The Big Bang Theory season 6 episode 6 review: The Extract Obliteration

Review Kaci Ferrell 2 Nov 2012 - 08:57

Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day... and get frustrated with The Big Bang Theory. Here's Kaci's review of this week's episode...

There's not much happening for most of the characters in this episode of The Big Bang Theory (Leonard, Penny, and Sheldon are the only three to actually have a plot this week), and to be honest I've gotten past the point where I miss Raj actually having something to do, and have arrived at the point where I just miss him having more than ten lines in any given episode. (Although he did take his shirt off in the cold open and let's be honest, if you are a person who is attracted to men, you were probably just as grateful to the writers for that as I was.) To be honest, this is probably my least favorite episode of the season so far.

There's a fairly simple plot this week in which Sheldon gets Stephen Hawking to accept his friend request on Words With Friends and then proceeds to beat him. I really wanted to find this funny, but the plot holes tripped me up. How did Sheldon find out Stephen Hawking's username in the game? How does Stephen Hawking play a touch screen-based game, anyway? Is it really plausible that Sheldon Cooper could actually beat a man as intelligent as Stephen Hawking? (Okay, admittedly, that last one isn't as bothersome as the others. People are intelligent in different ways and it's entirely plausible that, however smart Mr. Hawking is, he's just not good at word games. But within the context of the other two plot holes, it does compound the problem.)

The main plot, however, involves Penny admitting to Leonard that she's taking a history class at the community college and her first paper is due the next day. She insists that this is her thing separate from Leonard and refuses to let him read her paper, and Leonard being Leonard, he sneaks out of bed in the night to do exactly that.

I've complained a lot about Penny in the context of this relationship, and it's only fair that I bring up my issues with Leonard. When Penny asked him not to read her paper, she was marking that part of her life as private. By reading it against her wishes, he was invading her privacy and betraying her trust. To make all of this worse, he then re-wrote the paper for her and expected her to turn in his version as her own work. Penny tries to explain the problem with this to him by using the metaphor, "Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll eat for a lifetime," and despite the fact that she messes it up, she's absolutely right. Even if one can forgive him for invading her privacy and reading her paper, redoing it himself isn't the point. Penny won't learn the material by having her boyfriend write her paper. Offering to tutor her would've been one thing, but to write the paper himself? Not cool.

Granted, it also wasn't cool for her to let Amy and Bernadette do it, but her phrasing (she used the phrase "help me write my paper") at least allows me to pretend that they offered assistance but she was still involved in the process and learned from their input.

It's not a good thing when the highlight of the episode was Raj taking his shirt off and doing an American accent. Every time the focus lands on Penny and Leonard's relationship lately, I see a new side of them that I wish I hadn't. I find myself wishing that they'd argue it out and either work through their issues or break up, but the way they've been going on is just torture. For them and for me.

Read Kaci's review of the previous episode, The Holographic Excitation, here.

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