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Image Credit: The team of geniuses in Scorpion's third episode.

'Scorpion' react: Paige gets her due

Season 1 | Episode 3 | “A Cyclone” | Aired Oct 6, 2014

The Scorpion team has proven they’re smart, but now they need to prove they’re useful. After an unsuccessful military training exercise leaves the team scouring the world of possible unemployment, they’re given one last case to prove they’re worth the small fortune the American government is doling out to them.

“You screw this up, and it’s over for all of us,” Agent Gallo tells O’Brien at the scene of a recent bombing.

It seems a little odd that after successfully pulling off two extreme cases the federal agency couldn’t solve themselves, they’re being threatened with termination, but this is Scorpion. Generally, most of the stories’ premises doesn’t make sense.

As far as cases go, this is a rather conventional procedural story arc brought to ludicrous extremes that should make the show feel more exciting. Instead the forced action falls flat, with the exception of the last 20 minutes, thanks to the writers tediously trying to make the struggling characters still seem likable.

Scorpion, in many ways, feels like CSI. This fact shouldn’t come as a big shock considering both are geared toward a CBS procedural–obsessed audience.

On a mission to identify the bomber, O’Brien and his crew break out some highly illegal, remixed version of a basic Photoshop software that allows them to pick out their suspected criminal within seconds. The technology sequences are interesting, like CSI’s were in 2005, and are presented almost immaculately, but the concept behind the technology is the only driving force behind the scenes. The visuals of the supercool algorithm act as crutches for the actors who become either too underwhelmed with the programs or too overzealous to be taken seriously. Even the over-the-top nature of their infatuation with technology is better, however, than the brief action sequences served up in the show.

After discovering who the terrorist may have been, they hunt down his apartment and begin a stakeout, deliberately disobeying Gallo’s orders. When their suspect emerges from his beachside apartment, they enter a high-speed pursuit, both on foot and using their rusty team car. It’s not edgy, nor does it last long, but it does end in the suspect being hit by an oncoming bus and becoming comatose. This leads our mob of misfits to come under the scrutiny of Homeland Security and the FBI’s higher-ups once more.

If Gallo was pissed before, he’s purple in the face, vein-throbbing furious now. He doesn’t have time to stay peeved at the anti-authority geniuses, though, when two more bombs go off, and it becomes all hands on deck.

It also leads to one of the few great scenes the show has had in the past three weeks. Paige finally gets her moment to stop being the motherly archetype to Walter and her own son, Ralph, and finally gets to be taken seriously as an asset to the team. It’s Paige and her real-life experience that puts together the pieces of the puzzle, which in this case appeared as separate bombing locations, while the brainiacs are left scratching their heads in confusion. It’s a backhanded compliment and the team still refuses to see her as more than a mere simpleton, but it’s a start to finally digging below the surface of what could be an exceptional character.

Thankfully, the last 20 minutes of the show manage to get conspiracy and action done … adequately.

After discovering the previously suspected terrorist was a hired hit man who had been working under the alias of a previously deceased hacker, the team tracks down the router house that stores the final piece of the puzzle. It also, funnily enough, stores the final bomb, placed by the man in charge of the show’s fictional NSA and the culprit behind the entire series of cataclysmic events. As Sylvester meticulously points out, the team has five minutes and 32 seconds to either clear the building or somehow disarm the bomb.

While the team tries to clear all the employees out before the bomb goes off, Sylvester and Gallo are struck by a car en route to handing off the incriminating file and having the NSA branch advisor arrested. They’re struck by none other than the advisor himself, of course. It’s lucky the scene is actually enjoyable to sit through, as the amount of clichés it manages to squeeze in is overflowing. How many more side-profile shots of two people sitting in a car before another vehicle T-bones them are audiences expected to sit through without rolling their eyes in exasperation?

Back at the bomb site, Happy and O’Brien form a cement-like substance to help lessen the impact of the bomb, a trick Happy isn’t sure is going to work, and one that O’Brien undertakes by himself. By the time the bomb goes off, the entire team is waiting for O’Brien to escape from the explosion site—which he does, emerging from the stereotypical cloud of smoke, looking like the poster boy for Hero of the Year.

It’s the first time the entire gang of misfits fits together as a team. Or, as O’Brien calls them, a “cyclone of scorpions.”

For now, they can sleep easy, knowing there’s some security left in their jobs.

Scorpion, rated TV-14, airs on Mondays at 9/8C on CBS.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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