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Worldly Distractions: The Big Bang Theory 7.14 - The Convention Conundrum





We're back with The Big Bang, which was off the air for the past two weeks. What's up with our fearless gang this time? Bold new experiment? Intense game of Dungeons and Dragons?

Aaand they're all gathered around their computers, intensely waiting for some sort of team event. Sheldon in particular seems keyed up, threatening bodily harm to anyone who ruins it. Penny arrives. Leonard explains that they're about to buy tickets to Comic Con. Sheldon yells at him to keep it in his pants, which is not a phrase you'd think Sheldon would have heard of. The clock counts down, Raj needs to pee...and the tickets go on sale. The boys madly type and refresh. Penny looks on in horror. Opening credits.

The guys are still refreshing after ten minutes. Leonard gets in and is lauded by his friends. However, he's 50,000th in line. Within seconds, it's sold out. Everyone's in shock. Sheldon tries to say something comforting, but runs off crying. Despite Penny's contempt for the process, she feels genuinely sad for them - until they reveal they were all planning to go as different versions of the Hulk.

At lunch the next day, Sheldon says he's got a plan - rather than patronize Comic Con, they'll make their own convention, which will of course be way cooler. Leonard suggests they buy scalped tickets instead. However, this is against Sheldon's moral code, especially since it will result in a lifelong ban from the convention. The guys continue their search. Too late. Sheldon's idea has taken root.

He calls celebrity managers all over town, hoping to find someone famous to appear. (It's going to end with Wil Wheaton, isn't it? Isn't it?). Surprisingly, no one wants in. Sheldon turns to his enormous board of celebrity names (Wheaton's sadly, is already crossed out) and sighs about his predicament. Leonard gently suggests that he give up. Sheldon is determined to continue, but insists that Leonard help him contact all the celebrities who have restraining orders against him.

Penny complains that Leonard is spending too much money on the tickets, though Amy points out that she can drop that much in a shopping trip. Bernadette also complains about the spending, as does Amy about Sheldon's ridiculous convention. They talk about getting away to do something on their own, like they do in every episode. Finally, they settle on afternoon tea at a fancy hotel. Something tells me this might not be Penny's strong suit.

Leonard and Raj and Howard discuss a new costume, since they can't do a four-man ensemble anymore. Leonard suggests the Fantastic Four (since the fourth is Invisible Girl). Sheldon announces that he'll soon have the celebrity guest he so desperately needs. It is none other than...wait for it...JAMES EARL JONES. Yes, that is an all-caps cameo. This man is a legend. The guys are skeptical, but Sheldon has a plan. Via the magic of Twitter, he managed to track Jones down to a certain sushi restaurant, where he plans to make an ambush. I'd say clear some room in your folder of restraining orders.

The guys beg him not to, but Sheldon says he'd rather do that than scalp. He warns them once again of the dire consequences, then heads out to commit his own crime, singing the Darth Vader theme all the way.

While waiting for their scalper, Leonard, Raj and Howard speculate as to what he might be like. After all, such a hardened criminal must be evil, right? Suddenly, they begin to worry a little.

The women arrive at tea, only to discover that it's attended almost exclusively by little girls. Amy is, of course, sporting her famous tiara. Things get awkward fast.

James Earl Jones is casually perusing the menu when he looks up to see Sheldon looming over him. Mufasa or not, I'd be fucking terrified. It's like an apparition from Satan himself. "Let me guess, you like Star Wars," the man deadpans in that glorious voice. "You know, I've been in other movies. But you don't care about those, do you?" You think this is going to end in a fight, but Jones gleefully tells him that he loves Star Wars, too. Sheldon is promptly invited to join him, and cannot believe his luck. Jones can't believe that anyone would think he'd be tired of fans after forty years, and dubs Leonard a "real weenie". Ohhh, this is going to be an amazing cameo.

Raj finds a post on a message board, from a guy mentioning that he was arrested for scalping tickets. Reluctantly, the guys decide to give up. However, Leonard rallies them, saying that they are so obsessed with the rules that they've gotten boring. Finally, they agree to stick to the scalping. Everyone pinky swears.

Jones and Sheldon discuss Star Wars fanon like old friends. As the evening wears on, he suggests they go have some real fun. Wife out of town, Lion King residual cheque - what's there to lose? Jones is just a delight this episode. He looks like he's had the time of his life, too!

Bernadette, Penny and Amy (still in tiara) go out for a drink and discuss how adult they don't feel. This lets Amy complain about being a virgin some more. They exchange barbs about each other's sluttiness/virgin-ness.

Raj and Leonard begin to chicken out again, wondering about jail time, citizenship and grant applications. Howard continues to downplay things. He crosses the room - and turns off the lights so that the guy will think they're not home. There's a knock at the door. Everyone hides.

James Earl Jones and Sheldon go out for milkshakes at a soda fountain. I am not making this up. Jones is bafflingly delighted with Sheldon's company, and also very fond of milkshakes.

Amy and Bernadette pick up the tab while Penny rants about how being grown-up is overrated. Amy points out that they did find being "mature" boring, and that the boys are probably having way more fun. This, of course, necessitates a cut to the apartment, where the guys are trapped and hiding from the scalper.

"Hey Los Angeles! I'm on a Ferris wheel with Darth Vader! And he's nicer than you think!" Sheldon shouts, clutching the giant teddy bear that the actor has apparently won for him. "I AM!" Jones cries, smiling like a lunatic. They then journey on to karaoke, where Sheldon displays a terrifying falsetto. I've never heard such an amazing version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". After this, they ding-dong-ditch Carrie Fisher - and yes, it is the real Carrie Fisher, who is sick and tired of James Earl Jones' shit. Finally, they wind up in a sauna, where James raves about what a perfect night he's had. He asks Sheldon what he was talking about "at the strip club" - some kind of convention?

Sheldon explains his problem. Jones has an even better solution - they can go to Comic Con with him. Bonus trip to Tijuana included. Sheldon wonders what he's gotten himself into.

Tag scene: Jones recounts the time he, Marlon Brando, and the Bridges brothers started chickenfighting. Sheldon's about to pass out. Oh, this is gold.

Well, what can I say except that this episode rocked? Okay, the storylines with the women and the guys scalping were less flashy (though the latter provided a laugh here and there and the former had some good observations on maturity), but Sheldon and James Earl Jones made up for it all. It was so nice to have a break from "celebrities who run away from Sheldon". The show's done that ad nauseum - to have an enthusiastic actor was a smart change. And Jones was awesome. Clearly having a great time, he was up for all kinds of crazy stuff, including the brilliant karaoke. Fisher also had a hilarious cameo. It was a marvelous story and an excellent chance to see one of film's best actors at his funniest. I would love to see a Comic Con episode. If not, at least we have this gem of a show.

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