‘Tom Swift’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 5 “…And The Crashed Cotillion”

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In “…And The Crashed Cotillion,” Tom finds himself without his usual bag of tricks as Claire closes in and Zenzi gets fed up with Tom’s attitude. Will he be able to pull off a heist alone all while repairing his relationship with Lorraine? And how will Lino’s newfound desire to get closer to his biological mother impact his big cotillion debut? Read on to find out what happened on this week’s Tom Swift!

He’s An Unpaid Intern

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The crew is about to head to Utah, where the next piece is located. However, Claire drops a bombshell: she and Lorraine have revoked Tom’s access to the Swift private jet. They call Tom in for a meeting where they review some of his more extravagant expenditures. The board is concerned, and Lorraine is too. She revokes his title and privileges, calling it a “wake up call.” Not wanting to admit why he’s really doing all this traveling, Tom just swallows it down even as Claire patronizingly says, “Not everyone has a mind for business.” Stubbornness coming out once again, he challenges her to let him work his way up from an entry level position instead. She agrees, telling him to show up at 7 a.m. sharp.

Intern life treats Tom poorly from the start as he “meets” Quinn, Claire’s assistant. Turns out the two have met multiple times, but Tom has never acknowledged them. Forced to handle tasks he feels are below him, Tom grumbles that, “This feels like a waste of my talents” as Quinn snidely remarks, “Yeah, that’s kind of what working is.” Zenzi gets a kick out of watching Tom struggle, but is about to help him anyway before Claire steps in.

Despite being a power hungry backstabber, Claire makes a good point when she pulls Zenzi aside and asks if she can be her mentor, not wanting Tom taking advantage of her talents. Zenzi doesn’t want to go around Tom, but Claire notes that, “You can’t shine if you’re always cleaning up after someone else.” She gives Zenzi 24 hours to decide.

Tom and Quinn chat. Quinn reveals that they were originally brought on as a concept artist, but got pulled into being Claire’s assistant four years ago. Their designs are good and even improve on Tom’s work. Tom asks why Quinn hates him, and Quinn uses the opportunity to show Tom how his nonchalance and careless social media presence costs the people who work at Swift Enterprises. The light dawns on Tom’s face as everyone scurries around in a panic over one random tweet of his, having never stopped to think about what life as an ordinary worker at his company was like.

She’s Electric

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Lino texts Isaac to let him know he’s going to see his biological mother, and Isaac won’t let him go alone. Lino reveals he found that his mother is at the Rolling Meadows Extended Care. Once there, they meet Violet, who has a heartbreaking story to tell. She reveals that she has always been able to leave the facility and in fact does so often. But Lorraine had a restraining order placed on her after one of her past “episodes,” which is why she has never gone to find Lino. She’s overjoyed to see him again. He tentatively brings up his recent powers, and while she doesn’t have his exact powers, she empathizes with him. Isaac wants to get Lorraine involved, but Violet notes that Lino is nearly an adult and can choose to involve her in his life.

As Lino gets ready for his cotillion debut, he asks Lorraine if they can invite Violet. Lorraine sternly notes that she is not a part of the family, leaving no room for argument. Isaac sweetly steps in to help Lino with his tie to diffuse the situation. Feeling abandoned, Lino experiences another episode with an electric jolt running through his hand. He calls Violet for help.

As Lino steps up for the mother daughter dance at the cotillion, Lorraine expects to take her place with Lino. But Lino has invited Violet instead, and the two dance. It’s sweet, until all the guests’ whispers overwhelm her. She starts ranting about “protecting the light” and how Lino is being kept from her. Remembering that Violet said her garden was her safe space, Lino tells Tom, who puts on a pair of augmented reality glasses to calm her down. Lorraine finds Isaac, knowing he was the one who tipped Lino off about Violet.

She tells a very different story about Lino’s upbringing, revealing that she got custody of Lino at age three when Violet abandoned him after abuse allegations. Lorraine tearfully informs Isaac that she and Barton trusted him to protect their family, but he brought harm to Lino by helping him find Violet. She fires him, devastating Isaac. As Violet is taken away, she tells Lino, “You have visions because you are an experiment. You are the light.”

Can I Have This Dance?

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Lorraine is worried about the Tubman Group Cotillion, an annual event. It’s the first time Lorraine has ever had to host it without Barton. Tom offers to go with her, but she calls him out on his disappearing act at the last few big events she’s hosted that she needed him there for. Wanting to earn back her trust, he tells her he’ll be by her side all night.

