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Worldly Distractions: The Big Bang Theory 6.23 - The Love Spell Potential


crazyforkate

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Friends, readers, nerdy folk. As we approach the end of Season 6, we must wonder what they’re planning to spring on us. Usually a season finale will have a surprise or two – a giant step forward for a character, or a significant life event. My bet? Sheldon and Amy will take their relationship to the next level (which in their case probably means frontways hugging or something). So daring.

The gals are on their way to Vegas – “no husbands, no boyfriends, no rulesâ€. Amy wonders if this precludes a drunken six-way with the Blue Man Group. (I have to say, I would watch that.) When Penny dismisses the idea, Amy forces them to acknowledge that there are some rules. Stand up for the pedantic, Amy!

With the girls away, the guys are ready to go CRAZY – with Dungeons and Dragons. Wait, what? Community already did it, and did it splendidly. Playing this on the night of the series finale is just rude. Go to Sitcom Jail.

Penny has a brand-new bikini, ensuring they will all have free drinks at the pool. Bernadette is going to send mixed messages with a low-cut top and a can of pepper spray. Amy plans to throw her underwear onstage at the Garth Brooks concert. Apparently this is not the first time, either.

Over a greasy pizza, the “new dice†smell wafting in the air, the guys begin their game. We see an intercut of the girls chanting “Vegas!†while the guys chant “The Dungeon of Mafouskahiko!†(As a D&D ignoramus, someone please correct me if I got that wrong.) Leonard is so overcome that he has to use his inhaler. Opening credits. And WHO can listen to them without singing along?

Raj tells Howard about his relationship with Lucy. Their conversation is so stilted and awkward that they actually have rules about silence on the phone, but Raj is into it. I guess everyone has a soulmate. Sheldon confides in Leonard that he’s not sure what to feel about Howard taking over as Dungeonmaster. Leonard is touched, and explains that change is good. He cites Zachary Quinto’s Spock as an example. “Oh, please, every time change comes up you throw Zachary Quinto in my face.†Jim Parsons’ delivery is impeccable, and shows just how much a good actor can change a character for the better. Howard gets started, opening their adventure with an  encounter with the Nicolas Cage Tree, allowing an excellent impersonation on Simon Helberg’s part. Sheldon remarks that he’s a much better Dungeonmaster than Leonard ever was. Raj tells Cage-Tree that nothing will keep them from their goal, but then bounces after getting a text from Lucy saying she’s free. Considering this is like his first girlfriend ever for more than one episode, we’ll give him a pass. When Leonard protests that he has to stay, he promptly kills his character, then runs off to interact with a human female. Inventive Wolowitz immediately introduces The Ghost of Raj as a character, allowing both a Raj impersonation and the return of Nicolas Cage, which almost kills everyone watching, because NICOLAS CAGE, people.

Lucy and Raj meet up in a bar, where they have the most cringe-inducingly awkward conversation in the history of man, discussing such things as antiperspirants and neediness. She says she’s working on ways to stop being so shy. Obviously Raj is part of this, but he’s sympathetic.

The guys continue on their quest, complete with excellent Wolowitz sound effects (I have never really appreciated Simon Helberg enough). Leonard gets pissy because he totally did sound effects too, guys, but his are just terrible. Suddenly the women show up. When Leonard asks what they’re doing home, Amy is left to explain that she got removed from security for a patdown. After the TSA agent got “handsyâ€, Amy broke her nose, and is now on the no-fly list. Bernadette and Penny are absolutely not pleased. Penny tells her to look on the bright side – between losing money, having a profound sense of shame and getting groped by a stranger, she already did Vegas without actually going there. Amy dejectedly says she’ll leave before ruining things again, to which Sheldon says “That’s my girl.†Leonard rescues the moment by inviting them to join the game. Sheldon protests, mostly because he’s never played D&D with girls before (though Penny points out that it’s fine, since no one has). They ask Howard for the final veto, to which he responds with an account of an Al Pacino fungus and dear God Simon Helberg, you could make a career out of impersonating other celebrities. Long story short, Al Pacino-fungus invites the women to play. The laugh track bursts into cheers and we cut to commercial.

Penny brings drinks, which outrages Sheldon because one shouldn’t drink during D&D. Penny explains that “It’s not alcohol, it’s a magic potion which makes me like you.†Leonard happily imbibes. Howard presents two hulking ogres, whose voices give Sheldon literal goosebumps. Everyone draws a weapon, and Penny asks to roll the dice, murdering the rules of D&D. When Howard protests, she insists, and she gets the dice. Penny, quit ruining things, you ruiner! She miraculously rolls the high number needed and asks if they’re playing for money. Sheldon says that no, it’s even better – they’re playing for experience points. Penny devours more potion.

