Scorpion “Ticker” Review (Season 2 Episode 19)

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In a refreshingly straight-forward episode of “Scorpion,” the team worked overtime to prevent an out-and-out blood supply crisis, while at the same time trying to secure a rare blood type for a little girl Walter meets in the waiting room of a hospital scheduled to have a heart transplant, in the aptly-titled “Ticker.”

We began with the gang with some rare free time on their hands, as Sly lamented not being able to get on any more game shows to aid his ongoing Megan-inspired cause after winning big on “The Price is Right.” So, all concerned decided to engage in a game of their own, the so-called “Scorpiolympics,” a series of nerd-friendly games requiring little in the way of physical skills but lots to do with mental exercises.

Well all save Walter, who determined the whole affair to be a colossal waste of time and thus, decided to forgo it altogether in favor of some side work of his own. However, he can’t focus with all the hubbub going on, and his tossing skills are dubious at best, so he decides to go for a drive, only to get into a minor scrape which requires a visit to a hospital for a once over.

While there, he first meets pushy lawyer Heywood (“SNL” vet Horatio Sanz), then incoming heart transplant patient Olivia (Isabella Crovetti-Cramp, “Joy”) and her mother (Karla Droege, “Southbound”). Olivia is a kindred spirit and budding genius herself, so she and Walter immediately hit it off, with Walter encouraging her to stick with her dream of becoming a doctor to help others like her.

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However, no sooner has the team arrived to make sure Walter is okay than disaster strikes when Toby spots another incoming patient showing signs of the Nibori Virus, much to a decidedly dubious doctor’s chagrin. Tests prove Toby right, though, but the doctor is flummoxed as to how the man got the virus in the first place, as he is a lifetime US citizen who has never left the country and the virus itself is of foreign origin.

Eventually, a blood transfusion proves to be the culprit, further supported as other similar cases are reported. It seems that somehow many of the blood samples in circulation have been mislabeled, which is a problem, as so many are out there, just waiting to further spread the virus. It turns out that it’s no random mishap soon enough, as the head doctor reports to the team that someone did this on purpose.

As such, Cabe puts in a quick call to Homeland to prevent the virus from spreading by putting the blood out there on lockdown. One problem, though: Olivia needs a particularly rare blood type for her operation and it’s en route. If the team can’t figure out how to determine whether Olivia’s blood is contaminated or not, the doctor in charge of her operation (Lena Georgas, “Prime Suspect”) can’t move forward on her surgery.

With only 270 minutes before the window closes on Olivia’s opportunity, the clock is ticking, so after Walter promises Olivia to rectify the situation, the team is off and running to beat the clock and save her. They split up into various teams, with some going to two different blood banks, while Sly and Cabe check out the emails sent by the terrorist laying claim to the blood mislabeling actions. Sly traces it back to Santa Clarita, but the terrorist is using an old-school dial-up set-up, making it tough to pin down the exact location.

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Sly nonetheless does so, only to discover that the terrorist has used a Rube Goldberg-type mechanism to set the plan into motion, giving himself as much as a ten-hour head start, meaning he could be near anywhere by now. Sly does find a tin sheet in a shed nearby with a shaft of light pointing at it that might just serve as an ad-hoc camera, which could potentially have inadvertently taken a picture of the terrorist’s car.

That proves to be the case, and there is a clear shot of the tag in the picture, which allows them to trace the car back to Todd Wilcox (Jeremy Denzlinger, ironically from “True Blood,” given the material at hand), a CEO of a Pharma Group that just so happened to have developed an antidote to the virus threatening everyone.

It seems that, when the virus antidote was rendered pointless after the cure was discovered, it threatened his company’s well-being, as they had hedged their bets on developing a cure first. So, by putting a plan into motion that would have spread the virus everywhere in rapid fashion, had the team not intervened, Wilcox hoped to recoup his costs, as well as to come out as a hero for saving the day in the process.

The problem is, the team can’t immediately arrest Wilcox, as he would likely not cooperate off the bat, and time was of the essence in this particular situation. Meaning that, the team needed to figure out exactly what algorithm Wilcox used to mislabel certain blood bags in order to figure out which ones were contaminated and which ones weren’t in time to save Olivia, or all hope of saving her would be lost.

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Posing as reporters, Paige and Happy lob some softballs at Wilcox during a press conference in hopes of getting some clue as to what number Wilcox may have used in the algorithm, as the team assumes that, much like a password, Wilcox likely would have used a number that meant something personal to him.

Subsequent research reveals that, as a child, Wilcox was very troubled, the direct result of his parents having lost their jobs at the same time, which led to their house being foreclosed on. Sly finds a telling number that he’s confident enough will solve the problem and Walter gives the doctor the go-ahead to start the surgery.

