- "I am happy to be alive. Thank you, Walter, but how are you feeling?"
"Tech, Drugs and Rock and Roll" is the sixth episode of the second season of Scorpion, and the twenty eighth of the series overall. It aired on October 26, 2015.
Walter’s attempt to “normalize” goes horribly wrong when a nefarious virus is uploaded to his computer, turning Team Scorpion’s new “smart” building project into a burning death trap with people locked inside.
The episode begins with Walter talking to Elia about a project he’s working on. Walter is walking through traffic on the freeway to get Ray’s hat. He says he’s confident about the smart building and Walter says he doesn’t take risks, he uses calculations. They confirm plans to meet tomorrow. Ray thanks him for getting his hat back. He asks Walter about the call with the billionaire and Walter says he doesn’t want to let the guy down.
Ray says he should go to the mixer after the tech talk but Walter says he’s not a mixer guy. Ray encourages him to be more social. Ray advises him to offer a unique compliment to Paige like her having nice posture. He writes WWRD on Walter’s hand and says to ask himself tonight, what would Ray do? At the mixer, Walter tries to talk to normal humans. One guy tells him a girl is checking him out. He goes down there and she says she liked his talk on superconducting magnetics.
He compliments her earlobes and she thanks him. Then he offers to show her a math trick. He says it’s good to accept things are not as they appear. She tries to buy him a drink and she offers him a Long Island Iced Tea. He has no clue there’s alcohol in it. Elia calls Paige and she says Walter is finishing up some code but Walter has gone missing. Happy says he’ll be there soon and Sylvester shows off the humidor for his comics that Happy built to protect them.
Toby gives him a look like he’s insane. Toby tells Happy she’s an enabler and tells Sylvster this is his security blanket then calls him Linus. Sylvester throws back his crush on Happy in his face. Cabe shows up and they all decide they are worried about Walter. They go to his hotel room and find him passed out on the floor. They open the drapes and he wakes. Walter says he doesn’t drink then says he just had one Rhode Island Iced Tea.
Paige asks him about the kitchen smart tech and he panics. She says his cell is dead and the room phone is unplugged. He says he doesn’t remember how he got there and Paige says she smells perfume. Happy is on her phone laughing and Sylvester says she must be talking to Chet. Toby is annoyed at his commentary. He says he’s fine without Happy. Walter shows up looking horrible and Cabe says he’s hung over. They head inside.
Elia talks about energy efficient smart buildings and shows off the design. He says this came from the top designers in the world plus the Scorpion Team led by Walter O’Brien. Elia comes over and he introduces Dan and Wilson, two guys that work for him. Walter talks to them and says the last minute glitches are normal but he’ll handle them. Toby tells them they’re professionals. They head upstairs and find a couple of kids there. Russell, Elia’s son, is there and Elia says the room temperature is off. He says the board is touchy and they need to wrap it up quietly. They put in comms.
Walter tells everyone where to go so they can fix the glitches. Paige tells Walter it’s all right. He says glitches like this don’t happen. He says nothing untoward happened. Elia comes in as Walter runs a check. A chime goes off. The building systems are failing. Toby is on the elevator which grinds to a halt. Walter says they’re under a cyber-attack. Elia is angry and Walter says he’s not sure what’s happening. Happy says they have a fire and the sprinklers aren’t engaging.
Elia freaks out and Walter tells Sylvester to evacuate the kids but they’re locked in. The kids are worried. Sylvester tells him the doors are locked. Walter sees the time stamp and says that matches the code he was installing on the server for the kitchen. He thinks Stella drugged his drink. Elia goes off on him and Walter says they need to find that woman. Paige and Cabe go to try and find her. Happy tries to manually start the sprinklers. Toby sees smoke leaking onto the elevator.
Sylvester says there’s smoke there too and Walter says he’s the single point of failure. They wonder how this happened and Walter asks who would want to do this to Elia. Walter says the fire department is on the way and a guy calls Elia and says he’s locked out and the doors to the outside are locked. Toby is trying to get out of the elevator. Walter runs downstairs and Toby tells Sylvester to be calm for the kids sake. Paige and Cabe head to the hotel and Walter described Stella.
Paige asks what could help and he says check his clothes from the night before in Cabe’s car. She sniffs and says she smells the same cheap perfume then says maybe they need slut tracking dogs. Walter is with Happy at the fire and she is making a device to set off soundwaves to diminish the flames. Walter says it’s not strong enough. Toby gets the roof hatch open on the elevator. Walter gets part of the fire under control. Then his arm catches on fire. Happy puts it out.
