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'Scorpion' react: Daddy issues

Season 1 | Episode 7 | “Father’s Day” | Aired Nov 3, 2014

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Scorpion has found its place and become an enjoyable show to watch.

Let’s just all take a second to give a round of applause to the writers.

Monday’s episode was the best of the season so far—everything you’d want a hyped-up procedural about geniuses to be about.

There was difficult-to-follow jargon, jock jokes, emotional baggage, and explosions!

The only thing missing was a perfect robot girlfriend, but alas, everything in life can’t be roses and Weird Science.

In the latest episode, the team is called up by Agent Gallo to locate three escaped convicts and figure out how they were able to break out of the highly secure lockup.

They deduce that the prisoners installed a frequency-receiving chip inside the walls of the only gate not monitored by a security camera. Using a cell phone that was dropped in the yard by a military-grade aerial drone designed to resemble a bird, the three prisoners—led by a borderline genius hacktivist the team is very familiar with—were able to record the tone needed to open the door and escape.

Now that the “how” is solved, the team moves on to answering the proverbial “where” question asked by unlucky prison wardens.

Hacking into Chinese satellites, Walter is able to track down the men, but it becomes painfully obvious that the two men, who have been identified as Russian mobsters, have kidnapped the hacktivist.

Their investigation leads them to a carjacking crime scene at a gas station on the outskirts of town.

After a quick look at the camera footage, Happy discovers their hacker has managed to spell out where they’re headed next. The new information confronts the team with a fresh challenge: how to communicate with their kidnapped hacker without tipping off the mobsters.

The answer, it turns out, is pretty clear (if you have an IQ of 150 or higher). The team hack into California’s Amber Alert system and, using a cryptic messaging ploy, discover he’s headed out into no-man’s-land.

Scorpion locates the hideout, but they end up crashing their surveillance drone through the window—and the convicts flee again.

Stuck with another problem, the team finally uses their collective gigantic brain and—suddenly remembering they are pretty damn good hackers themselves—hack into the laptop the three convicts are using (for whatever reason) and spy on them using its webcam.

Here’s where it gets really cool—like CSI circa 2000 cool.

Although the laptop’s microphone was destroyed in the fracas, the team picks up the waves of the Russians’ voices through the reverberations caught by a bag of potato chips and use phonetic software to figure out what they’re saying.

They’re also able to pinpoint their exact location, but even though that’s far more helpful than the phonetic software trick, it’s way less cool.

Kind of like when CSI tried to make blood samples seem really cool in 2011.

Through the uber-cool potato chip bag trick, they discover their hacker had developed software to give him a one-second warning before a stock drops or rises in value, which could be used to make millions through a warped version of insider trading.

Imagine if Jordan Belfort had known about that.

So in the end, their beloved hacktivist is just as guilty as the Russian men who “kidnapped” him.

Using the GPS tracking, Scorpion heads over to the hideout and, after a quick shootout scene that audiences have seen in almost every episode since its premiere, they nab the baddies.

Considering the show is about emotionally deprived geniuses, the best part of Monday’s episode was its emotional narrative.

When Paige gets a call from Drew, her ex-boyfriend and Ralph’s father, the team must confront some fraught family dynamics.

We learn more about Happy’s father abandoning her and Walter’s complicated relationship with Gallo, a man he always considered a second father.

More important, we get to watch the team come together and deal with these issues on their own before realizing they should confide in other people.

They can’t help but intrude on an incredibly private and sentimental, not to mention painful, moment in Paige’s life and offer whatever advice they can.

Toby psychoanalyzes Drew, Sylvester crunches the numbers and weighs the possibilities of it ending well or not, and Walter, well, he’s just an emotionally unavailable jerk who wants to protect Ralph from going through the same thing he did.

As he tells Paige, there’s nothing worse than having a stranger enter your life when you’re most vulnerable and betraying your trust.

For Walter, that came in the form of Gallo befriending him while he was still a wee lad in Ireland and taking advantage of his genius abilities to build bombs for Baghdad.

This episode of Scorpion proved they could juxtapose the action sequences they’re so keen on writing against the backdrop of emotional discovery without it becoming too corny or ludicrous.

Characters developing against their own flaws are what audiences want in a fictional story, whether that is served via television, book, or film. The rest of it is just background noise.

Whatever comes next, the writers absolutely nailed it this week.

Scorpion 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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