Monday, January 22, 2018

Scorpion 4x13 Review: "The Bunker Games" (He Wouldn’t Do That for a Consolation Pick) [Guest Contributor: Yasmine]

"The Bunker Games"
Original Airdate: January 15, 2018

Scorpion picked up after the holidays with the team getting ready for a new job sometime after the Christmas episode and Walt’s accident. There’s a single running theme in the episode: one that resonates with the case itself and with every character as they try to escape an unexpected life or death situation.

And the theme of “The Bunker Games” — another awesome title in a season of awesome titles — is this, “How irreplaceable are you?”

The first to struggle with this dilemma was Cabe. The reinstated Homeland Security agent has to undergo a physical exam to determine if he is fit for the job. Unfortunately, as Cabe pointed out, the test was designed for young recruits fresh out of college and not someone of Cabe’s age. Cabe is rightfully worried he would fail the test and be replaced by someone younger and with less experience. Luckily, he has Paige planning his training regimen and she promises that what she has in store for their handler is foolproof for getting him back into shape.

Cabe is not the only one who’s dealing with this issue straight off the bat. Happy and Toby return from their honeymoon — one that had gone horribly wrong, from the flat tire on the way, to being cheated by the hotel when it came to their room and finally Toby failing to live up to his marital duties — in time for the new job, only to find out the client had asked that Toby be benched, since they have their own behaviorist who will replace him on the job.

The job they got is to inspect a state-of-the-art new doomsday bunker that is run completely by AI. On the ground, the client has requested Walt, Sly, Happy and Flo, since they need a chemist. The news comes as a blow to Toby, who is already starting the day with a fractured ego. Finding out he is not needed and has been asked to stay in the garage was not what he was expecting. But this is Toby, so following orders is not necessarily his strong suit, and that will play into how things unravel for the team when they head out.

But before they do, the big question concerning AI arises: whether machines can or will ever replace humans. Cabe argues against the rise of the machines, but of course, it’s Walt who counters with the argument that robots are the future. And that was enough foreshadowing moving into the rest of the episode.

The team arrives at the bunker and are immediately shocked to find Quicy Berkstead, the pop psychologist who sells books in supermarkets, otherwise known as Toby’s arch nemesis and the man who stole his fiancĂ©. It turns out, Quincy is the not just the behaviorist who is replacing Toby but also one of the minds behind the bunker. Working with Quincy provides a moral conflict for the team, who see it as betraying Toby, but when offered more money, they have no choice but to accept.

The team enters the bunker through a main entrance that is controlled by Quincy’s gut flora or gastronomic fingerprint and once inside, he starts showing them around. Part of his presentation is pictures from his honeymoon with his now wife, Amy, who also happens to be there. Meeting Amy comes as a shock to one specific person: Happy. The mechanical prodigy finally understands why Toby has never shown her pictures of his ex. Amy is incredible! She’s gorgeous and feminine in ways that Happy is not. And also, like, a foot taller.

Speaking of Happy’s husband, Toby follows the team and manages to get into the bunker because Sly had asked Quincy to keep the door propped open in account of his hating enclosed places. As Toby walks in, face masked by a scarf, Quincy warns him not to take it off. But of course, Toby does and the AI system, Dorie, immediately identifies him as a threat and shuts down the bunker. Apparently, Quincy needed to write a sample threat into the system and decided to make that threat Toby Curtis on account of Toby having pretended to throw acid at him the last time they met.

With the bunker now in shut down mode, Dorie proceeds to figure a way to eliminate the threat, which essentially means killing Toby — and everyone else if need be. So it is up to the team to figure out how to save Toby and themselves and how to outsmart an artificial intelligence program that can hear them and see them and anticipate their every move.

The team manage to get in touch with Paige and Cabe for a moment before Dorie cuts off all communication. While the two on the outside try to track down someone who has worked on the bunker, the team on the inside struggles to fight back against Dorie, who is at least five steps ahead of them at all times.

Of course, the task is made harder by the personal tensions between them. The Toby and Quincy rivalry is the most pronounced, but it is not the only one. Happy is feeling resentment towards Amy, and towards being a second choice to Toby after all. Sly, being the one who has to go head to head with Dorie, is having trouble outsmarting the AI program. And finally, Walter, still affected by the dream he had while unconscious where he was married to Flo, is acting strange around her, pushing her away and being dismissive to avoid her.

Even though Walter talked to Toby about his dream and the psychiatrist assured him that the dream means nothing, he still does not feel okay about having dreamt about Florence and what that could imply. His behavior toward Flo is awkward and rude and it leaves the chemist confused.

As one attempt after another fails, the team finally gets some help from the microwave. Yes, the microwave. On the outside, Paige and Cabe manage to get ahold of a disgruntled ex-employee of the company that developed the bunker, one who had always been anti-AI. He lets them know that in the design he had built a hidden escape route. As the team work on getting all they need to escape before Dorie disperses a fatal gas into the bunker, Quincy betrays them all by hiding in the only safe place and locking them all out.

Fortunately, they manage to get what they need — his gut flora — to open the doors, and the way to get it out is to have Toby parachute out of the bunker through an air shaft.

While getting things ready, Amy and Happy share a moment. In their heart to heart, Amy admits that she has never been first choice, not with Quincy, who always puts his work ahead of her. She tells Happy that even their honeymoon, which in the pictures looked perfect, had been planned around a conference and that all the pictures had been staged. It had been the same with Toby, who always placed her second to his gambling. When Happy tells her that Toby has quit gambling because she, Happy, would have walked otherwise, Amy informs her that he would have never done that for a consolation prize.

And that is when it hits Happy that she isn’t Toby’s consolation prize.

Sly finally manages to outsmart Dorie. When all science and logic fails against the machine, Sly resorts to philosophy and sends Dorie into a form of malfunction when he throws at the computer the old Liar’s Paradox.

Back at the garage, Toby convinces Walt to tell the ladies about his dream, promising him that nothing bad would come out of it since they will both understand it was just a dream. Unfortunately, when he does, both women do have a reaction to this. Flo’s is a more understated as she’s caught off guard. Paige however, she’s more vocal with her reaction and the episode ends with her explosive “WHAT?”

The episode was a fun return after the hiatus, and I absolutely loved the running theme and everyone having to deal with it in their own way. Moving forward, I’m still worried what the writers might do with the Paige/Walter/Flo situation, but I think having Walt come clean was a good step in the right direction.

Secrets are never ever good.


Post a Comment