Episode two of Scorpion did not have as spectacular a problem to solve as in the pilot, there were no jet passenger planes falling out of the sky killing hundreds this week. In A Single Point of Failure death was still an issue but in numbers much smaller, just as the potential victims themselves were small. The first on the list of the dying was the governor’s daughter whose health was failing at a rapid rate with doctor’s giving the girl less than 24 hours to live.
After the child fell ill, an email was sent to her father that said “It’s your fault she’s sick.” The email contained a virus that affected only the girl’s laptop which lead O’Brien to realise that whoever infected her computer also infected her with a genetic specific virus designed to kill her.
Like last week’s episode the show then went through the motions of tracking down possible solutions and discovering why the virus was sent and who the culprit was. A good amount of time was spent allowing the disparate group to bond and learn more about one another. This week also saw the first plot hole, or at the very least, a complete lapse in logic.
In episode two of Scorpion, the whole plot hinged around a heart broken man, Robert Richter, who had lost his daughter because a pharmaceutical company developed a drug which would alleviate the symptoms of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) but after further research the drug was used instead to help asthma sufferers, making it more profitable for the company. In essence this move doomed the SMA sufferers leaving them to die an unpleasant death.
The genius’ this week hunted down people who were part of the company’s drug trial who suffered from SMA and/or lost a loved one after the drug was realigned to help asthma sufferers. A scientist father is tracked down who watched his daughter die as a result of the company’s decision. This man developed the virus so that the targeted former employees of the pharmaceutical company, one of whom is now the governor, would watch helplessly as their children died.
Before O’Brien and his Scorpion group can capture their suspect, they find evidence that the scientist has developed another genetic virus that has been designed to kill the governor on contact. It then becomes a race to save Governor Lane before Robert Richter can blow the stuff into his face. The team, along with Agent Gallo get there to save the man literally in the nick of time. The virus droplets hang in air and O’Brien gets the fire extinguishers to disperse the stuff.
All this looks great and has an edge of the seat feel to the action, but there is one problem with the “governor virus” twist. Richter wanted all his victims to suffer as he did. Helplessly watching their children die with no way to save them. This sudden decision to develop a virus to kill the governor before his daughter died, made no sense in terms of his motive of tit for tat revenge. This glaring mistake detracted from any cleverness the show displayed this week.
On a completely different note, bonus points need to be given for allowing Agent Gallo (Robert Patrick) the best line of the night. When searching Richter’s office a secretary mentions she should really contact campus security. Gallo responds, “Feel free, but my badge is bigger.” If there were a few more lines of this calibre in the show, it might be easier to overlook obvious plot holes or lapses of logic.
Certainly, the second episode of Scorpion entertained and a little more information was revealed about O’Brien and his equally intelligent cohorts but the let down in plot was a disappointment. Sure it allowed the show to have a white knuckle race to save the politico, but the limited time spent with the character did not evoke a lot of concern from the audience overall. While the show may be about a real life genius, this week’s storyline was obviously not written by one. Scorpion airs Mondays on CBS.
By Michael Smith