Scorpion Review: “Shorthanded” (Season 1, Episode 4)


If TV has taught me one thing, it’s that unless you live in Las Vegas, no time spent in Las Vegas will ever end well. So it was with Scorpion‘s trek this week to Sin City, an energetic outing that pushed the nerd herd out of their comfort zone as they tried to prove to Agent Gallo, and themselves, that they’re success battling threats to the Homeland can extend to solving the relatively minor problems of the private sector. The Scorpion gang quite nearly succeeds in impressing their rich tycoon client, but there’s only one problem: they’re framed for a casino heist. It’s like Ocean’s 11, only the team gets caught. And they didn’t do it.

The plot hinges on the fact that the team is aiming to prove themselves without Gallo and Homeland Security by updating The Crimson casino’s security. It also hinges on Walter being taken out of the game when some of the missing cash from an armed robbery witnessed by the team turns up in his bag. Taken to arraignment court, Walter suggests that he should be let go since finding a jury of his peers – 12 people with IQs of 190-plus – will be nearly impossible. Nope, the judge says, you’re going to be held on $500,000 bail because you’re high IQ makes you a flight risk. With Walter in jail for the weekend, and standing orders to not call Gallo, the team is left with two goals: raise the $500K through gambling and prove their innocence. Neither of these goals are easily met.

You might recall that Toby has gambling issues, so one might think that the behaviorist might recognize that his going to Vegas represented some poor decision making. Walter may have been abrupt with Toby, but he was right to doubt his colleague’s capacity for self-control, especially when Toby takes the combined winnings of his Black Jack playing and Sylvester’s sports betting, and puts it all on black at the roulette wheel, and loses. Credit to Eddie Kaye Thomas though for having the wide-eyed anticipation of an addict and playing it for humor, even though the question of whether or not having a degenerate gambler in your Homeland Security think tank is a good idea is never broached.

In other news, Paige contributes! With Walter in prison and the rest of the nerds unable to agree on anything, Paige gives them all direction in Walter’s absence. It’s Paige who puts the gang onto the theory that maybe casino boss Bob Connelly (Welcome TV’s Corbin Bernsen!) stole from himself in order to cover losses as Connelly attempts to expand The Crimson with an additional entertainment complex. It’s also Paige who guides the plot to go all Mission: Impossible for a casino break-in to find the proof. Paige’s theory turned out to be wrong, but it was nice to see her do more than be concerned about everyone and tell Walter when he’s being rude.