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Scorpion - Ticker - Review

Scorpion, “Ticker,” was written by Rob Pearlstein and directed by Mel Damski. This was another time sensitive case with a feel-good story and an important message for one of the main characters. It’s a formula that’s working for the show, but every now and then, I do wish they wouldn’t stretch my credulity quite so far.

In honor of it being an Olympic year, the episode opens with Scorpion’s own version of the game. Happy (Jadyn Wong), Toby (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Sylvester (Ari Stidham) are drinking extremely cold drinks and then trying to solve complex equations. Paige (Katharine McPhee) provides the color commentary. Not surprisingly, Sylvester is the slowest because he’s most affected by the discomfort, but more surprisingly, Toby wins! But, of course, he’s cheating with “performance-enhancing nut butters” to dull the cold!

We find out that Sylvester has been shut out of all the other game shows because of his major win on the Price is Right. Walter (Elyes Gabel) won’t play in the Olympics. His excuse is that it is a waste of time! By his calculations, the 776 Olympics have wasted 134 million man hours. Walter sees no value in them – completely missing the point. Of course, his real reason is that he sucks at sports…

From the text exchanged between Toby (Ego-Maniac) and Walter (Know-It-All), it seems like the two are still sniping at each other. Walter ends up getting in a car accident as the two are texting and goes to the hospital. He’s not seriously hurt but meets Olivia (Isabella Crovetti) and her mom, Jennifer (Karla Droege). Walter is drawn to Olivia because he identifies with her when he hears her talk about her condition so intelligently. She is definitely not your average child, and it seems that Walter might think she is a genius at first. However, she explains that due to her heart condition – she’s there for a heart transplant – she doesn’t get out much and doesn’t have many friends. Something that Walter can relate to. He commiserates that it’s all because one of her organs isn’t like everyone else’s – just like Walter’s brain sets him apart.

The team show up at the hospital because they are worried about Walter. He assures them he’s fine, and he just wants to get back to work. He’s determined to use every moment of his life for good. Before they can get out of the hospital, Toby notices something odd about a patient being admitted. He realizes the patient (Stephen Butchko) has the Nibori virus and tells the attending doctor (Scott Alan Smith) that he’s misdiagnosed the patient and is treating him wrong. The doctor dismisses him but returns later to admit that Toby was right.

It turns out that the patient got the virus from a blood transfusion and it looks like the entire LA blood bank is about to be shut down. Naturally, Olivia has a very rare blood type – even Walter can’t be a donor – and it seems that she will miss the opportunity for a heart transplant. Dr Bennett (Lena Georgas) informs them that the heart for Olivia will only be viable for four hours and the clock is running!

It’s clear that the blood was tainted on purpose, which means all the blood even suspected of being tainted has to be destroyed. Homeland and the FBI give Cabe (Robert Patrick) to all clear for the team to get to work on the case. The whole team works together on the license plate that leads them to Wilcox (Jeremy Denzlinger). Toby and Sylvester work together to come up with an algorithm to identify the barcodes, but they can’t just take the blood, and they have to get the blood before it’s locked up in the lab.

Walter decides that they have to hijack the truck! The team uses the RV to follow the truck, and it’s hilarious to watch Cabe try to keep up with the other driver. It’s ridiculously over the top for Walter to crawl between the two vehicles on a ladder, but it’s an amazing stunt! Walter manages to get 3 bags of blood and they only need two. The chase is nicely intercut with scenes of Olivia’s operation which they start because Olivia has faith in Walter to come through with the blood. Again – totally unbelievable that two bags of blood would be sufficient for this kind of operation.

Regardless, after the ladder falls, Walter has to throw the bags to the team on the RV – and we already know from the first scene that Walter has terrible hand-eye coordination. He makes the first throw perfectly, utterly misses the second, but I don’t think anybody was surprised to see Sylvester catch the last bag.

The team sits with Jennifer as Olivia undergoes her surgery. Walter is thoughtful and looks at Happy and Toby, Paige with Ralph (Riley B Smith) in her lap, and then Sylvester putting a blanket over Ralph. Cabe brings Walter a coffee, and it’s clear that they are more than a team, they are a family.

Olivia gets the all clear – again, way too fast. She thanks Walter and tells him she never doubted that he’d keep his promise. Once again Walter makes explicit that the two are the same because they simply have different genetics, and it’s good to be different. He tells her to keep up her studies, and she tells him that she’ll definitely do that in the future, but for now, she wants to have some fun and break in her new heart. The message is clear. Walter should also take a break to work on his “heart” relationships.

When they get back to the garage, Sylvester reveals that he is going to sue the game programs for not letting him play. As it happens, Walter was accosted by an ambulance chasing attorney - Heywood Morris (Horatio Sanz). He is another fun character for the show and would seem to be the current comic relief. He wanted Walter to sue over his traffic accident. Walter liked that he was different, and he tells Sylvester that Heywood is different.

The rest of the team is going to resume the Scorpion Games. Walter surprises them all by joining in rather than going back to work. He tells them that he’s made a new commitment “to make every second count,” but it’s clear that means spending those seconds with the ones he loves.

I thought this was a fun episode that also wove in some nice character development. I’m still a little disappointed that the show doesn’t work harder to make the science more accurate. It looks like Heywood is going to be around for at least another episode two. Did you like the introduction of his character? Favorite scene? Is this the final push that Walter needs to get together with Paige? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!    

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, Agent Carter, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The X-Files, Defiance, Bitten, Killjoys, and a few others! I'm active on the Con scene when I have the time. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.
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