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The Big Bang Theory 7.3 - The Scavenger Vortex


crazyforkate

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blog-vortex.jpgvortex

Cool title, eh? Let's see what's up this week.

Dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Raj is pissy because no one came to his murder mystery party. Yeah, I'd be pretty brokenhearted too. I threw a ton of those things in middle school. Anyway, he's going around all butthurt, and they feel bad (except Sheldon). However, they're sick of murder mystery parties. Raj has a better idea - a scavenger hunt! This goes over slightly better. In fact, Leonard and Howard indulge in fond memories of their respective Princeton and MIT hunts. And trade barbs about said schools. Amy reflects on her constant bitter loneliness. They all also act like intellectual snobs towards Penny. See, this isn't your average scavenger hunt, it's a scavenger hunt for geniuses. Everyone's on board - except for Sheldon, who wants to know if they're tricking Raj again like with the dinner party. Opening credits. Just try not to sing along.

Everyone's ready for the scavenger hunt. Especially Sheldon, who is vastly overprepared. Raj tries some minor pyrotechnics (think GOB from Arrested Development - but where does the lighter fluid come from?) and almost sets Bernadette on fire. The music and lights go over well, though. Raj tells them their quest - solve ten puzzles to find the Golden Coin, hidden somewhere in the city. Sheldon is loving it. Howard just wants to know, for poor Leonard's sake, if people who went to Princeton get a head start. They get into a fight over how to divide the teams - should it be couples, or should they mix things up? Penny, feeling intellectually insecure, is especially touchy, thinking that Leonard considers her a liability. (She also points out that she can use "liability" correctly.) She proudly declares that she'll kick ass alongside Sheldon, though. It takes some convincing to get him (or anyone) on her team!

So Sheldon and Amy are paired up, and he reacts to this like a six-year-old being taken to get shots. Penny is like "Stop whining I GOT THIS". Okay, so we have Sheldon and Penny. However, we also have Howard and Amy, which leaves Leonard with Bernadette. Two character dynamics we've never really explored before. This should be fun!

Anyway, the puzzle is...a puzzle, as in jigsaw. Howard/Amy and Leonard/Bernadette get down to it, but Sheldon is extremely picky and pisses Penny off. Howard and Amy bond over their terrible mothers and total loneliness. Amy is self-deprecating and tells him she knows he'd prefer to be with Bernadette. Given her vicious competitive streak, though, he's quite happy to be with Amy for now. We cut to Bernadette traumatizing Leonard with her screechiest of voices. Penny and Sheldon solve first, but are held up by Sheldon's insistence on finishing the puzzle, even though they know the answer. The other pairs are already on their way. Penny is going mad, especially when Sheldon has to stop and stare to work it out.

Leonard wonders if Penny's mad at him over Partnergate, while Bernadette complains and shrieks over his low speed. She attributes her competitiveness to having many siblings. Personally, I'd just say she needs a drink or two.

Howard and Amy are finding things awkward, lampshading the fact that they've never really spent time together. However, like decent people, they make small talk and get through it. I like these two, they could be actual friends. At least until Amy insults him a whole bunch. Apparently, the first thing she heard was to never get in a car with him. Plus they have nothing in common. They even hate each others' music (though as Amy notes, Sheldon thinks that any music at all is a sign of gang activity). Fortunately, they discover a shared love of Neil Diamond, and we get a "Sweet Caroline" singalong. Aww. I still stand by my earlier comments. These two would actually work as buddies.

Raj thanks Stuart for letting them use the shop. I missed their bro-time. Actually, I miss Stuart. He's so sad and left out. Can't you let him in? Speaking of being excluded, Amy and Howard are first and Amy is thrilled that this isn't some kind of horrible Carrie- style prank, but a real game! Oh, what a sad life you must have lived. Though tell me, doesn't everyone feel like everyone is out to humiliate them at some point? Raj puts them on their next puzzle - a riddle. Given by the Riddler. Bernadette and Leonard come running in at that point, Bernadette shrieking heartlessly about how Leonard shouldn't be slow just because he has asthma. Bitch. Leonard roars at her, and I support him.

