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Scorpion 1.01 “Pilot” Review

Triggers for this episode: Ableism because of the way they discuss geniuses and intelligence as well as planes.  

I’ll be grading the characters and the plot which includes the –issue of the week- and overarching mythos (that will run through the entire show), and setting from a scale of A to E. While settings usually don’t change, the backdrop of each week’s episode is still important.

With that all said, here is my recap and review of Scorpion!

We start off in Ireland with helicopters coming down to a guy farming and then barreling into his house to get “Scorpion” who is ‘just a kid’ who hacked into NASA. Well that’s one way to introduce a character.

Walter, portrayed by Elyes Gabel, is Scorpion and is next shown breaking up with his girlfriend because he can’t connect with her emotionally and she calls him a million miles from normal. So essentially like every show about every genius ever. Which, even if many super smart people can’t ~connect~ emotionally, they can have wonderful relationships so not really excited by that reveal.

We’re then introduced to a waitress Paige and her son Ethan, who is probably a genius since he’s playing chess with salt and pepper shakers.

Now we get to meet Walter’s friends or at least coworkers.
Sylvester: Mathematician (states percentage of success throughout the episode.)
Happy Quinn (goes by Happy) who is a mechanical genius. Parents have been dead/he hasn’t seen them?
Toby: Psychological genius (so essentially in the Homeland Security guy’s words: the best shrink.) Grew up poor.

Then we’re introduced to a guy from Homeland Security who wants Walter (who I bet is a huge jerk) named Gallo, who Walter had worked with before. We finally learn of the setting here too! California!

Gallo says he’ll pay them 50K each to stop planes from crashing as they have been hacked and lives will be lost. So the usual high stakes we see in shows like this one.

Quinn seems to be Walter’s closest friend if not second in command as she gets him to stand down and help.

They can’t get to LAX because traffic so they go to the diner we first see Walter working on internet and meet Ralph and Paige again.

Ralph’s mom has anemia and calls out Walter for being completely insensitive about her nail polish (which is why he calls her anemic) and about not being with her husband. Walter also tells her that Ethan is actually a genius and paints her nails to hold her hand, but can’t process physical contact so I assume the show is going with him being on the autism scale. (Which will either be a really well written thing or …not.)

Paige calls out Walter for not choosing to save everyone (in response to Gallo saying two planes will go down in the time they need to open a storage unit for data.) I like Paige, but of course I assume she will be the non-genius regular member of the cast to help the others work through interactions with others. Or the spark of ~genius~ (haha) that causes them figure out solutions to problems.

Paige continues to call out Walter for being terrified and walking away and then he yells at her because he knows how it feels to let people die. I assume this is connected to Gallo. Because everything terrible is connected to federal agents of course.

They decide to drive to the airport SUPER fast however one of the lights won’t turn green but Gallo crashes into the oncoming car to save everyone so maybe he’s not a total dick.

Toby does some cool stuff trying to figure out who to call on the phone with his “people are like this” stuff and calls a dude on the phone and gets into contact with a pilot. Huzzah! Happy does some cool “here’s how to hack a Ferrari” and then Paige is really the one who will most likely save everyone.

Holy shizballs, so there is finally some action in the episode! Like car driving 200mph and planes doing intense stuff action so that was pretty awesome.

They save the world and Walter and the rest are offered a job as a Strategic Response Unit (and Paige gets an offer from Walter too!) Although Walter saying he’s going to translate Ethan for her and she can translate people to Walter and the others is pretty sketch, so I don’t know how I feel but all is to be seen.

We finally find out what Gabe did and it’s super messed up, but I do like what Walter says about telling Ethan to ignore anything with “normally…” which I appreciate. The episode ends with Walter and Ethan sitting down to play video games which is super cute!!

Overall I think it was a pretty good pilot in that it established characters, the main plot where geniuses save the world across the USA and they all have backgrounds I hope will be revealed. However, the episode was pretty slow for a procedural pilot so I hope future episodes move a bit more quickly. I am also super intrigued to see how they develop Happy and Paige (if at all), but with Paige being the leading lady I would hope she will be more than just a smart kid’s mom and personal translator.

The rest of my recap/reviews will follow this structure but I will not go into as much detail about every few minutes. Instead I’ll list the characters and what we learn about them, the problem of the week and what they do to solve it and a review at the end. Short(er) and easier to follow.

Overall Grade: B

Characterization: B
Plot: B
Mythos: B
Setting: A (You can do a lot with LA although I assume they’ll be flying all over America.)


Image courtesy CBS

Seher
Written By

Seher obsesses over show ratings and usually writes about media representation issues. Otherwise, she's reading away for her graduate program in anthropology.

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