The Big Bang Theory "The Holographic Excitation" Review: Talk Nerdy to Me

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Oct 26, 2012

The Big Bang Theory S06E05: “The Holographic Excitation”

So Howard was back from space, but he was lacking a proper outlet to get his full space-squee on since his ability to hijack any conversation and turn it into Space Adventures with Buzz Wolowitz of Star Command was practically a science and everyone was really sick of it—except Sheldon and Leonard, if only because they got a kick out of experimenting on it. But alas, even that amusement passed and Howard came to realize that it was almost time to go back to being boring old regular Howard.

Poor Howie, he only wanted to keep his coolness cred front and center. Unfortunately, his humblebragging abilities need some work. Hang out on Facebook for a while, Wolowitz, you’ll learn the art of the #humblebrag in no time.

Leonard and Penny claimed the spotlight leading up to Stu’s annual Halloween party at the comic shop. Penny didn’t want to attend, but Bernadette and Amy pressured her into going because they themselves didn’t have a choice. It’s no secret that Penny’s ongoing indecisiveness irritates me to no end, if only because she keeps stringing Leonard along and then managing to make it seem like her inability to commit is somehow his fault. Her complete and total disinterest in what the man even does for a living was alarming, and I was glad to see that even Bernadette and Amy—who are usually quick to humor Penny’s self-inflicted lovelife drama—were visibly irked.

Bernadette went as far as to say, “You get what you put into a relationship,” as a gentle condemnation of Penny’s initial inability to occasionally indulge Leonard in date nights and even life in general. Compromise goes both ways, lady, though for me, that was the easy part of Penny’s problem to understand. Penny doesn’t like the comic shop and she knew she wasn’t going to enjoy the Halloween party regardless of who she was with. That’s fair. That happens. Going to a movie with your significant other isn’t going to make you enjoy the movie any more if you had no desire to see it in the first place.

No, what really bugged me was the job thing. I mean, that’s Leonard’s life, the culmination of some impressive accomplishments and a lot of hard work, and Penny had zero interest in even the most basic aspects of it. She chalked that up to being too dense to understand what Leonard does, but made no effort to try, even when Amy and Bernadette attempted to explain it. Sheesh, Penny is capable of communicating with other human beings, and it’s not like anyone was asking her to PERFORM Leonard’s job.

At Bernadette’s urging, Penny dropped by the lab one day to hang out. You know those Band-Aids that The Big Bang Theory is so fond of slapping over the Penny/Leonard relationship, only to rip them off a few episodes later when we need some angst? I suspect that’s all we got here, but I’m also crossing my fingers that some actual progress was made. Please, PLEASE let some progress have been made.

Much to Penny’s surprise, she realized that Leonard’s job was actually kind of cool. He was working with holograms and showed off some neat tricks, explaining the Holographic Principle—which Penny seemed to follow pretty well because she’s not nearly as dumb as as she thinks she is.

Penny paused their shenanigans to say to Leonard, “I forget how smart you are,” and even though very shortly afterward they commenced with the sexytimes, that wasn’t sex talk coming from Penny. That sounded like a sincere compliment. Progress!

Of course, for the rest of the episode, whenever Leonard started talking nerdy—but not TOO nerdy, as we saw when Magneto entered the discourse—the conversation usually ended with romp in the... TARDIS. It’s the little things, right Penny?

Hopefully this is a turning point in Penny’s understanding of her relationship with Leonard, rather than an admittedly hilarious detour away from their usual inability to function. What do you think?

The Stray Observation Addendum

1. One-liner of the night: Bernadette’s "I’m gonna be washing paint out of my smurf for a month!” Howard’s sexy astronaut puns get an honorable mention just because they were creepy; his Bernadette impression, however, was glorious.

2. Speaking of puns, Raj’s Halloween menu was cute! However, it also kind of reminded me of a school lunch menu. Our lunch ladies really liked puns too. It helped disguise the fact that we were basically eating chicken byproduct pressed into different shapes every day of the week. NUTRITION!