The question is about a hero, and it has something to do with this room and math. Stuart is depressed and lonely. He didn't even get invited to Raj's murder mystery! Hell, I think even Raj might have learned something from that. Leonard tries to kiss-ass with Penny over Partnergate, but Bernadette shuts him up. Sheldon solves the riddle in a heartbeat, and he and Penny are off, Penny shrieking with pride about her underdog status. Raj is truly the master - this scavenger hunt really plays to different strengths. Howard and Amy seem to have gotten it too. Leonard figures it out, but too late for Bernadette. Fortunately, Leonard calls her out on her antics. She's kind of an awful person. This episode. And others.

Sheldon and Penny get to the CalTech geology lab, where the next clue is probably hidden under a rock. Penny asks him how he solved it, to which he launches into a very complicated explanation that no one could possibly follow. I'm pretty sure it's more in-depth than Raj even intended. However, as he tells her this, Penny solves it - it's under the Rolling Stones poster on the door. The poster has map coordinates. Sheldon and Penny proceed to the next part of the quest. She's surprised that he doesn't want an explanation for her solution - but all he has to say is that "No one likes a know-it-all." Best - line - of - the - episode.

Howard and Amy gleefully drive around, blasting Neil Diamond, while Bernadette and Leonard are considerably less amiable. She assures him that it's totally okay to break all laws of traffic (and physics) while driving because her dad's a cop. Leonard's a tad skeptical. Bernadette's too busy yelling out the window to listen. Leonard whines about Penny and wants to quit. In no uncertain terms, Bernadette tells him to stop being such a fucking wuss (though apparently Penny uses a slightly harsher - ladypart - word). Quitting is weak. NO QUIT. BAD LEONARD. Leonard, however, is really upset that Penny thinks he's a coward, with good reason. That was really awful, Bernadette. Go to hell. In another car, Amy and Howard are still singing...

Penny and Sheldon pull up to - get this - a bowling alley. Sheldon takes a moment to crow about his superior intellect. Howard and Amy, still at the geology lab and still singing, are way behind. Meanwhile, Bernadette and Leonard have gone completely in the wrong direction, and Leonard is hanging off a cable in their building elevator. Oh no, wait, this is a subsequent clue, right after the bowling alley. Apparently they're now in first? Huh? Bernadette still gets pissed about Leonard's terrible rope-climbing skills. They go to the planetarium, the tar pits, and to a Neil Diamond concert next month (oops, that's just Howard and Amy), and soon they are at the final clue - three laundry bags side by side in the apartment basement.

Sheldon and Penny arrive first, sending Bernadette into conniptions. However, the clue is nowhere to be found. Hmm, was this just an excuse for Raj to get his friends to do the laundry? This prompts Leonard and Penny get into an argument over Penny thinking Leonard's a pussy vs. Leonard thinking Penny's stupid. It turns out Bernadette made the former up, because she needed to rally Leonard's efforts. Wow. She is officially evil. Get a lawyer, Howard. Sheldon's offended that they won't say the word in front of him, because he assures them he's heard the word "ninny" before. Uh-huh. Leonard assures them he's "as much of a man as Penny."  Sheldon figures out that the laundry loads each contain one shirt, belonging to him, and each shirt has a spot. This is the next clue. Leonard and Bernadette immediately figure it out and run off, and soon Penny has it - it's SHELDON'S SPOT! Everyone give Raj a round of applause. Sheldon thinks it's cool, too, but has to deal with the spots on his shirts first...

After a tussle, Penny gets to the apartment first, followed closely by Bernadette and Leonard. However, even after tearing the couch apart, they can't find the coin. Raj steps out then, dressed up like Hugh Hefner, to explain his evil plan. He advises them to look in their pockets - and lo and behold, the coins have been there the whole time. Raj explains that "when we're all having fun, we're already winners!" He holds up his own coin as proof. The others aren't convinced. Actually, I think it's pretty clever. But they're super pissed. We also get in another dig at Penny's cleverness, by the way. Eye roll. Anyway, Raj has to run fast before he gets killed, just as Sheldon comes in with coin proclaiming he won.

Howard and Amy, who lost the hunt but won something much more important during the course of the game, sing karaoke in a bar. Freeze-frame, closing credits.

This was a great episode! Apart from a few dumb comments about Penny, it was a rollicking good time. Relationships were renewed, formed or destroyed, there was a clear goal and good adventure, and in the end, it was about the group and how they interacted. Placing Howard with Amy was genius, while Leonard and Bernadette proved pretty golden too. All in all, it breathed fresh air into an old show, which is always welcome, and gave us a good adventure around Pasadena. Great going, Big Bang. Great going. Now, to get those Neil Diamond songs out of my head...

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