Walter and Happy get the fire out then run to the control room. Happy tells Walter it’s not his fault but he says it is since he’s socially vulnerable. Walter says now they can tackle each failing system one by one. Happy tells Walter he got burned then he recalls a guy next to him and says Jon Vrakas steered him to Stella then spilled a drink on him. The guy calls and says that the fire is still raging. The fire department can’t break in because of the anti-terrorist precautions.
Cabe and Paige find Jon and ask why he steered Walter to her. He says he doesn’t know anything about this and says the guy was raging, drunk and telling jokes. He repeats a joke and Paige recognizes it as Walter’s. The guy says Walter had a few too many and just hooked up. Paige gets mad. Cabe and Paige go check security tapes. Sylvester tells stories with the kids who are irritated by the smoke. Sylvester tries to figure this out. He wonders what the rest of the team would do.
He decides to build smoke filtration masks. He goes into the aquarium to grab the filter. Walter says the worm keeps destroying the repairs he does. Walter says the have to reboot and then they can restart without the worm. Elia freaks out but they tell him it’s the only way. Sylvester and the kids are making masks from the charcoal filter in the aquarium. Russell says they’re choking to death. Sylvester says they’re coughing, not choking then says he just went into fish feces for this project.
He puts a mask on the girl and she’s better. Sylvester says they’ll all be fine. Walter and Happy head for the server room which is five floors up. Steam is coming out of vents and he says it’s like the worm is following them. She says it’s like it’s designed to make them look bad. He says the facial recognition is being used to target them. Toby makes it out of the elevator and onto the 15th floor which is engulfed in fire. He says he doesn’t think he can make it to the server room. – – Paige and Cabe watch video of Walter at the bar partying. Paige says it’s like he’s possessed by an evil spirt. They go back to when he first got his drink. Someone blocks them and they can’t see if she spiked his drink. Paige notices her purse and points out a tag for Clementine Gym and says it’s a pricey place. Toby breaks into the wall and grabs out insulation to make a fire resistant suit. He runs through the flames and makes it to the server room.
Walter tells him how to reboot it. The servers ignite and Toby starts to fight the fire. Happy and Walter make it there but the doors are locked – it sealed to contain the fire. Happy tries to break the glass. Walter notices the thermostat and says it sucks the oxygen out to kill the fire. He says he can put out the fire and Happy says he can’t think greater good. Walter says everyone in the building can die and says they can revive Toby. Toby say she has an idea and goes to try and fight the fire.
Cabe and Paige go to Stella’s place. She says she got a drink at the bar. She says she did not drug Walter and Paige says kids are trapped in a building and will die. Cabe says he’s with Homeland and he will find out if she had anything to do with this. Stella says she didn’t do anything to him. Happy is trying to pick the lock on the room and Walter sets the override and says it will work. He says Toby will be without oxygen for a short period of time. The fire starts to go out and Happy says it’s enough.
Walter says 10 more seconds. Toby passes out. Walter resets the room and Happy says it’s not working. She tries to bust into the door and says Toby is dying. Happy says Toby is turning blue. Walter says the vacuum power will work. He says they need something to pierce it. They get the tungsten pen that Elia gave him and she makes a slingshot. She fires it at the glass. It pierces then the glass shatters. She starts CPR on Toby while he goes to the servers. Toby coughs back to life.
Walter thinks he has the system to where it can reboot back to before the worm. Sylvester asks Walter for news. Sylvester is floor crawling with the kids. Walter starts the reboot with ventilation. The sprinklers are on. The system restarts. Toby tells Walter he’s a grade A tool and is being reckless. Toby says he’s been working near exhaustion for weeks to prove something to Elia. Toby says acting like a madman will not undo what happened. Walter walks away.
Happy says they have a problem. The worm is reinfecting the system. Sylvester says the doors are still locked. He says a device nearby must be keeping the worm active. Walter says they have to know who did this. Cabe says Stella’s records seem clear. Then Paige sees that Stella was on a dating site that hooks up sugar daddies. She was last on it right before Walter went into the bar. Sylvester says there’s a gaping flaming hole in the middle of the room.