It seems that the exact amount of the cost that Wilcox’s parents owed on the house fits the same amount of numbers in the algorithm needed to decode the mislabeled blood bags. Sure enough, it works and the team is able to get the information out to all concerned and start the process of labeling the blood properly in motion.

There’s another problem in that the blood needed for Olivia’s surgery is already en route to a blood bank, and if it arrives, it will be withheld until the matter is rectified, which they don’t have time to wait for, what with Olivia’s surgery already in progress. Cabe realizes that they are going to have to hijack the blood from the transport truck somehow.

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Sly has the bright idea to use an RV to do so and the team rushes to catch up with said vehicle. Then Walter, Happy and Toby get on the roof of the RV and Happy disconnects the ladder on the back of it to use as a connecting tissue from the RV to the blood-bank vehicle. Walter successfully makes it across, then goes inside the truck from the roof to retrieve the needed blood, with Sly helping to pinpoint exactly which ones they need.

Walter gets the blood and tosses it over, fumbling one, but getting two successfully into the hands of Happy, then Sly, albeit by default in the last case, as the bag falls through the roof of the RV into Sly’s lap! Needless to say, his tossing skills proved more crucial than he thought previously after he dismissed the Scorpiolympics.

However, the ladder is dropped, stranding Walter on the blood-bank vehicle, forcing him to make a jump for it across the two vehicles. Walter doesn’t quite make it, but does get close enough for Toby and Happy to haul him up and save him. They then head rapidly to the hospital, where Walter is able to rush in and get the doctors the blood they need for Olivia’s operation to be successfully completed.

Of course, once that is done, there is still a 24-hour waiting period to determine whether or not Olivia’s body will accept the heart transplant. So, the team settles in with Olivia’s mother to wait it out, and sure enough, all is well in the end. Walter visits Olivia and the two bond over their mutual differences from the rest of the crowd, but then Olivia surprises him when she says that she plans to put the whole doctor thing on hold for a while so that she can simply enjoy being a kid.

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Returning to the loft, Sly is dejected to see his final application for a game show denied, as word has spread amongst the game show community of Sly’s methods of success and no one wants to have him on, lest he clean house like he did on “The Price is Right.” Walter realizes that Sly might have the basis for a lawsuit on his hands, and recommends Sly call the aforementioned lawyer Heywood for help after they see his commercial on TV.

Walter starts to go back to work, only to take a lesson from Olivia and realize that there’s a time for work and a time for play, and he’s earned himself a little playtime after all he’s been through over the last few days. So, he opts to rejoin the Scopiolympics after all, donning a helmet and lying flat on a skateboard, as some of the team push him towards a set-up of bowling pins. Strike!

This was a refreshingly straight-forward episode that didn’t really have a lot of the typically objectionable material you find in a given episode of the show under normal circumstances. Yes, the whole algorithm decoding was a bit of a cheat, I suppose- it actually seems more likely Wilcox would just choose a random number- but I still dug the idea of his using the amount of money that cost his parents their house and ruined his childhood nonetheless.

Also, I suppose if one did the math, the timeline was a bit dubious, in terms of everything that was done in such a short amount of time, but isn’t that the norm for shows like this? Barring the occasional multi-episode arc, is there ever a problem that can’t be solved in less than forty-five minutes on a crime procedural? Probably not.

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But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- sometimes you just have to go with stuff like this, and considering some of the more out-there stuff this show has done in the past, the potential dubiousness of the stuff here was small potatoes compared to past episodes’ shenanigans, believe you me. So, I was fine with it, overall.

I also liked how the episode showed Walter’s growth as a human being, as he really put it all on the line to save this little girl he barely knew, even to the point of literally endangering his own life, as with the jump from the blood-bank vehicle to the RV. Walter has definitely come a long way over the past two seasons.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the best moment of the show, in terms of amusement value, beyond the whole “Scorpiolympics” thing, when Toby sent Happy to the press conference, and told her “Don’t be yourself,” meaning that, she’d have to rein in the ‘tude to get the job done. Without skipping a beat, Happy retorted: “I’d be offended by that if it weren’t so true.” LOL.

I really like these two as a couple and I’m glad they decided to go with them next instead of Walter and Paige, as their oft-fractious relationship is perfect fodder for some good laughs. You really root for them, despite all their differences. I guess I’m all aboard the “Tappy” ‘ship train, you could say, or whatever the fans decided to call it.

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What did you think of the latest episode of “Scorpion”? Did you enjoy the main plotline? Did you find it believable? How about the whole “Scorpiolympics” thing? Did you get a kick out of Horatio Sanz’ guest-starring bits, or was it giving you Ray flashbacks? Would you like to see his character again? What do you think of the idea of Cabe bringing on a trainee in the next episode? Any ideas for what you’d like to see in the upcoming finale? Sound off down below and see you next week!