Scorpion – Dirty Seeds, Done Dirt Cheap
By: Kim Olson
The world’s back-up food supply is in jeopardy and it’s up to Scorpion to save future generations by repairing the generators and computerized sensors of the Graense World Seed Vault, a doomsday structure built into a mountainside in truly the middle of nowhere Greenland. The Graense World Seed Vault is an unmanned international cooperative of over thousands of varieties of every crop and plant imaginable from over one hundred countries. It houses the greatest seed collection in the world! It protects crop diversity against catastrophes like the great famine, which killed over a million Irish; ensures the world has back up seeds in case disease, parasites or climate change destroys agricultural output; and safeguards against warfare caused starvation. As soon as Scorpion fixes the vault’s whole malfunctioned system and brings the vault’s heat and humidity back down to normal they can head back home. Because the facility is autonomous they won’t need a behaviorist so Toby (Eddie Kaye Thomas) stays toasty working from the garage while everyone else freezes their tails off. When the computer system went haywire it drained the generator so the power is out and the lights are off. Even the inventory management robots that move boxes of seeds about the vault when no one is there are in a standstill. Once Happy (Jadyn Wong) repairs the fried generator, Cabe (Robert Patrick) flips the breaker switch and Sly (Ari Stidham) reboots the system they can exit this nightmare. When Sly reboots the system, the vault is most vulnerable and goes into lockdown. The doors tightly seal closed locking Happy, Sly and Cabe in vaults and will not open until the reboot finishes in forty minutes. The only way the doors can open is if Sly manually disengages the locks from the command counsel, once full power is up and running.
When Happy turns on the generator, the vents stir up ergot spores (a fungus that attacks grains such as rye) that formed when the humidity increased in the vault and spreads them out into the air. Happy, Sly and Cabe are still inhaling fungus! “To steal Happy’s line, ‘not good,’” says Toby. Happy, Sly and Cabe are in trouble and Scorpion is on the clock. The ergot spores constrict blood vessels in the brain and the less blood flow means the less oxygen. That means Happy, Sly and Cabe will fall into comas AND die in the next thirty minutes! Until then, the fungus is unpacking psychological baggage. Ergot spores’ neurotropic traits cause hallucinations, specifically affecting the fear center in the brain. Happy, Sly, and Cabe are out of their minds, experiencing their deepest fears and living their worst nightmares! These false realities are so genuine they could take dangerous actions to end them and in doing so hurt themselves or others. Toby, Paige (Katharine McPhee) and Walter (Elyes Gabel) need to put Happy, Sly and Cabe back into their minds and talk them lucid enough so they can take the steps needed to finish their tasks. To do so they follow two simple facts: Logic can beat fear and all fear has a genesis in history. If they go back and rewrite history, undo that seminal moment that created the fears, then their darkest fears will cease to exist. “If a match is never struck, a fire can never burn,” says Toby.
Happy’s darkest fear isn’t just being rejected or being alone. Happy’s biggest fear is that Toby, specifically, will reject her. She envisions her foster parent, Ms. Weldy (Serena Scott Thomas), introducing her to Dr. Curtis as her one last shot at a forever home. “Hello. I’m Happy,” she says. “Are you? I’m a doctor of psychiatric medicine and I can tell right away you’re not happy,” Dr. Curtis replies. “I’m just nervous, Doc,” she says. Toby hears her say his name and freaks out. “Doc?! Oh crap, she’s talking to me!” he exclaims. His full attention turns completely toward Happy and the full psychotic break the love of his life is having. He tells her he loves her, hoping she can hear him. Dr. Curtis isn’t sure he wants to share his life with Happy. “If I commit to her I’m stuck with her for the rest of my life? There’s got to be something wrong with her if she’s here, right?” he asks. “I try hard. I’m just a little different from the other kids,” she says. He’s still not so sure this will be the right fit. “No, you promised to be with me for life! You proposed to me!” Happy exclaims. Now he is sure. “Quick to anger. Volatile. I think I’d regret this decision,” he says. He doesn’t want her. She’s not for him. “But I’m perfect for you,” she cries. Happy’s living nightmare feels so real she doesn’t realize it’s all in her head. All Toby can do is watch as his fiancé’s heart breaks. Happy is on the brink of death. She is exhausted, but if she closes her eyes and falls asleep she’s history and can’t ever wake up. With an idea to keep her awake Toby says, “She’s been alone since she was a child and I’m gonna put an end to that.”
