I'm just a girl in a vat of gel, standing in front of a genius boy, asking him to dismantle her bomb vest
Let’s just get it out there. Something is wrong, wrong, wrong in the world of Scorpion. For those long-time fans, tonight is a hard hit because even with a big case to solve, it’s hard to shake the truth of the matter: Walter is dating, and it’s not Paige. I could go back through the episodes, but I already know the answer — there’s no clear point where things went wrong, so this whole “Walter dates the world” thing makes no sense at all. What’s even harder is when Walter completely ignores Toby’s bug in his ear and makes all kinds of crazy demands at the date restaurant, but when his date, Linda, shows up and flips the switch on him, he somehow manages to go along with it. They actually have a really strange chemistry, but all I can think is, “This is not Waige. This is not Waige. This. Is. Not. Waige.”
Back at the warehouse, Sylvester is practicing for his Jeopardy! audition. Why Jeopardy? So that he can buy the naming rights to the pediatric-care ward that he and Megan used to visit when she was sick. But the issue that Sly is having is pop culture and personality points, which are the only areas in which I’m proficient. Paige really is my spirit animal. Walter comes in pumped about his date, though, but Paige breaks it down by Facebook stalking his date and noticing she posted that the experience was “interesting.” Ouch.
No time for all that dating nonsense because Cabe has shown up with a rocket problem. There’s a rocket launch, but the team needs to figure out some glitches with the rocket. So they travel to the Hoffman Air Force Base. And guess who’s hanging out at the base? Ex-Homeland Security Director Merrick, who is still not chilled out from when Cabe got him demoted. Just when it appears that the dating talk is over, Linda shows up terrified with a jump drive. The voice on the recording tells the team to sabotage the rocket launch, and if they don’t, there will be consequences. What consequences? Linda opens up her pea coat to reveal a bomb. WORST FIRST DATE EVER, AMIRITE?
Somehow, they lock Linda inside a Plexiglass box because who doesn’t have one of those around? They ask her how this happened, and she explains that she was drugged, had the bomb placed on her, and then she woke up with a bad taste in her mouth. After some inspection, it appears that the bomb can’t be disarmed without it exploding, and Walter doesn’t do a great job of conveying that. Paige tells Walter to be kind to her, which takes a lot out of Paige, and then poor Linda breaks down and says that she went on the date because she had recently watched The Notebook and that she read that your cat can eat your body. And with that awkward confession, Team Scorpion has been persuaded to sabotage the rocket.
It appears that Happy is going to make sure the rockets aren’t strong enough to launch into orbit, but Merrick isn’t going to make it easy on them because he stays with Cabe, Sly, and Happy. Walter sends Toby to the roof to grab satellites for the mission, but the throaty bomb man calls Walter and asks what Toby is doing. At this point, though, the team is dedicated to sabotaging this rocket. Back at the rocket’s fuel center, Happy and Sly develop a plan to sabotage the rocket. Happy works out the plan and sends Sylvester off with Merrick while she depletes the gas tank.
Back at the warehouse, a phone goes off again, but it’s Linda’s. And it’s a preprogrammed text from Walter that says, “Have a blast today.” Awkward. Anyway, Linda breaks down on Walter and tells him that the date was awful because he’s weird and she didn’t have a good time. For the first time, Walter looks heartbroken, which is what happens when you STOP DATING YOUR LOVE INTEREST. The team X-rays Linda and finds the “mark of the bomber,” which is kind of like an M.O. of how the bombmaker wires the bomb. It’s a double helix, which sends Toby on the search.
But back at the base, the rest of the team has properly compromised the rocket so that it will crash. Unfortunately, there’s nitrogen being unloaded at the base, which is used to re-create Earth’s atmosphere. Why would they need to do that? There are three astronauts getting on board the secret-mission rocket. So now it’s either kill Linda or kill three astronauts…or maybe save everyone? So Happy and Walter reconnect, and Walter decides not to decide. And maybe the team can have both, and maybe Linda’s bomb can go off anyway.
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In one of my favorite Paige moments, she demands that Walter just get to the point on how to save Linda with a detonated bomb. I love it when Paige gets to the point and shuts the science talk down a little bit. Long story short, it’s apparently going to take about 200 pounds of gel to offset the C-4 attached to Linda. Meanwhile, Toby comes up with the idea to sneak Happy in to re-fix the rocket. They’ll make it appear that the rocket area is cleared by creating a loop like in the movie Speed (which is undeniably Sandra Bullock’s finest work, by the way). So they set the surveillance footage into motion while Happy runs to the rocket to fix the damage. But Merrick gets notification that Happy is working on the rocket and runs to catch her. Do you know why that’s not just bad, but DOUBLE bad? Because the team has figured out the bomber responsible for that double-helix wiring. It’s a bomber who’s been in jail for a while, but Cabe remembers the agent who dedicated his career to finding him. You guessed it: Merrick.
Anyway, Merrick admits to the entire thing when he runs into Happy. He tells her to back away or he’ll press a button and kill the girl and anyone who is around her right now. Unfortunately, Toby, Paige, and Walter are all around her. Linda’s mom calls and apologizes for how bad her date was (can we PLEASE give Walter a break? Jeez), but she admits that she was wrong. That he’s different and that he’s pretty great. They continue to fill her tank with gel as time runs out.
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And time is running out quickly. Happy can only hold Merrick off for so long. Cabe comes around the corner and tackles Merrick, and they get into a pretty intense round of fisticuffs. But Merrick ends up with the detonator, and Cabe holds him at gunpoint. Merrick admits that he’s been working for China for some time and that this rocket can’t launch because this is a mission he’s doing for China, and if he fails, they’ll kill him. He doesn’t have to worry about that, though, because Cabe knocks Merrick off the platform and KILLS HIM, which is just crazy. Happy, Cabe, and Sylvester escape, and the detonator lays beside Merrick’s dead body. It seems like everything is okay, but as the rocket launches, the heat sets off the detonator, and Linda is still hanging out in her vat of gel, just trying to live her best life.
It appears that Linda will need to go through with this plan anyway, except she’s Linda, so Walter has to get in the vat of gel and help her set the piece of metal that will save her life. Walter chooses to stay with Linda in the bomb box. Paige is horrified that he’s choosing to stay, but she’s also so over it. As Walter says, “This is not the worst date I’ve ever — ” and the bomb explodes. The two of them end up with some broken ribs and bruises, but they both live. Anyway, Linda apologizes to Walter for being rude, but she definitely turns him down when he asks her on a second date. Walter admits to Linda that Sylvester and Megan found love, as well as Happy and Toby, and that even though he may not be worried about getting eaten by a cat, he does fear being alone and being eaten by his ferret. It’s an American Horror Story, if there ever were one.
As the night ends, Sylvester prepares for his Jeopardy! audition, and then Paige confronts Walter. Not about their natural love and connection, but over why his dates aren’t working. She tells him that he is weird, but the only thing more unnatural than his personality is him trying to pretend that’s not who he really is. Honestly, as heartwarming as it is, it’s equally infuriating. Paige and Ralph stay back to help Walter clean up the gel mess/turn it into an art project, and they share a knowing and loving look. It leaves us screaming, “So why aren’t you guys a couple yet?” Who knows, y’all? I don’t know if even a genius can figure this one out.