Richard Cartwright/CBS
Justin Kirkland
April 25, 2016 AT 04:08 PM EDT

After surviving a season where he nearly suffocated in a smart hotel, froze to death in the Antarctic, and endured the most painful boxing career ever seen on television, Dr. Toby Curtis (Eddie Kaye Thomas) should deserve a break. Too bad he’s not.

During Monday’s Scorpion season 2 finale, appropriately titled “Toby or Not Toby,” the team is facing their unstable ex-Scorpion member, Mark Collins (guest star Joshua Leonard), after he kidnaps Toby and threatens to kill him unless his demands are met.

“What I love is what the writers do with the finale,” Eddie Kaye Thomas tells EW. “As big as the episodes go, CBS is always saying, ‘Make the stakes high, make it a big deal,’ whether it’s nuclear war or you know, mass amounts of death. When they think of what the next big thing is, it’s the risk of losing one of the team members. It’s a testament to the heart of the show. It’s this group that loves each other and needs each other, you know? Bigger than any conflict they face would be losing one of their own.”

In the Scorpion world, no character has ever been in so much danger that they couldn’t be saved until this season’s departure of Walter’s sister, Megan (Camille Gauty). Following the team’s first big loss, Toby’s fate isn’t as certain as it once was. “Every time I open the script I hope I’m not going to be killed off,” Thomas says. “You never know with television. I’ve heard stories of people moving to different cities for a TV show and the actors don’t find out until they read the script that they’re killed off — we’re never safe.”

Toby’s life hangs in the balance just as it seems he and Happy (Jadyn Wong) have finally worked out the complications of their relationship. With a (lug nut) engagement ring in hand, Collins appeared out of nowhere in the penultimate episode to knock Toby out in a parking garage. “Collins’ existence risks the whole team falling apart,” Thomas says. “We respect his intelligence, but we fear his divisiveness.” And Collins doesn’t stay in the dark long — he finds Happy’s engagement ring and figures out Toby’s plan to propose.

But when it comes to Happy and Toby’s relationship heading into the finale, Thomas remains hopeful. “Putting Toby in the relationship with Happy has forced him to change. Like anyone else, being in love is the biggest gamble we can take,” he says. “The fact that he’s willing to take that chance, which can only bring growth, is a strong thing. He’s changed a lot this season to make the relationship work.”

Before Toby can make any more progress with Happy though, the Scorpion gang has to find him, negotiate with Collins, and figure out how to rescue their friend before his captor makes good on his promise that Toby “will die today.” As for the big mystery on how Collins escaped to begin with? Thomas laughs and says, “Those questions might or might not be answered if you tune into the finale.”

The Scorpion season 2 finale airs Monday at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

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