Because Toby knows his “little princess” best, he gets in her head and talks her lucid. In her dream, he appears as an eight-year-old boy at the orphanage. Tobias (Ata-Han Erentok) introduces himself and asks Happy if she has anything to eat. She gives him what’s left of her tuna fish sandwich from lunch. Noticing her lunch box Tobias says, “I like Evel Knievel.” She tells him, “I want a motorcycle one day.” Getting down to the heart of the matter, Toby asks her if she’s sad because she’s the only child not adopted. She says, “No. I don’t care. Besides, I knew that nobody would want me because I’m defective.” Toby assures her that’s not why she’s still there. He says, “We just exited the 90s. The Spice Girls had number one hits. Half the women in America are wearing a haircut called ‘The Rachel’ and everyone’s investing in a website called AskJeeves. This is a decade where everyone’s making bad decisions so anyone who doesn’t want you in their life that’s just another bad decision.” Happy says, “I like your hat. I like you.” He says “I like you, too.” He asks her to marry him. “Uhh we just met and we’re eight,” says Happy. Toby drops the façade. “You know who I am,” he says. “And my biggest regret in life is that we really didn’t meet when we were eight because I would’ve fallen in love with you from that moment. The truth is you’ve never been alone. My love for you has always been there, it just took a while for our paths to cross so I could share it with you. And under all those neurotoxins in your head you know I’m right. You have nothing to be scared of, ever.” Happy’s nightmares fade away and Toby, the real Toby (or a figment of her imagination of him), stands in front of her. He tells her to fix the generator and she does so easy peasy. Later that night, back home, Happy falls asleep leaning on Toby and dreams of them falling in love as little kids. “I like your pigtails. Did you know the term ‘pigtail’ comes from a twist of chewing tobacco?” asks Tobias. “Just shut up and you can hold my hand,” says young Happy (Riley Go). “Offer accepted,” says Tobias. They hold hands as they walk back to the orphanage. After the rough day she had, Happy deserves such sweet dreams.
Sylvester is cracked! He doesn’t have forty minutes! The poor guy is pooping his pants! In his complete psychotic break from reality, he imagines his sixth grade bully Bucky (Braxton Herda) has locked him in a chicken’s coop with twenty or so chickens! Sylvester’s fear of chickens stems from this very real incident where Bucky locked him in a chicken pen at a petting zoo in sixth grade. “Here is Sylvester – a chicken afraid of chickens,” Bucky taunted. Beaks. Talons. Poop. Poop everywhere. The birds are covered in their own fecal matter. Avian flu. Encephalitis virus. Salmonella. “It was terrifying,” recalls Sylvester. Going back there is Sylvester’s worst fear. Reliving this very real nightmare, he hides under a desk to get away from the “foul fowl.” He believes he’ll be safe under there, protected, because the “chickens” can’t get to him there. To get Sylvester to leave this spot and pull the lever, Paige plays along and has maybe a little too much fun teasing Sly. As the voice of Bucky she says, “Look at Sylvester hiding in a coop, just where a chicken should be…. Come out so I can pluck your feathers…. Aw, you want to go tell the teacher? Go pull this lever and go tell them!” Sly doesn’t budge. He just wants to be left alone. Ok, different tactic. In order to make Sly brave, Paige reminds him of all the things he’s already done that are worse than facing an 11-year-old brat. Bucky caws, “Coward! I knew all those stories about you weren’t true…. You jumped out of a plane, captured a poisonous snake, helped save a boy from a sinkhole…. No you didn’t, you weenie! Don’t dispute the facts! …Why is a hero hiding from chickens? I think it’s time you reconsider your facts, bucko.” Facts are Sylvester’s forte and he never gets them wrong! Standing up, Sly says, “Fact: I leapt off of a cruise ship. Fact: I went into a cave full of bats. Fact: I punched a man in the face in prison. Fact: What you did to me in sixth grade was mean, but I’m not scared of you anymore. Because I’m a man and I can be brave sometimes, you little turd. And I’m still telling on you.” Sylvester SCREAMS picking up a “chicken,” but still pulls the lever opening the doors!
