Genius computer expert Walter O’Brien (Elyes Gabel) can’t use his IQ of 197 for everything.
Case in point: When the CBS thriller returns this fall, he’s stuck doing community service to make up for his reckless Ferrari catastrophe from the finale. Though the reunited Team Scorpion saved that day, Walter’s on his own when the season begins — until he meets Ray (guest star Kevin Weisman), a man who tests both Walter’s patience and challenges him to be more human. “What that relationship asks is, ‘What can the smartest man in the world possibly gain from becoming friends with maybe the dumbest man in the world?'” EP Nick Santora tells EW with a laugh. “And what Walter learns is there’s a lot to gain.” With Ray as a new friend, Walter can begin to understand what it’s like to be “normal,” without the pressure he constantly feels for being a genius. “Walter really does open up to the idea of camaraderie,” Gabel says. “They can talk about something that doesn’t necessarily have to have a massive end game result.”
At the same time, Walter’s building a relationship with Paige (Katharine McPhee), with whom he shared a kiss at the end of last season (or rather, she kissed him while he was unconscious following that Ferrari debacle he’ll never live down). “Their relationship’s definitely going to progress, but it’s going to be a stop-and-start kind of situation,” executive producer Nicholas Wootton explains. “What we’re going to be seeing is how they have to balance this blossoming relationship with the team.” (For Waige fans, though, Santora promises they’ll see “a very serious kiss” between the two.) “It’s obviously going to the stage where she’s one of the most important people in the development of him as a human being,” Gabel says of his character’s romance. “You may find out a little bit more about that in the first couple of episodes. I think that definitely has a long breadth.”
But enough about Walter; what about the rest of Team Scorpion? “They don’t thrive without the structure of Scorpion,” Santora says. “They need each other. That’s where we pick up.” Wootton adds that the series will delve further into the deeper relationships within the team as well — think Happy (Jadyn Wong) and Toby (Eddie Kaye Thomas) navigating their tricky romance — because they’ve established who they are in the first season. “Now that we know these characters so well and we know what we can do,” he says, “we really do challenge ourselves to see how far and how big and how crazy and yet how heartfelt we can make these episodes.”
Speaking of “how far and how big and how crazy” Scorpion can be, Santora says fans will definitely see heightened challenges for the crew this season. “The critique that we kept getting [last year] was ‘There’s no way you’re going to be able to do more stunts,'” he says. “The truth is, we’ve done stuff that’s bigger, that’s more complex, so expect to see more intense action sequences.” What could be bigger than dangling off a cliff in a Ferrari? Teases Gabel: “We’ll be going to higher altitudes.” Does that mean … Scorpion in space?
Scorpion returns Monday, Sept. 21, at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.
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