The Big Bang Theory season 6 episode 13 review: The Bakersfield Expedition

Review Kaci Ferrell 11 Jan 2013 - 08:07

This week, The Big Bang Theory boys do Star Trek: TNG cosplay and the girls are finally given a geeky story...

This review contains spoilers.

6.13 The Bakersfield Expedition

In this week's episode of The Big Bang Theory, the boys get lost and demoralized at Vasquez Rocks and the girls get sort of geeky. Finally. 

I don't read spoilers for this show, so I honestly have had no idea as I wrote previous reviews that this episode was coming. And while I don't think it was done perfectly (I really could've lived without every guy in the comic book store staring at the ladies as they entered and then gawping at them throughout the rest of the scene), it was certainly an improvement. 

First off, we need to take a moment to address the fact that Jim Parsons looked uncanny as Data once he was in the makeup. It's not just me, right? He was eerily reminiscent of a younger Brent Spiner. (And Kunal Nayyar wasn't too shabby as Worf, either. Kudos to the makeup team this week. They really brought it with that cosplay.) 

I particularly enjoyed the way the argument snuck up on the girls; it felt very much like how similar arguments start with my friends. One minute you think you're making a totally obvious statement and the next you're digging through volume upon volume of canon trying to prove who's right. 

I would absolutely love it if the writers chose to remember that the girls had this experience; I'm not saying I want them to suddenly become non-stop obsessed because I think that would be disingenuous, but I think this definitely lays the groundwork for them to at least start enjoying a few fannish things every now and then. (Ex: next time the boys want to watch a geeky film, maybe one of the girls could enjoy it for reasons other than an off-handed comment about the attractiveness of any actors involved; that would be awesome.) 

I think the thing I enjoyed most in this episode, though, was the scene in the diner where the boys decided not to go to the con after all. Leonard isn't that hard to discourage and has a history of getting his feelings hurt easily and Howard does too (to a much lesser extent), so it's sad but understandable when the two of them want to go home. But when Sheldon, who barely has feelings at all (much less hurt ones, when it comes to his passions), says that he wants to go home, it really demonstrated just how badly what that jerk in the passing car had done had hurt them. It brought to mind a few choice memories of my own life when I felt similarly and I think it's something a lot of geeks can relate to, even if our experiences didn't involve garbage and having our car stolen. 

I really enjoyed this episode. It had a lot of moments that reminded me of my own geeky life, and I feel like this show is at its best when it can reflect experiences real-life geeks can relate to. I'm looking forward to the next episode with an eagerness that I haven't felt for this show in quite awhile.

Read Kaci's review of the previous episode, The Egg Salad Equivalency, here.

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OMG... A half decent review of TBBT,we must be in an alternate reality......"BAZINGA"

This episode was one of my favorite BBT's this season by far. Any time the guys get in costume is hilarious. And how the girls' portion of the episode turned out? I did NOT see that coming at all. I agree with you -- it'd be cool if this new-found interest extend slightly beyond last night's episode.

Something somewhat similar happened between by then girlfriend (now wife) years ago. I explained how Superman and Batman were two different sides of the USA, with Superman being the American and Batman a nightmare. Virginia suddenly screamed "God help me, this is interesting." This episode explained why brilliant people read comics, making it impossible for the girls to ever feel superior to the guys again (at least in regards to comics.) . Even better was the stark contrast of the girls understanding fantasy while the boys had reality shoved in their faces.

The only good bits were involving Sheldon's GPS. And his retort to the waitress about it being the wrong incarnation of Trek...

If a person needs help, who cares if they are wearing costumes, have pink hair, or no hair, or anything else. A civilized society does not laugh AT people...

And, for nerds, did none of the foursome be bothered to wear fannypacks or keep their valuables on them? This story put in a LOT of conveniences...

The women's subplot with the comics was rather good overall, certainly above average, despite the fact Penny - who looked surprised - was in the bookstore before... Bernie, who has degrees in biology, shouldn't so dim as to why she's being looked at...

I love the assumptions as to why the writers decided why nerds and geeks flock to comic books... Especially when not all nerds/geeks flock to them, and how the writers didn't bother to think that almost everybody people read or watch entertainment just to get away from the real world, which is the only fact they didn't seem capable of presenting. Only their stereotypes... hmmm...

Even more amusing are people online who blindly side with what these fiction sitcom writers scribble out, as if the stated reasons are the sole reasons why, without other influences or factors being possible. ;-)

And, of course, Stewart - who had pretty much been a flaming hetero all this time - now reveals he has the hots for Thor. Okay, so he's bisexual and all the people who saw the season premiere are probably right (he and Raj hook up, even though the two of them have had the least amount of screen time this year so far... then again, the majority of the public thinks it's great to laugh at people in distress, so maybe they need time to be buttered up over other aspects of human culture they're not familiar with... assuming the episode and general audiences are worth the time psychoanalyzing, of course...)

But that's reality - we are not a society. We laugh and poke fun at each other, but then don't like it when we are laughed at and poked at. Hmmm, people knew 6000 years ago that "do unto others..." What happened since?

And, yes, I am officially agnostic and have been for years... thank the Christians for that, in all seriousness...

If an episode of the show told you that the word "gullible" is not in the dictionary, would you blindly swallow that as well?

This episode is based on the opinions of the writers. It is not relaying any incontrovertible facts. Only inference. The difference is HUGE. They might be partly right, but what they wrote for the actors to say is hardly conclusive, and plenty of nerds/geeks/bullied do not read comic books either (You mean, this show wallows in stereotypes rather than posing actual thought? Yup...)

I agree; the women's subplot was unexpected and, mostly, fantastic.

Why, in your estimation, do you believe it to be "a half decent review" or that it came from an alternate reality?

The article is an opinion piece and not a factual news article, but back to the point: All of us have opinions, meaning we're not always going to agree. Just because you finally agree with what a professional reviewer writes doesn't add or detract the author's validity by default...

I am happily married to a beautiful woman and I would still admit that Chris Hemsworth is pretty darn good-looking. Maybe they will set up a Stewart-Raj tryst at some point (and it really would seem to be out of character for both), but I thought Stewart's Thor comment was totally innocent (and he was just agreeing with Penny and the gals).

I was excited for this episode, and then I watched it. One of my least favorite. The stereotypes are getting ridiculous.

About not carrying any of their valuables... they were traveling in their car and stopped for a picture. Personally, when I'm driving my phone and wallet are in the car, not on my person. So... no surprise that they didn't put on their fanny packs while stepping out of the car in the middle of nowhere for a few moments.

Slurpee(TM) attack on Sheldon -- that was even the same colour as the Slurpees thrown on Glee :-)

"If an episode of the show told you that the word "gullible" is not in the dictionary, would you blindly swallow that as well?" Hell, I don't trust what's in the dictionary half the time.

"This episode is based on the opinions of the writers. It is not relaying any incontrovertible facts." Yeah........aaaannnnnnnnndddd?

"...plenty of nerds/geeks/bullied do not read comic books either" Which is why almost half the regulars on the series don't read comics.

" (You mean, this show wallows in stereotypes rather than posing actual thought? Yup...)" That argument is called "building a straw-man." I don't believe that TBBT "wallows in stereotypes". Indeed, the show's strength is that it smashes lazy charactures. The show features six full blown nerds, and one budding nerdette... each one defiantly individualistic. Do you really have trouble telling Raj from Sheldon? Bernedette from Amy?" Is Barry Kripke identical to Leonard? Leslie Winkle just like Stuart?

Please remove said stick from your arse... and lighten up. ( check the rest of hypnotoad72's comments on each poster to see what I mean. )

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