Scorpion Review: “Father’s Day” (Season 1, Episode 7)


Is it strange that in six episodes there’s not been a single mention of Ralph’s dad? Perhaps, but if you’re one of those Scorpion fans that have felt this is a key component necessary to getting the full Scorpion experience, then this week you overactive mind’s been calmed by the introduction of he who fathered everyone’s favorite kid genius.

But that’s the B-plot this week. The mission, or A-plot, is about a hactivist who may or may not be a willing accomplice to some Russian gangsters who helps them break out of prison, and then helps them achieve some other mysterious goal. Stylistically, the episode played into Scorpion’s new found strength, but the show’s still trying to make a lot of hay out of the idea of a genius being undervalued and cast in a kind of class war with “normals.”

Not to revisit an old trope, but the put upon nature of being a genius is sometimes used by the guys on The Big Bang Theory: nobody gets them, nobody understands them, and their genius clearly makes them better than normal people so it doesn’t matter anyway. Of course, all that is lampshaded by the fact that Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Raj will often submit to their baser instincts rather than rise above. Like so-called normals they can be petty, or jealous, or arrogant, because in the end, emotions are the great leveler. The smartest person in the world, and the dumbest one, each know what it’s like to respond out of love, or hate, for example.

Scorpion has always taken this bizarre view that I.Q. and E.Q,, that’s emotional quotient, are inverse graphs. As the one goes up, the other goes down. That’s why the show’s genius characters are supposedly so stunted emotionally: they’re too smart to be bothered by something like rudeness, or inappropriateness. That’s always kind of seemed like bunk, as is the show’s insistence that genius is vaunted class that either serves or gets exploited, yet never is there malice or selfishness.

The hacker being used as a pawn by the Russian mob, Percy Tate, turns out to not be so much a pawn as a double agent. He’s not being forced to help the Russians get rich via a worm installed on the stock exchange to steal millions. Instead, he’s making them think they’re forcing him to help, playing the innocent hostage while ripping off his captors/conspirators. For Walter, this is an affront that simply will not stand.

Also an affront to Walter is the return of Ralph’s dad, Drew. Drew is a minor league baseball player who once went out to see a movie and just never came home. Ralph’s counted up the number of possible movies his dad might have seen since the last time they saw each other, but the reality is that Paige wanted to settle somewhere so that Ralph would have stability, and stability’s not easy to come by when dad’s traveling from one minor league ball diamond to another.

Walter thinks re-introducing Drew into Ralph’s life may be folly, especially if the kid’s dad turns out to be a flake. Toby’s skills as a behaviorist come in handy here, but I question the insight of a professional who gathers data via how someone peels their fruit or reacts to some weirdo looking for his lost teacup chihuahua.