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'Scorpion' react: Brain games

Season 1 | Episode 15 | “Forget Me Nots” | Aired Jan 19, 2015

After an extremely personal episode on Sunday, Scorpion‘s latest episode found its way back to the episodic side of this serialized procedural, and it was better for it.

Which isn’t to say, however, that there weren’t any personal moments in the show’s fifteenth episode. There certainly were; they were just kept separate from the ongoing case the team is sent out to solve.

Homeland Security is, as usual, in way over their heads. One of the missiles they keep offshore has been hacked by a terrorist organization, and they have just under 24 hours (it’s always just under 24 hours with these shows) to stop the missile from launching and possibly starting the next world war.

Only problem is that even with their superpowered minds, there’s no way they can hack into the organization that has control of the missile fast enough to stop it from going off.

They are told that the only man who might know where the original controller for the missile is, a tool they call “the football,” is living in a retirement facility for people suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Considering he’s their only chance, though, Walter and the team agree to go out and meet their only hope—the Ben Kenobi of this entire situation.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

After months of computer hacking and typical action-movie-style car chases, the entirety of this episode focuses on the ability to biohack and manipulate the brain to accomplish certain tasks.

Walter decides to use a touch of targeted shock therapy—not quite the same as what poor Esther had to endure in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar—in an attempt to boost their retired CIA guy’s brain function and recall certain details about the night the control was stolen.

Easily most comparable to recent movies like Lucy or Limitless, the idea behind the seemingly inhumane methodology is that humans only use 10 percent of their brains at all times. Using targeted electrotherapy opens up the floodgates and allows human beings to accomplish mental and physical feats they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

Through the high-powered electric jolts, their CIA agent not only remembers who took the control from him—another CIA operative who had been working for a splinter-cell terrorist group—but can actually remember the key tones of the phone call the illegitimate operative made when he had the control in his grip.

Using the episode to focus on the power of the brain—and acknowledging that it is a far more powerful tool than a computer could ever hope to be—is the first time Scorpion has addressed the innate, heightened power of its genius collective.

The tone of the show changed in this episode as Walter and his company of fiendishly intelligent crime-fighting crusaders stopped being framed as arrogant know-it-alls and actually managed to elicit empathy from their colleagues.

It’s one of the most human moments expressed by those who don’t understand human emotion and see it as a flaw: The ability to connect with Paige and Gallo by silently showing them what it’s like to have heightened abilities did more for team building than any forced conversation ever could.

Stepping away from the computer screens and allowing the team to focus on restoring one man’s brain functionality for a couple of hours was more interesting than anything else that has occurred this season thus far—and one of the most touching scenarios.

But for those that are enamored with Paige and Walter’s ongoing cat-and-mouse game of who confesses they have feelings first, don’t worry. There’s some of that too.

At the beginning of the episode, Walter finds out that Paige is considering moving to Portland with Drew and enrolling Ralph in a school for the gifted.

Walter, devastated by the news, doesn’t know how to express his feelings and tries to dissuade Paige from leaving by going on about the miserable weather, all of which Paige is less than receptive to.

By the end of the episode, however, he confesses to Paige that he doesn’t want her to leave because Ralph is a huge part of his life—and he would like to believe he plays a large role in Ralph’s life.

So close to admitting he wants her to stay because he likes her too, but no cigar.

This game of cat and mouse isn’t going to end anytime soon.

But if they focus on celebrating the genius of their group, while giving them human cases they can shine in, Scorpion may just be able to stretch out the subplot of Walter coming into his feelings and understanding them a little bit longer.

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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