A season one review of Scorpion on CBS

Seriously, Scorpion really is the A-Team meets MacGyver for the 21st century. It’s well written, well cast and thoroughly enjoyable. At times it’s even implausible and the odds are definitely against the team more often than not, but how is that any different from the MacGyver and A-Team television lineage from which it comes.

The first season of any show is about introductions and Scorpion’s first season does that very well without being slow. Granted the title sequence of the show does introduce the characters, but throughout Season 1 depth is added to each and every main character within the show.

I can’t explain why I like this show so much, except to say that my explanation of what the show is A-Team meets MacGyver makes is the simplest explanation, because I enjoyed both of those shows. What I see as a combination of those shows for the 21st century and move love of technology is truly the simplest explanation. And you should like it too.

Inspired by the life of Walter O’Brien, the opening title sequence state;

“My name is Walter O’Brien. I have the fourth highest IQ ever recorded, 197. Einstein’s was 160. When I was eleven the FBI arrested me for hacking NASA to get their blueprints for my bedroom wall. Now I run a team of geniuses tackling worldwide threats only we can solve. Toby’s our behaviorist, Sylvester’s a human calculator, Happy a mechanical prodigy, Agent Cabe Gallo is our government handler, and Paige, well, Paige isn’t like us, she’s normal and translates the world for us while we help her understand her genius son. Together we are Scorpion.”

In addition to creating depth to the individual characters, Season One creates and explores the depths of the Scorpion team dynamic and the many relationships within the team. Not just their relationship to the main character of Walter, but the relationship between other team members; Toby and Happy, Paige and the rest of the team and how they all interact with her son Ralph. And it’s nice to see awkward smart people in uncomfortable situations from time to time, even if Paige is there to make it go a little more smoothly and patch up the rough engagements.

A little more on the characters of Scorpion:

Elyes Gabel as Walter O'Brien

Elyes Gabel as Walter O’Brien

The lead character Walter O’Brien is portrayed by Elyes Gabel. Although there is plenty of internet questioning about the validity of the facts surrounding the real lie Walter O’Brien, Gabel plays the character our very well. The character is smart, has issues relating to others and is not only the team leader, but the soul of the team, as highlighted in a few of Season One’s episodes.

Behaviorist Dr. Tobias “Toby” Curtis played by Eddie Kaye Thomas is a genius behavioral psychologist who can read people like most of us read books. He has a bit of a gambling problem and has feelings for Happy.

Ari Stidham as Sylvester Dodd

Ari Stidham as Sylvester Dodd

Human calculator Sylvester Dodd played by Ari Stidham, is a genius mathematician and statistician who struggles with OCD and anxiety. He is a grandmaster at chess and in his youth he stood out playing video games under the alias of “El Guapo.”

Mechanical prodigy Happy Quinn played by Jadyn Wong is the lone female “genius” of the group. She can be very hostile towards other people, including those within the Scorpion team. And Season One proved that she is the top introvert among a a team of introverts.

Robert Patrick as Agent Cabe Gallo

Robert Patrick as Agent Cabe Gallo

Government handler Agent Cabe Gallo played by the legendary Robert Patrick is a Special Agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Gallo and Walter have a past and it is that past and his relationship with Walter that gave him the ability to trust Scorpion as outside contractors for Homeland Security.

Paige Dineen played by Katharine McPhee, is the normie, or normal person within the group, helping them out, when their lack of social skills present themselves, which is basically every encounter they have, in every episode. She not only handles their interactions with those whom they are helping, but the interactions that happen within the team dynamic, as well.

Riley B. Smith as Ralph

Riley B. Smith as Ralph

Paige’s son Ralph played by Riley B. Smith, is nine years old, and in the pilot episode, it is pointed out by Walter to Paige, that Ralph is very much one of them; a genius. As the season progresses, he becomes a mini-Walter, mimicking his new-found hero.

As the team dynamic grows over the course of the first season’s 22 episodes, we learn what they are capable of, when they are all on the same page. Something that Paige is trying to maintain through open communication, which isn’t the easiest thing to do with this group. They don’t communicate well to each other, nor do they communicate well with others. “Does not play well with others” would be written on every one of their personnel files, if they even exist.

Toby and Happy part of Team Scorpion

Toby and Happy

Building off of the television lineage of shows like MacGyver and The A-Team, the show has a few large arcs throughout the first season, but still manages a crisis of the week feel. Their solutions to problems aren’t always the most ethical, but they get results, which is what they are looking for. Saving the day for the greater good is more important than following with rules.

Scorpion is getting a second season, so I urge you to join the conversation of other fans during next season using #TeamScorpion on twitter. It’s a lively group that is actively commenting on the show as it happens and whoever runs the @ScorpionCBS twitter actively interacts with the fans during the show as well. It’s one of the better show specific twitter accounts I’ve ever run across.

Each roller-coaster of an episode for the first season, builds in dramatic fashion and leaves the second season some big shoes to fill. So, if my explanation of A-Team meets MacGyver for the 21st century doesn’t move you, you just won’t get into it. But if it does, make sure this show is on your radar.

Scorpion on CBS

Scorpion on CBS