To retrieve the remains of lost veterans, Team Scorpion goes a little Forrest Gump, a little Twister, and a lot crazy

By Justin Kirkland
March 29, 2016 at 03:12 AM EDT
Monty Brinton/CBS
S2 E21
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Okay, guys. We come here every week, knowing that Scorpion is ridiculous, but this week was absolutely, certifiably, genius-level bonkers. And honestly, it’s bonkers from moment go. Linda’s back. You remember Linda — she’s our resident bomb girl who loves talking smack to her mom about Walter. And then, after last week, Shadow Cabe is still hanging out. Ralph seems to be around more, and then there’s the whole Scorpion working-crew. This is practically becoming a Shonda Rhimes ensemble cast.

The Backstory

But what’s important (at least to Toby and Sylvester) is Armstrong’s video game prowess. He even happens to beat Walter’s high score. Walter is not impressed at all because his intellect far surpasses Shadow Cabe’s, but Shadow Cabe has those forearms, so yeah. Draw, I guess. But then we go back to Linda who has come back by the warehouse to set up a second date (?!) with Walter. Paige is equally unimpressed because, sure, Linda had a bomb strapped to her but Paige has almost turned near-death experiences with Team Scorpion into sport. But no one could be more unimpressed than Ralph who just finished his college project that transferred all the data in the Library of Congress to another location in 5.9 seconds. We’ll never be worthy of Ralph, y’all.

The Mission

Even a Ralph-level collegiate project isn’t enough to carry an episode alone, which is where John Pandova come in. He swings by because he’s working on locating and rescuing the remains of fallen Marines across the world. He’s with Scorpion, specifically, because they’ve found Marine remains in Vietnam, and they have connected it to 10 Marines who went MIA back in the ’70s. Unfortunately, they won’t allow John and his team to go in for retrieval without more proof. Double unfortunately, a factory is about to go up over the potential site meaning the remains would be lost forever. The team presses him because even if it’s a task worth taking, it’s not Scorpion-level intense. That’s when John reveals that this is mostly about his dad and finally being able to bring him home for his mom and because we’re all about the feels this season, they take the case on. The mission’s importance is, unsurprisingly, lost on Walter.

The Execution

The team jumps into action and starts their work on the plane, but as Team Scorpion rolls into Vietnam, it’s clear that there’s a storm brewing. The team is shocked to find out when they get to Vietnam that the land is already being excavated. Shadow Cabe steps in with a startlingly impressive grasp of the Vietnamese language. He stops the crew from doing any more damage to the site, but the real struggle at hand is the category 2 CATEGORY 3 storm that is not only causing a total mess of their paperwork but also trimming their timeline down from two days to two hours.

Among the items that got picked up and tossed around was a chip that the team needs to be able to conduct the mission and see underground (you read that correctly). Shadow Cabe, Walter, and Paige run to a hospital to try and get a replacement chip — naturally, as one would expect in a Category 3 Vietnamese storm, the hospital is burning down because of an electrical fire. Shadow Cabe and Walter are able to get the chip from inside, but the hospital isn’t able to evacuate their members because of the storm and Paige refuses to leave them. Back at camp, Happy and Toby are working to get the device together, but they can’t do anything without the chip.

And even as absurd as this episode is, and make no mistake… it’s more absurd than usual, Paige gives me one of my favorite Scorpion moments to date. The trio is able to get the nursing home patients to a bunker, but it’s locked. Walter insists that he can open it with thermometers. Shadow Cabe asks how Walter is going to open a locked hatch with thermometers alone and Paige just says that she usually doesn’t even try to ask and that Walter always explains himself later. OH PAIGE. And then there’s an even bigger moment, when one of the Vietnamese men from the hospital keeps asking Pandova about his father. Apparently, he recognized his face because you never forget the face of a man you killed (!?!). WHAT? That’s right — the man responsible for killing John’s father is currently being helped into a safety bunker. They immediately forgive because that’s what life is about: forgiveness. This episode is out of control.

Anyway, the group gets back to the camp and is able to insert the chip in the machine and see underground. In a classic turn of events, the first thing they see are some dog tags with the letters “OVA,” as in “Pandova.” John gets the closure he’s looking for, and it appears that the excavating is going to stop. But the team doesn’t have long to celebrate. Why? Oh, because that category three storm has turned into a concentrated super cell storm. Also there’s a tornado. Also this is like a Forrest Gump/Twister hybrid. Also Karen Cartwright loves Jason Street.

In short, everything is out of control this episode.

NEXT:

The Revised Execution

So, it’s not really a revised execution as much as it is the “Helen Hunt/Bill Paxton Survival Guide to Vietnam.” This tornado is a mile wide, but of course, Pandova is not down with leaving because a tornado of this magnitude (F4, which is one notch down from the one that took Dorothy to Oz) is going to destroy the grounds. It’s not a big deal though because it’s not like they could escape it anyway. Walter and Happy decide that together they will use the CO2 lines that the excavation crew installed to make 12,000 pounds of homemade dry ice. The excavation team assists because they found out a group of Americans helped their families at the hospital/nursing home. THAT is proof that international relations starts with just being nice to one another. Pandova looks super confused, but Shadow Cabe seems pretty chill with it. He’s going to fit in well.

They need on-the-second updates, so Walter asks for Ralph to engineer his program to get absurdly accurate stats about this storm. Ralph agrees and the group jumps into action to, you know, create six tons of dry ice to cool down an entire ecosystem and offset a tornado. Cabe and Shadow Cabe are able to drop off their dry ice load, as are Happy and Toby, which leaves Paige and Walter. Walter tells Paige that she needs to get out of the car, but Paige refuses to leave him because she’s such a Helen Hunt. And then Bill Paxton Walter comes up with a plan that involves him slinging the dry ice out the back of the truck. The plan works, but then the truck dies, so what do they do? Walter ties a belt to a tree, and he and Paige literally recreate this scene from Twister. At this point, I’m not making comparisons. It’s the same movie. Paige and Walter dangle in the air. She screams that she can’t hold on, but he promises that he won’t let her go. Finally the tornado ceases, and they fall to the ground.

The Conclusion

The team is able to finish the mission and retrieve all the information to let those families know that they’re loved ones memories can be laid to rest. But the most important one was having John Pandova deliver his dad’s dog tags to his mom. It was in that moment that Walter finally comes to understand what closure means. And then, there’s the moment that we’ve all been waiting for: Shadow Cabe asks Paige on a date, and Walter’s response? He turns to that video game to get his high score back. Le sigh.

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Paige’s Feel Board

  • Can you believe that Ralph’s teacher failed his really cool project and then tried to steal it?? At least we get to see more Haywood (Horatio Sanz).
  • Shadow Cabe asking Walter on a man date is just perfect. Do you know what’s not perfect? Walter moving forward with this date with Linda.
  • Quintis is crushing lately. Quintis forever, guys.
  • That song that played at the end of the episode was gorgeous. It also doesn’t exist, apparently. If you find it and hit the comments with it, you’ll get 65 genius points and a gold ribbon and a cubic ton of dry ice to stop a tornado.
  • And that’s the end. Well, for now. Everyone is going on dates with the wrong people, and I guess Ralph is taking his first intellectual property case to court? As we roll down to the last three episodes of the season, let us be thankful for a number of things: absurdist science, rippling forearms of guest stars, and of course, the hope that love and logic can exist in the same world.

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