Raj and Lucy’s date continues to go well. Her food isn’t very good, and since it’s been one of her goals to get the courage to send bad food back, Raj encourages her to try it. He calls over the waiter, and though she tries to dodge the conversation, she kind of manages to get the message out, though she flees the table in the process. I guess you take progress no matter how small. Honestly, this relationship is kind of sweet, the way they encourage each other. It’s quirky. Keep her, Raj. (I think he will.)

Cut to Lucy jumping out the bathroom window to escape the date. Trapped among dumpsters and barbed wire fencing, she tries to pick the padlock with little success. Instead of freaking out as usual, though, she manages to get on the phone to Raj. Attagirl!

The game is going very well, with Bernadette having slaughtered the huge ogre. Sheldon continues to be impressed with Howard. Through one stunning roll, Amy destroys the remaining ogre, and the obstacle is destroyed. Amy declares the evening to be better than Vegas.

Raj shows up to rescue Lucy. He’s hurt that she keeps running away from him, and wants to know why she does it. She says he pushed her too far in the encounter with the waiter and she got scared. He wonders why she didn’t just say so, and she’s like SHYNESS, DUH. Raj confesses that he really likes her and that’s the scary part. Lucy’s self-esteem is so wrecked that she wonders how he could possibly like her. Oh, Lucy, we’ve been there, we’ve been there. So much empathy for that poor girl. He explains that he thinks she’s wonderful. They kiss! Through the fence! It’s the cutest thing ever! And I am officially a shipper.

The gang prepares to defeat a Christopher Walken Dragon. Amy once again strikes the decisive blow. Sheldon won’t let them die without some last words in Walken-voice, however. It’s great to see Sheldon so gleefully delighted. Howard and Bernadette get lovey-dovey, and he promises an adventure at home later, which Sheldon mistakes for another D&D quest. Amy has to explain it to him, and he immediately opts out. Penny, now totally drunk, suggests that Sheldon and Amy “do it†in the game, as they never will in real life. Clever, clever! Appealing to the fanboys who want to see sex while not turning off the fanboys who want them to remain virgins. Howard and Bernadette are all for it, and Bernadette casts a love spell on the couple, turning Amy into “the most beautiful half-orc†Sheldon has ever seen. You’d think Sheldon would protest, but he’s into the game, so he jumps in with perfect abandon. Sheldon, meanwhile “looks like Sheldon because apparently she’s into that.†Oh, boy, let me just say here before we get into it – Abed and Annie did this way better. We don’t get to see Sheldon and Amy do it, though, because Amy gets upset and leaves the room. Completely understandable. Tell that Wolowitz off. Sheldon of course blames it on letting girls play D&D.

Sheldon knocks on his bedroom door, imploring Amy to let him in. She says he doesn’t have to cheer her up, to which he replies that he’s been trying to tell the whole group that. Amy says they think that the relationship’s a joke because of the lack of sex. Sheldon doesn’t think it is, and gives his own example of a joke as backup. Horse? Long face? You all know it. Amy cuts to the chase and asks if they will ever be intimate. He’s caught off guard, and at first Amy is terribly disappointed. He sits next to her and explains that before they met, he had no interest in being intimate whatsoever. Now, he hasn’t ruled it out. Nice explanation there, Sheldon, let me kick you in the pants. Amy doesn’t take that terribly well, but Sheldon says that their current relationship seems extremely intimate already – and that’s big for him. Amy wants more. He points out that after “only three years, we’re already in bed together!†(Or rather, on the bed, but that’s semantics.) Amy has had enough and wants to go back to the living, but Sheldon tells her to stop and points out that there’s still the matter of the love spell. By being bound to the game’s rules, they should see that through. Okay, someone put on some Barry White and dim the lights! Amy hesitantly agrees. The sex scene begins.

As the others raid the dragon’s corpse, Sheldon and Amy go off to a secluded area. He rolls the dice to remove her armor, which titillates Amy. In a perfectly controlled manner, they get to explore some intimacy. It’s not raucous, it’s not even all that graphic, but it’s totally them. Awww.

Penny and Leonard knock on the door to find out what’s going on. Sheldon replies that they’re fine. Penny starts to apologize, but Amy tells her to “Go away, Sheldon is nibbling on my...(dice roll) FOURTEEN!†with a squeal of delight. Looks like they figured things out fast. Penny and Leonard appear puzzled. Up come the closing credits.

All in all, I found this episode to be a lot of fun. The Raj-Lucy story ended up being very sweet, and the Dungeons and Dragons story was serviceable if not ridiculously funny. It also resolved the intimacy problem without compromising the characters. We also got some excellent character moments, especially from Jim Parsons and Simon Helberg. It’s not razor-sharp, but The Big Bang Theory still has a lot of life left in it, even as seasons go by. Let’s hope they can keep it up.

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