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"I may not be like other humans, but I have gained humanity."
—Walter to Mark.

Walter Patrick O'Brien (born 1983) is the son of Sean and Louise O'Brien, the nephew of Tobin, the younger brother of Megan O'Brien-Dodd, and the founder and leader of Team Scorpion. Walter was portrayed by Elyes Gabel.


Walter possesses an extraordinary intellect that sets him apart from others, but this exceptional intelligence comes at the cost of his emotional intelligence (EQ), which is considerably low. His remarkable cognitive abilities enable him to effortlessly comprehend complex concepts and solve intricate problems. However, this very trait hampers his capacity to empathize and understand the emotions of those around him. As a result, his interactions often come across as blunt, insensitive, and even arrogant, unintentionally causing harm with his words.

Despite his intellectual prowess, Walter struggles to establish deep and meaningful connections with people, even among fellow geniuses whom he has known for years. His difficulty in relating to others arises from his limited understanding of emotions and his inability to comprehend the impact his words and actions have on those around him. Although he once denied having feelings, he has since rejected that notion, realizing that he does, in fact, experience emotions on a profound level. The fear of loneliness looms over him, highlighting his innate longing for human connection, despite his struggles in navigating it.

Walter exudes unwavering confidence in his abilities, especially when faced with daunting challenges. Whether confronted with seemingly insurmountable obstacles or situations that pose significant risks to his own well-being, he remains undeterred and determined to find a solution. His exceptional powers of observation and rapid thinking, coupled with his unmatched bravery, make him an invaluable asset in demanding circumstances. He fearlessly confronts difficulties head-on and is unafraid to put his own life on the line if necessary.

Beneath Walter's composed and occasionally cold exterior lies a compassionate heart that deeply cares for others. However, he grapples with expressing these emotions in ways that others can understand and appreciate. His struggle to connect emotionally often leaves him at a loss for words or uncertain about the appropriate actions to take. This internal conflict between his logical, intellectual nature and his untapped emotional side creates a complex and enigmatic individual who yearns for genuine connection and acceptance.

Walter's caring nature is evident in his willingness to risk his life for his friends without a second thought. On the brink of what he believed to be his own death, he shared stories of his cherished memories with his loved ones as a way of expressing his affection for them. While he occasionally utters warm words to them, such instances are rare. His difficulty in expressing emotions stems from the fact that, for most of his life, he only formed deep connections with two people: his sister, Megan, and Cabe Gallo. His relationship with Megan was characterized by deep love, with the only source of tension arising from their differing views on her multiple sclerosis. However, his connection with Cabe was more complicated. He met Cabe when he was just 11 years old in 1994, and Cabe quickly became a father figure to him. Trusting Cabe wholeheartedly, Walter developed a tracking software for humanitarian purposes without verifying its actual use. When he witnessed the devastating results of the Baghdad Bombing, which his software had been used for, Walter severed ties with Cabe and has struggled with guilt over his role in the incident to this day.

The weight of his involvement in the Baghdad Bombing instilled in Walter a profound sense of guilt, driving him to seek redemption by saving as many lives as were lost in the tragedy. This guilt also manifests when he makes mistakes that endanger others, pushing him to the brink of self-destruction in his efforts to make amends. The Baghdad Bombing transformed Walter into a near-pacifist: although he possesses fighting skills and knowledge of firearms, he steadfastly refuses to carry a gun and resorts to violence only as a last resort. This sentiment is exemplified when Boyd planned and attempted to kill him; Walter still tried to save Boyd's life,

urging him to cease shooting. Even in Javier Acosta's death, as Javier dangled from a building, calling out for Walter's help, Walter hesitated and barely managed to reach him in time before he slipped away. Despite Sylvester's reassurances that Walter couldn't have pulled Javier up, as Javier's weight would have dragged him down, Walter continued to feel guilt over his hesitation, unaware of the physical limitations at the time.

