Scorpion Season 1 Review “Risky Business”

scorpion 108 Risky Business 01

On the latest episode of “Scorpion,” the team engaged in all sorts of “Risky Business,” and not the fun kind involving hookers and Curtis Armstrong. Nope, we’re taking car racing with a Serbian gang member for high stakes, messing with a rap producer that’s been shot several times, getting hung off of balconies by thugs and trying to save a kidnap victim. It’s all in a day’s work for Team Scorpion, but much of it is of their own doing, so they only have themselves to blame, really.

The main case revolved around Peyton Temple (Scott Mescudi, aka rapper Kid Cudi), an entrepreneur and computer genius that created an algorithm that supposedly guarantees Top 40 hits by analyzing what works about the successful hits of the past 50 years and using that formula to generate hits via a program he calls “The Hit Wizard.” However, when Temple’s hard drive is stolen, someone starts using it to do just that without his consent.

Making matters worse, his friend Harold Reed, a music blogger he was working with to expose the thief, is found dead, with someone trying to do the same to Temple. So, enter the team to track down the culprit and expose the fraud. Using a master list of names that Temple culls from potential musical acts that have hits that seem to have used his program, they narrow it down to a few people, including “Lucky the King” (rapper Cliff “Method Man” Smith), a producer with a penchant for getting into trouble and four bullets in his body to prove it, a la 50 Cent.

While that ultimately proves to be a dead end, when they’re in King’s office someone plants a car bomb in the team’s van, which Happy identifies just in time to get everyone out of there before it detonates. Surveillance footage reveals that it was a member of Night Ridge Security, who later on tazes Walter back at headquarters and kidnaps Temple. The team figures out that the kidnapper works for producer Owen Sugar, another name on the list of Temple’s from earlier.

The team manages to track Sugar down and snag Temple back right from underneath their noses, but Toby is caught and hung over the balcony, a la Suge Knight’s alleged incident with Vanilla Ice back in the day. Walter surrenders himself and offers to take them to where Temple is, but Happy rigs the elevator to knock Sugar and his thug out and it’s Cabe to the rescue, and all’s well that ends well.

This was a fun, if a bit slight episode, with some undeniably funny moments, particularly in regards to Toby’s obsession with who was or wasn’t on Temple’s master list of musicians using the hit algorithm. “Macklemore! That’s the only possible explanation!” LOL. He also posited Ke$ha as another possibility and fretted over whether Jack White was on said list. (He wasn’t, but of course.)

On the other hand, you’ve got to wonder how many times the team is going to go off-book in their pursuit of the answers before they get the hint that some things are better left to the professionals. We did get an instance of that in this episode, but the team ended up getting involved in spite of themselves, nearly getting Toby and Walter killed in the process. Not too cool, guys.

Also questionable was shoehorning in an excuse for former “American Idol” contestant Katharine McPhee to sing. Not that she can’t- obviously that’s not the case. But this isn’t “Smash.” (Thank God.) So, no- I just can’t. I mean, if you had to have anyone perform on the fly, why not Kid Cudi or Method Man? That would have made more sense, given the circumstances. If they must have McPhee sing, at least make it for a plausible reason, which this wasn’t. I suppose it was inevitable, but they could have done a better job with the way they did it, you know?

That said, this was still an enjoyable episode overall. I laughed a few times, the car chase at the beginning was fun and exciting, and I got a kick out of the stunt casting and art-reflecting-life aspects of the episode (the aforementioned nods to 50 Cent and Suge Knight). The plotline was bonkers, of course- at this point, aren’t some performers actually using machines to achieve success for real? Isn’t that essentially the point of something like auto-tune?

And if producers were using something like “The Hit Wizard,” and were found out, would it really be worth killing over? I mean, this isn’t like the old days, when Milli Vanilli were caught not actually singing on their own hits- now it’s readily accepted, if not de rigueur to use computers to achieve polish, unless one is intentionally going for the opposite, a la Jack White and his ilk. I’m not saying I like it, but you know, it does sell.

But I digress. As silly as the premise might have been, the execution was reasonably entertaining, so I can live with it. Besides, it’s not really any worse that a given wacky “CSI” plotline- just a few weeks back they did one about witches, for God’s sake. As such, I’m not above giving “Scorpion” a pass for the occasional ridiculous storyline, especially if it’s a fun watch, and this was.

What did you think of “Scorpion” this week? Did you get a kick out of the plot? Or did you find it silly? Did you enjoy seeing Kid Cudi and Method Man in relatively straight acting roles? What do you make of Walter’s nutty habits as of late? Will he get himself into a tighter spot than he can get out of eventually? Will Toby ever man up and take a run at Happy? Will Paige and Drew reconcile? Let me know what you think down below and see you next time!