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Scorpion: 1.04 “Shorthanded” Review

Case of the Week:
Walter has taken a private job for the team with a Vegas casino that is losing money.

The casino owner’s daughter, Renee Connelly (Alicia Lagano), introduces the case. The Team discovers that the reason the tables are losing money is that the dealer for one of the tables, Ronnie, has small hands, which results in slower deals.

He gets fired and the episode ends.


Because—there’s a robbery!

The detective and the casino owners think that Scorpion planned the robbery and place Walter under arrest; unfortunately, Walter won’t allow anyone to call Cabe so that means it’s up to the Team to figure things out.

The Team discovers that the security footage has been edited, and Paige thinks maybe Bob is stealing from his own casino via an insurance scam, so they decide to take a look at his records.

And, because Happy needs a distraction to get into the computers, Toby falls out of the ceiling.

Meanwhile, Walter is trying to get to the Team because he found out that, before a renovation, one of the magicians used to do a disappearing trick where he reappeared on Las Vegas Boulevard, so this must be how the robbers escaped.

Oh lord, Sylvester so can’t drive and has left the area, which means no file transfer. Biggest mess ever!

I really appreciate that this show is not just about drama and solving crimes but leans into the comedy and just goes for it. I mean many CBS shows do, but usually, they’re just a couple of lines of jokes from the token comedic character, but this entire episode is just full of laughs.

Happy is worrying about being caught since there’s no one to pull her up into the ceiling, but PAIGE IS THERE: “You almost took a bullet for me; the least I can do is take a zipline for you.”

And, with that line, shippers emerge.

Well actually the show is probably going to have Walter and Paige be a thing, but a girl can hope.

And, Toby has been caught, but, because Renee is the inside person, Toby does his behaviorism thing and hits a nerve: the casino is expanding, but Bob isn’t giving his daughter control of the new venue.

At the end of the episode, Toby tells Walter that “Woman gives you this job, so she can prove something to her dad; we take this job to prove something to Cabe, and I almost blow the job because I want to prove something to you.” I love the heart-to-heart at the end of the episodes so bad.


Walter causes all this tension by being rude to Toby and Sylvester by deciding who would stay at the garage; however, Paige tells him that they’re all going to Vegas as a team.

So, after getting stuck in the same cell as Ronnie, Walter tells Ronnie to do what he loves, which is baking.

And, make money via a distribution scheme.

He then finds out about the magic trick and escapes the cell using some metal-on-metal friction to cause a reaction with rayon.

I want to learn more about her and her son. I know that with child actors they can’t be around all the time, but we know nothing about her relationship with him. But, when Paige takes charge, she is awesome.


In the course of attempting to raise Walter’s bail, Toby looses all of the money. Understandably, Walter is mad about this, and Toby calls Walter out about “shaking his ass” for his father-figure Cabe.

I shouldn’t laugh, but Toby’s right: Walter isn’t trying to prove anything to anyone else but Cabe.

And, maybe himself.

Of course, if there aren’t any issues, there’s never a protagonist on a crime show. Nonetheless, I appreciate that the show’s writing calls out the characters when needed such as Toby bringing up that Walter always needs to be right, and I’m just yelling at my screen for them to chill out.


Happy is ridiculously good at physics. She calculated the trajectory of a bullet and pushed Paige out of the way. I really like the way that Happy talks about being a genius but not superman.

She doesn’t believe in luck—as opposed to Toby who doesn’t believe in luck but spends his life gambling on games of chance and behaviour—which I think is a great insight to her character.

I want her and Paige to hang out more.


Sylvester is afraid of flying. And, cars probably since he can’t drive.

Sylvester is a teddy bear. It’s kind of great.

Overall Grade: A

I think this is probably my favorite episode so far. They did a lot with the relationship between Toby and Walter, especially with Walter seeing something in Toby and helping him with his gambling-induced problems.

We also got to see interaction with Paige and Happy and see Paige step more into a leadership role as someone who’s more than just the person who deals with others’ ruffled feathers.

I also really appreciated that they had that heart-to-heart moment between Walter and Toby because, at the end of the day, all they have is each other (and the rest of Scorpion.) They can work together using their strengths and pick up on where others have weaknesses and can be a family, which gets to my Found Family Trope love, so I’ll probably love this show until it messes up horribly.

Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen.

Characterization: A-

I loved getting to see everyone outside of their California Comfort Zone. Everyone grew, and we got to learn more about them all.

Plot: A-

It’s just not a crime show without a casino episode, but this one was a lot of laughs and really moved forward on developing everyone’s relationships.

Mythos: A

I think this episode did a lot better with the “geniuses can’t handle their personal stuff” as opposed to “people who aren’t classified as geniuses” without it being ableist or ridiculous. At the end of the day, all these characters—genius or not—have the same issues that all characters and people do: having parents who weren’t around, having something to prove, and dealing with personal, overwhelming emotions are all problems that everyone faces. In the case of Scorpion, being super smart may make it harder for them to relate, but they are people who can make connections; they just hadn’t until working together.

Setting: A+

Vegas, what else needs to be said?

Image courtesy of CBS


  • Seher

    Seher is the Associate Editor-in-Chief at The Fandomentals focusing on the ins and outs of TV, media representation, games, and other topics as they pique her interest. Otherwise, she's reading away for graduate school. pc: @poika_


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