The deaths resulting from the Baghdad Bombing, as well as the deaths of Javier and Boyd, are not the only haunting experiences in Walter's life. He was responsible for having his friend Mark Collins committed to an asylum, and for the following three years, he wrestled with whether his actions were solely for the safety of his team or if there was a selfish component to it, wondering if he, too, could be saved from his own troubled mind if the situation arose. Additionally, Walter occasionally experiences bouts of jealousy, such as when another man danced with Paige or when Drew re-entered Paige and Ralph's lives, almost taking them away from the team.

While Walter can display selfish and arrogant tendencies at times, at his core, he is a kind-hearted individual always willing to help others and even lay down his life for them if necessary, particularly for those he cares about. He selflessly offered his ration of water to Paige and even traded himself to an arms dealer group in exchange for her safety. Moreover, he has a remarkable ability to identify and guide lost souls, as evidenced by his transformative impact on his own team. Toby, a former gambling addict with a history of legal troubles and debts; Happy, who resorted to paying others to compete in her place out of fear of judgment; Sylvester, who was consumed by loneliness and fear in a desolate motel room; and Paige, a struggling waitress and single mother who had no idea her son was a genius—all found solace and purpose under Walter's guidance. Despite their initial self-doubt and skepticism toward each other, Walter's relentless efforts forged them into a cohesive team, each recognizing their own value and the worth of their fellow teammates.

Overall, Walter embodies a complex and multifaceted character. While his high intelligence and low emotional intelligence present challenges in his interactions, his underlying desire for connection, his capacity for self-sacrifice, and his ability to inspire and transform the lives of others make him a compelling and enigmatic individual.

Random Facts[]

  • He is the tallest member of Team Scorpion.
  • He weighs 160 pounds.
  • Toby mentions that Walter is 13 months younger than him.
  • Walter's blood type is O-, making him a universal donor.[1]
  • He has an IQ of 197 and has a photographic memory.
  • Walter is fluent in Spanish, even being able to tell regional dialects apart. He also learned Morse Code very quickly while trapped on a sub.[2]
  • Walter has nightmares and insomnia because of the Baghdad Bombing and his role in it.[3]
  • Walter solved Fermat's last theorem when he was nine, which is regarded as one of the most difficult conjectures in mathematics.
  • While not as skilled as Cabe or Tim, Walter is decent in a fight, able to dodge quickly, throw good punches, and even knock guns out of another's hands while it is pointed at him. This is partially due to the mild training that he got from Cabe when he was a teenager.
  • Walter hacked the sprinkler system of the cemetery where Amanda Gallo's grave was and made sure her grave was watered twice a day, which made hers the only grave without dead grass.[4]
  • He held Irish citizenship but was granted American citizenship by a Presidential order after helping on a case involving the election. He may be a dual citizen.[5]
  • Walter has almost-died the majority of times out of all of the team.
  • Walter has the same middle name of Patrick as his ex-father-in-law. However, he was named for his grandfather.
  • After Toby figured out that he was married to Happy, Toby assaulted him. Cabe stopped Toby from assaulting him. Happy later arrived, saying she needed a divorce because she was pregnant and that she wanted to be with Toby as soon as possible.[6] His divorce with Happy was finalized in "Sly and the Family Stone".
  • He was arrested at the age of 11 for hacking NASA to get blueprints for his bedroom wall.
  • His favorite food is fermented fish

Goofs and/or Mistakes[]

  • Walter was born near Enniscorthy in Wexford, before moving to Callan, Kilkenny after growing up. However, every time an Irish person from Callan is portrayed, for example, the family reunion, they all have northern accents, and not accents typical of the region. This could simply be a lack of research on behalf of the creators or lack of actors capable of doing the Wexford/Kilkenny accent.
  • It is shown in "Plight at the Museum" Walter knows Spanish, including how to converse and the differences between multiple dialects, however in "More Extinction" he doesn't understand or speak it at all.