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'Scorpion' recap: 'Crazy Train'

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Sonja Flemming/CBS

Scorpion

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
2
run date:
09/22/14
performer:
Elyes Gabel, Katharine McPhee, Eddie Kaye Thomas
broadcaster:
CBS
genre:
Action, Drama

Nothing good has happened on a train since probably 2004. The Polar Express was the last happy train ride that anyone has taken in recent history — since then, it’s just been a bunch of bad rides. The Taking of Pelham 123? 100 percent out of control. That train that Marion Cotillard and Leonardo DiCaprio were waiting on? Don’t get me started.

For #TeamScorpion, it’s a little suspicious that Paige and Ralph taking a train to the science museum didn’t send up automatic red flags, but that’s beyond the point. Scorpion fans have been waiting on a train all week, and spoiler alert: It’s not a fun one.

The Backstory

Apparently this Million Dollar Toby subplot has been leading fans toward his first major battle. Everyone shows up — Ray even helps him enter the boxing ring Say Anything-style. The only glaring exception is Happy. After insulting his opponent, Toby is quickly knocked out cold, and even when Happy sees him the next day, she doesn’t care about his fight. For a guy that’s given up on Happy, he sure does spend a long time waiting on her.

Elsewhere, Paige and Ralph are on the subway with Ralph’s school friend and his mom, headed to meet Walter at the science museum. As their stop approaches though, the train doesn’t slow down. If anything, it speeds up. Ralph somehow estimates that the train is going 75 miles per hour, but the real mystery is what phone service Paige has that allows her to get service underground. We all have our questions.

The Mission

As the train speeds up, it has 20 miles until it reaches a dangerous curve that will cause the train to derail, putting Paige, Ralph, and the other passengers in some serious danger. Even if they make it past the first curve, the train could continue to speed up, and when it crashes, everyone could die.

Paige is instructed to get as many people as possible on one side of the train. Fortunately, while Paige is being socially dominant, Ralph explains the science behind the plan to all the nonbelievers…but not before he rigs a speaker system out of Paige’s phone. It’s super causal.

The Execution

Like most Scorpion missions, the team is already working on time that essentially isn’t there. Happy and Walter grease the tracks with fast food grease to ease the turn. Somehow, with Paige and Ralph’s help, the plan works, but as the train glides by, Walter catches Paige’s concerned gaze. In the midst of terror, there’s still some sexual tension. It’s scientifically palpable. 

Ralph has zero time for romance, though, because, you know, certain death. He hacks into the train’s electrical system to only reveal that the train’s router is inaccessible and can’t be stopped manually. It’s going to be a long train ride…or a short one. Depends on how you look at it.

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The team figures out that someone has hacked the train and broken into the tunnel system. Cabe and the team dive in and almost immediately find their suspect. Out of all the reasons someone would steal a train and crash it, it was apparently only for gold coins.

With the suspect caught, Walter tells Happy that he’s going to jump on the train — you know, the one going approximately 90 miles an hour. Walter runs into the station and leaps onto the side of the train, but his calculations didn’t account for the junction box that he’s going to plow into within seconds of jumping on. Paige uses Ralph’s telescope to break the glass, which Ralph is not chill with. But once Walter swings in, Ralph and him work together to get the situation in order.

NEXT: Paige and a brief history of jousting

[pagebreak]

The Revised Execution

The gold coin thief has been taken back to Scorpion’s warehouse for questioning, but he’s not giving anything up, so Toby and Cabe put him in a trunk and convince him that he’s going to be buried alive. He admits that his partner Aldo is controlling the train from a warehouse, but it could be too late because it’s always too late, y’all.

Back on the train, Walter and Paige are heading toward a giant wall, and the only way out is for them to hit a switch to redirect the train’s course. Paige elects to shut off the switch with a lance she fashioned because she took Ralph to Medieval Times once and “knows what to do.” I would argue that this is probably not enough of a qualification, but before I can express my opinion, she drops the lance, so it’s all null and void. Oh Paige. Just sing me a verse from “The 20th Century Fox Mambo” and let Happy work with the machinery.

Wishes come half-true sometimes: Happy runs headfirst toward the train like a crazy person and slams the switch just before doing a Shawn Johnson-level somersault in the air. Even with that, the train barrels forward.

Walter’s new plan involves sending Paige, Ralph, and the other passengers into an adjoining car while he stays behind to disconnect the two. It will save everyone’s lives, but according to Sylvester, it’s practically suicide for Walter. Paige figures it out too late and loses her mind on the other train. Walter disconnects, and the trains move apart.

As the train derails at the final station, Cabe, Toby, and Happy watch from afar. Walter only has seconds left on the train, but as it slides into the station, Walter is gone. The team finds him hanging above the tracks, safe and sound. As he gets down, Paige shows up and slaps the sense out of him saying, “Don’t ever do something like that to me again.” 

The Conclusion 

At the end of the day, Paige is the best punch of the night. Toby’s opponent is the second best. And Toby comes in dead last, but Ray (who is in a real competition to become a dark horse MVP) delivers the real gut punch. He tells Walter that when he distances himself from others, he’s only hurting himself. He finally admits that the bravery medal Walter noticed at the start of the episode belonged to his old best friend, Danny, who died firefighting with Ray. 

Ray has blamed himself ever since. He kept the medal because he couldn’t face Danny’s wife, but he won’t let Walter do the same because he’s his new best friend. The metaphor is super strong, considering that Walter legitimately distanced himself from Paige on an actual train.

Walter finally talks to Paige, and they discuss that the biggest win of the day is that little jerk friend that Ralph had on the train thinks he’s cool now because he saved everyone’s lives. Adolescence is weird man. Paige apologizes to Walter for hitting him and then admits her feelings to him outright. Walter, wearing his most form-fitting shirt to date, stares deep into her eyes, but Cabe interrupts them.

Walter, Toby, and the team head down to a club to see what Happy has been up to, and you’ll never guess — Happy has taken up comedy. It goes just like you’d think: with a knock-knock joke and a bunch of science jokes. It’s a disaster, but it reminds Toby that he loves her and that both of them were trying to replace each other with new (awful) endeavors.

Some would say that the big lesson of the evening is that we do painful things for the ones we love, but at the end of the day, I think we all know what Team Scorpion would say. The tangible, logical takeaway is that you should stay off the subway, if at all possible — no one puts gold coins in an Uber.

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