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Playing with Fire | Scorpion “Plutonium is Forever” Review

Episode 5, “Plutonium Is Forever,” starts with a man surrendering in the middle of the desert. The only words he speaks are to ask for Walter O’Brien. When Walter is brought in to see him, they share an awkward exchange. Walter explains that the man, Mark Collins, used to work for him at Scorpion. It seems that they left on bad terms, and Collins might not be completely right in the head. He spouts off a bunch of seemingly random words which only means something to Walter.

Walter takes the team to Collins’s house to try and make sense of his notes. The rest of Team Scorpion is very upset at having anything to do with Collins. Collins is a radio hacker which means that he listens in on all communications whether they be government, military, or civilian. He overheard communication about a nuclear power plant where there are very serious problems that could cause a meltdown before it is decommissioned.

At his house, the team finds the communication that proves that the software at the plant is not running correctly and is actually showing incorrect readings on the dials. Collins must join the team to help update the software to the plant before it melts down. Happy and Collins both have ideas of how to go about updating the system. Walter sides with Collins, and Happy decides that she’s going to run her system check anyway. Once she launches her command, a generator blows causing the containment doors to start closing on them. Now, it is only a matter of time before the entire plant blows.

Once the Scorpion team starts diagnosing the problems, Walter realizes that Collins actually set up the whole thing. He was only trying to get back on the team and prove that Walter needs him. Luckily, Walter comes to his senses and knows that the team is better without Collins than it ever was when he was around.

Collins made it look as if Happy caused the reactor to start to melt down, but it was actually his code that did that. Collins set up the Scorpion team to prove that he was supposed to be working with them again. This just proved why he can’t be a part of their team anymore. He put the lives of everyone in jeopardy just to prove a point.

Throughout the episode, we learn exactly why Collins didn’t work in the team. First off, he doesn’t sound like a team player. Collins constantly belittles everyone in the group. He asks Sylvester if he got smarter and makes fun of Happy for rebuilding motorcycles (as if that is all she is good for). Happy also reveals to Paige that she had to pull Walter out of a 10 day bender with Collins. Walter was practically starving himself and was muttering nonsense by the end of his time with Collins. Collins seems to only care about Walter while everyone else is expendable and focuses all of his energy on getting Walter back on his side.

The Verdict
9-great
We finally get to see someone who is a match IQ wise with Walter. I have a feeling that we may not be seeing the last of him. This episode also showed us a different side of Walter. He is realizing that there is more to his life than just his research. Even though he made a lot of progress with Collins, their partnership was toxic. The team is really coming together and becoming increasingly fun to watch.

+ Toby’s fedora is back
+ Toby and Happy have more great scenes together
+ We get to see someone whose IQ is almost equal to Walters
+ The team is starting to show how much they care about each other
– Hoping we haven’t seen the last of Collins and the team’s past

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Jenny Lampe

Jenny Lampe

I'm a TV and movie enthusiast. I enjoy all genres and try to keep up to date on the latest hits. Follow me on Twitter at @JennyLampe.

  • Tom

    As someone who has a pretty good understanding of nuclear power plants I found this rather silly. While not saying the show is overall bad as I haven’t watched other episodes it does not get many technical details about nuclear plants right. There’s no magical computer at a nuclear plant that’s going to cause what occurs if “scada updates” are not performed. Nuclear reactors do have computer systems that assist operators but also have manual instruments and controls. Keeping a shutdown reactor cool is as simple as keeping certain pumps running that remove the decay heat via a heat exchanger. Starting and stopping these pumps can be done via manual switches. Additionally usually a permenentely shutdown reactor is defueled with fuel moved to a spent fuel storage facility such as a spent fuel pool.