</Scorpion> started its second season, and it’s just as ridiculous as ever. Annalee posted her review over on Gizmodo, so you can go there for the rough outlines of ridiculousness.
But the episode is ridiculous with a recognizable pattern, a pattern that manages to stretch each episode from a half hour to an hour, and belies the very high probability that their writing staff are a group of manatees (collective noun: manytees) finding idea balls for plot conflicts.
That pattern: Have anything that can possibly go wrong with the problem they’re addressing in the main plot go wrong, and throw in a few implausible go-wrongs for extra credit.
Every. Single. Episode.
I don’t want to revisit it, but for all your sakes, I’ll review all the shit that went wrong with the main plot in the second season premiere and almost cost 10 million lives. The basic problem is a Russian satellite has gone rogue and is going to crash into Southern California, complete with its nuclear payload:
- Walter has post-concussion syndrome from last season’s finale, and it gets in the way so he can’t do his usual hackery-pokery into the satellite’s computer system, creating a roadblock from the start.
- Of course the coordinates they get for the satellite aren’t correct because the Russians they hacked to get the coordinates from had the wrong coordinates.
- They figure out a new way to talk to the rogue satellite by using a super-secret spy shuttle already in orbit that will cross the satellite’s path; when the two craft are in range of each other, they can then use that shuttle to reprogram the satellite. But somehow they get a virus during the 20-second window they have when the spy shuttle passes by the satellite, so they fail to re-program the satellite in time. (Seriously, a virus? Are they not using UNIX? How are they not using UNIX?)
- Next option: Happy has to build an EMP device out of microwave oven (!), and then send that up in a weather balloon to reboot the satellite’s computer so Sylvester can reprogram it and bump the satellite into the ocean. Only Happy can accompany Walter because she’s small enough to go up in the balloon with Walter and she knows what she’s doing, but she gets whomped in the head by her device and nearly loses an eye. As you do. So that leaves Walter and Paige to go up in the balloon, which they do with no breathing apparatus. Because they’re geniuses.
- When the satellite is in range of the weather balloon, Walter E. Coyote drops the EMP device and nearly loses it over the edge, forcing him to climb over the side of the balloon to recover it.
- In recovering the EMP device, Super Genius has another convenient post-concussion syndrome symptom and manages to lose his parachute. “Oh that’s a wrinkle.”
- Because Einstein is left hanging over the edge of the balloon, Paige is left to save the day, but guess what — the air’s too thin, and because she has no breathing apparatus she can’t focus to think straight. PAIGE GODDAMMIT THE FATE OF 10 MILLION VIEWERS ARE DEPENDING ON YOU.
- Just when Paige manages to actually follow directions, the Dept. of Defense busts in the the room where Sylvester is doing his Sylvestery stuff on a computer machine to reprogram the satellite, and that nearly mucks it all up again. AGAIN.
- Of course Walt can’t buckle himself to Paige’s parachute because the cable is too short. Can nothing go right?
- Sylvester manages to Sylvester the satellite, but only ends up sending it STRAIGHT AT WALTER AND PAIGE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FREAKIN’ SKY, and they almost don’t make out out alive.
So that’s 10 random problems that get in the way of the show being 22 minutes long. And that’s how it works every single episode, as if the head manatee is Malachai Nicolle. Seriously, just count the random plot devices that occur every show. All you need for </Scorpion> recaps is the problem they’re asked to solve, and a list of all the random shit that gets in the way, because of course it does.
(A version of this was posted in response to Annalee’s post on Gizmodo, but I’m still in the grays there, so I’m re-purposing it here. If I plagiarize myself, I plagiarize myself.)