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Scorpion: 1.02 “Single Point of Failure” Review

Trigger warnings: critical illnesses/bioterrorism (small scale)

Ooh new theme song. And by theme song, I mean Walter voicing everything we need to know.

We start with a flash black where Walter divides a bunch of numbers by four, his teacher attempts to strike his hand with a ruler, and we meet his sister Megan? Who has MS so sad face.

Back in real time, Paige asks Walter what’s wrong (he just got a letter about Megan.)

Walter: Loves his sister dearly I’m sure, especially as she had pulled the fire alarm to get him out of being smacked on the hand. She’s suffering from MS and may be reaching the point where Walter will have to make a choice about her life.
Happy: Hasn’t been developed well so far but seems like she could be so much fun. Oh jeeze, her dad gave her up at two and she remembers everything and now is hella cynical.
Toby: Has an ex-fiancé and is keeping track of her. Oy. He also owes her money.
Sylvester: Has eidetic (reading) memory and is also terrified of biohazardous situatiouns.
Paige: Essentially everyone’s mom.
Gallo: Had a daughter too. :/

There seems to be a time jump between the pilot and this episode, so they seem to have all balanced into their roles in a group as Paige is their people translator or, really, their ~handler~.

Case of the Week:
They roll up to a home (SUPAH FANCY) where the CDC is stationed, so either bioterrorism or sick child. Sick child it is and flashback to Megan! Governor Lang’s daughter is sick and wants their help. All she tests positive for is the common cold, but her organs are shutting down. Paige tells him they’re sorry and she has a kid and Walter figures out that somehow Helen (the daughter) got sick with a custom virus, and said custom virus was sent to her laptop. Bio hacking is the term used, which is totally terrifying.

We come back and they talk through threats to the Governor and Happy tells Walter to chillax. Oh, now we’re seeing the usual “main lead gets annoyed and breaks things trope”. He breaks a mug. Paige calls him out on it and Walter talks about not being able to solve Megan’s sickness.

Turns out three other kids are sick and their parents and the governor worked at the pharmaceutical company that had been creating a cure for a disease called SMA, but the medicine (like always) was shut down and redone for asthma which was much more profitable.  Sylvester will be memorizing the list while Toby and Happy distract the security.  Paige, of course, read the letter about his sister being in a care facility and how maybe there needs to be some sort of discussion on what to do about it.

Toby and Happy crash into a dude’s car and Sylvester goes in to find the hard copies.  Unfortunately, they can’t distract him long enough and Sylvester is forced into hiding in a Biohazard level 2 room. Walter is freaking Sylvester out, so Paige walks Sylvester through getting out of the facility.

Toby talks about how loss affects emotions and reactions, and the best virus candidate is the person who had the most loss. Unfortunately, they’re being a bit too methodical and Gallo picks the single dad Richter who lost his kid as the guy who created the virus. Happy mentions that biotechnology and this kind of work is a hobby. If you have the technology and the knowhow you can create whatever and be a modern Typhoid Mary, which I don’t even want to touch on. Actually, the few ~terrorist~ episodes of procedurals I have enjoyed have been bioterrorism and by “enjoy” I mean don’t make me angry because of Islamophobia.

There’s obviously a lot to be said about bioterrorism and all the science behind it, and I hope that random people with the smarts don’t start doing this in the real world.

Uh oh, fifth target is the Governor and of course Richter called him and is going to kill him by stopping his heart.  Unfortunately, Governor isn’t picking up the phone and now they have to go to a heavily populated area to find him and Richter.

Sylvester and Toby are trying to figure out where and why Richter would choose that place to meet, but it’s a mall so that’s pretty sketch.

Walter sets off the fire alarm so that the water will wash away the fifth virus and save the Governor.

OH SHIT! Turns out Gallo lost his daughter as well to another disease or maybe the same one. He accidentally calls the team while he’s talking to Richter and Paige hangs up.

Walter also tells Sylvester that he’s the bravest person he’s ever met which, okay, how adorable. Paige then asks Gallo to come grill and I love Paige. I know she’s essentially a 2D character at the moment to facilitate the rest of Scorpion understanding others, but I like what they’ve done so far. Sylvester donates money to a nun for kids (his paycheck), while Happy sits alone with her motorcycle, and Toby goes all in during what I assume is poker since his ex-fiancé has moved on. Lastly we see Walter talking to Megan about how he won’t let her die and then we end on everyone but Toby grilling and looking at the stars.

Overall Grade: A- I liked that while people did empathize about losing one’s loved one, it’s not okay to attempt to kill kids or even governors who didn’t know better. It reminded me about the various Leverage episodes dealing with Big Pharma being terribad. I liked, too, what we learned of the characters and hope that the women are much more developed soon. To be fair it is CBS so I am not expecting award winning writing, but I also grew up on CBS and have faith that the writers can do more and should do more. I look forward to how the characters move past being geniuses with people problems (and really they would have these problems even if they weren’t geniuses, humans suck) and how the relationships are developed between the characters.

Characterization: B

Plot: A

Mythos: A-

Setting: A


Image courtesy of CBS

Seher
Written By

Seher obsesses over show ratings and usually writes about media representation issues. Otherwise, she's at work in the non-profit world using her anthropology and public health training.

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