Scorpion: Single Point of Failure (1×02)
Synopsis: When the Governor of California’s daughter comes down with a mysterious illness, the Scorpion team determine that she’s a victim of biohacking. This throws it into high gear as she only has less than 24 hours to live and an antidote must be found. The episode also explores the more emotional sides of all these geniuses.
This week’s episode is much more believable because that hooking up an ethernet cable to a flying plane while driving a Ferrari bogus was just…too much. This time they focus on biohacking and genetic engineering. I think it’s safe to say that all these episodes will be going at a fast pace because there is just too much stuff happening to cram into a 40 minute episode. Single Point of Failure is no exception, it goes and goes. Even though the pace was fast, it didn’t feel rushed. That’s what I like about the show because it doesn’t linger and become slow. You’re always thinking, geniuses are always solving problems (which becomes a center point for Walter this week).
Anyway, I had little faith for Scorpion because it started off with a bang on the wrong foot. They stumbled but I think they’re finding their stride. The plot of this week’s story centers on a biohacker that has constructed a custom virus that only targets a single child because of DNA and genetic engineering. It’s not just any child either, it’s the daughter of the California governor. She received a virus on her computer alone (a Mac because they get viruses too) with a message that said “IT’S YOUR FAULT SHE’S SICK!!” over and over again. She was exposed to the actual virus sometime before via aerosol spray. This virus is not something the CDC have seen before because the only thing registering is the common cold, but it’s making her entire system shut down with all organ failure.
Scorpion traces the virus to its origin and descend upon an underground hacking group. There’s a cute exchange between Toby (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Agent Gallo (Robert Patrick). Agent Gallo is like “wtf, how do you know about this place and what they do…” and Toby is just giving him the “really….” look. Come on Gallo, you know. They find out that the e-mail was sent not only to the Governor’s daughter but to 3 other kids as well. All the parents, including the governor, used to work at the same pharmaceutical company. They all were researching/selling/testing the same drug trial. A drug that had promising results for people with SMA (spinal muscular atrophy). The company realized there would be a bigger money draw for people with asthma, so they pulled the drug and re-engineered it.
After this is discovered they need to hack into the pharmaceutical company to grab the list of drug trial participants. They do some clever trojan tracking placement on a food ad and get through the company’s firewall. Sylvestor (who is a HUGE germaphobe) is the only person out of the team with an eidetic memory so he’s the one chosen to sneak into the company. It’s actually pretty cute, but you feel for the guy. I mean…he’s walking into a biohazard waste area.
Once they get ahold of the records, they go through the list. The Scorpion team all settle on an irate blogger that was a part of the trial that ended up losing everything (job, money, no wife)…because it was logical. It was Agent Gallo that chose the right guy becuase it’s a crime of passion. The guy that Gallo chose lost his daughter because they pulled the trial. It’s an emotional choice though….YES! It’s emotional! The guy lost his only daughter and he’s a professor of microbiology with access to all the research equipment he wants….duh.
Their guy, Robert Richter (Erick Avari), called up the Governor and told him he had the antidote. Of course the Governor goes and meets the guy. Scorpion finds out that Richter engineered another virus that could stop the heart in seconds after exposure, and he plans to use it on you guessed it…the Governor. Scorpion races to their meeting point and after Richter sprays the aerosol they only have seconds before it kills. Walter does some quick thinking and sprays fire on a sprinkler to activate it. The water washes the aerosol particles down and all is well!
They send the engineered viruses to the CDC and they make an antidote for all the kids. It ends on a sad/happy note. You find out that Agent Gallo lost his daughter when he talks with Richter. Walter is dealing with an inner demon: his sister has Multiple Sclerosis (MS). He’s pissed off and frustrated because he can’t solve her problem and he needs to. He has never encountered a problem he can’t solve. Toby has a gambling problem and he was dumped by his ex-fiancee (he’s still dealing with coming to terms with that). Happy was given up to an orphanage by her father at age two (not really abandoned, the dad told them to find her a better home, meaning he couldn’t provide well enough for her).
This episode was great because you find out a little more about the characters and you get to root for the home team because they solved the problem. Let’s just hope they continue on this track and save the crazy stuff they pulled in the first episode for the recycle bin.