Waige takes a backseat as a new, handsome Homeland protégé joins Team Scorpion
You can only not love someone so long before you get yourself replaced. That’s where we’re at tonight on Scorpion when a handsome young man named Tim Armstrong (played by everyone’s favorite underdog quarterback, Scott Porter) steps into Team Scorpion as Cabe’s protégé (and with that, he shall only be called Shadow Cabe). We see a little bit of Shadow Cabe’s background as a soldier who was injured in battle, but if his backstory seems intense, then the warehouse is the total other side of the spectrum. Back at headquarters, Ralph has dared Toby to dance on a desk while Sly works with last week’s crazy lawyer, Haywood Morris (played by Horatio Sanz) to fight Sly’s case that he’s wrongfully being kept off his game shows. This crew is just…a lot.
Team Scorpion is not into Shadow Cabe. They’ve pre-stalked him and decided that he’s not worth their time. Walter isn’t terribly against Shadow Cabe until he starts a flirt campaign with Paige. In a super laid-back genius way, Toby and Walter are definitely not ready to have Armstrong on the team, but they don’t have much of an option because they’ve been commissioned to install an audio surveillance system in Djibouti. The feds want this system installed very quickly so they’ve come to Team Scorpion. But Toby isn’t ready to move forward with Shadow Cabe until he reveals the hole the team found in his career history. That’s when Shadow Cabe reveals that he was a SEAL at one point — remember that little flashback at the beginning? That was from where Shadow Cabe was shot in the back during a mission. Even with that big reveal, Toby and Walter stay suspicious.
Once the team arrives in Africa, they install the system pretty quickly. But when they go to test the system, it appears that it works but almost too quickly. Walter notices little markers that lead him to believe that Shadow Cabe has been to this base before. Once Cabe and Shadow Cabe leave the base, Walter and the team dive into the Navy’s files to get more intel on Armstrong.
Meanwhile Cabe and Shadow Cabe are out in the field doing a mission of their own. They sneak under a small shack — inside they find a box with a… bowl (??). It’s unclear exactly what the bowl is for, but Cabe and Shadow Cabe scan it and attempt to escape the shack. As they escape, Cabe and Armstrong are chased by two guys from the shack who shoot out Cabe’s gas tank. Shadow Cabe takes the bowl scanner and bails out the side of the Jeep before the two guys make it to the Jeep. Cabe tries to talk his way out of being on their property, but they knock him out.
Back at the base, Scorpion is snooping in on Shadow Cabe’s file — that’s when Armstrong walks in on them and explains the mission, the reason they’re in Africa, and Copley — the man who has Cabe. The team is able to wire tap Cabe’s location and hear that he’s being tortured. Copley illegally sells artifacts via a black market, which is just one of a number of illegal hobbies he has. The underlying mission here is to overthrow his entire system. That is why Cabe and Shadow Cabe scanned the bowl. They were getting its measurements and makeup to re-create it with the 3-D printer back at the the base. Once it’s re-created, the plan was to replace the real bowl with the fake, causing Copley’s operation to be discredited and dismantled, which leads to the returning of the bowl to its rightful place. To be honest, it’s one of the least important cases that Scorpion has taken with some of the highest stakes.
NEXT: Bang, Paige, I shot you down
The Revised Execution
So the team gets to work on how to make a 3-D printer replicate organic materials. They re-create the bowl, dye it, and bake it. While Happy, Paige, and Sly ace their Pottery 101 final, Copley and his men continue to torture Cabe. Tim comes up with a plan. Paige and Tim disguise themselves as the artifact buyers planning to come buy the bowl while Walter and Toby hide under the vehicle that brought them there. Elsewhere, Sly and Happy work together to sneak into the shack to replace the bowl before the trade. But Sly drops the bowl, breaking it before they can replace it. Inside the shack, Copley talks about the last time the government tried to infiltrate his site and that he used an I.E.D. to kill one soldier and send the other one running. Tim doesn’t respond well to that, but it’s Paige that keeps him calm. To be honest, this episode (and season) is a big turning point for Paige. I haven’t felt so refreshed by Katharine McPhee’s performance since those Neutrogena ads she used to do. Big win for Paige/Katharine/emotional white women/me.
Inside the shack, Paige and Shadow Cabe have to hold Copley off from going to retrieve the bowl until Happy and Sly can fix and replace the broken fake one with the original. Armstrong makes up a story about how he and Paige met in Paris. He draws a little too closely from real life, noting how cute Paige was with foam above her lip (just like at the beginning of the episode when they met), and you can see how upset it makes Walter. But there’s not much time for jealousy because Walter and Toby have to drug the guard outside of where Cabe’s being held and save him from this African torture shed. When the drugs aren’t strong enough, they end up tackling the guard and falling into the same shed where Cabe is being kept.
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In the shed, somehow Cabe is able to kickbox his captor and knock him out. Walter cuts him down as Sylvester breaks in to be with the rest of the team. But in the main shed, Paige and Tim can’t hold off Copley any longer. When Copley finally makes his way into the back room where the bowl is, Happy has just escaped, even though you can see her eyes as she’s hiding under the floor. As soon as Shadow Cabe sees the bowl, he says that he and Paige aren’t interested in purchasing it anymore, as it’s not what he expected. It’s at that time the real dealers come to purchase the ancient artifact, and it seems as if Armstrong and Paige are caught in the act. Shadow Cabe tries to defend Paige, but Copley says he’s going to kill her anyway. Happy, from under the floorboards, pushes some boards up, overturning a shelf on Copley and his men. Shadow Cabe and Paige run to escape, but right as Paige gets in the SUV, SHE. GETS. SHOT. IN THE BACK. I haven’t felt this much shock and dismay since the first time Katharine was put in the bottom two on American Idol.
Copley’s men and Team Scorpion get into a gunfight as they speed away from the scene with a wounded Paige. They manage to escape and grab Happy in the process. But have no fear, y’all. Back at base, we find out that Tim’s jacket was bulletproof (that’s a handy addition to your everyday blazer) and that Paige is actually going to be fine, but like, can we please have a conversation about how Paige was shot over a bowl?
Regardless, the fake bowl got sold to the real artifact buyers, meaning Copley’s whole program will be discredited and the plan worked. As the night comes to an end, Tim begins his crusade to win Paige over by treating her almost-gunshot wound with what is essentially a salt scrub. They share a tender moment. Cabe asks Walter what he thinks of Shadow Cabe, and Walter doesn’t say much, except that he isn’t intimidated or jealous, and that’s when Cabe says, “Good, because he may be around for a bit.”
Paige’s Feel Board
I know y’all are going to hate me, but if Walter isn’t going to step up to be Paige’s man, then maybe it’s time that someone else does. And in that case, I’m totally nominating Jason Street, or um, Shadow Cabe… Let’s just call him Armstrong. What’re your thoughts on this new handsome devil? Can he be trusted, and are Walter’s feelings for Paige eventually going to win out? I think we all know that Walter loves a competition. I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.