Scorpion “US vs. UN vs. UK” Review (Season 2 Episode 9)


Apparently having learned its lesson from the earlier episodes in the season, “Scorpion” continued the trend of keeping the action coming at such an accelerated rate that the average viewer wouldn’t have time to process the relative plausibility of the “science” at hand in the somewhat-convoluted-but-still-wildly-entertaining “US vs. UN vs. UK.”

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there was plenty that flew right over my head and would have under the best of circumstances- which is to say at half the rate of speed we encountered here- but, like many of the show’s fans, I don’t care as much as long as its engaging me, and this certainly did.

That’s not to say that I didn’t catch a few dubious plot machinations here and there, mind you. For instance, for me, the biggie was, why in the world would Olivia Cromwell (Sonya Walger, “Lost”) hire a team of geniuses to pull off the task at hand when she was in on it, and thus, knew it raised the chances of her getting caught?

Granted, she might have counted on the fact that things would be moving way too fast for them to keep up and, as a result, she’d have a group of scapegoats to take the heat off of her, but given that she hired them in the first place, wouldn’t that have only put the light on her for doing so in the aftermath, thus once again opening her up to potential exposure?

Also, to name an even more obvious example: if Sly and Megan got married on the fly, as they did here, would they have had time to fill out the necessary paperwork to override Walter’s court-ordered mandate to keep her intubated? Probably not. Not to say I want anything bad to happen to her, mind you, and I suspect Walter will come through in the end, regardless, but I’m just saying.

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Be all that as it may, my point is, if you wanted to pick apart every last little detail here, you probably could, not just on this episode, which was more densely-packed than even usual, but on a more average, slower-paced episode, for that matter. Sometimes, you just have to go with it. That said, I don’t mind doing just that if the mistakes or unconvincing plot points or science at hand aren’t glaringly obvious, and for the most part, I was willing to go along with it here because the episode was so much fun.

I mean, I’m sorry, but I’m just a huge fan of spy vs. spy antics of the “Alias” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” variety, so if you entertain me on that front, I’m good with glossing over certain details, such as the fact that it’s probably nowhere near as likely that anyone, let alone even a team of geniuses, would be able to do what they did at the UN. There were an awful lot of balls in the air there, and an awful lot of ways this could all go sideways- and it certainly seemed to go off the rails at times, to their credit- but like I said, sometimes, you just have to go with it.

Thanks to all the crazy scheme-within-a-scheme double-crossing going on, I was more than willing to do just that, especially since the episode moved along at such a brisk pace, while still making time for the expected antics we love the show for, i.e. small-but-effective character moments, wacky humor, questionable-but-amusing “MacGyver”-esque on-the-fly concoctions.

It was also fun to see Sonya “Not Penny’s Boat” Walger play a bad guy, however dubious her actions might have been, and even more so to see Damon Herriman, typically typecast as simpletons (i.e. his turns on “Flesh and Bone” and “Justified”), at least as of late, play a egghead MI-6 agent with more than a few tricks up his sleeve.

Indeed, I enjoyed his character so much I wouldn’t mind seeing him back on the show at some point. The best part about his character was the cool way they encouraged everyone to make fun of him, only to pull the rug out from under you with the big reveal that he actually was kind of a bad ass. I especially liked the way he switched accents and then disappeared into thin air at the end, once his job was done. Good work all around.

But admittedly, the real star here was the twisty plot, which more than made up for in sheer entertainment value what it might have lacked in logic and plausibility. I did not see the major plot turns coming, and I loved the way the show played upon what we knew- or thought we knew- to better fool us.


For example, I’ve been met with some resistance from a few fans about how Walter’s behavior had been reckless and even downright dangerous over the season, ever since the period leading up to his near-fatal car accident. This episode showed that my feelings to that end were not only justified, but intentional, as the writers led us to believe that Walter and even the team would be willing to actually take a life, if only for the greater good it would do for humanity on the whole.

Yet, as we discovered at the end, Walter has started to learn his lesson in that area, finally realizing that his actions affect others, and sometimes not in a good way, i.e. the time he technically killed Toby, also for the “greater good.” This was hammered home in the scenes at the end with Paige and then Sly and Megan, as Walter opted not to fight Sly on the court order thing because he knew that it was the right thing to do.

The simple fact is that Walter has come a long way since the beginning of the series, He’s become more human, and more caring, to the point that he’s realized that even a bad guy, like the one in this episode, Madaky (Sammi Rotibi, “Django Unchained,” “Matador”), should be given due process and be handled by the law rather than resorting to “frontier justice” or the like. (“Head him off at the pass,” indeed!)

That’s a big step for Walter, and a nice bit of character development by the writers, who showed that the stuff I was picking up on as a reviewer wasn’t just my reading too much into things- it was intentional. It also shows that I wasn’t just imagining things, although some of the comments I got here and elsewhere had me wondering if maybe I was giving the show too much credit and/or seeing things that weren’t actually there.

On this episode, it was proved without a doubt that it was entirely deliberate and a lot of thought went into Walter’s character arc of the first half of the season, which is nice. While I sometimes give the show a bit of flack for the occasional massive plot-holes, the truth is, I do love it, and if I didn’t, I wouldn’t continue to watch it, much less try to justify its shortcomings, as questionable as some of them might be.

It’s moments like the thing with Walter that I know that love is validated and that, even if the science can be a bit iffy, the writers have the character stuff covered, at least, which is super-important on a show like this, which is to say, a crime procedural, where strong characterization is often beside the point. (See also the “CSI” and “Law & Order” franchises, then compare and contrast them with shows like CBS’ own “Elementary” and “Limitless,” where characterization is much more important to the proceedings.)


In short, it was another solid episode jam-packed with action, laughs (I must admit I chuckled not once, but twice at the Cabe-related “beef jerky” jokes and Toby’s Pig Latin joke was priceless), and yes, quietly powerful character moments. This may not be the type of show that wins awards, but it’s definitely a crowd-pleaser more often than not, which is exactly why I think its success endures. It may not be perfect, but, much like the team itself, “Scorpion” gets the job done.

So, what did you think of the latest episode of “Scorpion”? Did you enjoy the main case? Did you see the twist coming? Did you like the performances of the main two guest stars? Were you familiar with their work from before? Did you appreciate the character moments I mentioned, particularly in regards to Walter? Do you think Walter will be able to save Megan in the clutch, or is he doomed to fail and have to accept defeat for once, like it or not? Which do you think would be more effective, from a dramatic standpoint? Sound off on this and more down below, and I’ll talk to you next week!