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October 9, 2015

Review: The Big Bang Theory - The Vengence Formulation

by Kona Gallagher, posted Nov 24th 2009 9:29AM
big bang theory
As soon as I read the episode info and saw that Kripke was going to be making an appearance, I lost all hope of this episode coming anywhere close to matching the brilliance of last week's. I was not wrong. I don't like Kripke. I don't find a speech impediment to be funny, and with him, it's completely extraneous. Sheldon could just have an enemy (I don't doubt he had many, in fact). You don't need to give the character this extra identifying mark.

So not only was I dismayed by Kripke's appearance, his practical joke was just mean-spirited and again, not something that I found funny. I don't like watching people getting humiliated. Sheldon dressed up for a radio interview. That's adorable, and then to not only be embarrassed for absolutely no reason in front of a national audience, but to have his friends laughing at him as well, just made me sad. Luckily, Wolowitz's uh, love triangle with Bernadette and Katee Sackhoff saved the episode for me.

Kripke first showed up in the episode that made me uncomfortable for the same reasons: it was the one where Penny was ridiculously mean to Wolowitz. I didn't like the mean-spiritedness then, and I certainly don't like it now. However, there were some good aspects, so let's talk about those:

I'm so glad they decided to bring back Bernadette. Wolowitz actually found a girl who doesn't think he's completely creepy, so I definitely wanted to see more of her, and see how Wolowitz was going to screw it up. You knew he was going to ruin it somehow, but I didn't think it would be because he was cheating on her with Battlestar Gallactica's Katee Sackhoff, and I certainly didn't think he would ruin his relationship over a fantasy of Katee Sackhoff, but he is Wolowitz after all.

The way they resolved it was very nice: Wolowitz was his super-creepy self, and Bernadette was smart enough to back away. At first, I was afraid that she was going to actually accept his proposal, which would have made me lose all respect for her, but she was smart enough to back away. However, the terrible song in the middle of The Cheesecake Factory was kind of hideously romantic, so I certainly don't fault her for falling for it.

But now that we have both Leonard and Wolowitz in relationships, will it damage the dynamic of the show? What about all of the Wolowitz/Raj storylines? What about the balance of people eating takeout at the apartment? Surely Sheldon won't stand for this.

Some of my favorite lines from this episode:

Wolowitz: "Before you and Penny hooked up, did she ask for any sort of commitment?"
Leonard: "No, she was pretty clear about wanting to keep her options open."

"My mother is very excited. She's convening her Bible study group to listen in and then pray for my soul." - Sheldon

Wolowitz: "She wants a commitment, but I'm not sure if she's my type."
Penny: "She agreed to go out with you for free. What more do you need?"

Katee: "Thanks, Howard. Always nice to be part of your masturbatory fantasies."
Wolowitz: "Come on, Katee. Don't make it sound so cheap."
Katee: "I'm sorry. Fiddling with yourself in the bathtub is a real class act:"

"I never admit defeat. However, on an unrelated topic, I'm never getting out of this bed again." - Sheldon

"Wow. It's like the Ganges on laundry day." - Raj

[Watch clips of The Big Bang Theory and other shows over at SlashControl.]

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Jan Crump

I watch BBT for entertainment! I do not read into anything, I just laugh my a$$ off every show. This one was one of the best in my opinion - I thought it was fantastic. I think some of it is we now know the characters so well that we can actually see them doing what they do. I don't question everything - just totally enjoy it! I wish it was back on at 8:30 though - don't like the new time slot at all.

November 26 2009 at 10:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C. Hernandez

What, because people with speech impediments can't be funny? Kripke is one of those people I love to hate. He gets awesomely funny lines and they're made no more or less funny by the impediment (and yeah, I'm pretty sure the actor doesn't really have one, but so?)

To me, what makes the difference is that they just present it as it is. Kripke's never been mocked for it, the show's never made a joke about it...it's just Kripke.

November 25 2009 at 2:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


Best line of the season so far.

November 24 2009 at 11:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with you about the practical joke being mean. Sure it makes sense because he is an a-hole, but I was really surprised that all of the guys laughed at him too. It seemed like being on NPR was important to Sheldon and they really don't seem like friends very much with how they laughed. Other than that it was a pretty good episode. I'm still a bit old fashioned and don't really like to see Wolowitz as he's about to have a fantasy in the bathtub but whatever. His song at the end was great!

November 24 2009 at 5:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Kripke is not funny with or without a lisp.

This episode was disappointing. I always held out hope that Wolowitz's creepy factor was more of an act in the face of certain failure and that he always knew how creepy he was being. In this episode, he was just creepy.

November 24 2009 at 4:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I like the Bernadette plot, but why doesn't she get his jokes? She's supposed to be smart, but that just makes her look stupid. Also, not getting a guy's jokes is usually a death sentence for the relationship.

November 24 2009 at 2:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Best part of the show for me was Penny's "Yo Raj, talk to me."

November 24 2009 at 10:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kmurph's comment

..and Raj's reaction to it.

November 24 2009 at 11:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I distinctly disagree with you I thought the episode was possibly the best one they've made so far.

The whole Sheldon-Kripke thing isn't necessarily about giving Sheldon an arch enemy. Sheldons very nature lends to everybody around him having difficulty with him.

It's more about illiciting a reaction from Sheldon when he is put into a situation.

Kripke isn't Sheldons arch enemy anymore than Wolowitz or Penny. Kripke is just another person in Sheldons day to day life and in this instance he is a guy with a speech impediment who has a mean streak.

Fact of the matter is the show isn't designed to create some unique never seen situation. It's not Battlestar Galactica it is using every day themes that you've seen a billion times except it shows you how its strongly flavoured characters deal with those situations in their own way.

You are largely missing the point of the show.

November 24 2009 at 10:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes that was pretty sloppy. Jammed up the whole middle as if aiming for the elementary school crowd by showing, oh what kids they all still are?
That's about all I could get. Lisp guy doesn't do it.
Rest of it ok. Katee gave Penny chance to be bit more than the Penny Candy character. Penny could play girl friend and be removed for just the fun fluff.
Show could have done more with the Tbird theme than go for such a bozo prank plans. Lines mentioned were a help.
Without those it would have been a real bust. Hoping show not losing its moxie in 9:30 pm slot leading into CSI: Miami.
Maybe tough slot to be last of the 2 hour comedy block? The ones that work better might be those of post college, beginning marriage people. Here we have goof ball types who seemed to play better at 8:30 pm.
Like the episode where they were out in desert and got high.
That was different and didn't go for lowest common denominator sight gags. Maybe by Christmas they'll have it figured out again.

November 24 2009 at 10:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bernadette is quite the cutie. Why do producers think they can make a girl nerdy just by putting glasses on her?

November 24 2009 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Galley's comment
Brett Alan

I agree. She's really not far from being as good-looking as Katee Sackoff, for goodness' sake. Of course, this is pretty standard for TV.

The whole Howard/Bernadette plot was kind of disconnected. In the opening scene, he seems to be concerned that she doesn't get his jokes and such, but then he complains about her not being hot enough--was that perhaps a cover because he didn't want to admit that he cared about the conversation? Then he proposes--did he think that that was what Bernadette expected of him? It wasn't bad, but it just seemed to be missing some connections.

A solid episode overall, but nothing special.

November 24 2009 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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