In the penultimate episode, a familiar face returns to throw a wrench into our favorite couple
Credit: Richard Cartwright/CBS
S2 E23
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Let’s have a Scorpion history lesson, shall we?

The (Extended) Backstory

Mark Collins is back, guys. If you had forgotten (like I nearly did), Mark used to be a part of Scorpion, and some would argue he was Walter’s favorite genius, but then Walter had him committed because he got a little too smart for his own good, and by smart, I mean literally bonkers. Mark is a conspiracy theorist — kind of like your friend who gets too deep in the theory that Katy Perry is JonBenet Ramsey, or that Michael Jackson is alive and simply moonlighting as Tilda Swinton. In short, Mark is great at a party after three beers but kind of awful when you’re trying to save the world. Luckily, Toby is at his home (asylum, whatever) to ensure that his diagnosis sticks.

Back at the warehouse, the team is taking turns guessing what flavor each chocolate is that Shadow Cabe sent to Paige, which causes Walter to spit his chocolate out. Oh, Walter. Toby checks in from the asylum to let Walter know that Mark is still “deep down the rabbit hole,” but Walter’s a little preoccupied with this Tim Armstrong business. He’s doing everything he can to try and trump Armstrong’s relationship with Paige except for, you know, actually trying to win her back.

The Mission

A nice Russian lady shows up to deliver this week’s mission. Some say she’s a nuclear energy council chief, but for tonight, we’re privileged to simply call her Oksana. She gives us some backstory on Chernobyl and how Soviet Russia paid to build a huge concrete dome over it to stop radiation from leaking out, but that concrete dome is not holding up. As it decays, cracks are opening up a hole for the radiation to escape, which will affect almost all of Eastern Europe’s soil and water supply. If they can fix the dome, they can hold off the radiation for another 150 years, making the entire area safe again, but the area around Chernobyl has been weakened, and Team Scorpion must investigate to find the strongest areas to seal off the area.

The Execution

So Happy, Sylvester, and Walter get to work on how to fix the dome. The team doesn’t have to actually enter because of Happy’s radiation-investigating-machine that she’s named RANDY. The machine will investigate from the ground, but they also need to check out the area from the air. Oksana conveniently also has a pilot’s license, in addition to being a nuclear specialist. She enlists Sly to come along with her, but naturally, he freaks out. Paige agrees to go in with him to calm him down because that’s what us Paiges do — we fix people. Meanwhile, Toby is left back at the warehouse to track the radiation, and it seems that there are more leaks than the team originally thought. Unfortunately, one of the first things RANDY notices is that the amount of corium in the dome could cause a whole other Chernobyl situation. RANDY blows up from the corium, causing a huge blast. As a result, Oksana flies directly into the explosion’s smoke, losing control of the plane, and crashing directly into the dome with Paige and Sly in tow.

Surprisingly, everyone is really chill after the plane crash and begins to dig out Paige and Sylvester. RANDY is a goner, though, because if the radiation wasn’t enough, the molten corium did him in. And then, of course, a water pipe bursts over the corium, creating a blast of radioactive steam. I’m not worried about the scientific fallacies here as much as I’m mystified that Paige’s white power blazer is completely spotless.

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Meanwhile, outside of the dome, Walter, Happy, and Cabe develop a plan to get Paige, Sly, and Oksana out by attaching chains to a carousel that will help pull the plane out of the dome. But time is running out because radioactivity is casually seeping through that blazer and into the bodies of our trapped trio. In the face of disaster, Oksana is about as useful as a New York City press secretary in a TV musical drama, but in true Paige fashion, she sticks it out with her. Happy starts the carousel and begins to pull the plane out, but it gets stuck. Paige hops out to dislodge a sign that’s holding the plane back, but when she does, she gets thrown back and hurts her knee. Her blazer? Still spotless. But the knee got some damage. Walter runs into the dome after her just in time for another dome collapse, and this time, there’s no carousel plan to save them.

NEXT: Every breath you take, every radioactive dome you break

The Revised Execution

To close off the corium within the dome, Walter decides that they need to implode the building. Granted, that requires Paige (and her bum knee) and Walter to escape first. Through what few STEM classes I took in high school, I’m certain that if a concrete dome falls in on you, it’s not good. With no other way out, Walter and Paige have to climb a makeshift ladder with the hopes of escaping out one of the dome’s cracks. Paige’s knee is slowing Walter down, and then in total Paige fashion, she tells Walter to go on without her. That’s definitely going to happen. Not.

He stays, and they make it to the top of the dome, but Walter slips off a rafter and drops his oxygen tank. Knowing that he can’t pull himself up and/or breathe, Paige gets down on the rafter and literally BREATHES LIFE INTO WALTER (and by that, I mean they kiss, but like…for science). It gives him enough energy to pull himself up and escape to the top of the dome because if Joe Cocker knew anything (play this as you finish reading — it feels strangely appropriate) it’s that love lifts us up where we belong.

Walter ties him and Paige together with an extension cord and then ties the other end of it to a giant piece of concrete with only 35 seconds before Chernobyl explodes again. I’m not exactly sure how the science behind his plan works, but he pushes the piece of concrete off the dome and around a flag pole. On the other side, he and Paige take the plunge. Guess what happens? Walter correctly calculates practical suicide and that damn rock actually stops their fall about two inches from the ground. And they’re pretty lucky it did because Chernobyl explodes just a few seconds later. You read that right — a nuclear site blew up, and all of our heroes are fine. All they have to do to get better is drink a really gross shake that will help offset the radiation in their bodies.

In Conclusion

Even after surviving all of that, Walter still has some questions about Paige’s feelings for him and whether or not going after her is a good idea. On the surface, his nervousness makes sense in the same way that you don’t know whether or not you should send a message to that super cute match on Tinder because they might deny you, but that person probably didn’t jump off a giant concrete dome with you after giving you her last breath of oxygen. In short, it’s not the same, Walter. Walter attempts to go for it and asks Paige to the Lake Tahoe Jazz and Heritage Festival (#swoon) with him just as Shadow Cabe calls. He panics as she stumbles over her answer, and Walter pivots hard, saying, “with Tim,” completely backing out of his original ask.

Meanwhile, in a parking garage, Toby picks up an engagement ring made out of a fastener nut for Happy, but just as he takes a picture of it to send to Sylvester, Mark makes the appearance we’ve been waiting for all episode. He hits Toby in the back of the head, knocking him out before he loads him into the back of his van, leaving the ring and his car keys in the parking garage.

Paige’s Feel Board:

  • Best exchange mid-radioactive disaster goes to Happy and Toby, who said (in reference to a Vegas hotel), “A showgirl there made me a man,” to which Happy subtly coughs. Silly Quintis.
  • Let’s honestly have a conversation about what kind of Tide to Go pen Paige was using on that stainless blazer.
  • There was a significant lack of Shadow Cabe this episode, which surprisingly upset me. I love me a good Waige story line, but I’ve grown attached to Armstrong.
  • If you’re trying to save someone’s life with secondhand oxygen, does it still count as a kiss? Discuss.

And with that, we’re on to the season finale. Things are NOT looking hot for our buddy, Toby. Scorpion has a way of saving our friends, but is there a chance that we might have to part ways with Toby? Will he get that super fly ring back? Will Waige get their act together and grab some coffee instead of swapping final breaths of oxygen? And can we get a spin-off of just Shadow Cabe and Ralph called Pinky and the Brain, or has that been done before? Let me know your thoughts, and I’ll see you next week for our final Scorpion of the spring!

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