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S01.E02: Single Point of Failure

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The Governor calls on Team Scorpion when his daughter is mysteriously 'biohacked' with a deadly virus and has only 24 hours to live. The case takes on a deeper significance for Walter after he receives a letter regarding his sister.

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Biohacked? Like I need something else to be worried about. Killer drones, bubonic plague, inept air traffic control and now biohacking. Is CBS trying to worry its audience to death?

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And don't forget Jennifer Love Hewitt on Criminal Minds. WTH. I'm skurred... But that's for another thread.

 

I said I would give this show 1 more chance. Done and done. I'm soooooooooo out. Still find the lead incredibly handsome and a good actor, but this show is not for me. The girl scorpions voice and dialogue makes me want to stab myself in the eye. Katherine McPhee and her mullet are way to damned earnest for me. And I need for the white sammie davis jr character to just stop.

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This show still stretches credulity, but dang if it isn't still entertaining, also.

 

Robert Patrick kicked all kinds of butt tonight. Ari Stidham did, too.

 

Jadyn Wong is still the winkest link, but maybe she'll come around.

 

I'm still in.

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Me too Mockingbird.  I wanted to like the earnest do gooders but....it doesn't gel. Too much pathos too soon I think.  Instead of leaving me feeling engaged it leaves me feeling like I really don't like these people.  Sad, it was a good concept but really poor execution.  I had no opinion on McPhee, but now, I just don't like her.  I do like Walter, though. Will be happy when this is over and he reappears on something like Hawaii 50 as the tech nerd. :)

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I'm still enjoying this show, love the team but I find Katherine the weakest link. What does she do really? She's a waitress who tells them to be nice to people? 

The show would be much better without her.

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How ironic that the mathematician character doesn't like money!  I thought about this more: money brings him lots of options.   In the pilot, the mathematician couldn't even function with a few pieces of chalk out of order.  Giving away the money does seem like an easy solution.  However, the check he signed over to the nun said $3,000.  I thought in the pilot Walter negotiated like $40,000 each for that one task.  Maybe the US government pays it out monthly over a year?  40,000 / 12 = $3,333 (less taxes = $3K)  $40,000 annual salary seems too low for their level of expertise.

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My CBS feed randomly switched to NCIS for a few minutes right in the middle of the broadcast. I had already lost interest, so I took it as a sign and just turned it off. I was so looking forward to this show and actually thought the pilot was fun (though shaky). How disappointing.

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So now we know the technical aspects will be pulled out of thin air. And the "getting to know our characters" exposition was just bad, bad, bad. Maybe I'm just looking for my next Charlie Epps fix, but I think I caught glimpses of something truly charming in this show. I'm still in, hoping it gels as we go on.

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 I find Katherine the weakest link. What does she do really? She's a waitress who tells them to be nice to people?

 

I was bothered by the whole, "hey gang, what's wrong with Walter? He seems off," thing.  Really, you've known him for 10 minutes, he's a misfit genius, and you can read that he's acting out of sorts?  Sure!

 

I'm going to keep watching.  No heavy lifting and we're already seeing some character development.  I agree that Happy is the weak link and hope they don't solve that problem by hooking her up with Toby.

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Hmm... Camille Guaty as Walter's sister?  I mean, I guess they did need to find someone who at least looked like she was related to Elyes Gable, but it was still odd getting use to Maricruz from Prison Break, as what I"m guessing is suppose to have been born in Ireland.  Then again, she didn't have an accent of any kind as an adult (neither does Walter), so I guess it really doesn't matter.

 

So, we at least got more background on the side characters; even if they're still mainly tropes.  Toby is not only a gambler, but has an ex he's not over, Sylvester is a general nervous wreck and paranoid about diseases, and Happy is actually not quite so happy when it comes to interacting with other humans, due to her father abandoning her at two.  No real surprises there from those three.

 

I still don't dislike Katherine McPhee, but Paige really does seem to just be there.  I guess her talking Sylvester through his fears was important, but she was suppose to be their "normal voice" to communicate with others, and yet it still felt like mainly Walter and Robert Patrick did all the interacting with the mayor, the hacker, etc.  All she does is just say "Be nice!" or something, but it's not really effective.

