26 years ago, a SWAT team descended on the Irish town of County Kilkenny to capture the culprit who hacked into NASA’s Security System. “It’s just a kid,” they said as they escorted the 13-year-old out of the house.

That ‘kid’ grew up to be Walter O’Brien, a child prodigy who knows the science of computer programming like the back of his hand.

Based on a true story, Scorpion follows O’Brien played by Game of Thrones’ Elyes Gabel), now 39 years old, as he runs Scorpion Computer Services with a team of like-minded geniuses – behavioristic psychologist Toby Curtis (Eddie Kaye Thomas), mechanic extraordinaire Happy Quinn (Jadyn Wong) and mathematician Sylvester Dodd (Ari Stidham).

Boasting an IQ of 197, O’Brien (is shrewd and straightforward. However, his high level of intelligence has resulted in a lack of empathy or sensitivity, especially when communicating with people.

The motley crew consists of the usual archetypes of geeks working in the basement (or in this case, a garage) from Curtis’ flamboyant logic, obsessive-compulsive Dodd to Quinn as the feisty firecracker.


Robert Patrick stars as federal agent Cabe Gallo, who helped to extradite O’Brien to America. American Idol songstress Katherine McPhee returns to the silver screen as Paige Dineen, a waitress at the restaurant the team uses for their first operation.

The pilot’s climactic scene features all the makings of an action movie from fast cars (there’s a sly shot of a Porsche) to death-defying stunts involving a plane flying less than 10 meters above said Porsche. The adrenaline rush wasn’t a surprise, considering Justin Lin — who’s directed 4 Fast and Furious movies – was behind the pilot episode. Lin is also the executive producer of the show.

After the mayhem, this writer can’t help but think that there could have been less of a chasm between the Scorpion team and the ‘non-geniuses’ in the show, for lack of a better word.


The differences in thinking and behavior between the 2 camps are emphasized greatly the audience is forced to consider these ‘geniuses’ as special snowflakes. They are mere mortals, but how do they just happen to know all the answers?

Far too many plotlines have been introduced in Scorpion’s pilot. For instance, the waitress’s son is a chess-wiz who has anxiety issues and surprisingly, O’Brien has enough time to spend time with mother and son. A romance might be in the making but this early in the series?

Although off to a rocky start, Scorpion manages to deliver quite a powerful sting with excitable action sequences and hints of moral and parenting issues to ponder. Whether those issues can be explored sufficiently and successfully remains a great onus on the show’s writers.

Catch Scorpion on RTL CBS Asia Entertainment every Tuesday at 9pm on Singtel mioTV (Channel 318) or Starhub TV (Channel 509)