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Worldly Distractions: The Big Bang Theory 7.16 - The Table Polarization





After the game-changing Valentine's episode a few weeks back, I fully expect this episode to be nice and normal and somewhat humdrum. Maybe poor Raj will finally get a decent plot?

Howard considers growing a goatee. Everyone jokes about it, as well as Raj's pronunciation of "moustache". Penny comes back, bitter from a bad audition. She sits down, and they suddenly notice that the room is kind of crowded with all the people and takeout. It is suggested that Sheldon and Leonard get a dining room table, which causes Sheldon to flip out. Even a minor piece of a furniture is a huge disruption in his world. He predicts a cataclysm. Doom and gloom, and the opening credits.

They've decided to go with a table, though Sheldon is throwing a protest - including moving a desk into the space where the table is supposed to be. Leonard basically ignores this, despite Sheldon's pleas.

Howard and Raj are having some buddy time, complete with magic wand - no, not that kind, just a specially-shaped TV remote. Of course, Raj makes a joke in that vein within seconds. Howard gets a phone call. When he comes back, he has enormous news - NASA wants him to return to the space station. Raj is very impressed, and tells Howard that if he dies on this trip, he will name his firstborn son Howard in his honour. The son he'll have with Bernadette after taking Howard's place.

Leonard and Penny search for a table, but it's ruined by the ghost of Sheldon's finicky ways. She convinces him to take a stand - then promptly disses everything he chooses. Nice girlfriend, Lenny.

Howard breaks the space news to Bernadette, who seems really edgy about it. She recaps how Howard had a miserable time in space, though he doesn't seem to remember it.

Penny and Leonard have set up the table, but Sheldon's still not convinced. He demands that they get rid of it, citing the Roommate Agreement. When they won't budge, he decides that Leonard has been ruined as a roommate, and blames Penny and her "fancy genitals". She protests this, and tells him that he's just changed as a result of their interaction - it happens to everyone, including Sheldon. He realizes that this is true, and Amy has changed who he is. Stunned, he goes to break up with her. I think it's safe to say that this was not what Penny had in mind.

Sheldon walks in, presenting Amy with an iPad to sign, which presumably contains a termination to the Relationship Agreement. She is surprisingly calm about it, telling him that she's "already moved on" and that the breakup is not about her. Like Sheldon, she blames Leonard, telling her boyfriend that his roommate is trying to break them up so Sheldon will be distracted from the ugly new table. Sheldon is quickly convinced. He rescinds the breakup, provided that she stand with him against the dining room table - and is completely oblivious to her manipulations.

Bernadette and Raj talk about Howard's new space trip. She is still sure he shouldn't go, as it was a difficult experience for him. (Honestly, Howard is to space what I am to Russia, I think.) She asks Raj to try to talk him out of it.

Sheldon and Amy come back, treating everyone haughtily.  Leonard points out that he bought the couch, so what's the difference between that and buying a table? Amy suggests that he move in with her, to which he promptly accepts the table. Amy slumps. Mayim Bialik gives a killer performance. Give her all the Emmys.

Bernadette has called in both Raj and her dad to stage a "don't go to space" intervention. Fellow astronaut Mike Massimino is brought in via Skype. He tells "Froot Loops" not to go, since he was so miserable at the time. They cite the depression, the bullying, and that time Howard asked Mr Rostenkowski to shoot him in the foot. Howard is offended that they would even think he can't handle it. Then Massimino brings up survival training and shoom, Howard is off to the doctor demanding a medical excuse out of there. However, since he's healthy, there's no way for the doctor to do that. Being quick of mind, Howard quickly calls his mother. His blood pressure is soon at astronomical levels, and he is stuck on Earth for now.

The gang sits around the dining room table and discusses Howard's "tragic setback", but Amy and Sheldon sit on the couch sulking. Okay, you lost, get over it. Soon enough, they've manipulated everyone back to the living room. Penny advises Leonard to cut their losses. The last stickler is Raj - but he's brought back when they tell him they miss him. All is well in the world of Sheldon.

Well, this was as expected - pretty okay. A few good lines here and there, a cameo, ho hum. Nothing particularly interesting or funny to see here. Overall, its biggest sin was being kind of dull. Perhaps things will pick up next week?

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