it the footprints they've been following. The field before them gives them a million options as to where to go. But that's when Paige overhears voices in the distance and they follow, finding them not too far away. They check on them and give them some water, and set out to make the trek to the basin.
The day ends and so we find Sylvester trying to strip wires in the dark despite being grossed out by biting on them. They have to get the radio going, and for a minute they overhear Gallo trying to talk to them but it's choppy and staticky and then it dies, throwing sparks everywhere. Bronson goes mute then, as Sly goes on a self-deprecating rant about how he might have done a better job had he sacrificed his health. But disappointment is not why Bronson is not uttering a word, it's the fact that the brush behind them has caught on fire. This is painting a terrible picture. It gets worse. With the winds, the fire spreads fast enough that they reach the path that Walter and the hiking group have been following.
The fire on Sly and Bronson's side is raging while they try to improvise a sled so Bronson can move. Silvester does all the calculations, it's not looking okay and they're not moving fast enough. Meanwhile Walter and the group are feeling the effects of the smoke. He gives Paige a soaked rag for her to breathe through and Toby follows his example giving one to Happy, but she shuns him away, even though he's just trying to help. She claims she doesn't need help, and he thinks that she's just terrified that he's acting on his intentions after she kissed him. But Happy is right, this is not the time, there's a fire raging behind them and all. And then it gets even worse as their trek is interrupted by a ravine. They need to move fast.
It's then that one of the hikers confesses it's his fault that they got lost because he was trying to get them to the perfect spot to propose. Walter eases him out of feeling responsible as Happy crafts a hook and proposes they rope swing across the ravine.
Meanwhile, Sly struggles to haul Bronson on his makeshift sled. The fire is catching up to them really fast. The pilot doesn't have the patience to understand Sly's fears and goes on a hardass rant that sets Sylvester off. This kind of talk doesn't work with him, it never has, especially when his calculations are against them. Bronson works on power faith though. It's then that Sly may have a solution to save them both. He drags the pilot into a pipe drain and closes the gap with the helicopter door they've been using as a sled until the fire passes over them. They make it, but Bronson's injury has gotten worse. Sly sets to try to flatten the door that has warped to continue using it as a sled, and that's where we learn that his father used to treat him like Bronson did. He was a man where harsh love was celebrated even when it didn't work out for him.
At the ravine, they set up to jump to the other side, but it's Walter who braves the first swing, again showing off a bit. They walk down to the pass when the fire closing in forces them to run really close to and even through it to avoid getting trapped behind it. This fares really badly for Sly since he hasn't made it over and they're now stuck since the sled has stopped working. Bronson wants him to abandon him but if he leaves him behind the man will most likely die of smoke inhalation.
Cabe approaches the crash site on the evac chopper, but they can't see anything. They head to Fiddler's basin, Gallo is determined. The group hasn't made it there, but they hear the helicopter and try to get their attention, but Cabe and the pilot can't see their flashlights. Above, the helicopter pilot fears that the bird will fall because of the smoke getting into the engine and he aborts the mission.
That's when Walter figures he can use the diamond that the man in the group was going to use to propose and a rock that a boy had in his backpack to collect to produce a signal flare to call out the attention of those in the chopper. Way to spill the beans, Walter. He throws the contraption on the fire and a green plume of smoke rises. Cabe spots it and the pilot turns the chopper around. The group is feeling weak, and so Paige reaches over to grab Walter's hand. They're reaching the end of their hopes. That's when Toby decides to pull Happy to him and declare his love to her, just in time to have Cabe arrive with a fire extinguisher and shoot the dust all over his face. Way to ruin the moment, Cabe.
They have to rush out, but Walter wants to wait for Sylvester. The pilot wants them out but Gallo won't move either and out of the flames comes Sly carrying the pilot on his back. They all rush and climb into the chopper, leaving just in time.
Back at the camp everyone shares hugs and the fire will be controlled. This was a close call, even Gallo thought it was too risky and Toby and Happy make fun that he's growing soft. Bronson gets medical attention but before the paramedics take him away, he lets Sylvester know that he's tough, despite of what he thinks of himself and that he'd be proud to call him his son. It clearly means a whole lot to Sylvester.
Paige goes out to the man that wanted to propose, and hands him one of her rings; it's not a diamond but it will do the trick. And so he goes to his girlfriend and completes his mission, proposing in the perfect spot. The scene has the three couples enjoying what's happening, but each of them are in very different emotional places.
Back at Scorpion, Happy and Toby are back on the roof. He brings up how intense it got in the middle of it all, but she dismisses it, under the assumption that people say "stupid things in the heat of battle" - but he meant it. He loves her and he's okay if she doesn't feel the same way yet. She prepares another paper plane and they throw another wager: they'll take each other to dinner no matter who wins.
Cabe and Walter regroup by the whiteboard with the calculations that Toby threw together to support his theory that Walter is in love with Paige. But Cabe misses the point. Walter points out how one man's belief in romantic love almost killed so many people today and set a whole forest ablaze, but Gallo also points out that "the heart wants what the heart wants..." And I swoon. To Walter, the heart is just a muscle, and Cabe thinks he's just never been in love and he hopes that changes for him one day. Walter cleans the board... but leaves the little heart filled cartoon of him and Paige behind. Nice to see he hasn't given up.
I'm fairly curious as to what is the "Baghdad Business" is. There's been much mention of it as of late and by the looks between Gallo and Walter, this is a sore subject. Something went wrong with the system that Walter came up with, either in its functioning or its use and I'm sure that this is a big deal between them. Cabe fears the topic as much as Walter does. He doesn't bring him back to the table when they regroup, so denial is contagious in this bunch.
I wished the guest cast would have been used better than present them as just victims, though. The pilot made a mistake being too cocky and they crashed and the hikers only achievement besides getting lost was having collected a rock and having a diamond ring. Giving them a more active role would have been great, even when they prompted development in the main character's situations.
This episode marked a big leap for Toby and Happy, despite how resistant she is to allow him in, and I wonder... is there a backstory that supports this fear or is it just that Happy is resistant to seem vulnerable and open in matters that are unpredictable to her?
Knowing a bit more about Sylvester's father is nice; I had the sense that this clash between their personalities stemmed from what traditionally is expected from a boy, or what the tradition tells you of how boys should be raised. I found it nice that not only did Sly overcome his fears in a way, but also he got to know that "hardasses" are not incapable of also having a softer side more in synch with who he is. I hope that this forgiving moment also becomes part of Sylvester's arc but that it happens with his actual father.
As much as I loved the fact that even when Walter is in denial, he's been getting closer and closer to Paige in that understated dance they're getting into... I wonder if now that Drew will be coming back to Los Angeles, all this improvement will be out the window and we'll see another set back.
Have I said how much I love how Cabe's comments just hit the right buttons as these bookends when we least expect them? Well, that's what I think of those moments. I really do hope that Walter gets to be in love... or at least that he realizes he already is.
Just a few episodes left. Don't forget to tune in on Monday for another Scorpion episode on CBS at 9PM and follow their shenanigans on their twitter feed under @ScorpionCBS.