The gang quickly reunites — because the world needs saving of course.

By Justin Kirkland
October 23, 2015 at 03:08 PM EDT
Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS
S2 E1
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When you’re an adult, summer vacations really aren’t that different than when you’re a kid. That is especially applicable to the Scorpion gang. I imagine that Sylvester spent the summer with Megan, nervously sorting through math problems while Happy spent hers tearing government machinery apart and rebuilding it. Toby spent his using his own skill set to untangle why Happy wasn’t particularly pleased with him, and Paige spent hers literally putting together a speaker system, figuring out how to manage this group of misfits and probably trying to understand why the show is stylized .

You see, Paige and I aren’t so different. I spent my summer catching up on the first season’s 22 episodes and convincing myself that putting a backslash in front of a show title is not a typo. I’m so common — such a Paige. In the midst of it, I’ve prepared myself to tackle this socially inept, yet lovable gang of geniuses, as they tackle national security threats week after week. It’s me, you, Paige, and Scorpion. Oh, and Cabe. Who has Cabe been hanging out with? Gene Simmons.

That’s right, Gene Simmons is literally on Scorpion. Granted it’s for about 15 seconds, but he’s here sans make-up, sporting a police uniform. And that’s where Cabe comes in. He’s just a tech adviser for a cop show that Gene is starring on because it seems like a logical career jump since the team fell apart last season. That doesn’t last long though because he gets a call from Homeland Security (Cabe, not Gene… because Gene as a cop is funny. Gene getting called by Homeland Security is just silly), and he gets his job back.

Cabe goes and grabs Walter from physical therapy after his car accident. In Walter’s spare time, it appears that he’s reprogramming people’s prosthetics to play piano melodies that are more complicated than “Chopsticks,” which is the definition of using your craft for good. Unfortunately, he has to give that up because Cabe has been tasked with reassembling the Scorpion team. It appears that everyone else got a text, but Cabe went and fetched Walter in person because I think we all remember how great Walter is at responding to his phone.

When the team returns, there’s immediately tension between Paige and Walter. What kind of tension? Who knows really, but he did call Paige’s cupcakes moist, and that’s not a euphemism. As Paige is catching Walter up on what has happened during his hiatus, she confesses that she kissed him in the hospital and that’s when Walter drops his files and papers, causing me to drop my pizza, presumably causing Paige to go on a full tangent about how much she respects Walter and their professional relationship and Ralph and Scorpion. In short, we all dropped a lot.

Fortunately, that intercom system that Paige installed is working amazingly and everyone on #TeamScorpion heard the confession. And that’s why we don’t let Paige do ANYTHING of any scientific importance, and yes, an intercom is scientific. In the midst of the awkwardness, Happy takes the opportunity to remind us that Toby was a giant butthole (can I say butthole?) to her last season. She passive aggressively agrees that no fraternization is important. She’s interrupted, per the usual, when Adriana Molina pops in with Cabe.

Who is Adriana Molina, you ask? She’s the new head of Homeland Security. Adriana Molina is capable and educated and really knows how to revolutionize a feminine pantsuit. Most of all, she has absolutely no time for Scorpion’s nonsense and makes that known from the get-go.

We don’t get a lot of time with Adriana before she starts in on this week’s case. Some weeks, the team gets a break from urgency, but it’s the season premiere and something has to be done to trump a Gene Simmons cameo. The solution: a super casual atomic-bomb-Russian-satellite that has fallen out of orbit and could kill approximately 10 million people.

Walter is having trouble keeping up with the details because of some haziness following his concussion/hand reconstruction, so Paige offers to convey Walter’s programming expertise because she “can type 100 words a minute.” A quick confession: I hate Paige because I am Paige. It would take me an entire summer to put together an intercom system, and only seconds to use it to expose my own secrets. You are my weakness, Katharine McPhee. You just are.

Back at the helm of the computers, Walter begins to fall apart because he has post-concussion syndrome, but only when things become stressful or intense, which means that Walter can no longer be an event planner, a firefighter, or… well, a programmer who needs to save millions of lives. Meanwhile, Paige reveals that she’s in a similar position because she’s having nightmares of becoming a waitress again. I feel you, girl.

The issue with Walter not being on his game is that when Walter is off his game, their entire team is off its game. There’s no time to sort through everyone’s issues though because there’s an atomic bomb functioning as a Russian satellite. Remember those 10 million people? Fortunately, Happy figures out how to hack into what appeared to be an un-hackable system, but it puts her in the car with Toby.

NEXT: The kiss that keeps on giving

When Happy and Toby get to a set of Russian security officers, they appear from behind a desk in unison — it’s what Russians are known for. Happy somehow manages to stumble through some Russian government banter long enough to let Toby plant a device that will track the keystrokes of the Russians and reveal a surprisingly short password. I’m not saying that the password was “password,” but you’d expect government passwords to be more than eight letters.