 

I'll stick with it for now.  Heard it's still doing good in the ratings, so it has something going for it, I guess.

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I'm still going to stick with it...I'm intrigued enough by the premise that I'll hang a little longer.  The Happy character is kind of interesting, I vacillate between being annoyed by her way of speaking, or charmed by her way of speaking.  Is it the actress herself that speaks that way, or is she putting on an affectation for the character?  We'll see if it wobbles around, eh?

 

There's a wee too much pathos there, I agree.  So Walter was Irish when he was younger, but has zero trace of the accent now?  Happy is happy to depend on her dependable tools, because they never let her down, unlike humans, but then her socket wrench snaps in half at the end?  The psycho-logist guy has some sort of love affair gone wrong that he's still mixed up about, and the quirky math guy is so OCD he can't cope with the options money gives him?  I understand we're still introducing the characters so they're laying it on a little thick right now, but maybe they could back off to once character at a time?

 

All in all, totally preposterous, which is what I'm looking for in a TV show.

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I'm still enjoying this show, love the team but I find Katherine the weakest link. What does she do really? She's a waitress who tells them to be nice to people? 

The show would be much better without her.

 

At this point, my best guess is that McPhee's role on the show is "future girlfriend to Walter."  She doesn't really seem to have any unique skills or special insight into how to interact with these gifted people.  She didn't even realize that her son is a genius as well, so I'm not sure why I should believe that she'd uniquely qualified to deal with Walter and his team.  I guess I'll let it go, though, because I enjoy Walter helping Paige understand and connect with her son.

 

I'm not sure that Toby is entirely necessary in this story, and it feels like the writers have to come up with scenarios that require his skills just so that he can be part of the action.  I'm not sure that they can sustain that for twenty-some episodes.  Basically, it won't shock me if he's only a one season character and is killed off at some point in the future.

 

I really liked all of the stuff with Sylvester breaking into the lab.  I don't think that you have to have OCD to be completely freaked out by biohazard waste, so I totally felt for him there.  Poor guy.  I'm a little irritated that his intro at the start of the episodes refers to him as the "human calculator."  He's a mathematical genius here, not just some guy adding and subtracting numbers in his head!

 

This show can be sort of ridiculous, but I find it entertaining and the hour flies by, so I'll keep tuning in for now.    

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I liked:

 

That they dialed down (a little) referring to how smart everyone is; that's annoying for other people to hear.

The fear of germs at a research lab seemed real and legitimate.

Paige figured out Walter was cranky--that actually fit from her first interaction with him, and he'd been to the diner before to install wifi (and might be a regular there.)

The pace of the show.

I liked it enough to nitpick (below.)

 

I disliked:

 

That Sylvester didn't know it's the Centers (plural) for Disease Control.  You'd think an OCD germophobe would be up on that.

That there was an areosoled virus that the sprinkler system started to wash away, but the Governor still just stood there.

That the Governor was working as a (researcher?  Program director?) at a medical company four years ago, and is now Governor.  That sort of thing can happen in politics, but a little more distance or a little more exposition would help.

A little too much exposition about family, too soon.

The second they realized it was a targeted virus, and they knew the girl tested positive for a cold (they told us this latter), they didn't start sequencing the cold virus.

They set off the sprinklers, and the governor wasn't immediately evacuated--they hung around for more exposition, in the one place there's a virus that could kill the Governor.  Maybe you should get him further away from the virus-laden water before you hug it out.

 

Not sure about:

 

When you have a gene sequence, can you really put together and administer a cure within about an hour?  (Maybe it was a very fragile virus.)

 

The first two shows followed a close formula:

 A problem, with an urgent deadline.  (A call to action.)

   The team thinks up some things, and can't use the usual channels, which is why they were called in.

     They break in to somewhere/bend the law to get the mission done.

       Mission Accomplished.

         No, wait, it isn't.  (Dramatic sting, followed by commerical break.)

           The actual solution is found with seconds to spare and much drama action.

              Hugs or not.

 

I liked it as long as I don't overthink it, and if I do, I know I'm not alone.  Either way, that's reason to stay. :-)

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The problem that I'm having is the blend of reality and fantasy.  There is a Walter O'Brien.  He is from Ireland.  He runs a team that is called Scorpion.  All of that is fine.  However, the bit of poking around that I did about RL Walter did not really reveal a Paige or anyone similar to a Paige.  This makes it rediculously obvious why Katherine McPhee's character exists (romance for TV Walter), which I found irritating two episodes into the series.

 

Paige also irritates me more after having met Megan, Walter's sister.  He went through this whole spiel about having a low EQ, and I'm not saying that he doesn't.  However, he obviously cares about Megan.  It could be his own unique way of expression, but I clearly saw it.  It makes sense to me that one of his few expressions of emotional connection is reserved for his sister, yet Paige, who he met five minutes ago, commands his attention with her Tread Lightly note?  (Oh yeah, silly me, she's the love interest who's raising the genius.)  There is just no way I now buy that Paige would say Tread Lightly and he would heed it.  Megan saying that is another deal.  She could totally say that to Walter, and he'd value it and act upon it even if he doesn't fully process what it means.

 

When Paige wrote that, I was like STFU.  She's such a nobody.  By Walter's own admission, emotional speeches don't work on him, but hey, now she can tell him to tread lightly.  OK.  I haven't seen Elyes Gable is anything else before.  Right now, he's the draw for me.  I found the rest of the team annoying in this episode, and I wanted to slap Sylvester.  I'm trying to remember that term that was used by a poster in the pilot thread.  I'm not a neurodivergent thinker, and I'm trying to be empathetic to the various processes of the team, but the show pushed too far with Sylvester.  Then on top of that, Toby was a hot mess.  I don't want to watch a bunch of people who can't cope with anything.  Walter may not cope well, but he at least tries.  I wanted the other three (Happy, Toby, Sylvester) to get a flipping grip!  I'm still in...for now.

Edited by Ohmo
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Not sure about:

 

When you have a gene sequence, can you really put together and administer a cure within about an hour?  (Maybe it was a very fragile virus.)

 

It's not even possible to custom engineer a virus to target exactly one human. We've sequenced the human genome, but we can't read it well enough to understand it (kind of like how you could theoretically copy out a book in Danish but it wouldn't help you very much if you didn't speak the language). And secondly we cannot genetically manipulate anything, let alone a virus, down to the level of precision that would be required to do what the criminal of the week did in this episode.

 

Assuming that such technology existed, however, there's no reason the CDC wouldn't also have it and make use of it. When I interned in a lab, though, all the reactions we used took several hours. 

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The Happy character is kind of interesting, I vacillate between being annoyed by her way of speaking, or charmed by her way of speaking.  Is it the actress herself that speaks that way, or is she putting on an affectation for the character?  We'll see if it wobbles around, eh?

 

I am very interested in her character, but that voice is bugging me.  I have a hard time understanding what she's saying most of the time.  It's like she can't move her jaw well enough to enunciate?  It's all mumbly to me to the point I turned on the closed captioning.

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I liked it, it's mostly about the characters for me and they actually managed to improve Toby (he really annoyed me in the pilot).

It's still rather predictable and very heavy handedb the Walter/Paige romance anvils were hard to dodge. What really sold it for me was pretty much every Sylvester scene, i really like him. I also liked Agent Callo's interrogation scene at the end. It's rather refreshing to see Robert Patrick as a good guy, it's rare.

I would have to agree that Happy is the weak link, I honestly can't tell what they're going for with her, the voice throws me as well, it just doesn't seem right.

Edited by Morrigan2575

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I actually like Happy the most, because she's the only woman genius, the only POC, and her character goes against stereotypes. The show's concept is good but the execution is just flat out tacky, I think-- but happy is like the one thing they've done that I feel interested in!

 

I was interested in Paige and her kid in the pilot, but in this episode, I thought Paige was proving to be a really bland and boring drippy annoyance. I'm not blaming McPhee; it was the writing i objected to. The one thing I thought was interesting about that in this episode, is that when Walter told her the kid hacked the thermometer to avoid school, instead of actually considering doing something to challenge him, she just packed him off to school. I actually like that she's parenting without spoiling him and doesn't let his smarts mean he can lie or otherwise take advantage. But at the same time, I think it's cruel and a waste to send him to some school where he's miserable, isolated, bored, misunderstood, and thought to be stupid, instead of giving him an environment that will develop his talents and provide him with at least approximate peers. And she has resources now, and access to people who could advise her. She doesn't really have an excuse for doing nothing anymore.

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I find the writing/plotting the weak link here.  The actors are extremely engaging and capable.  I am enamored with Walter - good god, if I were only many years younger, that sweet boy would be mine, mine I tell you, MINE!

 

I do think the character of Paige is the weakest link.  Not well written and an actor that doesn't have the skill to make her more interesting in spite of that.  She is generically cute tho', so that does set her up for the 'girlfriend'.  Kinda' a waste of space.

 

I so truly like the main cast and their charisma that I really, really need the writers to step it UP!

 

I'm still in.

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That Sylvester didn't know it's the Centers (plural) for Disease Control.  You'd think an OCD germophobe would be up on that.

...
That the Governor was working as a (researcher?  Program director?) at a medical company four years ago, and is now Governor.  That sort of thing can happen in politics, but a little more distance or a little more exposition would help.

 

OCD germaphobe here who was not up on that, so, potentially realistic? (but probably writer research failure rather than character choice)

 

I thought the Governor was a lawyer in the medical company's legal dept? Corporate lawyer turned politico seems common to me, although I agree kind of a fast turnaround for him to not have had some sort of lesser office or something first.

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I thought the Governor was a lawyer in the medical company's legal dept? Corporate lawyer turned politico seems common to me, although I agree kind of a fast turnaround for him to not have had some sort of lesser office or something first.

He could have been in politics, left for the private sector, then returned to run for governor, not that outlandish. Or he could have pulled a Schwarzenegger, Arnold didn't hold an office before his time as Governor. 

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The second pilot confirmed to me what I was thinking from the start: this is going to be so bad it's good.

 

I mean, seriously, they practically scream "BIOHACKING" multiple times.

 

Why not just call it what it is - bioengineering, or genetically engineering a virus.

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Why not just call it what it is - bioengineering, or genetically engineering a virus.

It sounds too much like the terminology used in the media in the arguments over genetically modified food.

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No math teacher would ever say "which numbers are divisible by 4?" because, duh, they all are.  He would say ""which numbers are evenly divisible by 4?"

 

But we have to have our "we don't need no education" moment.  SMH.  (The writers probably hate Common Core, too.)

 

I don't mind McPhee, who is at least pleasant to look at.  The rest of the cast is an un-hot mess.  I'm out!

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The Governor said he was head of Risk Management for Vlox or whatever the drug company was. He was the face/voice that had to deal with the upset families when the drug trials stopped for the other usage.

 

Robert Patrick doing broken dad?  Got me. Not welling and fighting tears, but Mr. Patrick sold Gallo's pain to me.

Sylvester won me over tonight with his bravery. I was yelling at my tv "It's not about you!", but I was relieved when he ran out ( and almost hit the SUV that was there to pick him up!)

I think Walter needs a donkey phone, but not for his blood pressure.

I also thanked my tv, and the show, for Wet!Walter. Next time, maybe shirtless? Who knows, maybe Walter's shirt is covered in nasty stuff and he has to get it washed off.  Just puttin' it out there.

DH said that they'd have saved time looking for the suspect that looked like Eric Avari!

 

Who didn't know that the Gov. was going to do something stupid?  He kept being dumb too ( the hanging around the area with a targeted virus to kill him.)

 

I hope Tobey does move on, but that it's not through Revolving No-Name Chicks (not that that is wrong; I'm just tired of seeing it on my tv shows.) Maybe show a couple, but then keep one unnamed, or named, for a bit as just a mention.  He doesn't have to be Barney Stinson, he doesn't have to be sexless. Just not stalkery; CBS has a whole show devoted to that this season, so here? Please no.

 

Happy? I hope that she can make connections, but stay her basic self. It seems that the women who are reluctant to make connections end up changing once they make a couple of dependable friends ( for Happy, outside of this group, say.) I'd also like to see Happy and Ralph puttering around a car or her bike. A lady gearhead, like it's not a thing, would be nice.

