Walter and Toby's bickering leads to relationship counseling while a massive earthquake hits Los Angeles
Credit: Neil Jacobs/CBS
S2 E16
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Scorpion gave us the inevitable Odd Couple episode tonight, but it’s not the differences between Walter and Paige that are displayed in full on “Fractured.” No, it’s all about the old, married couple-style bickering between Walter and Toby. And the guys’ relationship continues to be a focus of the episode, even as the fate of Los Angeles hangs in the balance after a massive earthquake.

The Backstory

It starts with a fight over creamer. Walter is on #TeamPlain vs. Toby’s #TeamHazelnut, but what’s more annoying about the guys’ disagreement is how they do it and the idiotic reasons for their fights. Paige finally tells both the boys (because that’s how they are behaving) that it’s time for them to go through couples’ counseling…for business partners. After some objections from the duo (which includes a tiny shoutout to Waige that only infuriates me as a fan of the couple because HELLO it’s time for them to get together already!), they finally give in after it basically becomes an order. Perhaps this portion of the recap would be best analyzed by a fellow man, but your much more capable regular recapper Justin is out for the night, and thankfully Toby’s ultimate reason behind his antagonistic behavior toward Walter is a relatively universal feeling.

Meanwhile Paige is also dealing with the fact that Ralph continues to grow up in physical and emotional ways. He wants to be able to spend time with his friends, he wants to continue learning, and this week that means kayaking with them. Of course, for him to tag along on this new adventure, he needs to have a signed permission slip, and Paige is not quite ready to let Ralph run around the world essentially by himself. Paige barely allows Ralph to go to the tide pools near the ocean with Sly as his chaperone, and even then she threatens Sly with his life if anything happens to her son. Ralph tells Sly later in the episode that Paige calls him an “indoor cat.” Thankfully he gets the chance to prove himself as much more than that.

The Mission

But while lots of emotional growth occurs in “Fractured,” we can’t forget about this week’s mission. While Happy attempts to perfect the art of the presentation with the help of Cabe and Paige (and fails miserably) and while Toby and Walter are off seeing their new counselor (played the one and only Penn Jillette), Sly gets an emergency notification on his phone that a huge earthquake is about to hit Los Angeles. Wait, let me rephrase as huge may not quite describe what is about to happen. Sly reveals that L.A. is about to become victim to an earthquake that registers in at 7.8; technically that’s considered a “major” quake with serious levels of damage. The quake hits, and Sly does his duty as Ralph’s temporary protector by shielding him in between two cars as the rest of the team hides underneath tables in their respective locations. Walter instantly registers the quake for its high frequency, and he and Toby immediately go outside to assess the damage. It’s no San Andreas, but the damage is still significant, mostly underneath the surface.

The Execution

After Walter and Toby make their way outside, hydrants begin to burst with pressure from water build-up. The gang thankfully is united via a backup communication system even as phone lines are down and networks are jammed, but the problems in L.A. are growing worse by the minute. Walter and the team realize that if the water pressure has been built up to this degree, it’s likely the gas lines are equally as pressure-filled. And if the gas pressure reaches its bursting point, that could mean a huge blast in the heart of Koreatown. Walter and the team quickly calculate that they have only about 35 minutes left before the big blast (how fitting, there’s about 35 minutes left in the episode!), and member of #TeamScorpion are given various tasks: Sly and Ralph have to travel to the main gas line and shut off the valve to stop anymore pressure from building. Walter and Toby have to go underground, and the rest of the team are stopped in their tracks before getting to their tasks because there’s a van with three people inside, surrounded by electrified water thanks to a downed power line.

Walter and Toby have to work together to make their way into the tunnels, the effect of their couples counselor seems to be showing. While neither of the boys really respected the man’s assistance (perhaps it was because of his degrees from online colleges or maybe how he was willing to openly embrace his hemorrhoids and made the boys harmonize with each other while singing “More Than Words.”), Walter does start to open up to his friend after a little time down in the tunnels. The boys come across rubble that is blocking their way through and must work together to remove the non-load-bearing rocks. As they work, Walter apologizes to Toby in a real, heartfelt way by explaining that because he’s never been very good at emotions, he has never really been able to make friends or keep a partner. But he wants to be a cognizant friend, and Toby’s anger toward Walter is disheartening because the two friends are supposed to understand each other better than most.


Meanwhile, Sly and Ralph have to drive to the gas main when Sly accidentally steps on and breaks his glasses. So what’s the lovable nerd to do? Ralph to the rescue, of course. Ralph decides to direct Sly while he’s driving in a half-blind state. The two come across a young couple whose car is stuck under a tree. The young woman is unable to free herself from the crash, and Ralph once again thinks quick on his feet and is able to save the young woman by first directing Sly to use a car lever to lift the tree high enough to free the woman and cut her pants leg to get her unstuck from the car’s break pedal. The two are then back on their way after creating a makeshift ramp to go over the downed tree.

Finally Sly and Ralph are able to reach the gas line and turn the valve off like a couple of “outdoor cats,” but there’s still a problem. Of course.

While the gas may be turned off, Walter and Toby are hit with an aftershock and hurt their legs. They decide to take part in a three-legged race against time and notice that some of the pipes have broken thanks to the shock. Now all of the gas that is still built up is being directed to downtown L.A., where fires are already affecting the area. More gas to that location means more devastating fire.

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As Walter, Toby, Ralph and Sly deal with the gas issue, Paige, Cabe and Happy are stuck helping the poor people stuck in the van. Happy does some quick geometry (I would never make it on this team; I hated geometry) and calculates that the trio can make a bridge between the van and the dry ground using car tires to help the van hostages escape. The team hits a few snags along the way, including gas leaks and the van catching on fire at one point. But eventually the team comes through, and the innocents make it out one by one. When finally the last man left in the van is ready to start moving, he freezes, saying he’s worried about falling off the bridge and into the water. In a moment of pure bravery that shows just why she belongs on the team, Paige volunteers to go across the makeshift bridge and coerce the man into getting out of the van. With some tough love, Paige succeeds and must run to safety herself as the van explodes.

Finally, the team reunites in downtown L.A. (after Toby and Walter steal a cop car to make it in time), and they create a “chimney” above a manhole cover downtown to release the gas. Cabe fires a jury-rigged spear/arrow contraption that the team sets on fire into the chimney, and it lights up, releasing all the gas into fire through the chimney and away from danger. This is quite possibly some of the quickest thinking and the fastest I’ve ever seen anyone get around Los Angeles. I would know, I just moved here, and it’s already truly insane.

After how much badassery Ralph was able to display in the field, Paige finally realizes that there’s nothing her son can’t do. She hands him the signed permission slip to go kayaking and hugs Sly for taking such good care of her son and allowing him to show how much he’s grown.

Walter attempts, once again, to make things right and apologize to Toby, but this time it’s Toby’s turn to apologize. He tells Walter that things are finally going really right in his life and that when this happens, he usually finds a way to sabotage something. Talking back to and antagonizing your boss is a really easy way to do this, Toby says. When the two patch up and Walter leaves, Toby closes the door revealing that Happy is in his apartment. Can anyone give me a freaking “AMEN” that Quintis is FINALLY together? Now, Scorpion, it’s time to make Waige happen, and you know it.

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