HOLLYWOOD—When was the last time you watched a series about a bunch of super-intelligent people doing really important things for the greater sake of good? Probably not in a long time, but “Scorpion” is that new show. The series revolves around a group of super geniuses who find themselves recruited by Agent Cabe Gallo (Robert Patrick) from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
I think the polarizing aspect of “Scorpion” that appeals so much to me, is those who have ever felt like an outcast or shunned for being smart, get to see that it’s not a bad thing. It doesn’t hurt that the series is inspired loosely on real life events involving intelligence mastermind and computer whiz Walter O’Brien. Brien is portrayed in the series by Elyes Gabel. Gabel brings awkwardness to his character, but likability also. He’s determined and willing to challenge himself when the time rises to tackle anything thrown his way.
Walter has a bit of a history with Gallo that went slightly sour, but reignites when Gallo needs his help. The bulk of the episode surrounds Walter and his crew helping the government deal with an air traffic control issue that arises.
His team consists of mechanical prodigy Happy Quinn (Jadyn Wong), who happens to be a female with the ability to fix almost anything. Nice node from the show to showcase mechanics can also be done by women. Joining Quinn and O’Brien is Sylvester Dodd (Ari Stidham), as a mathematician who suffers from OCD and anxiety, and Toby Curtis (Eddie Kaye Thomas), a behaviorist that reads people way too well. Did I mention he’s a bit of a gambler also?
While the team, might appear like a bunch of misfits, the chemistry between the main four works quite well. There is just one tiny problem: their social skills are lacking big time. So who helps out with that problem, struggling waitress Paige Dineen (Katherine McPhee). Paige already has quite a bit on her plate not just financially, but caring for her son who speaks very little. She suspects her son to be challenged, but soon discovers from Walter he is quite gifted to say the least. Her addition to the Scorpion team is a welcome one as she interjects a bit of the real world to the smart people, while helping them come into their own and not be afraid to mingle outside of their comfort zone.
So what is it about “Scorpion” that works so well? It’s clever, it has smart writing, and characters that are not always showcased on the small screen. In many series, we tend to see one character who is the super computer, compared to this series which breaks that notion into multiple elements. The audience is not just watching a series about smart people solving problems, but smart people interacting and overcoming fears or obstacles along the way. Yes everyone has obstacles, but many would argue those ‘smart ones’ sometimes face more than others.
“Scorpion” proves that when you’re placed into a box, you don’t necessarily have to stay within that box you can branch out. “Scorpion” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBS.