Scorpion: Pilot
September 23, 2014 11:40 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

A team of geniuses help out the government.

Inspired by a true story -- I just wanted the blueprints for my wall -- A million miles from normal -- Catastrophe is imminent -- 10% chance everyone dies -- "You code, right?" -- "I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your son is a genius" -- Upping the high stakes -- My process involves my foot in your ass -- Satellite link failed -- Less than one percent -- We're going to be driving 200 miles per hour underneath you -- Your mom did that -- You translate the world for us -- You ever pause your dreams, Ralph?

Next week: Resist the temptation to do anything stupid, like stand in my way.
posted by Margalo Epps (26 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
From the banner (why is there always one with a goofy hat?) I came to snark "What where's Julie Benz?" but whoa, so much better, Katherine McPhee!! There will have to be an episode were she's forced to replace a torch singer to save all their lives. That one just writes itself.
posted by sammyo at 1:28 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

This show appears to be entirely built of tropes and ridiculousness, so I can't figure out why I like it and want to keep watching.
posted by Margalo Epps at 1:57 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

If there is a just God this show will not last to midseason.
posted by scalefree at 6:36 PM on September 23, 2014

I went in with super low expectations and was pleasantly surprised!
posted by Strass at 9:59 PM on September 23, 2014

TV show pilots can be bad. The need to shoehorn in everything and nobody (actors, writers, et al) has really started to work as a team. But, man, that's some mediocre cheez right there.

I know a lot about computers and electricity and very little about air traffic control, but I'm pretty sure the 'lets ignore reality' leaps taken with ATC are even stupider than the ones taken with electricity or computers. Even stupider than the 200mph cable hookup.

I did like the idea that speaker magnets would corrupt a hard drive. That's based in actual physics!

With Warehouse 13 and Leverage and Eureka all off the air, there's a 'team of nerds' shaped gap in my media consumption - I'm hoping that this manages to straighten up and fly right and turn into something like that, but, wow, they've got a long way to climb.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:59 AM on September 24, 2014

If they can talk to the pilot & get him to take the plane all the way to 8 feet above the runway, why the hell can't he just go the final 8 feet & land the damn thing? Is the runway made of lava or something & the unborked copy of ATCsoft(TM) turns it back into tarmac?

This show simply does not make any sense whatsoever. It is a bad show. The people who make it are bad people. They should be made to sit in a corner & think about what they've done until they are sorry they ever did it.
posted by scalefree at 10:58 AM on September 24, 2014 [6 favorites]

I made a brief comment on the stupid in the other thread.
Some of the things they got wrong, off the top of my head:
  • If it's anything like an airplane, ATC software would not be automatically upgraded like on an iPhone. Extensive error-checking and testing would be required before it was deployed. ATC should not have failed like it did.
  • Revision control of the software is required by federal regulation. They would have had multiple copies of not just the previous version, but all previous versions, and not kept in a cloud server facility. The ATC system should have been fixable.
  • It was a clear, sunny day. The aircraft were capable of landing and would not have crashed just because no one was talking to them.
  • ATC networks have redundancies and overlapping coverage. Someone would have been able to talk to them.
  • Police and military helicopters would have been allowed to operate even if the airspace was shut down. The traffic jam on the way to LAX wouldn't have been an issue.
  • ATC that handles long distance traffic is not located at the airport--it's at a separate area control centre. In the case of SoCal, it's located in Palmdale.
  • Airplanes flying across the ocean have satellite communication systems. The cell phone thing would not have been needed.
  • Airplane software would not be the same as that used in the ATC systems--they're running completely different hardware, and doing completely different things unless it's an AWACS. The airplane software wouldn't have solved the problem.
  • The plane has a 50-foot ethernet cable on board? The co-pilot could get into the wheel well from the pressurized part of the aircraft? He would have climbed down the landing gear? See previous comments about "why couldn't they just land the plane?"

posted by cardboard at 11:35 AM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

They at least mentioned that the other airport had a too-short runway for that plane.

posted by rmd1023 at 11:39 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

My brain was yelling at the stupid a lot during this show - 'If they're going 200mph for 2 minutes hooking up to this thing that's a 7 mile runway! Land on it!' but I enjoyed the characters, laughed at some of the jokes and think it has potential if they can upgrade the geek side of things into plausible.
posted by IanMorr at 7:09 AM on September 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

I wanted to watch this after reading that it was based on a true story of a fellow countryman (aside: lol at the Irish accents in the opening). There was a whole lack of believability about pretty much everything that happened (up to and including the only known reliable wifi network being the one in the cafe) and yet I enjoyed this an awful lot and will probably keep watching it.
posted by TwoWordReview at 9:18 AM on September 25, 2014

Yeah, but it was really fun stupid.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:22 AM on September 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'm sold, I'll set the Tivo to record the next episode.
posted by dejah420 at 10:39 AM on September 25, 2014

For me the surprise was, no bad guy. CBS revealed pretty much the entire episode over the last two months of commercials, but it didn't occur to me this whole badass team of action-geniuses was just battling a computer glitch. I'll bet that seemed clever to someone.
posted by cribcage at 12:05 PM on September 25, 2014

Yeah, the speech at the end also gave up presumably most of the season's plots, talking about a task force that'll tackle everything from stolen nukes to counterfeit cash etc. They're supposed to be the new A-Team but with (slightly) less welding basically.
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:25 PM on September 25, 2014

I thought jumping the shark in the pilot was a bold move.
posted by Jode at 2:59 PM on September 25, 2014 [6 favorites]

I think that listing all the ways the tech was unrealistic doesn't address the real problem. The main problem is that the people are wrong. The show said over and over that being smart makes you some type of freak who can't live among normal people. That's a profoundly anti-intellectual message but more importantly it will make it very hard for the show's writers to construct characters that anyone cares about.
posted by rdr at 3:27 PM on September 25, 2014 [4 favorites]

That's a good point, Rdr, but I feel like it's also a common trope that is usually handled the same way: the writers pay lip service to how outcast the characters are by using explicit narratives, while constantly introducing their many friends and objectively attractive love interests.
posted by cribcage at 1:02 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

TechDirt doesn't buy the "true" story that Scorpion is supposedly based on.
posted by mbrubeck at 9:46 PM on October 7, 2014

Am I the only fool still watching this show?
posted by Jacqueline at 11:09 PM on December 18, 2014

My neighbour and I hatewatch it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:24 AM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

I get dragged into watching it occasionally. It was very appropriate to end before Christmas with a giant Rube-Goldberg device, as all the action in the show still revolves around ridiculously complicated solutions to problems.
posted by cardboard at 6:16 AM on December 19, 2014

My girlfriend has watched some of the episodes on our tivo. I haven't figure out if this is in the category of "I don't want to be around it" or just "I don't care if you watch it while I xbox."
posted by rmd1023 at 5:00 PM on December 19, 2014

"Hatewatch" is a great word and describes exactly how my husband and I watch it. It's what we put on when we're too tired to watch a show we actually care about, and we mock it until we pass out.

Sadly, I'm starting to become invested in the characters' relationships. Maybe I can stop watching the show and just read the fanfic?
posted by Jacqueline at 12:29 AM on December 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also, "I thought jumping the shark in the pilot was a bold move" still cracks me up to no end. How prescient!
posted by Jacqueline at 12:31 AM on December 20, 2014

The only relationship I kind of vaguely care about is Seymour and the sister. There is a chance--a slim one based on the writing so far, admittedly--for something really beautiful to be written there.

The whole will they/won't they between whatsisname and Paige is just bleaaargh. It's Daphne and Niles all over again, without the charm.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:07 AM on December 20, 2014

Still the guiltiest of guilty pleasures.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 12:35 PM on January 18, 2017

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