Scorpion “Toby or Not Toby” Review (Season 2 Episode 24)

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On the season finale of “Scorpion,” we picked up right where we left off, as a kidnapped Toby (Eddie Kaye Thomas) woke up in the clutches of former teammate Mark Collins (Joshua Leonard), an uncertain future looming before him, in the wryly-titled “Toby or Not Toby.”

Back at team headquarters, Scorpion remained blissfully unaware for the moment, playfully squabbling as per usual about insignificant things- in this case, the saving graces (or lack thereof) of jazz, which Tim loved and Sly hated. Naturally, the music was too cacophonous for Sly, while Tim pretentiously liked how it found and embraced the “notes between the notes,” which sounds about right.

This was, of course, all connected to Tim’s upcoming sojourn to the Jazz Festival in Lake Tahoe that Walter gifted to him and Paige after opting not to go with Linda after their break-up. Though everyone, save Tim, knows that Walter is sweet on Paige and has been for some time, when it came time for him to step up and invite her to the festival himself last week, he choked and instead offered Paige the tickets to go with Tim.

Since then, Walter has clearly been kicking himself, but the wheels are in motion, as they say, and there’s not much time to waste if Walter wants to stop things dead in their tracks with Paige and Tim and make things happen with Paige himself. Before that could happen, there was the Toby situation to contend with, which at first led everyone who knew him to wonder if perhaps he’d backslidden and gone on a gambling bender.

When Cabe receives word that Mark Collins has escaped the institution, however, it becomes clear that something more nefarious was going on here. An unusually cagey Sly had some idea where Toby might have been last, but won’t get into specifics, much to Happy’s chagrin. It is enough to get them started on narrowing down Toby’s last-known location, though, so it’s something, at least.

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Back at Mark’s secret lair, he tells Toby that he’s been continuing to work on his BBI (brain-to-brain interface) technology and realized that Walter might have had a breakthrough when he tried to save his sister Megan some time ago. Suspecting that Walter’s own research into BBI might provide the key to his own, Mark intends to blackmail Walter into sending him his research to date to a secret email drop-box in exchange for Toby’s location.

He calls Walter and makes arrangements, but Walter is hesitant to give Mark said research, knowing full well that he would likely use it in the worst ways imaginable, probably selling the technology to the highest bidder and potentially leading to the most invasive scenarios conceivable, such as to read people’s minds against their will.

The team reasons that Mark and Toby must be in the general area, as Mark would want to stay close for the time being, what with everyone on the hunt for him at the moment. Happy, Paige and Tim head to Mark’s old institution to see what they can find out, hoping that there will be some sort of clues to what he was up to left behind.

Happy discovers he was hijacking the internet via Wi-Fi from a nearby location using a device he constructed with various on-site materials. She goes to the computer room and figures out Mark’s IP address and looks into what he was researching, which includes local farms.

Meanwhile, Tim finds a table in the kitchen Mark was using and was unusually protective of, which proves to have various formulas and mathematical equations on it, which Tim takes a photo of and sends to Sly and the rest back at HQ. To his credit, the way Tim figured out how to reveal the formulas was pretty cool, as he threw flour on the table and blew it off with a fan, leaving the formula exposed, much like a hidden message written in invisible ink.

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Mark calls Walter and warns them to stop wasting time and send him the research or Toby’s doomed. To their horror, they hear him torturing Toby in the background and recoil. But Walter feels that something is off about it, and realizes that Mark was actually sampling Toby’s screams from a video of Sly’s appearance on “The Price is Right.” This would seem to indicate that Mark hasn’t gone off the deep end- yet.

However, Mark tells Toby that, while he might not prolong the agony, that Toby is definitely going to die today. He starts rigging an elaborate booby trap to that end, involving some sort of chemical concoction and a whole lot of dental floss. He also goes through Toby’s stuff, finding the ring that Toby planned to give to Happy, chiding him that Happy would never say yes in a million years, which does not go over well with Toby.

Happy’s team goes to a particular farm, where someone takes a shot at Tim, scaring the daylights out of all concerned. It turns out that someone had been stealing the farmer’s goat collars for some reason and had messed with his fences to boot, costing him a considerable amount of money in the process. The gun was just loaded with rock salt to scare what he assumed was just kids off of his farm.