Meanwhile, Quinn informs Claire that a package has arrived for Tom as she ordered surveillance on his mail. The package contains a capsule piece from an anonymous source with the message, “Urgent. Tom, I believe this belongs to you” (Hmm … could it be a certain detective friend from Horseshoe Bay?). Tom realizes Claire now has it. He nonchalantly brings her chai tea as requested to get a better look at the piece, but Claire has it sent for testing. He comes up with a plan to break into the CEO vault and get the piece during the cotillion with Isaac and Zenzi as a distraction. Zenzi has a bad history with the event and mean girl Regina Jackson in particular (Tom and Zenzi: “May her ankles ever be ashy!”), but Tom convinces her to help despite her clear anxiety.

They plan the heist, with a horrific invention called the Insta-Tom used to project Tom’s face onto Isaac’s body. This way, Lorraine will see “Tom” at the party from a distance just long enough for him to handle the heist. Lorraine is surprised Tom actually showed, and he plays the dutiful son as poor Zenzi goes to talk with the young ladies about to be presented at the cotillion. Regina arrives and cuts Zenzi down for being a “charity case,” which upsets her to the point that she runs away in tears.

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Tom goes to get Zenzi for the heist, but she asks for a moment alone. Instead of recognizing her pain, he pushes to continue with the plan. She asks if he’s capable of thinking of someone other than himself. Once again displaying the emotional intelligence of a rock, Tom says, “I’m trying to save my dad, and you’re upset that mocha Rachel McAdams hurt your feelings. Girl, prioritize.” Zenzi has finally had it. She snaps, “Do you know that every one of your feelings becomes my top priority?” When Tom tries to say that her problem (and by extension, Zenzi) is “unremarkable” (ouch, buddy), she counters with “If that’s true, then why do you need me so much?”

Again making it very difficult to root for our hero, Tom insists that his inventions have changed the world and that he is not lost without her. Zenzi sadly informs him that there are thousands of scholarship kids with big ideas who could also change the world with a shred of the opportunities and money Tom has been given. She lands the killing blow of, “You are not remarkable, Tom. You’re just rich,” before walking away.

Eliza Morse/The CW

Trying to move on, Tom gives the Insta-Tom to Isaac before starting the heist. What follows is a very funny montage of Tian Richards playing Isaac-as-Tom at the party. Lorraine shares a heartfelt moment with Isaac, thinking that it’s Tom, as she tells him she will always be in his corner and that there’s nothing he can do to lose her love. Isaac tears up as he tells her, in Tom’s voice, that he’s lucky to have a mom like her, giving the sense that Isaac may not have had such a supportive mother growing up. Isaac has to rush away both from emotion … and because the Insta-Tom is failing.

Tom tries to break into the vault, but is caught by the security guards as Barclay gets a jab in about not having Zenzi to rely on. He tells a white lie to Claire about the piece, claiming that it has Barton’s last words. She’s sympathetic but insists on inspecting the piece herself. Inside the vault, Claire watches the tape. Barton wants his will amended to give Tom and Lorraine equal control of Swift Enterprises with Tom as his eventual successor. Enraged, Claire destroys the piece using her high heels (note to self: don’t mess with Claire). She comes back out and claims the piece disintegrated. He knows she’s lying, but he needs to get back to Lorraine.

After Violet’s episode, Tom finds Lorraine. The official explanation for Violet’s powers is schizophrenia, which Lorraine tells Tom. She praises him for saving the day despite Tom’s protests that he was careless before. Lorraine restores him to his old job as Tom insists that Quinn be promoted as well. He escorts his mother back to the party.

Zenzi confronts Regina as one of the scholarship cotillion girls looks on. Making her point, Zenzi confidently walks away as the younger girl tells Regina she needs to up her Botox regimen (burn). Tom apologizes to Zenzi for what happened earlier, and she reveals she turned down Claire’s promotion to start a tech incubator for inventors without the resources available to … a certain CEO in training.

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Turns out that Claire wasn’t as smooth as she thought. Tom used a new invention to replace the real audio on the capsule with the “equal split” audio Claire heard in the vault while saving the real audio for himself. Pleased with his actions, he leaves the cotillion alone as Isaac tries to find him. Before the trustworthy bodyguard can get to Tom, he is kidnapped by mysterious men who leave his watch behind.

Tom Swift airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. You can find the rest of our coverage of the series here!

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By Jules
I am a nurse and dedicated nerd from Boston, MA. When I'm not at work, I'm rewatching old favorites like Supernatural or discovering my new obsessions (too many to count!). When not fangirling, I can be found reading, writing, or listening to a true crime podcast. You can find me on Twitter @juleswritesblog for more nerdy nonsense.
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