“Scorpion” Season 1 Episode 1 “Pilot” aired on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, at 9:00 p.m. on CBS. In this episode, genius Walter O’Brien (Elyes Gabel) and his team of prodigies — mechanical prodigy Happy Quinn (Jadyn Wong), human calculator Sylvester Dodd (Ari Stidham), and world-class shrink and behaviorist Toby Curtis (Eddie Kaye Thomas) — were approached by Federal Agent Cabe Gallo (Robert Patrick) to help them with a problem at LAX. The computer software had a bug, which caused the airport to lose communications with 56 incoming flights. In order to do this, they commandeered the diner where Paige Dineen (Katharine McPhee) works at as their work station, as Walter knew that their wireless router was stable as he had just finished fixing it. Read on to learn more about the pilot episode of “Scorpion.”
The episode started in Ireland, where a SWAT team burst into a house belonging to the O’Brien family. Upstairs, they found a young Walter O’Brien, who held up a pen and paper asking them to sign an immunity agreement and an extradition waiver, and then he would tell them how he hacked into NASA. Walter, now codenamed “Scorpion,” hacked into NASA as he just wanted the blueprints of the shuttles on his wall. He was then met by Agent Cabe Gallo (Robert Patrick).
The scene shifted to the present day, at a diner, where he was breaking up with his current girlfriend. The problem was that he could not really connect to her well emotionally and even mapped out the emotions she would be feeling because of the break up. His now ex-girlfriend was even more annoyed to learn that he had scheduled their break up at that diner at that time because he was there to fix the wireless internet of the diner. At the diner, he noticed that there was a little boy there named Ralph, whose mother, Paige Dineen (Katharine McPhee), was one of the waitresses. He had noticed that Ralph was playing around with some condiments, and before he left, he swapped around several condiments, which Ralph responded to.
At Walter’s (Elyes Gabel) office, an abandoned warehouse, mechanical prodigy Happy Quinn (Jadyn Wong) was stealing electricity from their neighbors as Sylvester Dodd (Ari Stidham), a walking calculator, had forgotten to pay the bills again. However, Happy reassured Walter that she had sent Toby Curtis (Eddie Kaye Thomas), a world-class behaviorist and psychologist, to get their payment from another job. However, that did not end so well as Toby had decided to gamble with some thugs who were now chasing him back to the warehouse.
However, the goons were sent away by Agent Cabe Gallo, who was looking for Walter as he needed his and his team’s help. Apparently, the LAX’s software ran into a bug when it automatically upgraded its software that morning, causing them to lose communications with around 56 incoming flights. Walter, at first, was hesitant as Cabe had betrayed him in the past. However, after Happy talked to him, he decided to help them out, especially as Cabe promised them $50,000 each.
As they were caught in traffic, they decided to commandeer the diner where Walter just fixed the wireless router, and all they really needed was a place with a stable router. The diner owner, an immigrant, was not too fond of federal agents, so he put Paige in charge and told her that she would be the one to lock up for that day.
Walter then gave out instructions. He told Happy to script the post check for after the system stabilized. He told Sylvestrer to run the odds on the patch linking into the software so that the same problem would not happen again and told Toby to look for a possible saboteur, just in case.
Walter was able to hack into the LAX system and talked to the head honcho over there. He then decided to enlist the help of Randy, an intern who codes. The plan was to get the original software, as it does not have a bug in it, so that they could reboot the entire system. However, they did not have the original software at LAX, but they had their back-up data stored on a hard drive at a storage facility called Blackstern. The only catch to that was that the software on the back-up system gets updated every 12 hours on the five, giving them roughly 20 minutes before the original software on the back-up drive updated to the current system — the system that contained the bug.
While Toby and Happy raced against time to reach Blackstern, Paige offered Walter some water. He then mentioned that she was anemic, and she challenged him to see if he knew everything about her. He then told her that she was anemic, and her nail polish was streaky because of it, that her under eye circles indicated that she worked two jobs, and the wear and tear of her sneakers told him that everything she has, she gives to her son. According to Paige, Ralph was challenged, but Walter begged to disagree, especially after Ralph beat Sylvester, a chess grandmaster, at a game of chess using the diner’s condiments. Walter made her see that Ralph was in fact a genius.
