Warnings for ableism.
The Scorpion Team has to save their second nuclear silo of the season when they’re called in by Homeland Security.
Sixteen years ago, President Clinton and the Kosovan president met off the record to set up plans for military aid to Kosovo, and the secret agent that had the nuclear football, a briefcase which holds all the launch codes for our nuclear missiles handcuffed to his wrist, was hit so that someone could grab the launch codes at the hospital.
Unfortunately, someone is now trying to launch missiles and former-Agent Bruce Jones (portrayed by JAG’s David James Elliot) suffers from dementia, so Toby (with his Harvard training) will have to help Bruce remember what happened in the hospital before the briefcase was taken.
I don’t even want to imagine what could happen if the real world launch codes were ever taken.
However, this plot is not the real meat of the episode because Drew brings a brochure to Paige about a school for gifted kids in Portland, Maine, that Ralph could go to if Drew makes it on the baseball team. When Paige asks Walter his feelings about it, nothing he has to say is positive. Moving Ralph three thousand miles isn’t logical, and when Paige responds that two parents are better for Ralph, Walter goes off that biology has nothing to do with parenting and he’s not wrong.
It takes more than “fathering to be a father”.
I’m firmly in Walter’s camp. I understand that Drew is trying to be there for Ralph, but Drew also walks around acting like there’s something wrong with Toby and Sylvester playing human bowling (where the human is the bowling ball on a skateboard) and having the usual baking soda volcano for a science fair is what’s “normal”. It’s pretty messed up that even after months in the show timeline, Drew still doesn’t seem to understand that the others are most likely the best influences Ralph can have.
Also—ableism! I’m sick of Drew spouting off about what’s “normal for kids” and what’s not. The only reason he hasn’t made a comment about Happy is that she could totally kick his butt. Also, yes, two biological married parents are generally linked to better outcomes for kids, but if one of those parents is terrible then it doesn’t matter.
Happy does say the same thing that Walter said about Portland, Maine, at least—that Portland is cold and wet.
Paige points out that they all end up spouting off facts when they can’t deal with stuff that might cause them emotional pain, but even with the deflection their facts are still very much accurate about the situation. Facts and emotion can still go hand in hand.
Any resolution on that has to wait though. Once they reach the team’s garage, Bruce is very much not cooperating with Toby, so Walter decides that they need to use an experimental electrical stimulation of the brain to jumpstart Bruce’s brain—because that’s totally what anyone and everyone would do—but Cabe volunteers to go first to show that it’s totally safe.
(Do not try this at home.)
It works on Cabe and on Bruce, who is able to remember that someone with a blue finger took the launch codes. Toby figures out that the suspect (agent Khara) has a condition called Raynaud’s Phenomenon that causes his finger to turn blue when he’s under major stress.
Back at the hospital where Bruce was taken, agent Khara is brought in so that Bruce can see him to jog some memories. Bruce remembers that Kara had called someone after grabbing the briefcase. By playing phone dial tones again, the team is able to figure out the phone number and find the co-conspirator before he hits the final button to launch a missile towards Russia.
Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it), our world’s record keeping is pretty wonderful, so the team is able to track down the baddie to an old boat yard and stop him before Russia goes boom.
The case ends with Sylvester getting to destroy the old football, and the team taking Bruce back to the retirement home where Lorraine (his girlfriend he had looked for earlier) is waiting for him! My shipper heart just rejoiced.
Back at the garage while the others rest, Walter comes up to Paige and begins to list off positive facts about the school for gifted kids and Portland and explaining that he cares about giving her a complete answer to her question. Walter says he cares about Ralph, and he knows that he’s not Ralph’s father, but he must serve a purpose in Ralph’s life because Ralph definitely an important part of his. The last few months with Ralph and Paige have changed Walter and that has made him a better person. He doesn’t want Ralph to leave (obviously) and Paige. (Also duh.)
This is the most Walter has said in regards to his feelings except with Megan all season!
Drew and Ralph return with his first prize from the science fair and an invite to a friend’s birthday party leading Paige to comment that “I don’t want to go” just yet, so Ralph can go play with Walter.
Suck it Drew!
Okay, I should be more adult about this, but I’m still pissed that Drew was such a jerk earlier, and I don’t actually think the writers agree that having Paige and Drew as two parents but leaving the others would be better for Ralph. But, watching characters do and say terrible things—even if that’s the point—still sucks. Still, there was a lot of growth in the relationship between Walter and Paige, and he was finally upfront about how much he cares for Ralph.
The case itself was definitely run of the mill procedural, but the science behind memory loss and the sweet moments with Bruce and Lorraine as well as Cabe and the team were super enjoyable.
Grade: A+ but C for Drew. I really dislike Drew.