Scorpion 1×01 ‘Pilot’: Does no one have a backup disk? | Gotta Watch It!

Scorpion 1×01 ‘Pilot’: Does no one have a backup disk?

Source: CBS
Nice of them to all line up for a group photo

LAX’s computers are down, planes are about to start falling out of the sky, for some reason NO ONE has any contingency plan for this, who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! Obviously, but when they can’t save the day? Well you call these guys… apparently. They are Scorpion, a low level IT Company of super geniuses gathered together so they can fix Wi-Fi in local dinners I guess.

      In short: The show has great promise and a cast that could be very good once they warm up to each other. However it’ll live or die with the writing. The pilot episode, while fun and entertaining kinda missed the point.

Source: CBS Ernie Hudson, Air traffic supervisor and former Ghostbuster

Source: CBS
Ernie Hudson, Air traffic supervisor and former Ghostbuster

     In Long: I really don’t know what Scorpion’s business plan was until homeland security shows up. Speaking of, Agent Gallo (Robert Patrick) when he’s not trying to kill John Connor, is apparently a recruiter for Homeland Security, and he offers them a job. Walter O’Brien leads the group as one of the top 5 smartest people in the world which makes me wonder who decides the rankings for that. He is played by Elyes Gabel, who you might remember as the brilliant doctor who gets shot in World War Z, or more likely, Game of Thrones. Rounding out the team you have Happy (Jadyn Wong) the ironically named Mechanical prodigy. Ironic because she’s the cliché, ‘I’ll beat people up just cuz I’m slightly insulted’ character. Sylvester (Ari Stidham) the human calculator and Chess Grandmaster who really only solves one equation during the show and then loses a game of chess to a child. And Toby (Eddie Kaye Thomas) the world class shrink, whom you may recognize as Finch, the guy who slept with Stifler’s mom. These are the guys who are gonna save the world.

Source: CBS Ok, we'll join, just don't turn into liquid metal and try to kill us.

Source: CBS
Ok, we’ll join, just don’t turn into liquid metal and try to kill us.

The premise of the show is fantastic. Walter O’Brien is an actual, factual person who is actually involved, in some way, with the show’s production. He is the founder of Scorpion Computer Services, and I love the fact that the company’s website has an advertisement for the show on their homepage. At a young age he hacked into NASA while looking for neat pictures and that is actually the opening scene to the pilot episode. From there fact and fiction diverge. The show follows the factious Walter O’Brien and his team as they apply their genius to saving lives and catching bad guys and what not. Sounds like fun. What I wanted was something akin to a blend of Numbers and Leverage. A group of really smart people out think the bad guys. Instead we got much more action and much less thinking. Yet not so surprising coming from director/producer Justin Lin, who gave us The Fast and The Furious. Now I love the premise of this show, and I wanted to come on here and just rave about how awesome it was, but I just can’t.

Source: CBS Wait, I'm the most important character because I have car keys?

Source: CBS
Wait, I’m the most important character because I have car keys?

First off the characters: I like Walter, he was fun. He has little to no people skills and it makes for some entertaining comedy, yet you do get the since that given the right people he does have leadership qualities. Toby is great too, also good comedic relief he seemed to have the most chemistry with the rest of the cast. Also both Walter’s and Toby’s skills prove useful, but with the other two team members, not so much. Happy only uses her skills once, to get the team into a building that according to THE CHARACTERS IN THE SHOW, should not be locked. They literally made up a problem, and put a ticking clock on it, just so she would be useful. This is also the only time Sylvester proves useful. How do you make calculations and equations cool? Well you could try, or you could not and just have him spout out percentages. This show takes the latter. By the way only problem that they help solve proves to be a red herring. There is one other character the waitress at the dinner, Paige(Katharine McPhee). I understand why she’s in the show, to serve as the cliché ‘Normal’ person who gets caught up in the chaos, but I don’t understand why she’s there. If Homeland security were to take over a dinner for reasons of national security, why would they keep the staff around? But of course, she has to be there because she saves the day. She’s the hero.

Source: CBS Ze plane, Boss!  Ze plane!

Source: CBS
Ze plane, Boss! Ze plane!

So in the show about super geniuses saving lives, the solution is for the attractive waitress to be involved in a high speed car stunt… what? Then again this is Justin Lin, I’m sure he requires at least one car chase per episode. Seriously though, Walter and the non-super genius Paige have to drive under a plane at 200 mph and plug up a laptop. That’s the climax. Now yes it’s good for a laugh when Paige turns to Walter and comments about the fact that despite how smart they all are, it all comes down to plugging in a laptop. But she does have a good point. Doesn’t that kind of miss the point of the show? Especially when it’s the ‘normal’ person who actually saves the day, after the super genius FAIL, TWICE! And that’s really what it comes down to. In a show about High I.Q. saving the world: intelligence fails, and fast cars and attractive women save the day. I kinda have a problem with that. I know they are trying to make it cool to be smart, but they don’t solve the problem with brain power, they use horse power. Just like so many other shows out there.

Now, having said all that, and be aware I could go on, it’s always hard to judge a show based on its pilot episode. They can easily take this show and make it FANTASTIC. All the elements are there. It’s just going to depend on the writing.

Paul Choate

was born with a remote control in his hand. He’s a Trekkie and an avid fan of comics as well as equally nerdy fare. When he’s not watching television on the couch he’s working on his new webcomic. Follow him on Tumblr and check out his website: wheatunryemedia.com

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