The Big Bang Theory season 6 episode 10 review: The Fish Guts Displacement

Review Kaci Ferrell
7 Dec 2012 - 07:41

Kaci finds one element of this week's The Big Bang Theory turns her stomach, and it's not the fish guts...

This review contains spoilers.

6.10 The Fish Guts Displacement

Well, that was awkward. 

You know, I honestly don't know where to begin with this episode of The Big Bang Theory, so let's just start with the easy stuff and get to the weirdness as we go. 

In the non-Shamy half of the episode, Howard is dealing with his in-laws. There are quiet dinners, stilted conversations, and constant foot-in-mouth syndrome. We've all been there, if not with our in-laws then with someone. Sometimes, it's just hard to connect to other people for whatever reason and it leaves everyone feeling awkward. (Awkward seemed to be the theme of this week, but if you thought this was awkward, then...well, like I said, we'll get there.) 

So thanks to some gentle nudging by Bernadette and her mother, Howard and Mike end up agreeing to go on a fishing trip, which leads to the revelation that Howard has no idea how to fish. Nor, apparently, do Raj and Leonard, thanks to the three of them having fathers who either weren't around or whose interests were decidedly not in spending time with their kids. Fair enough, and I like that for once, the explanation of why these geeks don't know how to do traditionally less-geeky things has an in-character explanation, but I have to admit that I'm a bit tired of their interests being confined slowly to the nerd realm. I'm as geeky as they come but I also have eaten my own freshly caught trout on more than one occasion. Geeky people can have non-geeky interests, too! Particularly in this day and age, when it's become sort of geek-chic to prepare for the "zombie apocalypse" thanks to the influx of zombie media in our pop culture. 

But I digress. They don't know how to fish, so they turn to Penny. She tries to teach them, but it mostly just leads to gross-out gags about fish guts. I'm sort of creeped out by how much she seems to revel in cleaning the fish or hooking the worm. 

All of it is for naught anyway, as Howard and Mike decide to go gambling instead, which is probably a better use of their time and is more likely to result in bonding, if memory serves. Being stuck on a tiny boat with someone you're not quite sure how to talk to is a surefire recipe for awkwardness. 

Speaking of which — I really can't put off talking about this anymore, can I? Do me a favor and get your cringe ready now because you're going to be doing a lot of it in the next few paragraphs — Amy spends most of the episode sick and thanks to the Relationship Agreement, Sheldon has to take care of her. 

I admit, this starts out fairly harmless and almost sweet; it's nice to see Sheldon not only admitting that he cares for her, but actually doing something about it for once. As expected, Amy basks in the attention and I really can't blame her since having that Vapo-Rub applied to her chest is about the most action she's gotten since Penny's ex-boyfriend Zach first made her say Hoo

But then it starts to get a little creepy when she admits to Bernadette that she's recovered and is only keeping up the ruse of being sick so that Sheldon will pamper her — creepy, but again, still kind of understandable, even if things do take a turn for the weird when he offers to help her bathe. 

Only then Sheldon finds out that she's been lying to him and suggests that she needs to be punished to prevent further incidents and since his father never spared the rod while he was growing up, Sheldon doesn't see a reason why he should now. 

I very much hope that if you're reading this, you've already seen the episode, because there are some things too awkward for me to put into words. Between Amy's eagerness, the R&B music, and Sheldon's chiding that she shouldn't be enjoying this, I am at a complete loss for words. A friend once introduced me to the concept of "motts," which she defines as that feeling of second-hand embarrassment you get when you watch something awkward happen to other people. If "motts" is ever added to the dictionary, the picture beside it will be a still from that tag scene. 

If I can just ignore that last Sheldon/Amy twist, this was a fairly good episode of the show; I liked the character depth we got regarding Howard, Leonard, and Raj's relationships with their fathers and the final scene between Howard and Mike was touching. Even the Sheldon and Amy storyline provided some general amusement in the first half. 

But those final scenes soured me on the episode, I have to admit. There are just some things that cross the line not into offensive, but into too awkward for me to enjoy, and this didn't just cross the line, it tap danced right on past it. 

Were you as squicked out as I was? Or is my awkward metre just too sensitive? Hit up the comments and let me know.

Read Kaci's review of the previous episode, The Parking Spot Escalation, here.

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