Friends don't let friends wear ankle boots when saving the world from nuclear warfare
Credit: Richard Cartwright/CBS
S3 E1
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Remember how last season of Scorpion ended so calmly, with Toby almost dying and Happy turning down his proposal and Paige running off with Armstrong and Walter speeding after them in a car? Oh, yeah. I guess Scorpion didn’t end so calmly after all.

So it’s no surprise that when we return for season 3’s aptly titled “Civil War” and “More Civil War,” we’re stuck between the drama of a government aircraft gone rogue and the conclusion of Walter chasing after Paige in Lake Tahoe. Of course, in Lake Tahoe, that inconvenient dreamboat we call Shadow Cabe woos Paige and lays a big kiss on her just as Walter shows up. Walter doesn’t make his presence known, but he doesn’t have to — Cabe calls the whole team back to the garage to handle those pesky rogue planes.


But if there’s any time to focus up, it’s now, because one of those fighter jets that were digitally taken over has shot down the other one. And right after that disaster, the team discovers the nation as a whole has been rendered defenseless. And here we thought Lake Tahoe was a problem. Paige points out they have a direct connection to the remaining pilot, June, and that the hackers might be able to hear them. Toby calls them out, but they don’t respond, so Toby deduces the hackers must not speak English. In the Scorpion way, that small amount of information gets us all the way to a full profile. Walter keeps Paige behind and sends Armstrong off with Sly to BULGARIA, because if a man gets in the way of you and your woman, you send him to Eastern Europe.

NEXT: No take backsies

But then there’s the problem with June…you know…that lady in the sky, in the plane that’s quickly running out of gas. Happy’s plan is to have her dump all her fuel and then, while in a nosedive, restart her plane and skim across the roofs of buildings for an impromptu landing. While that takes place, Armstrong, Cabe, and Sly head to Bulgaria. And then there’s Paige and Walter, discussing if Walter’s Lake Tahoe stop was actually for the jazz festival, tickets to which he gave away. She decides to take him at his word, but they agree he should probably stay away from Armstrong for a while. Back at the garage, June dumps the fuel while Happy directs a laser at her to deflect the plane. June is able to gain control of her situation, but Happy and Toby aren’t so lucky. Toby takes the opportunity to reveal any and every secret he has, but Happy refuses to reveal the identity of her husband, so in turn, Toby rescinds his proposal.

Cabe, Sly, and Shadow Cabe land in Bulgaria, with Toby back at the garage identifying who might be the mastermind behind the hacking of the government’s defense system. Meanwhile, while Paige and Walter have broken into a government building, Walter thinks it’s time to finally come clean and tell Paige how he feels, but she interrupts his bombshell confession — through the window, she sees a missile headed directly toward them. Walter and Paige go to an elevator shaft and use a silly-putty-type substance to scale down before the missile hits, but then are nearly impaled by an elevator, or as the team calls it, a normal Wednesday.

The Bulgaria trio puts together a plan for Sly to draw out a man named Skunk so the team can stop him. Toby and Happy stand by as the plan goes into action, but the real drama is when Paige finds out Walter sent a text to Armstrong, posing as the hotel concierge who moved his and Paige’s room from adjoining to separate rooms. Mind you, Paige just survived a missile — and also a free-falling elevator and Toby’s car blowing up — but the final straw here is a text message. You’d think she’d just read her understudy slept with her fiancé…or something like that.

In Bulgaria, the trio buy their way into Skunk’s lair (this is not a pun, but an actual thing) so Sly can gamble/count cards on his way to meet Skunk himself. It doesn’t take long before he draws the attention of higher-ups and gets invited to the VIP area. You’d think that would be the most dangerous line of fire in this episode, but we go back to Paige, who is VERY angrily trying to get away from Walter, who insists on trying to stop her. That’s when she finally turns around and puts him on blast because she’s SO over it. She calls Walter an infant and tells him he’s finally wrong. He tries to talk to her again, but she walks away. Out of earshot, Walter tells her he loves her, and it appears the two of them have gotten far enough away from the missile site for their comms devices to work again: Shadow Cabe hears every. single. word.

NEXT: How to trick a skunk

The Bulgaria trio are brought back to speak to Skunk, who’s actually just a marginally more fashionable version of Borat. If you nixed his mustache, I’d be vaguely into it. Cabe makes a deal with Skunk, bluffing that they are hackers who are owed some money, and if Skunk gives them information, they’ll pay him handsomely. However, Skunk isn’t interested in simple money… He wants Sly, for a single card game to beat a man who keeps coming into Skunk’s lair (I can’t stop laughing) and wiping him clean of his money. Sly resists initially, but considering these bootleggers have control of nukes that could blow up anywhere in America, Sly has to play along.


