Scorpion “Cliffhanger” Review (Season 1 Episode 21)

scorpion kill screen

Well, you certainly can’t say that the latest episode of “Scorpion” didn’t live up to its name- I just didn’t think it would be so literal! Fortunately for us, “Cliffhanger” isn’t the season finale, so we won’t have to wait until next season to see how things turn out, but in the meantime…we’re left hanging- much like Walter himself. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

The episode proper revolved around a mad scientist type that held a neurotoxicity lab full of workers and scientists hostage in retaliation for the bombing in Bagdad that took his fiancée’s life, after a fashion, as well as decimated his neighborhood there. Of course, this was the very same bombing that Walter was inadvertently responsible for, in that he designed the software used to carry it out.

It was also an event that Cabe covered up, but lied about certain aspects of- namely, that he knew about the bombing before it was going to happen, and it would have been in enough time for Walter to stop it. Of course, in doing so, he would have cost Cabe his job and they both would have gone down for treason, but there would also be a lot of people still alive. Not that Cabe (or anyone else) knew that their target was off and that killing 2,000 civilians would be the result of their mistake, mind you, but that didn’t exactly help either him or Walter sleep better at night.

Unfortunately, Cabe had to confess what he’d done, lest it get out as a result of the scientist’s demands, which were for the government to admit publically what they’d done or he’d kill everyone in the facility and potentially release nerve gas into the air in LA and kill thousands. This confession did not sit well with Walter, who promptly kicked him off the team.

However, circumstances dictated that Walter needed to work with Cabe one last time to rectify this current situation, so Walter gritted his teeth and dealt with it as best as he could, at one point even saving Cabe’s life, after the two were stuck in an air shaft above an incinerator, and his climbing equipment gave way. (You’d think that the team would have recognized that magnets were affected by intense heat, but oh well- lesson learned.)

In the end, they were able to slip into the facility via a crawlspace in the ventilation shaft, but in doing so, they potentially opened up the lab to let loose the gases, should the scientist release them. Realizing this, Ralph, who had escaped from his school and gone to the scene, actually went to the facility and crawled up the shaft himself and repaired it! Though he fell prey to the same demagnetization issues, Paige was able to save Ralph by members of the team lowering her into the shaft and grabbing him and their lifting him topside.

Meanwhile, Cabe successfully saved all of the hostages, as Walter first repaired a cut cable inside the server room that had allowed the scientist to control the entire facility- which allowed Sly to regain control of it- and then cornering the scientist. After Walter confessed to his role in the Bagdad bombings, the scientist held him at gunpoint and walked him to the exit, planning on releasing the gas and shooting Walter in front of everyone. Walter managed to disarm him long enough to escape and lock the scientist inside, where he fell prey to the very gases he’d released.

On the bright side, no one else was hurt, save one worker who’d been trapped inside a room with some of the released gas. Ralph and Walter both made it out safe, as did Cabe and the hostages, plus the gas was contained by Ralph’s heroic actions, thus saving the city in the process. Unfortunately, Paige was none too happy about what Ralph had done, and knew good and well it was because of Walter’s influence that he’d gotten involved in the first place, which ultimately didn’t sit too well with her, for obvious reasons.

This inevitably led to a downer ending, in which Walter insisted Cabe resign from the team, which he did, and Paige confronting Walter and telling him that she was going to encourage her ex to take the job in Maine and that she and Ralph would be joining him, as Walter had proven to be a bad influence on Ralph, at least in terms of his own personal safety. This in turn led to Walter going amok in a Ferrari, and running afoul of a coyote, which caused him to go off of a cliff- hence the irony/double meaning of the show’s title.

As we saw in the preview for next week’s season finale, Walter is literally hanging from a cliff for his life in said Ferrari, so maybe the title would have actually been better suited to next week’s episode! As it stands, it’s “Postcards from the Edge,” which I suppose will do, all things considered. Obviously, it would be unlikely that Walter dies, given that the show is inspired by his life, and he’s still very much alive, albeit no doubt heavily fictionalized here. Still, I think it’s safe to say he’ll live, but it should make for an engaging finale nonetheless, given all that’s happened in this episode.

All in all, it was a pretty good episode, and one that actually played more like a season finale, IMHO. That said, I’m certainly glad they resisted the urge to leave things how they were at the end of this episode, which would have been pretty depressing, what with the team in shambles and all. The fact that they didn’t is a relief, though I can’t imagine everything will be resolved by the end of the next episode, either. We shall see, I guess.

What did you think of the penultimate episode of “Scorpion”? Were you shocked that Walter kicked Cabe off the team? What did you think of Ralph’s actions? Do you think Walter and the team are more of a good influence or a bad one? Will Paige and he actually leave like she said? Or will she have second thoughts? If the exits still hold, what will become of the team, sans Cabe and Paige? Sound off below, and see you next week for the big finale!