The Big Bang Theory "The Monster Isolation" Review: Yay, a Story for Raj!

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Feb 22, 2013

The Big Bang Theory S06E17: “The Monster Isolation”

Aww, you guys, Raj got a real story all to himself this week and it was sweet and it had Kate Micucci (Raising Hope, Scrubs) being, well, Kate Miucci—which was totally okay. “The Monster Isolation” picked up immediately following Raj’s grand speech and hasty departure from the comic shop’s lonely hearts V-Day party last week, catching up to him and his date at a coffeeshop where Raj was using his words and only slightly coming off as a total creep. It looked like a win-win for both Raj and his super-shy date... until she climbed through the restroom window and fled the scene. Cue the angst spiral, complete with determination to never leave his apartment again—and being perfectly capable of doing just that through the wonders of internet commerce.

To their credit, his friends came to the rescue and tried to talk him back into wearing pants and showering regularly, but the dude’s heart was broken, again, and this time after an experience that showed so much growth and promise. Sure, he ditched the comic shop gang as soon as a woman came along and stuttered out her interest, but the speech itself WAS thoughtful and touching and if Lucy hadn’t showed up, I think Raj would have embraced his words and ended the night on a positive.

I’m delighted to report, though, that Raj still got something close to a happy ending, for now. Given how sparingly Margo Harshman appears as Alex, it’s hard to say how much of Micucci’s Lucy we’ll see on a regular basis. After apologizing for ditching Raj and explaining that it wasn’t a reflection of how she felt about him, but rather a desperate way to cope with her anxiety issues, Lucy agreed to go on at least on more real date with Raj. I really like Lucy, and honestly, Raj as the creepy, socially inept, hypocritical single nerd was getting a little old. This has been a great season on The Big Bang Theory for advancing the love lives of its core characters and it’s only right that Raj gets his turn. Given what a genuinely good fit Lucy appears to be with her own social baggage and her determination to overcome her anxious tendencies, it appears that the writers have finally decided to approach Raj’s love life seriously and I am so ready.

Meanwhile on Fun with Flags, Sheldon inched ever closer toward “normal” when Penny used her guest spot on Sheldon’s web series to help Sheldon be more “open” and “natural” with his body language. Penny is no stranger to trying to help Sheldon, but Sheldon hasn’t always embraced her direction so easily, and even though he ended up overdoing it with the open body language (I thought things were going to get weird for a second there), his effort was real, as was his sincerity when he thanked Penny for her insight. Amy had to force him to act and say “thank you,” but the gratefulness wasn’t something that Sheldon had to fake. It may have taken six seasons, but The Big Bang Theory is finally allowing its two most openly oddball characters to evolve and as a result, the most recent stretch of episodes have been legitimately entertaining AND enlightening in a way we haven’t seen in awhile. I’m starting to care about these characters again and it’s a really great feeling.

What did you think of “The Monster Isolation”?

The Stray Observation Addendum

– One-liner of the night: “Spread your legs. Invite them in.” —Sheldon

– Amy and her chain-smoking animal friends were hilarious, “MOMMY’S ON THE PHONE!”

– LOL at Sheldon’s patdown before Penny’s play. I was disappointed by the lack of an old-school brick Game Boy, though the Etch-a-Sketch was a nice touch.

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  • denna Feb 28, 2013

    Raj is gay; point black on the dotted line, period. where's the evidence? he is not comfortable around women AT ALL. not even women that are unattractive. he has to drink in order to lighten up around them. he is only comfortable around men. HE IS GAY.

  • Glennen Mar 04, 2013

    Well, in season 3, Leonards mother said he has Selective Mutism, which is a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. And his willingness to date a woman (he has slept with a few) is not really a sign that he's gay. Maybe a little bisexual but I think his preference is with women.

  • VageSjaak Feb 27, 2013

    Well reading through the comments I am the only one who skipped the scenes with the new chick? I instantly hated her stupid appearance and annoying voice. I was so glad to see her escape from the bathroom and run away, too bad, bitter dissapointment later on. This one is going to stay for multiple episodes. Aargh. I had the same with Prya, hated her from the start and was so glad to see her go.

