Happy Halloween (tomorrow), and welcome back to Big Bang Thursdays! Yeah, CBS can never make up its mind, what else is new. Let's watch the episode and find out what's scarier - your neighourhood creep, or this year's batch of writers?
Amy, Penny and Bernadette talk about Amy's new research, which has to do with shame. Meanwhile, Bernadette has been chosen as part of California's "50 Sexiest Female Scientists". Amy is horrified at the objectification of women in science, making Bernadette feel ashamed for her looks. Penny claims that had she had a sexy female scientist role model, she almost certainly would have become a theoretical physicist. The other two giggle like the snots they are. Opening credits.
Sheldon lets in a flower delivery man, a profession near to his heart, due to his almost total inability to leave. However, the delivery man is actually a doctor played by Billy Bob Thornton, who has paid for his retirement playing sleazebags. They get along surprisingly well. It turns out he has some flowers for the pretty young pharma rep on Sheldon's floor. Surprisingly, Sheldon doesn't make the connection until the doctor knocks on Penny's door. He neglects to inform Leonard of this for a while, though, but Leonard's pretty pissed when he does find out.
The poor doctor is a little confused as to why Leonard is confronting him, especially since Penny flirted with him the whole time and didn't wear an engagement ring. He's heartbroken to find out that she was only trying to make a sale. He gives Leonard the flowers to give to Penny, and tells him he's a lucky man. Incidentally, Billy Bob Thornton has the least sexy wink ever. However, he's knocking his performance as the awkward loser of the park. Sheldon even insists on inviting him in for a hot beverage, classy as he is.
Bernadette tells Amy that the Sexy Scientist article has been pulled. Amy tries to comfort her by saying that her achievements are what matter most. Unwisely, she admits to Bernadette that she was the one who killed the article, via a good old customer complaint. Bernadette accuses her of being jealous and overstepping her bounds, then insults Amy's sexual appeal. Offended, Amy storms out.
Dr. Lorvis accepts his hot beverage and turns out to be as big a nerd as the others. He even did Gene Roddenberry's vasectomy, and keeps James Cameron's kidney stone in a vial, Angelina-Jolie style. The guys press him for details about the famous people he treated, because HIPAA does not exist in this universe. However, he is still missing something important in his life - so he asks Leonard how he attracted a girl like Penny. Leonard claims he was just being himself, while the others have a far less charitable view, comparing him to an infection that won't leave. Penny comes in, whereupon Leonard attacks her for daring to be attractive in front of another man. They go off for a private talk, where Penny claims it's all part of her sales pitch and says the doctor is in the wrong for showing up at her door (and technically, she's right). In addition, she has a no-socialization clause in her contract and he's her best client, so he needs to leave immediately. Leonard promises to help her, at least after he goes to the doctor's house to look at celebrity body parts. They're going to be murdered at the end, aren't they?
In fact, the collection is rather less grisly than first implied, simply being a collection of incredibly rare sci-fi memorabilia. The guys are stunned. When they have a moment, Dr. Lorvis takes Sheldon aside and asks if Penny is likely to be single soon. Sheldon inadvertently sends him right back to Penny's door. While delivering flowers for the second time, he runs into Amy, who thinks he seems nice and hopes he'll be successful in his pursuit of love. Dr. Lorvis assumes she's flirting with him, too, and promptly hands her the flowers, telling Penny they should just be friends. Amy sees their interaction and assumes the worst. Meanwhile, the guys continue to frolic in Dr. Lorvis's sci-fi playground, until they realize they're locked in. Crap, this is the serial killer episode, isn't it?
Penny tells the doctor that he's incredibly creepy. When she finds out where the guys are, she's even angrier. She and Amy insist on going to his house and setting the men free, which honestly sounds like death for all seven leads, but this is why I don't write forÂ The Big Bang Theory.Â On the way out, they run into Bernadette, who has come to apologize and instead joins them to re-enact the plot of Â Saw.Â
The guys turn out to be perfectly happy trapped in the basement, especially since Leonard is having theÂ Donkey KongÂ game of his life. In fact, they refuse to leave, and barely notice the doctor's apology. The girls go off to look at a sonogram of Tobey Maguire's prostate. I'd like to point out that this episode doesn't end with the gangÂ notÂ getting murdered. Just saying.
And now...the verdict. First, kudos for being creepy as fuck without actually having a Halloween episode. Though Penny and Leonard's arguing routine felt tired as always, we did get an excellent performance from Billy Bob Thornton, who played this hilarious twist on his usual creepy character with aplomb. The pace of the episode was rushed, and overall I felt it didn't really "land", giving even the main characters very little time to live out their plots. Except for the cameo performance, the episode felt rather pedestrian as a whole. Too bad - there was a lot of potential to be developed. Thornton, at least, did his very best to bring it to light.