Happy realizes that the goat collars have poison packs on them and that the chemical inside them was probably what Mark was after. She also notes that the fences are missing their hinges, which Mark also probably did on purpose, though she has no idea what he might be up to with these things. We already know the answer to that, though- he’s building a trap.

Sly figures out Mark’s formula and that it relates to ham radios. He thinks they can figure out Mark’s location by narrowing down which radio signal Mark has been using. Walter comes up with a plan to use Sly’s keytar (!) to plug directly into a specific radio tower and play a particular note, which he can then use to isolate Mark’s location. Or something.

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Alas, Walter drops the keytar after overhearing some dubious-sounding commentary from Paige and Tim, which forces Cabe to climb up the tower himself and give Walter his phone, as it has music on it that he can use to the same end as the keytar. It works, but not as effectively as the keytar would have, meaning that they are only able to narrow down Mark’s location to a certain extent, but not as precisely as they would have liked.

Mark calls Walter and Toby informs him that Mark is up to something involving an acid-based concoction. Mark spitefully tells Happy that Toby was planning to propose, which takes her completely by surprise. She realizes that it was what Sly had been hiding from her before. Mark taunts her about it, realizing that she’d had no idea about Toby’s intentions.

Mark goes back to rigging his booby trap and Toby intentionally knocks over some ammonia. Mark thinks he was trying to get a hold of it to throw in his face or something, but really it was to get Mark to open a window, which he does. Toby then begs Mark to let him speak to Happy one last time, which he agrees to do, but only if Toby tells the team that Mark is smarter that all of them put together.

Toby does as he asks, then says goodbye to Happy, asking Sly to take care of Happy for him when he’s gone. This sets off Sly’s radar, as he and Happy have never really gotten along, and indeed, he’s more than a little scared and intimidated by her. He realizes that Toby was trying to pass along a message and eventually realizes it has to do with sound, figuring out that Toby was trying to bring Sly’s attention to the birds outside his location.

Identifying the birds in question as pelicans, Sly, a bird enthusiast, is able to further narrow down Mark’s likely location and the team sets off for it. Mark wraps up his rigging and leaves, bidding Toby a not-so-fond adieu. The team arrive and split up, trying to pinpoint Mark and Toby’s location precisely. Walter spots Mark and gives chase, while the others continue the hunt.

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Sly and Happy find Toby first, but Toby warns them if they so much as jostle the wrong dental floss in the room, which is covered in it, the acid concoction will fall right into his face and kill him almost instantly. Even worse, Toby has noticed that one piece of floss is all but threadbare and will almost certainly break at any moment, anyway.

Walter corners Mark and hits him in the stomach with a pipe, knocking him to the floor. Mark tells Walter he might as well finish him, as he wasn’t going to stop doing what he was doing, and was going to complete his formulas one way or another and probably be responsible for the deaths of untold people if Walter lets him go.

Mark says that the team made Walter weak, and that Walter made Mark what he is now, so that he only has himself to blame. Mark says he can either go to Toby and try to save him or stop him, but that there wasn’t time for both. Walter begs to differ about his newfound emotions making him weak, and opts to rescue Toby instead of finishing off Mark. (He couldn’t have knocked him out with that pipe in the short term?)

Putting their heads together, the now-complete team realize that the floss is strung like a guitar string. By gently plucking said floss, certain notes will ring out and they can determine which ones to cut and which ones to leave alone, so they set about doing so as fast as possible.

Eventually, Happy can’t stand it anymore and simply leaps forward onto Toby, knocking him over and just barely avoiding the acid mix in the process. Toby attempts to propose, but Happy stops him, pointing out that if he proposes to her tied to a chair, she’ll never forgive him.

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Current crisis averted, the team still have to contend with finding Mark, who has boarded a bus out of town. As the bus stops for its next pick-up, Cabe gets onboard and arrests Mark on the spot, with an assist from Tim. They tell him that Toby and everyone else is alive and well, so his plan had failed completely.