    The episode was great however, loved the thank you knock knock scene, and everything else, except the scenes with goofy new chick and raj, horrible, absolutely horrible.

  • OdumC Feb 25, 2013

    This one didn't do a lot for me, besides Amy's line about getting removed from the project and Sheldon and Penny making "Fun with Flags".. still my favorite comedy by a mile but this one just fell flat to me.

  • SarahHagen2 Feb 24, 2013

    Raj in his whitey tighties was a little disturbing, but we're all happy that he's finally getting out of the single sad sack role. I hope they give Kate Micucci some interesting quirks that blend well with the group, like when they revamped Amy's character to want to be BFFs with Penny, best character move they ever made.
    Also, is this the first time we've seen Penny actually act besides that hemorrhoid commercial? Is this foreshadowing to getting her out of that horrid yellow cheesecake factory vest? Definitely overdue.

  • Glennen Feb 25, 2013

    It was a play from her acting class, right? So it's not really a job, more like a exam.

  • SarahHagen2 Feb 25, 2013

    Still, I hope it leads to something else for her character.

  • Glennen Feb 24, 2013

    Really liked the Raj part this time. I think, it's the first time in all those years of TBBT that Raj talked to a woman. that he couldn't talk to her without alcohol (excluding the three girls in the group, who know already). I had to laugh so hard when Amy described why she was fired from the project "You can get animals addicted to a harmful substance, you can disect their brains but you throw their own feces back at them and suddenly you're unprofessional."

    Also, the Rubics cube in Sheldons pants :D

  • JustinJohnson9 Feb 24, 2013

    Raj finally has a chance with a woman!!! Hallelujah lol!!! What makes it better: she has her own problems too!!! I like that TBBT gave him someone to think about. This episode, once again, was hilarious to me. Adding Amy and Bernadette as regulars is still a genius move to me. Amy with those monkeys had me rolling lol!!! I also loved Bernadette's "Red Lobster" line. Sheldon has come a long way from six years ago, and him not only giving props to Penny's acting chops but also guest-starring her on his show was great and funny. Love, love, love this show!!

  • tv_gonzo Feb 24, 2013

    When Raj finally get a girlfriend this show will have absolutely nothing in common with the show that started some years ago. I have no problem with the idea that Raj gets a girlfriend, but the storylines are thin as it is. It used to be the guys and Penny or the Sheldon and Penny for one and the guys for other. Now you juggle, Shamy, Leonard and Penny, Bernadette and Howard and Raj has a few lines here and there. There is no more room for a fourth couple. It can't always be guys/girls night out.

  • denna Feb 28, 2013

    the show i heard is ending next year so your worries will be over.

  • Uncle-Bryn Feb 24, 2013

    Totally agree. Sheldon's interactions with Penny always make the most laughs.

  • SarahHagen2 Feb 24, 2013

    Well they have to have some character growth and development. In real life friends change, get married, move away, have kids...etc. Keeping the characters and situations the same as to when the show started isn't realistic and would be boring. Howard on the space station earlier this season was different, plus they had an ep of Leonard, Penny, Sheldon and Amy having a game night that was funny- so they do mix it up.

  • shocker713 Feb 23, 2013

    "When do they get to the part about streetcars?"

  • Vicky8675309 Feb 23, 2013

    Great review and I love how the characters are continuing to slowly grow/develop.

    Bernadette cracked me up with the "red lobster" comment and how they were all thinking it but she was the only one with the courage to say it and nice to say it when Raj wasn't there. Funny/Cute!

    Amy cracked me up with her monkey interactions. I'm pro-animal but I could still laugh at that scene.

    Sheldon is awesome and I can't get over how much he looks like Data when he was recording the flag show. I love his interactions with Penny and his interpretation of "openness" had a cheap soft core porn vibe that was hysterical considering his character.

  • JT_Kirk Feb 23, 2013

    THE GOOCH! Man did she play her standard character, right on the money! I was surprised she wasn't put off by Raj, he was kinda worse than normal on that date and was juuuuust about to pull out of the nosedive when she bolted. If they put Raj and her together on a permanent basis, I hope it's really slow and awkward and misfires a bunch.

    I liked this episode, but it was very uneven, both in premise and pacing, and I found Amy's schtick out of character and flat.

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