It’s that time of the year again: that’s right, it’s pilot season! And we have found an interesting one in Scorpion. Now when it comes to watching pilots, I have a rule, in which I don’t judge the actual plot of the story because most pilots are designed to be generic so that they attract as many viewers as possible. What I do judge, is the long-term feasibility, character interactions and their likability. Now, one could argue that Scorpion satisfies the long term feasibility aspect. The premise of the show is that a group of geniuses, who are asked to work on time sensitive problems by the Department of Homeland Security, so that they can save the lives of U.S citizens. These problems are very Mission Impossible-esque, with the first episode having the team rush around LA to download software, only for the final sequence have them hardwire download the needed software, while driving a Ferrari underneath an airplane. Once again, going back to my original point; you cannot judge pilots on the story (even though this one was particularly ridiculous), but in terms of long-term feasibility, this show’s concept is very doable and interesting. I can see this show having the ability to be a show like Numbers, which played upon some of the same themes.
Now to the negatives of this pilot episode; which are exclusively within the area of the character interactions and their likability. The main character of Walter O’Brian (played by Elyes Gabel) is supposed to be one of the most intelligent human beings alive, but is also supposed to be unable to communicate with people due his high intelligence. The only problem with this is that he does communicate with people, and he communicates with them fairly well, and only in a few scripted moments he is unable to communicate. The whole idea of him not being able to talk to people brings us to Katherine MCPhee’s character of Paige. She is brought into the team for her able to translate for the socially awkward geniuses due to her having a son who is also a genius. This character seems forced onto the viewer and basically the only reason for this is because of the obvious romantic angle that the writers will lean on between her and Walter down the road. In terms of chemistry with the cast as a whole, it all came off as very fake and the chemistry between Gabel and McPhee is not there at all. The others characters get lost in the shuffle of the pilot. For example: Eddie Kaye Thomas’s (Finch from American Pie) character of Toby who is able to use his Sherlock Holmes deductive reasoning to figure things out, is barely used for the exception of one scene where he figures out which server is holding the data that is needed. This is a character with a really cool ability but is put to the side instead so that we can get more screen time for the romance that doesn’t even work. In the end, although the concept is very workable and the show has been modelled after other successful shows I find that the characters themselves aren’t enough to drive Scorpion which clearly needs interesting characters since we have seen this concept a thousand times before. Therefore I believe this show will probably be cancelled soon unless changes are made, but I will say that I have seen shows with less last longer.