In addition, it was by using his own emotion against him that Walter was able to figure out where Mark was headed- the only place he’d spoken fondly of to Walter, his hometown. Mark grumbles that the team has irreparably ruined Walter and that he’ll never achieve greatness because of it.

Back at HQ, Happy is steadfastly avoiding Toby, clearly fearing he’ll propose. He finally corners her and plays her a wonderfully dorky- and completely adorable- song on the piano, which is charming as all get out. Basically proposing in song, Happy is flattered but shockingly turns him down, right in front of everyone. Even crazier is her reason- she’s already married. The team is flabbergasted, as Happy storms out, telling Toby not to follow her.

Meanwhile, Paige packs for her trip with Tim, as Walter fumes about it in silence. He tells Paige he regrets not clamping down harder on interoffice relationships sooner, given what happened with Toby and Happy, which he fears will sink the team dynamic. Walter says feelings should be buried and left alone.

Paige wonders if he talking about Toby and Happy or the two of them, but Walter insists it’s the former. She asks Walter if she should stay behind and help with the Toby situation, but Walter insists she go ahead on the trip. Toby gets drunk and calls Walter out on his actions, which he witnessed. Toby says that nothing should matter more than love, even the team, and that he just pushed Paige out the door and into Tim’s arms practically.

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Finally realizing his dreadful mistake, Walter gives chase to Paige and Tim in the “company car,” aka his car, which has since been retrieved from the place Toby left it. Walter tries to call Paige, but to no avail, as he only gets her voice mail. As the episode ends, we see him headed to Lake Tahoe, as Toby laments losing Happy, perhaps for good.

Though in some ways predictable- I don’t think anyone expected Toby to die- this was actually a surprising turn of events, as at this point, I think we were all but resigned to the fact that Toby and Happy were going to get married and do the “happily ever after” thing. Though many, myself included, wondered if Toby was rushing things, I don’t think any of us saw it coming that Happy would already be married!

Granted, it wouldn’t be the first time a show has used this gambit to postpone the inevitable, but I liked that they didn’t make it too easy. Indeed, the show has steadfastly resisted the urge to make much of anything easy for the team, leading me to wonder if this approach might actually have the reverse intended result and actually tick other people off by dragging things out instead of rushing them. I guess you can’t win ‘em all, right?

Still, I think it was a smart move, personally, as it would have been out of character for Happy to just melt and lovingly accept Toby’s proposal, especially given her overall reticence to get involved with him in the first place. But the whole “I’m already married” curveball was excellently played and executed in such a way that I was genuinely surprised by it, despite having seen this sort of thing done before, so nice going, “Scorpion.”

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All in all, it was another successful season of the show overall. I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all had our own quibbles about some of the likelihood of some of what goes down in this show being on the level, from a scientific perspective, much less a logical one, but the general consensus seems to be that as long as it’s entertaining, who cares?

And yet, I do think the show can do better. After all, it is a show about a group of geniuses. Is it too much to ask that the writing be reasonably intelligent as well? I don’t think so. I get that certain concessions need to be made in order to solve a given case within the context of a single forty-five-minute episode, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it can’t still be done in a way that’s smart, instead of throwing all common sense out the window.

Mind you, I’m hardly a genius, so it’s not like I have all the answers myself. I’ll leave that to the experts. But my point is, there should be some experts involved to determine how reasonable any given scientific element is in the first place.

You’ve got a winning ensemble here, CBS, and people love the show to the point that they’re willing to make excuses for it, even as they know a lot of it is completely unbelievable. Why not make them not have to? In other words, why have “Scorpion” be a mere guilty pleasure, when it could potentially be genuinely great? The ball’s in your court, CBS- don’t let us down.

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What did you think of the final episode of “Scorpion”? Were you shocked that Toby made it out alive? Did you think Mark might actually get away to torment the group at a later date? Will he, in fact, be back to do just that? Were you surprised that Happy turned Toby down? Did you see the twist of her already being married coming? Were you okay with it, or did it seem like an unnecessary plot contrivance? Any predictions for next season? What did you think of the season on the whole? Sound off down below and see you next season!