‘The Big Bang Theory’ Recap: The Shiny Trinket Maneuver

sheldon date pennys restaurant big bang theoryS5E12: Our favorite fearsome foursome of physicists has returned just in time to celebrate the 100th episode of The Big Bang Theory. Tonight’s episode is the 99th and it’s about the trials of how to be a better boyfriend and the possible perils of child rearing. The impending Leonard/Penny reunion takes a back seat to the troubles of Howard and Bernadette and Sheldon and Amy.

“If we poison the critical thinking faculties of children by telling them that rabbits come out of hats, then we create adults who believe in astrology and homeopathy, and that Ryan Reynolds was a better choice for Green Lantern than loveable rogue, Nathan Fillion.” – Sheldon

The cold open focuses on Sheldon and Howard’s quasi-ongoing debate about the wonders of magic as Howard dazzles Raj and Leonard with his amateur tricks that he will perform at his cousin’s birthday. Sheldon of course has his reservations. The Big Bang Theory is usually at its best when knocking Dr. Sheldon Cooper down a peg or two, but this week’s cold open felt way too contrived and considering Sheldon claimed he still had a coin shoved up his nose since when he was boy, it was definitely a little too “sitcomy” for this sitcom. At least less than two minutes in and we’ve already gotten the uber-geeky reference of the Green Lantern, who Nathon Fillon actually did get to portray (if in voice only in the Emerald Knights straight to DVD movie). Extra geeky points for the fact that both actors were part of Two Guys a Girl, and Pizza Place, a sitcom that ran from 1998–2001.

“Our relationship agreement specifies that the second Thursday of every month or the third Thursday in a month with five Thursdays is date night.” – Amy Farah Fowler

“That is so hot.” – Penny

As per the recent development of Sheldon and Amy dating, the couple heads to the Cheesecake Factory. After agreeing to the minutes of their last date, Sheldon talks about his day which included attaining 100 Twitter followers. Amy’s far better news that her Biology paper will be published doesn’t seem to excite Sheldon, nor does he even pretend to be excited for Amy. As always, it’s up to Penny to point out Sheldon’s social faux paus, but Sheldon still doesn’t get it since biology is about “squishy things.” While Amy is the bathroom freshening up, Penny tries to convince Sheldon to just smile and at least act happy, but Sheldon can only go on about his love of Koala Bears, thus filling the seemingly once every few episode quota of Sheldon adoring a random cute animal. I’m hoping Sugar Gliders are next.

Sheldon heads back home to talk a late night walk to clear his head, ala the game Red Dead Redemption because after 9 “the streets of Pasadena are teeming with drunken sailors and alley cats.” He talks with Leonard while taking his virtual stroll and the diminutive physicist convinces Sheldon to get Amy a gift.

Like many men of average intelligence, Sheldon’s problems are solved thanks to Leonard’s advice, because all woman, including Amy Farah Fowler absolutely LOVE jewelry and she completely fawns over Sheldon’s apology present; a tiara for his princess.

“When it’s our kid that has ruined my body and kept me all night and I have no career and no future and nothing to be happy about for the next twenty years, sure that will be completely different!” – Bernadette

Meanwhile, Bernadette and Howard are having problems of their own when Howard learns that not only does Bernadette not like kids, she hates them. After snapping at one of the kids at the birthday party, she explains to Howard that she had to take care of her younger brother and sister and it was awful. Howard talks over his problems with Raj and Leonard over a game of Donkey Kong Jenga, which is color-coordinated with the purple of Leonard and Raj’s costumes; Howard begins to face the fact that even though Bernie is the best girl he’s ever had, her not wanting kids is a deal breaker. Luckily for the engineer, Bernadette has figured out a solution. Since she makes more money than he does, Howard can be a stay at home dad and deal with all of the annoying stuff. Apparently that whole ruining her body thing is negligible.

One of the great things about The Big Bang Theory is that when it first started, it was a show about four nerds and their hot, clueless friend. Over the past five years, Amy and Bernadette have been introduced and often times the boys take a backseat to the girls, who were the MVPs of this episode. Maybe the cast was gearing up for the big 100th show at the time they filmed this, but it just seemed like the guys phoned this episode in. Either that, or they were just way too mopey for a sitcom. That and Leonard and Raj were barely visible, except for a few scenes. Penny, Bernadette, and Amy Farah Fowler each had a big chance to outshine their male counterparts and they did just that, especially Melissa Rauch, who makes Bernadette being engaged to such a scuzzball like Howard believable.

So one week back and no mention of Raj’s deaf girlfriend or any seeds planted for next week’s big reunion. But the Friends of the new millennium is back and that is never a bad thing. Even a sub-par Big Bang is better than most comedies on television. Despite a valiant humorous effort from the ladies and a few choice lines from Sheldon and Leonard, this week’s episode falls on the lower half of the Periodic Table. Here’s hoping that next week, the Big Bang celebrates its 100th with…well a bang.