Having conquered this fear, maybe Sylvester WILL do that photo op at the Encino Petting Zoo that Cabe lined up for him. If Sly goes in there, talks about keeping The Warlock’s Chest Open and lots of kids who love comics tell their parents, parents will like him and he’ll get their votes. It works in a debate, in which Sly faces his fear of public speaking and kicks Patel’s (Amir M. Korangy) ass, after studying How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less. Sly admits to his constituents he patronizes The Warlock’s Chest and explains, “I had a tough childhood. I was picked on. Make-believe was my refuge. I found solace amongst the fantasy and I would gather up my courage to face another day. And trust me, when I was a kid I needed courage just to show up at school. And I need it now for my job. But the difference is with Scorpion I have a team to help me remember that I can be brave. And if The Warlock’s Chest will provide refuge for more kids who don’t know they’re brave yet, well, I want it to stick around.” Just watch, with the full support of his family, the cyclone, Sly will get the votes to win this election!
Badass, ex-football playing Marine Cabe Gallo is a proud, older gentleman who enjoys steak, Conway Twitty and getting senior discounts. But because his girlfriend, Allie (Reiko Aylesworth), is fifteen years younger than him he is insecure about his age and terrified about their age difference. He doesn’t even want her to see him wearing his reading glasses, even though he looks cute in them according to Paige. “Grandpas look cute in their glasses,” says Cabe. In Cabe’s nightmare, his life is like an old 50s sitcom where the woman is too good-looking for the guy. In his hallucination, he’s married to Allie, who is so mean to him about his age. She tells him, “You were alive for so long before electricity was invented it’s still new to you,” “We could watch Jurassic Park! Might bring back some memories for you” and “What should I expect from a man whose social security number is one?” In this complete other world, he only gets older and older the longer he plays the game “Older Than Dirt.” The host, Ray (Kevin Weisman), introduces Cabe saying he’s “so old he got a special thanks in The Bible,” “His birthday candles caused global warming” and “If he were to act his age he’d drop dead right here.” Cabe doesn’t want to play this game. “Well nobody does, but we all have to play it eventually,” says Ray. First question: Which of the following things would Allie be shocked to learn didn’t exist when Cabe was born? Manned space travel, portable calculators or tape cassettes? Answer: All of these. All of these things didn’t exist when Cabe was born, a full decade and a half before his current girlfriend. Next question: “What grade was Allie in when you married your first wife?” asks Ray. Cabe goes full zombie! His brain is gone and he’s moving like he’s one hundred years old! He made it through the 60s just to trip out in 2017. Walter makes Cabe realize getting older is not a weakness or detriment. It is a strength. It means he survived. “With age comes experience, knowledge and wisdom. What you’ve forgotten others will never know and what you’ve lived others only read about. What you can do others can only dream about,” says Walter as Cabe drops his (imaginary) cane and puts on his sunglasses. Cabe switches the breaker and collapses on the floor.
Cabe, Sly and Happy fall unconscious. They need immediate medical care or they’ll never wake up from their comas. In the middle of nowhere tundra, with the closest hospital two hours away and their doctor on another continent, Walter and Paige are up a creek without a paddle. Their only option is to create a life-saving treatment from the seeds in the pharmacy they’re currently in. Toby figures out what seeds they need and Ralph (Riley B. Smith) locates them in the refrigerator where all the seeds are stored. Walter and Paige vandalize the seed vault to gain access to the seeds and create a potent oil that will wake the sick when put under their tongues. To create a flame, Walter SMASHES a lamp and the sparks from the electrical wires accidentally cause a chemical fire! If any of the purple flames reach the door to the tunnel filled with very flammable oxygen, the whole building will blow to pieces! Kaboom! The flames Walter and Paige aren’t hallucinating are spreading. The unconscious members of Scorpion will suffer permanent neurological damage if they do not get treatment within the next few minutes, IF they survive the impending explosion! Paige leaves Walter to take care of the fire while she saves everyone else.
Walter’s biggest fear is problems he can’t solve. Because his identity is his intellect when he can’t solve a problem he feels weak, powerless and useless like with his EQ and/or his relationship with Paige. Walter and Paige might just be growing closer though, surprising Toby who thinks the most logical thing for Walter and Paige is to just be good friends and that they won’t be anything more. With Paige’s help, self-improvement is Walter’s new passion. They revisit the frozen yogurt shop Walter was punched at so Walter can apologize to the vendor with whom he had a miscommunication. Walter learns saying sorry is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of strength. “Walter apologizing is a sign of the apocalypse,” says Happy. And in Greenland after breathing a little ergot into her system (not enough to go full “nutbar”), Paige hallucinates her worst nightmare: Walter making out with another woman (Dominique Sharpe)! Paige’s worst nightmare is Walter off the market and therefore not an option for her! Coming out of her delusions, Paige tells the real Walter, “Let’s go home.”