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Worldly Distractions: The Big Bang Theory 8.1 - The Locomotion Interruption


crazyforkate

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Shows come and go from year to year, and Worldly Distractions reflects this, most noticeably with the loss of a couple of old stalwarts this season. However, the weirdest change in our current lineup is that The Big Bang Theory has switched to Mondays. I'm not entirely sure why this has happened, but I assume it's to replace How I Met Your Mother, Then Had Her Killed Off So I Could Get With Your Aunt. Tune in to tonight's double episode to find out if this one will be equally disappointing!

We get a previously on segment, where it's recapped that Sheldon had a crisis and skipped town. By train, of course. In the very next scene, Sheldon appears, in his underpants, in what looks like another train station. He explains that his "journey of healin'" somehow left him without pants. One man unfortunately gets trapped into hearing the whole story, in which Sheldon adopted a "hobo life" complete with getting all his stuff stolen. By the time the credits start, the station is empty and he's screaming the names of obscure scientists. It's...almost a little heartbreaking, you guys.

After a nice commercial break, we catch Penny in the middle of dance pose, while Leonard is surprised to get a call from his absent friend, stranded at a police station in Kingman, Arizona. Destitute and under arrest, Sheldon is desperate, so Leonard reluctantly agrees to go pick him up, and to bring Amy along. Also, Penny cut her hair short, which would be a spoiler if it hadn't appeared in every promo in the last month.

Howard and Raj discuss the latter's love life, which is going well as usual, though Raj overestimates his sex appeal a tad. They head over to visit Mrs. Wolowitz, who has developed an unhealthy fondness for her new caregiver Stuart. In AZ, Sheldon has to deal with the Pissing Preacher a bunch of grumpy cops, who have no time for his insufferable genius.

Amy, resentful that Sheldon didn't call her first, heads off to Arizona with Leonard. Penny looks amazingly businesslike, all ready for an interview as a sales rep for a sketchy pharmaceutical company. Bernadette gives her somewhat iffy reassurance. Howard and Raj find Stuart still living with Mrs Wolowitz, much to Hoooowahd's consternation. "Stewie" and "Debbie" seem to be getting closer and closer, though Howard's not sure if he's being replaced or about to get a new dad. Either way, he tries to kick Stuart out, without much success.

Sheldon continues to give "helpful" tips to the police, mostly involving Holmes and cocaine. Leonard and Amy arrive, confusing the hell out of Sheldon, who can't fathom why his girlfriend showed up. When Amy protests at this treatment, he consoles her by implying he has something special to tell her, so special that must be whispered - "Shotgun!"

All the way to Arizona, he regales them with stories of his crosscountry travels, which mostly involved visiting train stations. He also may have scurvy from all the station food. Penny's interview goes incredibly badly, as she says the word "people" way too much and insults her would-be boss's incurable condition. She pleads with him to keep the interview details from Bernadette, but it turns out he's scared of Bernadette too. An instant bond is formed. Howraj continue to argue about whether Stuart is up to no good, and whether it's worth caring about. When Howard learns that Stuart and Mrs W have recorded an answering machine message together, it's the final straw.

Somewhere in the desert, Amy and Leonard fall into another level of existential hell as Sheldon recites regional differences in hot dog stands. Finally, Amy can take it no longer, and reads him the riot act about running out on her without saying goodbye. He asks for a private moment with Leonard, finally gets her to cover her ears, and tells Leonard two things: 1) he has finally decided to have coitus with Amy, and 2) he was scared of telling Amy that he had failed at something, so he called Leonard. He fesses up to the second one, but it's pretty clear that Amy heard both...

Penny got the job, which Bernadette attests to her warm relationship with the interviewer. Stuart shows up at Howard and Bernadette's apartment to talk out the Mrs Wolowitz situation. Howard quickly flies off the handle, and accidentally refers to Bernie as his mother in the process. Charming.

For all of his travels, Sheldon admits that he is no closer to finding any of the answers. His friends try to convince him that he's better off for having an adventure, even if nothing tangible resulted. Sheldon accepts this explanation, happily comparing himself to a butterfly and Gandalf. Of course, his newfound philosophy of adventure goes right back to zero the minute he notices Penny's haircut.

Tag scene - The gang are subjected to a series of mind-numbing photographs of trains, and are incredulous at Sheldon's persistence in train-only vacations.

For a first episode, this was handled really well, getting Sheldon back in a realistic manner and balancing the changes in his personality with his characteristic failure to adapt. (We'll wait on the coitus thing, though.) His plot made everything else take a backseat, though Penny's new career could certainly add some humour and we can always use more stories with Mrs Wolowitz. A season premiere is all about potential, and this episode offered us plenty, setting up a season with its fair share of laughs to come.

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    • marmalade

      Posted

      1 minute ago, Coconut Flan said:

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      • Upvote 2
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