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July 31, 2014

The Big Bang Theory: The Lizard-Spock Expansion

by Kona Gallagher, posted Nov 18th 2008 12:23AM
big bang theory
(S02E08)
As much as I enjoy this show, I'm always afraid that it's going to start becoming too Sheldon-centric. Sheldon is easily the quirkiest character, so falling into the trap of, "hey, check out this ridiculous thing that guy said," over and over again would be quite easy. So far though, the writers have managed to avoid that; which is why I was happy to have a Wolowitz episode this week.

Of course, Sheldon was still there being his ridiculous self, but he wasn't there to move the plot along; much as his "Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock" game didn't move anything along (everyone always picked Spock).

I was excited to see Sarah Rue in this episode. I wasn't really a fan of her show, Less Than Perfect, but I've always liked her. Like Leslie, she's super-aggressive toward Leonard, but unlike Leslie, she seems to be interested in having a real relationship. I haven't read anything about whether or not Rue will be back in future episodes, but I hope she will; she adds an interesting dynamic to the show.

Speaking of relationships, I really enjoyed the scene between Penny and Leonard in the laundry room. It's fun seeing them interact without the added pressure of Leonard being totally in love with her. They make great friends and I do actually believe she was happy for him, but did anyone else get the feeling that there may still be some lingering feelings on Penny's part? After all, one of Penny's main issues is that, since she only went to community college, she wasn't smart enough for Leonard. When Leonard told her that Stephanie was a doctor, she seemed kind of sad to me. It was very subtle, and if I'm not reading too much into things and totally making it up, it was very well-done. I'd like to see some Stephanie/Penny scenes in the future.

Wolowitz seemed to get over Stephanie's rejection and Leonard's betrayal pretty quickly, but I'd like to see Wolowitz get a girl. If we could have an episode in which Sheldon had a love interest (of sorts) surely, we can find a girl who would actually give Howard the time of day (other than his mother). I don't know what kind of girl would actually fall for him, but I'd sure like to find out. Too bad he can't use that Mars Rover discovery as a pick-up line.

Here are some of my favorite lines from this episode:

"I am not going to watch the Clone Wars TV series until I've seen the Clone Wars movie. I prefer to let George Lucas disappoint me in the order he intended." --Sheldon

"I picked her up in a bar; she's a doctor. One free barium enema and my mother won't care she's not Jewish." - Wolowitz

"I believe the appropriate metaphor here involves a river of excrement and a Native American water vessel without any means of propulsion." --Sheldon

"You're gonna have to play outside! I'm not dressed to receive." --Mrs. Wolowitz

Oh, and for those of you who want to play the game at home, some helpful soul over at IMDb posted the

Rules for Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock

1. Scissors cuts Paper

2. Paper covers Rock

3. Rock crushes Lizard

4. Lizard poisons Spock

5. Spock smashes Scissors

6. Scissors decapitates Lizard

7. Lizard eats Paper

8. Paper disproves Spock

9. Spock vaporizes Rock

10. Rock crushes Scissors

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Galley

Love Sara Rue; please bring her back!

November 18 2008 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chadwick hansford

This show is full of laughs. Some of you need to get that thorn out of your butt. Really? Why break it down to the point you can't enjoy the episode? The one lines are the best and Sheldons character is getting the most attention because this guy is simply a very good actor. Doesn't take a genius to figure that out. Show is fine as is. The writers are probably having as much fun as the viewers. With "My Name Is Earl" and this sitcom I at least get a few laughs during the week.

November 18 2008 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to chadwick hansford's comment
lou.dalmaso

Jimmy,
that cool.

In many ways, Leonard is the most thankless role. He's what I like to call the "Dorothy" part (or more appropriately for this show - the Luke Skywalker role) He has to be the most bland or normal, so that the other characters are defined by how different they are from him. this allows Sheldon to be even nerdier or Wolowitz to be more of a horn dog than would be acceptable for the "lead"

I must say that I much prefer Sara Rue to Sara Gilbert. not just because of the unfortunate Rosanne flashbacks, but because I find the way Gilbert's character is written and her delivery just doesn't gel with the style of the show.

November 18 2008 at 10:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lou.dalmaso

Jimmy,
I was speaking in terms of popularity, not personality.
Don't be trolling

November 18 2008 at 9:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lou.dalmaso's comment
Jim

OK, point taken.

For what it's worth, Ken Tucker was a little behind the curve too (in acknowledging Sheldon's personality AND popularity):
http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20237937,00.html

November 18 2008 at 10:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Don-Don

I used to say after every episode that Big Bang Theory never disappoints. I didn't say it this week. Something was off, it never felt like it was going anywhere. I agree they dropped the Leonard/Penny thing too quickly. As for Penny, either they're giving her better lines or her acting has gotten better, but I feel her character has improved a lot since the start of the series.

November 18 2008 at 9:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jjd

Lest anyone think that they invented rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock, it has been around at least ten years, maybe more.

http://www.samkass.com/theories/RPSSL.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock-paper-scissors#Variations

November 18 2008 at 9:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Courtney

I'm just impressed you caught all the rules of the game! How many times did you have to rewind for that? Honestly, though, that doesn't compete with That 70s Show's "Foot, Cockroach, Atomic Bomb" game. Foot beats cockroach. Atomic Bomb beats foot. Cockroach beats Atomic Bomb.

November 18 2008 at 9:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kim

I too was pleasantly surprised to see Sarah Rue, even more surprised to see she's put back on some weight.. she was looking too thin for a while.

The episode was ok, not my favorite this season but still enjoyable.

November 18 2008 at 8:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kim's comment
Cincinnati Mike

Mid-sized Sara is hot!

November 18 2008 at 12:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lou.dalmaso

Eventho the series was never set up to show off one particular actor but the ensemble, I feel that Sheldon is becoming Niles to Leonard's Frasier.

Having run thru the basic storyline of Sheldon/Penny (a little too quickly, IMHO), the writers are running the risk of having the show turn into a version the "Niles and Daphne" show.

November 18 2008 at 7:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lou.dalmaso's comment
Jim

> I feel that Sheldon is becoming Niles to Leonard's Frasier.

A little slow on the uptake? Sheldon's Niles-ish-ness was evident from S1E1.

November 18 2008 at 9:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Katie

I enjoyed this episode - especially the very truthful line about George Lucas. I think there was just the right amount of Sheldon in this episode. Saying just enough ridiculous things but last night was really about Leonard and Wolowitz - which is just fine with me. I agree with Bruce though about Penny. She has been shoved into the background and I thought the show was supposed to be about the five of them.

November 18 2008 at 7:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

The whole Second season of Big Bang Theory has devolved into the "Sheldon is so Wacky Show" - this always happens with sitcoms nowadays. I thought the whole plot would be the question of a relationship beween Leondard and Penny. But that fizzled out in between seasons one and two, and now the show consists of nothing more than Sheldon acting like a extremely quirky, semi-retarded savant. It's become the Sheldon Show, and that's boring. Pennywas central to the first season, now she's just a background character. The show would be no different without her. Her sole purpose is to be the one who is most baffled by Sheldon's anticks.

Lazy writing. That's what this has come down to. Why think of creative plots when you can just make one character act goofy for 22 minutes?

November 18 2008 at 4:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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