The Big Bang Theory season 6 episode 12 review: The Egg Salad Equivalency

Review Kaci Ferrell 4 Jan 2013 - 07:24

The Big Bang Theory starts the New Year with one of the stronger episodes of the season so far. Here's Kaci's review...

This review contains spoilers.

6.12 The Egg Salad Equivalency

Sheldon Cooper has always been casually sexist. He throws out remarks like tonight's comment about women being dominated by their ovaries without batting an eye and no one ever really calls him on it. It doesn't usually overwhelm my enjoyment of his character because thankfully it's only one small part of who he is, but it would be disingenuous of me to deny that Alex had every right to talk to Human Resources and that it was about time someone said something to him about it. 

It's hard for me to like Alex, though. I want to, because she keeps popping back up and if she's going to be around, I'd like to find something in her character to make her appearances a happy occasion, but I just can't. If she hadn't known that Leonard has a girlfriend, then fair enough. Nothing wrong with asking out someone you're attracted to. But she does know, and I personally have a hard time liking characters who go after people who are known to be in relationships. It feels skeevy to me and by extension, it makes the character feel skeevy to me, too. So I hope that soon Leonard will sit her down and explain that while it's obvious he's flattered by her attention, he'd like her to stop. (For the record: that's what should've happened in this episode, rather than Sheldon talking to her about it.) I could probably grow to like her character if that element of her storyline was removed. 

And on the topic of the boys' visit to Human Resources, this episode is a testament to how smooth the character arc these writers have pulled off with Howard Wolowitz truly is, which is saying a lot since he didn't have a very large part in this episode. But think about it: when Sheldon mentioned he once built a six-breasted sexbot, well, of course we believe that, because yeah, that's Howard. Except it's not anymore, not at all. I can't imagine a post-Bernadette Howard doing such a thing. It really is a good job on their parts for being able to change what was once his defining characteristic without ever feeling forced or like we'd lost who he is. He's still our Howard. He's just no longer that Howard. 

Finally, going back to a review I posted before the hiatus in which I talked about the theme of self-esteem and vulnerability in Leonard and Penny's relationship, I personally really enjoyed their final scene together in this episode in which Leonard realizes that he's not the only one who doubts if he is good enough for his partner; she has huge doubts of her own, too. They've always been there, of course; their fights over her feeling intellectually inadequate are well-documented in this series. But I think this might've been the first time where I felt like his response was the correct one. I remember once before he tried to get her to enrol in college classes, which of course just made the problem worse because it made her feel like he thought she was inadequate, too. There's none of that here. They're both just open and honest about the situation with each other, and it's really touching to see them handling something like this with maturity and grace. (Okay, maybe his cello solo wasn't the definition of maturity, but he was right: it was incredibly cute.) 

I think this episode was a good one to come back from the hiatus with, and is definitely one of the stronger episodes this season.

Read Kaci's review of the previous episode, The Santa Simulation, here.

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Am I missing something here? It is a sitcom, not a platform for the discussion of sexism and the appropriate behaviour in and around relationships. All that matters is whether it is funny and entertaining!

Really perceptive comments about Howard - his character development has been subtle but significant.

Really enjoyed this week's episode - plenty of laughs, and lots of new stuff happening.

The interactions with the human resources lady were understandably hilarious, but that was just one of the really funny moments, which included the council of ladies, and Sheldon confronting Alex.

And then there was that genuinely moving scene that you pointed out, where the characters talked honestly about their insecurities, which again, was really good to watch.

Overall, strong start to the year :)

I can't recall the last time I laughed at a Big Bang episode this much. Definitely one of the strongest episodes of this series.

The great sitcoms can achieve more than just making us laugh.

it dose not just have to be about that because den of geek are exploring the emotions of the characters and i think that is highly prestigious to do in a sitcom review

i feel we need to put moral side of things on the shelf and just enjoy the laughs, if we get too deep then we would be hating raj for sleeping with Penney or Leonard who has had quite a few immoral encounters with ladies over the years. all the cast members have done something one way or another in the show that wouldnt be accepted in normal life.

still appreciate the reviews just suggesting the laughs are what are important

the author of this article is a moron... use your shitty blog to vent your shitty opionin about of all things a tv show... wow what a waste i sincerly hope no one pays you for this postion...

The reason that Alex feels skeevy is because she's a skeev. She is a passive/agressive witch who should degenerate into a full blown villain. It makes sense - the only person on the show who looks and sounds like a sane adult is really barking mad.

You're quite correct about Howard's post-marriage emotional growth - my favorite moment happened when he asked the Human Resources Director's personal about her kids - implying that he has been sent there a LOT.

Another welcome moment - Raj's Yorkshire Terrier. Since the three couples pretty much cover the entire span of relationship's power structure (Penny has the power over Leonard using sex; Bernadette and Howard are equals; Sheldon controls Amy by withholding sex) the only place left for Raj to go is to become a celibate dog person. He should drag his bow-wow everywhere (restaurants, parties, funerals) to show off the pooch's new outfits.

Sorry JH, I must respectful disagree. Good sitcoms are about nothing but The Funny. Great sitcoms offer insights on the human condition. It's the difference between The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men.

Alex is the one at fault, yet when Sheldon - who does not lie or act manipulative - gets her to watch the anti-sexism video, it's because he pawns it off as being a waste of time. Had another character done this, one could believe an ulterior motive was behind his getting her to sit through it, but not from Sheldon...

Just like when Amy was the director, she was wrong but the story decided Sheldon was the one who had to apologize...

This week's was a good story, despite feeling a tad disjointed...

I found it unfortunate that the show used a faux-inappropriate behaviour
vehicle for its platform - since no inappropriate behaviour genuinely
occurred (other than Sheldon being inept at expressing a simple situation in simple language, as always), I had difficulty in finding the funny - instead, I kept saying
to myself that since nothing had really happened, how can I suspend my
disbelief long enough to laugh about the resultant circumstances? If the inappropriate behaviour of Alex 'hitting' on Leonard had gone on to the resultant misundertanding between he and Penny, that would have made more sense. To have it instead result in Sheldon trying to counsel Alex on her actions and then get in hot water for doing it in his usual clumsy fashion really seemed off the mark.

Yes, its just a TV show, and they are characters playing a part, all of which is based on the written material they are given to work with. Having said that - since the character of Alex has been working with Sheldon for however long now, surely she would know about his often fumbled attempts to explain things going askew - this episode would have made much more sense if she had never worked for him before and this was their first encounter, since under those circumstances she would not already be familiar with his personality.

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