3. Amy doesn’t like Star Wars. I’m sorry, Amy. I liked you. But you’re gonna have to go.

4. Just kidding, I love Amy. But really, I would have expected that to be a deal-breaker.

5. “There are certain things that say to the world, ‘I have a boyfriend and he’s not made up.’ Matching costumes, hickeys, and sex tapes.” Amy has a point. I was kind of holding out for her to enlighten Sheldon as to what a hickey is, if only to see his reaction of complete and utter horror.

6. Raj was irritated by Stu taking credit for all of his fabulous party-planning. Ruh-roh, Stu. I’d watch it. Your status in the inner circle was already shaky where Sheldon and Howard were concerned.

7. So who won "Best in Show" with their costume?

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  • googlehoop Oct 27, 2012

    I have great hope that Penny has made progress in her relationship with Leonard...I still think they belong together, although her usual lack of commitment annoys me as well. As for Amy and Sheldon's couples costume choices, Amy's "Blossom & Joey" was the best. But Howard and Bernadette's "Smurfs" stole the show!

  • docspector Oct 27, 2012

    I'm a little worried that Amy thinks "Blossom and Joey" are a "couples costume", in the sense that they were brother and sister. WHOA!

  • ionee24 Oct 27, 2012

    I'm more worried that Sheldon is becoming obsessed with slash coupless (Doctor & Daleks?! No Doctor and River Sun/Mr. Spock & Nyota, Han Solo & Leia, etc.)

  • safibwana Oct 27, 2012

    It's not slash; he's just not interested in romance. He has a less narrow definition of "couple". Amy knows she means romantic couples, but Sheldon doesn't see the world through that lens.

  • shocker713 Oct 27, 2012

    While we're on the Blossom kick, has anyone else notice that frequent Chuck Lorre director Ted Wass, who played the dad on Blossom, has yet to direct an episode since Mayim joined the cast? I hope there's no ill will.

  • JT_Kirk Oct 27, 2012

    When I saw "Dharma and Greg" and "Blossom and Joey" on AFF's side of the idea board, I was DYING. Great call outs there to both showrunner Chuck Lorre and Mayim Biyalik.

    This was a cute episode, but man was Leonard ever lucky that his experiments were fairly complete enough to show Penny. I fear you're right and they're going to backslide Peonard, but at least it was nice to have a reason to care about them again for an episode.

    Your photo above ruins the CGI illusion that the ball was actually floating, how could you?!? ;-)

  • TVcom_editorial Staff Oct 27, 2012

    Ooh nice catch on the photo; that's the one that CBS had up on its press site for this episode!

  • xubxerox Oct 27, 2012

    Bernadette was easiely the hottest smurf ever :P - great choice of costumes. And adding to that howards impression... It's been a while since i laughed that hard while watching big bang theory.

  • JustinJohnson9 Oct 27, 2012

    Very good episode. Bernadette's smurf line had me rolling!!!

  • rtozier2011 Oct 27, 2012

    I particularly laughed at "Indian Jones", Howard's Bernadette impression, and her deep voice. When Sheldon and Amy showed up to the party, my first thought was that they had come as Dorothy and a suspiciously-C3PO-like Tin Man. 7.8/10.

  • Kevers68 Oct 27, 2012

    Stu was supposed to be Willy Wonka? I thought it was the Mad Hatter. Would make more sense, since the Mad Hatter is a Batman villian.

  • ayyyy1 Oct 28, 2012

    He was Willy Wonka! It's all there, in color, clear as crystal. You get NOTHING, YOU LOSE! GOOD DAY SIR!

  • JT_Kirk Oct 27, 2012

    I got the Willy Wonka vibe from the specificity of the colors and cut of the topcoat, but I suspect you're right that it's Mad Hatter due to the large size of the hat.

  • JazzyMcC Oct 27, 2012

    I love that "Blossom and Joey" was on Amy's list of couples!! :D

  • MarWash Oct 27, 2012

    this show is declining in quality and has been doing so since they decided to make it a dating show.

  • torque_smacky Oct 27, 2012

    "The Doctor and A Dalek"? What kind of crazy shipper is Sheldon?

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