'The Big Bang Theory' Season 4, Episode 13 Recap
['The Big Bang Theory' - 'The Love Car Displacement']
O-kaaaay then. There are episodes of sitcoms, and then there are episodes of sitcoms. And then there was this latest episode of 'The Big Bang Theory.'
Just to make it clear before we delve a little bit, I like 'The Big Bang Theory,' I really do. But this episode seemed ... odd. And much like the episode before it, it seemed to hang upon the thinnest of plot threads.
Here was the set-up for the episode: All the characters have to go to a science convention, including Penny, who didn't really want to go, but who had to be dragged along. Because by going to the the convention, she'd also get to go to a spa. Because otherwise, if Penny wasn't in it, it wouldn't really be a normal episode of the show, y'know?
Why are they going to the convention? We're not really sure. Is Penny so hard up that she can't afford to go to a spa, ever? Well, y'know what, that's a dumb question -- like asking if the characters in 'Friends' could afford to live in their New York City apartments that must have cost $1 million each to live in. And to be fair, we don't watch sitcoms for their absolute adherence to the laws of physical reality. But when a show contains such gaping plot holes, then the mind sort of starts to wander.
So, I have a few mild issues with this episode, and again, this episode was funny. But it was also very, very odd. Here are some reasons why:
1) The episode involved the characters going to a science convention, but the science convention was only shown for about the last 60 seconds.
2) The contrivance that brought Penny along to the convention was that she would get a free trip to a spa, which was discussed over and over again, but then we never saw it happen, and it wasn't mentioned again once the plot contrivance had been accomplished.
3) Rick Fox was the "celebrity guest star" on the show, except he was on the show for all of 25 seconds, which = likewise weird.
4) At any rate, the whole plot of the show involved a very 'Three's Company'-type sort of thing, wherein everyone pretty much ended up in the same room, more or less, and a comedy of errors was the result.
What happened was, everyone had to go to the convention, which led to a fight between Howard and Bernadette, which led to a fight between everyone else on the show. Howard got jealous after running into guest star Rick Fox, who played Bernadette's super-studly ex-boyfriend, which would have been a funny joke -- since Rick Fox is 6'7" and Howard is short and nerdy -- but the show dropped that plot device fairly quickly. It dropped it very quickly, which led to the rest of the show. Penny snuck into Leonard's room, and the two of them almost had sex. Penny and Leonard getting back together would have been an interesting development, but ... what happened with that? Nothing. So, nothing.
Obviously, sitcoms kind of drag the "will they, or won't they" issue out to an excessive degree. But, in this case, the whole issue was just dropped. Penny went home from the conference with Rick Fox. And again, that would have been funny. Except that the series didn't bother to show that either. Are we just supposed to imagine these things? Is Rick Fox's pay-rate so high that the series can't really afford to pay him for longer than half a minute? Again, as we've said before, this whole episode was just weird -- but funny. Did we also mention that it was funny? But still, the episode dropped the ball on a few major plot points, sigh.
"Superbacteria -- global apocylaypse or research opporutinty?"
"No matter how much you stroke Amy's hair, she bites!"
"Red Leader to Red Five; come in."
"The Neutral Zone. You know ... Star Trek"
"Because we're going 120 miles an hour."
'The Big Bang Theory' airs Thursdays, 8PM ET on CBS.