 

Paige, after two episodes, does need work, writer-wise.  I agree about sending Ralph back to school, but also agree that she needs a better school as well as a safer car for him. If Gallo shows up in a toga and bow & arrow, it could not be more blatant that he is matchmaking Walter and Paige or shipping them, at the minimum.        

Hopefully, Paige isn't waitressing, but actually doing stuff like being the manager, of sorts. Making sure the bills are paid, that supplies are bought, and that everyone is actually okay. While it felt shoehorned in, the orange bit felt like a repeat of something in the pilot. These folks get wrapped up in whatever and focus very intently. Someone needs to be not a surrogate mom, but someone they trust to help watch their backs.  unfortunately, Paige is a mom, so she is written/comes off as a kind of nagging mom. I hope that gets fixed, because a grown woman would not treat these folks exactly the same way she would treat her son, I hope. If the writers continue to writer her this way, I will have problems. 

 

Two in and I'm still game, and hopeful! 

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About the actress that plays Happy, I recognized her immediately from the SyFy show Lost Girl. She was on the last season, and yes, that is how she actually talks. It's very distinct

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This show is terrible. And by that I mean so over-the-top, painfully terrible that so far it's "so bad it's good". Every character, plot, scene, piece of dialogue is so hilariously bad that I laughed out loud. Even the scenes of intense pathos are so badly written as to be funny.

 

That scene where he decides the girl has been infected with a virus that only affects her (based, I might add, on massively insufficient evidence) he rips open the sheet. As if.

 

Not to mention second episodes of a show where characters say things like, "Since when is [person I just met and character we don't know] physical?" Answer: Constantly for all we - or you - know.

 

So I'll keep watching for now but probably not for the reason they want me to.

Edited by AudienceofOne
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Guest

The show is outlandish but the leads are pretty.  I like McPhee and want her to start doing open mic at the diner.  Or did she quit?  

 

The geniuses are cliches.  I can't stand Sylvester.  I think he's there to make OTT facial expressions to show the audience how we're supposed to feel.  "This is AMAZING!"  "This is TERRIFYING!"  "He is BRILLIANT!"  Eh, show me, show, don't tell me.  

 

One thing genius kids don't usually do in school is correct teachers in front of everyone, in my experience.  The other kids (not to mention the teachers) don't like a smarty-pants know-it-all and being liked and fitting in is important to kids.  

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One thing genius kids don't usually do in school is correct teachers in front of everyone, in my experience.  The other kids (not to mention the teachers) don't like a smarty-pants know-it-all and being liked and fitting in is important to kids.  

 

But then how would we know how BRILLLLLLLLLLLLIANT he is?  Guh.

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One thing genius kids don't usually do in school is correct teachers in front of everyone, in my experience.  The other kids (not to mention the teachers) don't like a smarty-pants know-it-all and being liked and fitting in is important to kids.

Depends on the class. Some teachers don't mind because it means somebody's paying attention and they're not just wasting their time. And the other kids won't mind if somebody shows up a teacher who's being an ass.

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Man, Nick Santora is such a hack. I mean, really? They needed the germaphobe to go in and get the information because of his eidetic memory? They couldn't just have sent in one of the others with a smart phone to photograph the pages? This is the kind of nonsense that killed 'Prison Break' (Nick Santora also being one of the people at the center of that idiocy) - trying to make a show about really smart people, but not actually being particularly smart yourself, so the smart people end up looking stupid.

 

Also, the labored way they *have* to give everyone something to do each episode - painful.

 

Robert Patrick is the best thing about this show, but he's not enough to keep me watching. As said up-thread, nice concept, but I am out.

 

Hmm... Camille Guaty as Walter's sister?

I guess Nick Santora took a liking to her on Prison Break and wanted to give her a job while he has the power to do so. Also: I've never seen two people (the brother and sister) who look less Irish.

 

Happy is happy to depend on her dependable tools, because they never let her down, unlike humans, but then her socket wrench snaps in half at the end?

The first thing I thought when she made her original comment was: But tools fail all the time! And these people are supposed to be smart?

Edited by Big Bad Wolf

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