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Worldly Distractions: The Big Bang Theory 7.6 - The Romance Resonance







Romance. Such a lovely word, the centre of our delicate relationships. Violins and Cupid, music and flowers. Tonight, our favorite nerds tackle the subject - again. I wonder if they'll bring anything new to the table?

Sheldon is working on something highly technical (or frivolous) at the Cheesecake Factory. Penny is curious, Amy indifferent. Leonard is just happy that he's quiet. Bernadette and Howard arrive with happy news about a new virus that will kill humans (in all fairness, it's great for Bernadette's job). Howard mentions that his first-date anniversary with Bernadette is coming up. He wants to plan something special. The gang of course tease the crap out of him, but eventually agree to help. Unfortunately, it means going along with the song Howard's writing. Opening credits.

Penny wonders why Leonard has never done anything so romantic for her, though Leonard points out that he's not sure which first date - they've broken up so many times. Leonard, in turn, wonders what Penny has ever done that's romantic (besides the obvious). Penny takes this as a challenge. She, too, will be romantic, even if it kills her! Which it likely will.

Meanwhile, Sheldon is still "in the zone" about his mysterious project. No one can reach him, and the whiteboard is full. Finally, he unveils his genius. He has figured out a way to synthesize a new superstable heavy element or something (I'm not up on my physics talk), which is apparently a big deal because Leonard stops making fun of him. Nobel prize, here we come. Sheldon is triumphant, Leonard's less thrilled because it's freaking Sheldon.

Howard has put together an impromptu love band, with Leonard on cello and Raj on ukulele. Sheldon, however, can't shut up about his accomplishment, and everyone's getting tired of him. He assures them that he will remain humble, but since he was not humble to begin with (and keeps trumpeting Communism's ability to "keep people in line"), no one is optimistic. Huh.

Desperate to be romantic, Penny has called in Raj for help. He gleefully shows up with a bag full of ideas, and I wonder if I got timewarped to this week's episode of Modern Family. Nope, apparently every show this week has to tackle planning romantic events. Anyway, Raj is full of amazing plans. He suggest getting to Leonard through a magical meal, dancing, the Say Anything boombox thing. (Singleness means he's been watching a lot of movies lately.) Penny shoots them all down. As she's always been so attractive and dateable, Raj explains, she's never had to learn how to make an effort. Somehow, Penny doesn't mind.

Sheldon is desperately trying to preserve his greatness - literally. He's saving his markers in case the Smithsonian wants them. "Ah, yes, the magic whiteboard where the discovery was made!" Amy is proud but skeptical. However, the world comes crashing down. When looking through an old textbook, Sheldon realizes he made a mistake. Yes, he discovered a new element - but he just got lucky doing so. It was not his skill at all. Sheldon is crushed, and resolves to figure it out immediately, just so he can keep the bragging rights. Hey, can't say I wouldn't react the same way. 

Amy assures him that it's groundbreaking enough without the entire process being Sheldon's work, but he calls himself a fraud - and worse, "practically a biologist". Someone needs to google "accidental scientific discoveries" for a reality check. Leonard assures him that "people get things they don't deserve all the time", like their friendship. Sheldon wants to keep the discovery from getting out. Unfortunately, no one thinks it can be stopped. It's too late to hold back the tide of information. Oh, 2013.

The guys continue to plan their song, though Raj is disappointed that he doesn't get to rap. Sheldon walks in to great applause from the faculty, but curtly cuts them off. With regret, he tells them how he didn't really discover it and wants to clear things up. They applaud him anyway. He sighs. It's hard to have people love you.

Everyone gets ready for Howard's date. Leonard pointedly mentions how cool it must be to have something romantic done for you, Penny gets in a few sex jokes, and Sheldon is still obsessing over the element issue, especially since he is being offered grants left and right. Furthermore, Bernadette is running late, putting a wrench into the whole works. Amy tells Sheldon that he's right - he is a fraud who deserves no credit whatsoever. Everyone watches the interaction with bated breath. However, Sheldon thinks it's incredibly romantic. Aww.

Howard comes in with bad news - there was an accident at the lab, and Bernadette's quarantined in the hospital. (Sheldon also has bad news - he just got a raise.) The gang all go to visit her at the hospital. Through a glass wall, Howard tells her he loves her, and she assures him she'll be okay. It's honestly adorable. To make it even sweeter, Howard reveals that he has brought the date to the hospital. Everyone comes in with musical instruments - even germaphobe Sheldon, at Amy's insistence - and the song begins.

(By the way - is it coincidence that Howard looks like a Beatle, dressed all in black with that haircut?)

Okay, the song is cute as hell and full of wonderful scientific/geek references to keep the nerd in me happy. Yes, even lyrics in Klingon. It also includes the line "I'd probably still live with my mom." This is awesome. Simon Helberg knocks it out of the park, with a sweet confidence that really suits the declaration of love. The friends in the background make it even better. Incidentally, I hear the song is available on Itunes. Still - I prefer "You Are My Heart, My Universe". Bollywood trumps all. Okay, okay, round of applause, that was wonderful. Bernadette loves it, of course, and begins to cry.

Back at Penny's apartment, she and Leonard share a romantic dinner. Sure, it's ramen, but Leonard is tactful. Penny puts on some mood music and begins Romancefest. A trail of rose petals lead him into the bedroom, where she has a gift for him. It's a first edition of Leonard's favorite book, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - but somehow he is less than bowled over. Penny's upset, and yeah, I'm kind of on her side for this one. He explains he already has one. Penny is horrified at her terminal lack of romance. She tells him that he's the romantic one, and proves it. The whole time, she's had a box in her room full of mementos from their relationship. This includes the thank-you letter he wrote after she first slept with him, of course. No matter, though, Leonard is amazed that she kept all this and finally deems her capable of romance. Thank GOD. Picky, picky. Though as she leaps into his arms, he notices a pregnancy test in the box...she assures him it's fine. It's "just the first one", after all. Only a crazy person would do that.

Sheldon rages about his lack of concentration, and predictably blames Amy, calling her a "distraction". Yeah, it's awful, even the laugh track gasps. However, just when I think she's finally about to dump his ass, he explains that it's because he can't stop thinking about kissing her. First - that doesn't make it cool, buddy. Second - WTF? This is not Sheldon. However, Amy and the audience are appropriately taken aback. He explains he wants to kiss her "on the mouth, like mommies and daddies do." This is sufficiently cute that even grumpy CFK is mollified. However, just as he leans in - we cut to a restaurant where we find that Amy has fantasized the entire scene. "Can't talk - in the zone," she says. Oh, my heart is broken for her. She needs a break. Can't they hold hands or something?

End credits. Okay, I really think this episode was sweet. No, they brought nothing new to the table, but it worked. The song was worth the price of admission (if there were a price of admission, that is), and the buildup with Penny and Leonard turned out well. I'm still sick of their bullshit antics, though. Sheldon's existential crisis was hilarious, and Amy's story was touching and sad while still maintaining humor. We've set up how the season is going. What we need now is a gamechanger - and it looks like we're getting one soon enough.

Next week - Bob Newhart and Bill Nye will appear on the show! Tell me you are not positively fainting with excitement. I suspect that for many FJ readers, Bill Nye WAS their childhood (and in far too many cases, the bulk of their science class). When the audience inevitably screams, yeah, I'm probably going to scream too. That's all for tonight. CFK over and out.

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      1 minute ago, Coconut Flan said:

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