Adriana Molina calls the military and passes on the password, followed by the coordinates, and when the missile is fired, the interception fails. Sylvester freaks out and apologizes, but it turns out that the satellite’s unexpected course wasn’t the Russians’ doing. It was America’s. Why? We can’t even be sure. What we can be sure about is that when Paige tries to minimize a window on Walter’s computer, we see that he has hacked the hospital security cameras and has Paige’s kiss on loop. It’s like every fear that you had while giving a PowerPoint presentation, brought to life in GIF form.

Completely unamused and disinterested, Adriana Molina calls the team back into action and threatens to shut the whole mission down, you know, because 10 million lives is like chump change. But as the team is preparing to flee the pending atomic bomb, Walter figures out another way to communicate with the satellite and redirect it. Sylvester and Adriana Molina, who shall only be referred to by her full name, stay behind to track the satellite while the rest of the team go to the Air Force to try and intercept it.

While attempting to stop the satellite, Walter’s computer gets a virus. Ironically enough, it’s from the hospital footage of Paige kissing him. In the process of fixing it, he misses the opportunity to stop the bomb. The mission fails. Twice. And that’s when Paige does what Paige does best — rejuvenates the group by finding the best in humanity and talking about her son. Fortunately, this strikes up a fire in Walter and he figures out another way stop the satellite. From what I gather, it involves a makeshift hot air balloon, a battery, a microwave oven, and a rabbit’s foot that Paige finds in a locker. The last item might be optional.

Happy is finishing hooking up the balloon and the battery backfires, throwing her backward and hitting her eye. Toby checks her out and determines that if he doesn’t treat her eye, she’ll go blind because timing is a tricky mistress. In her place, Paige offers to go with Walter into the world-saving hot air balloon because that’s apparently what supporting each other means. Personally that’s not what my definition of support is — supporting your semi-boyfriend means pretending to like his writing or eating Chinese when that’s not really “your thing.” It certainly does not mean saving the whole world.

Immediately, Paige regrets her choice because that’s a normal reaction when you get in a makeshift hot air balloon. Back on the ground, Toby is putting pressure on Happy’s eyelid and compares it to using a plunger because if Toby is good at anything, it’s being the opposite of charming. On the other side of the scale, the altitude is clearly affecting Walter and Paige because Walter admits that he has feelings for Paige, and Paige reacts logically to it and agrees that it’s destabilizing for the whole team. And then Toby reveals that he can hear everything they’re saying. Honestly, why is someone not doing a standard check before having these big emotional epiphanies?

On the balloon, Walter nearly foils the entire mission by dropping half of the world-saving mechanism down to Earth, and then he nearly falls off the balloon himself. That leaves Paige, who started last season as a waitress, to activate the machine that will save the entire population of Southern California. She’s also suddenly responsible for saving Walter. Mind you, while all of this has happened, Sylvester was able to change the coordinates of the satellite and send it into the ocean. The crazy part is when he redirected it, he sent it spiraling toward Paige and Walter. All of a sudden, the thought of being a waitress again really isn’t so terrible.

Fortunately, Paige is really handy with a carabiner and connects herself to Walter. They drop into the sky just as the satellite flies through the balloon and into the ocean. Walter pulls a ripcord, and they glide to the ground, bodies pressed against one another, as colleagues often do.

As the day draws to an end, Adriana Molina instructs her people where to set up her press conference. She claims responsibility for pressing the button that saved the world, but she also tips her hat to Team Scorpion. It’s still too early to determine whether or not she’s good people, but then again, the jury is still out across the board. That goes for Toby too, at least as far as Happy’s concerned. She brushes away his advances to take care of her, and finally he says, “There’s more of a chance of an atomic attack than me ever hurting you.” It’s true because there was almost an atomic bomb. He makes a valid point.

Some of the best parts of Scorpion are when it pokes fun at itself. Cabe gets a little meta when Walter asks if he’s happy to be back with these immature geniuses. Cabe responds and says that he’s been working with actors for weeks and that this is much better. I see what you did there, show runners. Cabe tells Walter never to lie about his health again, but it wasn’t Paige that told him—he just knows Walter that well.

As the episode draws to an end, Walter confronts Paige one last time about their relationship and how it’s best not to be involved. I immediately start looking for a camera or a speaker or something else that could reveal this moment, but the only big reveal is that professionalism is clearly not going to work because Paige and Walter test their hypothesis about whether or not their attraction will interfere with their work. They go in for their first conscious kiss. It’s pretty sloppy and messy, but it’s passionate. Essentially, it was the Scorpion of first kisses. They agree that there’s no chemistry and then Paige leans against the door as if she’s been punched in the stomach and Walter falls back in his chair. Yeah, definitely no chemistry.

Scorpion is exhausting to us normals out there, which is why we should be thankful that we’re simply watching geniuses saving the world and not actually saving the world. What do you think the rest of the season has in store? Can Walter and Paige actually develop a relationship, and when exactly do we get to see Ralph again? He’s the real MVP of the show. Also, the television season has clearly already started, but this would be the perfect opportunity to use this episode as a backdoor pilot for a Gene Simmons-led cop drama. One can dream.

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