Toby and Happy reached the facility, but they discovered that the facility was already closed down for the day. They then decided to reset the system by shutting down power for the entire area and giving that door a power surge. Happy looked for a municipal junction box, and Sylvester calculated that they needed around 500,000 kilowatts for the power surge. This was successful, and Toby, using the picture of the boss of Blackstern, correctly deduced where the correct drive was, seconds before the software on the drive was updated.
Back at the diner, it was just a simple matter of selecting the original software and emailing it to LAX. However, as Toby had placed the hard drive near the car speakers, the magnet erased and corrupted all the files on the drive.
Walter then panicked, as he did not know what else to do, and Cabe started to go ahead with the fourth option — to shoot down the planes from the sky. Paige, however, could not accept this and tried to encourage Walter not to give up. She was also the one who encouraged the team not to give up earlier when the door at Blackstern was shut down, as she could not find it acceptable that they could not save everyone.
Walter then realized that the flights who were coming in from overseas, such as Australia, had bug-free software. It was just a matter of getting to the nearest airfield, where an airplane would pass by so that Walter could download the bug-free software and email it to LAX, who was able to sync to Walter’s laptop.
Cabe, insistent on handling things his own way, tried to go through red tape in order to get the major roads leading to the nearest airfield. However, Walter, knowing that that would take time, instructed Happy to hack into the stoplights and traffic cameras in order to clear his path to the airfield. He then instructed Toby and Sylvester to look for a person on the plane who had an active cell phone so that they could talk to the pilot of the plane. Walter had to upgrade the signal antenna in order to be able to properly download the software and needed someone to drive him. Ralph volunteered Paige to help him, and the two sped off, much to the chagrin of Cabe. Cabe did follow them, but it later on proved helpful, as he was able to make them avoid a collision with a truck.
Meanwhile, Toby and Sylvester were having no luck in finding an active cell phone signal on any of the 56 incoming flights. Then they realized that they should be looking for someone with an analog phone, especially since it has a stronger signal. Using his skills as a behaviorist, Toby was able to locate an old man, a salesman, who did carry an analog phone. Thanks to that, they were able to talk to the pilot, whom Walter instructed to fly by the nearest airfield so that the pilot could email the program to him.
They were able to get to the airfield and set up camp at the tower station. However, when the airplane passed by them, he was not able to download the software, as there was too much of a problem with the speed difference. At the runway, Walter realized that all they had to do was to fix the speed differential problem. Thanks to Happy, they were able to break into a Ferrari 458. Walter then instructed the pilot that they needed to link the plane’s LAN cable onto his laptop so that they could download the software. This meant that the plane had to be around 8 ft. off the ground, right on top of them. Thanks to the co-pilot and Paige, they were able to successfully download the software, which LAX promptly received, ensuring that the 56 incoming flights could safely reach home.
Afterwards, Cabe told Walter that he hoped that they could put the past aside and asked him to join his new Strategic Response Team. To this, Walter agreed, as long as they had fixed salaries, cars, and a research laboratory.
Later on, during the evening, he visited Paige and thanked her for her support that day. She then asked if Walter and Cabe had reconciled and mended their relationship. He revealed that when he was 16 years old. Cabe had asked him to come up with a tracking system for aid supplies. Later on, he had learned that his system was used on bombs that were sent to bomb Baghdad, and as he had programmed it for speed more than accuracy, many civilians died.
He then offered her a job on the team. He told her that there would be a fixed salary, and it would be a way for her to be able to understand and to connect with Ralph. Walter explained that he and his team were geniuses, and they really could not relate to the world around them. So while they could help “translate” Ralph to Paige, Paige could translate the world for them.
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And that’s it for the recap of “Scorpion” Season 1 Episode 1 “Pilot.” For more news and updates, including spoilers and recaps, on “Scorpion” and other television shows, keep following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch “Scorpion” every Monday at 9:00 p.m. on CBS.
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