The building supports start to buckle and Walter tells Sylvester to check the window integrity. Walter tells him how to break the window. Sylvester makes a torch and uses the light to ignite the gas between the window panes. He tells the kids to hide. The glass shatters. Walter says to get the fire department chopper to get to them. Cabe calls Toby and says they are at the HQ of Sweet Companions. Sylvester tries to grab the rope ladder. The chopper has to move within a minute.
Paige sits and wonders what would Toby do. She notices the receptionist has photos of dogs and tells her she saw a dog locked into a car. The woman runs out and Paige sits and tries to call Toby. She can’t get him. She tries to guess the password. Walter busts out a window below Sylvester’s and tells him to get the kids ready. Walter runs and jumps. He grabs the ladder. Toby grabs Walter on the swing and Sylvester gets the kids onto the ladder.
The news reports that an unidentified man leaped from the building to secure the ladder. It says he’s a hero. Elia’s security guy says Walter is not a hero but the problem. Paige gets into the computer and finds Stella’s profile. The chopper says they have to move and Sylvester loads up Russell but he wants his comics. Sylvester tells him to go now. He goes. They get the last kid onto the chopper and they tell Sylvester they have to go and will come back when they can. Sylvester is left behind.
Walter and Happy to try and get the solar panels to engage and make stairs for Sylvester. Paige asks Cabe if he’s ever seen Walter act that way. She wonders if there’s more to his personality he doesn’t let them see. Homeland is looking into Stella’s last contact. Cabe gets a call and tells Paige the names are fake and the cell is a burner. He says the number is to Elia’s R&D campus in Santa Monica. Happy tries to engage the panels then tells Sylvester she can only activate one at a time.
One activates and Sylvester says it looks friendly. The floor is sinking and he has no choice but to step. Happy activates another and the one he’s on starts to retract. They tell him to step down and he does but he’s scared. The panel tilts and Happy goes for the third and says the next one will catch him. The light goes out and Happy runs to check the power. Elia is in the service room and says Dan will take care of this. Elia chews him out and says they got an email about him.
He says he knows that Walter ripped off code from someone that had malware. Walter says the person that sent the email is the culprit. Wilson chews him out. Walter knocks them out of the way and puts the server blade back in. Wilson attacks him and Walter says he has to save his friend’s life. Happy and Toby try and encourage Sylvester to stay calm. – – Walter tells Wilson that Sylvester risked his life to save those kids. Wilson says Walter is a liar and incompetent. Walter says whoever sent that email did it anonymously and he doesn’t know him but he does know Sylvester who saved those kids. The light comes back on and Happy grabs it. She does one lower and he starts to slip then he falls, bounces and falls into their arms. He says he’s in pain but alive. Paige and Cabe call the phone and they hear it in someone’s office. They see the identity of the culprit.
Paige calls Walter and Cabe says it’s Dan that hired the escort. Walter says the guy has an implant in his arm with the virus on it. They tell Cabe he has to find Dan and kill the chip. Elia comes in and Walter says it was Dan Smaisle. Toby says Dan ruined the launch in revenge for cutting his budget. Cabe pulls up and they spot Dan who takes off running. Cabe knocks him down and Dan says it was supposed to just lock the doors for an hour. He says he didn’t want anyone to get hurt.
Cabe uses a taser to fry the chip and Walter is able to reboot the system. The doors unlock and the sprinklers come on. Sylvester asks Toby if they can please leave now. Walter finds Elia looking up at his ruined building and he tells Walter he’s sorry he doubted him and says Dan sent the email about him. Elia says the next building will work. Walter asks why he’s doing it again. Elia tells him failure is part of the process and you don’t know where you’re vulnerable until you fail.
Paige reports that Stella was just arrested and says she confessed to drugging him and planting the worm. Paige says she has complicated feelings about him hitting on Stella. He says he wasn’t hitting on her and then she drugged him. She says don’t let this horrible experience stop you from trying to connect with people. Cabe calls Walter ‘John McClain’ then offers him a ride. Walter does not get the Die Hard reference.
Walter tells Ray the whole story of the night and Ray says it’s like the movie and Walter says the one with John MCain and Ray says wrong guy. He invites Walter to go to happy hour then Walter says he’ll go but has to stick to club soda.
- 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
- Walter sucks out all the oxygen in the server room in order to put out a fire and an empty plastic bottle becomes crushed. This would have only happened if the pressure in the room had increased instead of decreased.
- This episode originally aired as 63 minutes long, but was cut into two half hour episodes in some countries.
- The title is a reference to the name of the Ian Dury song, "Sex & Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll".