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'Scorpion' react: Another 'WarGames' sequel

Season 1 | Episode 13 | “Kill Screen” | Aired Jan 5, 2015

No matter what you try to do with a show the centers on programmers, you’re going to eventually end up at WarGames.

Monday night’s episode of Scorpion, the midseason premiere, saw the amalgamation of two great sci-fi movies set in a dystopian parallel ’90s universe: one inhabited by strange outfits and narcissistic teens on roller skates (Hackers), and the other a tale of an incredibly smart young lad who almost starts World War III after he stumbles upon a really cool computer game that’s actually a highly classified Homeland Security operative program (WarGames).

It all starts when the CIA learns that Ralph was able to reach a highly encrypted level of an online game that a black-hat hacker was using as a means to out undercover CIA agents to Mexican cartel leaders.

The CIA wants to know how Ralph was able to hack into the darkest corner of the darkest cave hidden in the darkest, deepest part of the web.

Naturally, it all comes back to Walter, who admits he showed Ralph the game and introduced him to the dark web.

Of course the idea of her son sifting through highly illegal documents and drug trades doesn’t sit well with Paige or her annoying and jilted ex-husband. A level of trust that had slowly been building between Paige and Walter (not to mention that predictable and god-awful romantic arc) all of a sudden comes crashing down. Like London Bridge but with less destruction and more typing.

As the team looks into the matter in an attempt to clear poor Ralph’s name, they discover the game has six more encrypted levels that contain secret locations of at least a few hundred CIA and Homeland Security agents.

In order to find their guy or gal as quickly as possible, they hit up a local gaming convention and start to do their magic. Sylvester starts showing off his gaming skills and gets them into secret VIP rooms, Walter does a little hacking, and Toby uses his psychological abilities to figure out just who the designer is.

When they do discover him, they’re faced with chasing him through the cosplay-crowded convention halls. It’s only thanks to a fake replica weapon and Agent Gallo’s quick thinking that they take him down.

Except the kid they captured isn’t the black-hat mastermind.

He does, however, know who is.

Using their newly discovered intel from their new informant, they set off to a café to take down their true criminal. Except nothing is ever as easy as it should be, because it’s an hour-long procedural and not a 30-minute sitcom. They need to fill the time somehow!

So the criminal mastermind takes off after stabbing their new informant, whom they have all apparently fallen very much in love with. Walter and Gallo take after the armed hacker, while Happy and Toby use their highly conspicuous federal agent van to get the now bleeding informant to a hospital.

Here’s where it gets really WarGames.

While on the hunt for their runaway hacker (which would make for an excellent sequel to Runaway Bride, the fantastic Richard Gere and Julia Roberts movie), they realize they’re running around the physical representation of the video game.

With Ralph’s help, they’re able to cut off the hacker and capture him, saving hundreds of lives in the process.

Like most episodes of Scorpion, the end is where it really gets good.

Walter, the man who has professed more times than I can remember (it’s like five, really) that he doesn’t understand human emotions, finally gets humane. He apologizes sincerely to Paige and admits that although he cares about his team and their work, the most important part of his life is Ralph. Teaching Ralph how to be the extraordinary man he can be, mentoring him.

Walter never really had a father. His biological dad didn’t understand him, and it wasn’t until Gallo stepped in and started to keep an eye on him while honing his genius talents that he felt welcomed and loved by anyone. Walter, despite his confusion about human emotions, loves Ralph and wants to become the same type of father figure to him.

Ralph’s biological dad is the stereotypical patriarchal figure: the one who teaches Ralph how to play baseball or ride a bike. But Walter could be his loving, encouraging father. Scorpion explores both sides of perceived masculinity probably better than most shows on network television. The relationships between Ralph, Walter, and the what’s-his-name annoying father no one cares about is by far the most interesting on the show.

Far more than the vomit-inducing love interest developing between Paige and Walter.

Less cuddling, more bonding!

Scorpion airs 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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