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Scorpion: 1.18 “Once Bitten, Twice Die” Review

You can’t have a CBS show without at least one episode where the likelihood of a world war breaking out is eminent, and this week’s Scorpion fits the bill because the team has been called in to help pretend that the peace talks between Lithuania, Belarus, and Latvia occurring in the United States are actually occurring in Europe via fancy green screens.

Well, kind of.

The leaders won’t talk to each other, and in a move meant to highlight Paige’s growth and knowledge from her night classes, Paige gets them to toast to one another as leaders generally used to before and after negotiations.

Obviously this would be too easy because Prsident Kruschenko falls over because his drink has been poisoned, so the case becomes a race against the clock to figure out who poisoned him —and with what—before he dies.

As to be expected, the team succeeds in making an antidote, figuring out who poisoned the President, and stopping WWIII from breaking out. Paige is the hero this week and realizes that the poison is snake venom, which ties back to a (apparently) fictional war due to Belarusian officials not coming to the Lithuanian President’s son’s funeral after he was poisoned by an adder snake. Then Sylvester and Toby figure out that the President’s right hand man Miko poisoned the President after making a deal with an arms dealer.

The drama!

Paige’s retelling of the story had me laughing in that “Oh, that’s terrible!” way because this could totally happen in our world.

The storytelling scene shows just how impressed the rest of Scorpion are by Paige, who they all already hold in high esteem. It’s also really refreshing to see Paige hold her own instead of being delegated to being the Team Whisperer or soothing over ruffled politician feathers.

The best part of the episode is the team stepping up to defend and support Paige when no one else wants to listen to her. Cabe especially refuses to back down from Director Merrick telling him what to do and even shows his anger when Merrick threatens to tell Walter about Baghdad and the aid kids. Cabe really doesn’t want to mess up his relationship with Walter as is evidenced by just how close he gets to knocking Director Merrick out, so it looks like the secret is going to be a huge deal as the season draws to a close.

After Walter falls into the snake sanctuary (totally expected) and entices the snake to bite him—Cabe is not a fan of the risk Walter took—Toby is able to create an antidote using the venom and antibodies in a ferret’s blood and save both Walter and the President. Though before that can occur, Toby yells at the other doctor for wanting to inject ferret blood by itself into Walter and the President, and Walter apologizes to Paige for not taking her out to dinner.

The leaders sign the peace treaty and war is averted.

The episode ends with Happy plantinga huge kiss on Toby after seeing him tell off the doctor from earlier. And, the shippers rejoice. Then, though Cabe doesn’t tell Walter what we assume is the secret about Baghdad, it’s made clear that Cabe is not happy about having to keep the secret.

Finally, Walter praises Paige about how well she did during the case by outshining and impressing a seasoned diplomatic envoy serving as a pep talk before her history final. This scene makes up for an earlier scene where Walter actually says that only STEM majors count which honestly just feels like a cheap dig at Walter’s character who has shown that he does respect art and the humanities.

Ultimately, the episode is a super fun twist on the “There’s going to be another World War if we don’t fix the problem!” plotline and advanced all the relationships within the main team. This allows for a breather before two or three episodes that I’m sure will lead into CBS’ brand of cliffhanger episode with either someone’s dead—or near death—as well as all sorts of secrets revealed and character angst.

Character wise, Toby refusing to let another doctor step in to help save Walter reinforces how Toby feels like he has to make sure everyone is okay, his need to be the best at everything, and also his need to be in control. It obviously makes an impression on Happy considering how intensely she kissed him.

Plus, science because using a salad spinner to separate plasma from venom is totally legit?

Although we don’t get a final scene between Paige and Walter about the dinner he didn’t take her to, their relationship will obviously grow and climax in some sort of way in the season finale which is only three episodes away (assuming a traditional 22 episode season). Plus, Paige going back to school is a big sign of how she cares about her education and wants to set an example for Ralph even though her job will absolutely support her monetarily.

So, are ya’ll #Quintis or #Tappy because the twitter account for the show wants to know. I’m a Quintis fan myself.

Grade: A-


Image courtesy of CBS

Seher
Written By

Seher obsesses over show ratings and usually writes about media representation issues. Otherwise, she's reading away for her graduate program in anthropology.

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