"Dam Breakthrough" is the twelfth episode of the second season of Scorpion, and the thirty fourth of the series overall. It aired on December 14, 2015.
On Christmas Eve, Team Scorpion must prevent a catastrophe when torrential rains create a large crack in a dam, threatening to wipe out an entire town in its wake. WALTER ALSO TRIES TO REPLACE HIS SISTER WITH FERRET BUELLER
The episode opens with Walter and the team preparing to celebrate Christmas. Walter has invented a type of artificial snow and covered part of the lab with it so they can attempt to sled down it. Paige tells all of them not to do that, and she and Toby speak briefly about their concern for Walter, who has adopted a ferret named Ferret Bueller and has been talking to it and himself during the holiday season. Neither of them is clear on why.
But before they can debate it further, Cabe comes in and tells them that they have a case. While they're driving out, Toby discovers that Walter has been keeping the ashes of his sister Meg in a jar in his car. Walter gets very distressed and tells Toby that he hasn't had the time to scatter the ashes yet, and insists that they're returned to the glove compartment. Toby is even more concerned about Walter's behavior, but he does as he's asked and returns it.
The team finally arrive on site and find that a mudslide has damaged a dam, which threatens to break the dam down completely and flood the town below. Suddenly, they hear concrete cracking. The stress caused by the debris and the water pressure cracks part of the dam. Worried that the dam will overflow and break, the team break into the dam control room and discover that the dam is minutes from breaking. With no assistance from the company that owns the dam, and unable to evacuate the town, the team decide to try and repair the dam on their own. Time to science the sh*t out of this dam.
Happy makes concrete to fill the crack with, while the others start making a solution to freeze the water around the crack long enough to repair it from the other side. They use the artificial ice recipe Walter came up with to do this, and prepare to freeze the water while someone else is lowered down to repair the dam wall.
For unknown and godforsaken reasons, Cabe is the one that volunteers to go down and repair it. This is a horrible idea, but the rest of the team agrees to let him do this.
Walter begins talking to himself again while they're preparing to fix the wall, and he and Toby snap at each other. They're told to shut up and focus while Cabe bounces down the wall to the crack. Sylvester tells him that he has ninety seconds to repair the wall after the water is frozen. Walter and Paige drop the freezing solution into the water and manage to cause a temporary freeze. Cabe begins filling the crack with concrete, while Toby monitors the wall to see if there are any more cracks forming. However, Cabe is unable to reach the last part of the crack, and is forced to swing himself in an attempt to reach it. While he's successful, the force of him swinging damages the rope he's hanging from and the machine they would've used to pull him up. When Happy attempts to pull him up manually, the rope snaps. Cabe is forced to improvise, and makes himself a climbing course using the leftover concrete to make little steps for himself to climb up.
By the time Cabe gets back up and the team return to the control room, Toby informs them that the dam is still failing, and will break unless they try a new strategy. He decides the solution is attempting to give the dam a colonoscopy. His words, not mine. They're going to try and empty the blocked pipes with a motor, since it was filled with debris that came down with the mudslide and is unable to drain properly. Toby, Happy, and Cabe start making the motor device to clear the pipes, while Walter and Sylvester hack the door to allow them into the room. Using the power of Science, they make a machine out of some tubes, the motor from Cabe's car, and a little turbine. They attach a camera to the end of it so they can see what's blocked while they go, and start up the machine. They find the clog, and start clearing it out of the way. The dam pressure starts decreasing as the pipes begin working again, but this also causes the water to rush into the pipe where Happy and Cabe are standing faster. Their little machine is caught and pulled suddenly into the pipe. Cabe and Happy both let go, but one of the cables loops onto Happy's foot, and she's yanked into the pipe and sucked towards the turbines.
Walter and Sylvester run and manage to catch her in a net before she hits the turbine. However, the motor is still connected to her foot and they are unable to pull her out until Toby comes and helps them. Toby makes sure Happy is okay, Just when they think they're out of danger, Paige informs the rest of the team that two of the turbines have been damaged by the motor and that the dam is definitely going to break. When they return to the control room to think up a new plan, Walter begins talking to himself to try and find a solution. Frustrated that Walter is once again ignoring them and talking to himself, Toby yells at Walter and urges him to go against his nature and talk to the rest of them instead of just mumbling to himself. This gives Walter the idea to make the river flow in reverse, thereby against its nature, in order to stop the pressure on the dam and save the town. He draws pictures on a board and talks about the reservoir up river from them, and suggests they use a tsunami bomb to push the water back. Happy joins in and supports Walter's plan. The others are reluctantly forced to agree when the walls of the control room start cracking due to the pressure building up from the dam. Happy and Toby head off to build a bomb, while Sylvester and Cabe try to fill the new cracks with concrete.
Paige begins to panic about the people in the town being killed, and insists that they do something. Walter decides to call Ralph, who hacks the emergency alert system in order to get everyone in the town below to turn off their electricity so that as much power as possible can be directed to the dam. Paige is dubious that this will work, but is proved wrong when all the lights are turned off below.
Happy hits the bomb with a fire extinguisher. Not sure why. Toby screams like a little bitch before going with Happy up to the top of the dam. Happy instructs Toby on where exactly he needs to throw the bomb to get the desired effect, but Toby misses. But the bomb goes off successfully, resulting in a wave pushing the water back from the dam towards the reservoir. The team celebrate, and Walter tells Ralph to send an all-clear message to the town.
The Christmas lights all come back on, and Walter and Paige talk about the wonder that is Christmas and sharing your feelings. Or rather, Paige does. Walter half listens and dissociates during her speech.
Back home again, the celebrations have resumed. Walter discovers that he's won $15 million dollars of grant money, but is unable to celebrate or focus after discovering that Ferret Bueller is missing. He panics and sends everyone on a grand quest to find the ferret. It only takes a few minutes before Walter finds the ferret and returns him to his cage. Walter angrily accuses people of leaving the cage open. It takes a moment before everyone realizes he isn't really upset about the idea of losing Ferret Bueller, but that he's projecting his fear of loss onto the ferret because he's upset about the loss of his sister. Paige hugs him, and Walter begins crying. Sylvester goes over and hugs Walter as well, and they share a moment of grief together before Walter decides it's time to scatter Meg's ashes and accept her death and his loss.
The team go to the beach, where they've set up a rocket Happy built and use it to shoot Meg's ashes into space. Happy and Toby kiss once again before Happy walks off, looking very pleased with herself. Walter lets Sylvester place the ashes into the rocket, since Sylvester was Meg's husband. Walter says that he and Sylvester are brothers rather than brothers-in-law, and the two have a moment of bonding before Walter launches the rocket. The team watch the rocket go up, and Walter tells Paige that he feels better now he's addressed his loss. Paige holds his hand in support as they watch the rocket disappear into the sky.
- Elyes Gabel as Walter O'Brien
- Katharine McPhee as Paige Dineen
- Robert Patrick as Cabe Gallo
- Eddie Kaye Thomas as Toby Curtis
- Jadyn Wong as Happy Quinn
- Ari Stidham as Sylvester Dodd