Back in the states, Happy and Walter devise a plan to launch a metallic confetti storm over the destroyer holding the key to the nukes. The confetti will interrupt the hackers’ control of the ship, allowing Walter to hop on and regain control of it for the United States, and in turn, the nukes on the submarine. Walter sets off toward the ship in a small motorboat, while Paige, Happy, and Toby attempt to launch the giant ball of confetti from a tow truck on shore. Only problem is that upon launch, the confetti ball goes nowhere and shots have already been fired at Walter. The trio on shore argue their way to a solution to the launcher’s problem, using the cola Toby was going to use for his proposal to Happy (I’m personally more of a Prosecco man, but sure). They’re able to launch the confetti, allowing Walter to board the ship and regain control.

Cabe and Shadow Cabe go to rescue Sly after his capture, but they aren’t so lucky in finding him. When they go to rescue him, they try to pay off a man to find him. That man opens a door that blows up and sends all three of them flying backward.

NEXT: Don’t wear white after Labor Day (or in an oil pipe)

As Sly is being carted off into the Bulgarian woods for GOD KNOWS WHAT, he notices the bearded man next to him has quite a bulge in his pocket. As inappropriate as it sounds, it’s actually a big stack of cash one of Skunk’s own men was trying to pocket. Sly points it out, and Skunk leaves his man in the woods beaten, while Sly takes the opportunity to run away. He quickly trips because that’s what Sly does. He runs into an old Bulgarian woman who “converses with nature” in the woods. She takes him to her little shanty, where he builds a radio to communicate with the pilot. Just as he gets it to work, though, Skunk shows up with a gun, determined to make Sly pay for the money he lost. The old woman jumps in front of her ficus, Mikael, to protect it. To be honest, that last fact is not relevant, but it’s so incredibly Scorpion it needed to be noted. You understand.

To regain control of the submarine, Happy and Paige go into an oil pipeline to place magnets that will pull the submarine along. In one of Scorpion‘s most unrealistic plotlines to date, Paige wears a white blouse into the pipeline, as if any sensible fashionista would a) chance a white top in such a place as an evacuated oil pipe, or b) wear white after Labor Day. They place the magnets, but they have a very short amount of time to escape before Toby drops an electric current that could kill them. Happy easily escapes, but Paige, wearing ankle boots instead of sensible oil-pipe pumps, nearly gets stuck inside before Happy pulls her out. But the timing was just short of what was needed. Paige’s slip ruins the plan, and the timing puts the nukes in line to fire.

The captain says there’s one last way to stop the nuke, which is to shut off the power to the submarine with his men in it (oh, okay). Paige accepts responsibility because even if her shoe choice is awful, her emotions are almost always in the right place. But the team won’t allow the captain to sink his ship (literally and figuratively) quite yet. Walter says the only other way is to fire the nuclear missile (OH, OKAY). In doing so, the missile will launch, free itself from the sub’s computer system, and start functioning on its own. Walter will then hack it and redirect to a trench with soft silt, where it will rest undetonated. The hackers continue to stop Walter’s efforts, but Cabe and Shadow Cabe break into the hackers’ control center and shoot their computer, which is the only good use of a gun I’ve seen this year.

Elsewhere in Bulgaria, Sly is being held at gunpoint by Skunk and his men, but then the pilot who brought them to Bulgaria flies over, startling the men, and rescuing Sly. Sly asks how he knew, and he says a man named Mikael (the ficus) calls in on the radio he put together and told him. Either way, the whole team is rescued, the hackers are caught, and America is safe. But it taught Sly a lesson, and he gives the team a speech when he gets back and demands everyone get along. Happy and Toby agree to work on their relationship, but Walter won’t budge. That’s when Cabe takes Walter aside and puts it simply: He’s not ready to love Paige. YIKES.

Walter apologizes to Shadow Cabe for what he did with Paige and him, which inevitably puts a longer pause on our need for a Waige reunion, but it does mean we get to keep Armstrong around a bit longer. The team breaks apart with their plans for the night, leaving Walter behind. He calls the health department to complain about the restaurant Armstrong and Paige are headed to, but he stops himself because for once, it appears Walter might have learned a lesson about human emotion.

And that’s our premiere, y’all! What’s your prediction for the season? Will Waige ever reunite, and who do you think is the husband stuck behind Happy’s masquerade? We shall find out, as sure as Team Scorpion will stop the world from falling apart once a week.

We wrote a react for this episode, which means we’ll just be checking in occasionally, but if this is a show you’d like to read about each week, please let us know! You can email with your feedback and suggestions.

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