The Big Bang Theory: Bad Hair Day

The Big Bang Theory S05E18: "The Werewolf Transformation"

Sheldon Cooper, we have all been there: You find the hairstyle you like and the right barber to do it and then that barber ends up in a coma. It’s like the end of the world, right?

Sheldon spent half of Thursday's episode waiting for the earth to fall out of orbit after he missed his annual haircut because his barber fell ill. Another barber at the same shop offered to cut Sheldon’s hair for him, but as soon as he started up with a story about his son, Sheldon was out of the chair and halfway down the block, leaving Leonard to cast the sage advice, “When you tell this story later, we usually use the word ‘quirky’” to describe the socially inept Sheldon.

It’s okay, Sheldon. I understand. I don’t like it when my hair stylist tries to make small talk either. But I usually manage to suck it up and stay in my seat... though, unlike you, I don’t have a sitcom hinging on the hilariousness of my inability to function in society.

From there, it was a downward spiral for the neurotic, PhD-wielding nerd. A week after fleeing from the barber shop in terror, Sheldon found himself enlightened. Penny pointed out that despite breaking his routine, everything was fine. The oceans weren’t boiling. Fire wasn’t raining from the sky. Sheldon expected to suffer severe backlash for deviating from his norm, and the fact that it never manifested was... liberating.

But, like those repressed kids who get to college and lose their minds because they no longer have to be home by curfew, Sheldon's bit of newfound freedom led him to promptly tear a hole in the universe. You know, figuratively (the bongo drums at 3am didn't endear him to anyone). In a haze of confusion, the kind of confusion I’ve only ever seen induced by a night of intense Mario Kart coupled with Manischewitz in a geek-infested dorm room, Sheldon wandered to Amy Farrah-Fowler’s apartment and passed out on her sofa.

Shamed, he agreed to let Penny cut his hair, which she accidentally screwed up when the clippers made the over-educated man-child giggle.

"The Werewolf Transformation" was a story about expectations, specifically, the dangers of unmet expectations. Sometimes, unmet expectations can become self-fulfilling prophesies of sorts. Sheldon missing his scheduled haircut wasn’t a big deal, but he thought that it should be. His discovery that it wasn’t an earth-shattering incident should have been liberating, but ultimately, Sheldon found himself overwhelmed. Sheldon needs his routines because they color his perception of the world, and sure, that’s a bit unfortunate, but it was also unfortunate that the guy had a nervous breakdown over a haircut.

And Sheldon wasn’t the only one struggling with a flawed perception of reality. Howard took a position as a payload specialist with NASA (awesome!) only to struggle through astronaut training, growing less and less excited about his career opportunity each time he Skyped with Bernadette. Whether or not he'll stick with NASA remains to be seen, but Howie will certainly have some ‘splaining to do next week, since Bernadette traveled to Johnson Space Center to take care of him... only to learn that he'd already had his mom show up. Not cool, bro. Not cool.


The Stray Observation Addendum:

– Amy Farrah-Fowler playing Bon Jovi on the harp was amazing. I love Amy Farrah-Fowler, mostly because I love Mayim Bialik, and not because she was Blossom on Blossom but because she was the young CeeCee Bloom in Beaches. That’s right, I kick it old school.

– Howard’s messages to Bernadette, constantly imploring her to send more underwear, were so adorably pathetic. However, I could have done without the vomit comet anecdote. I threw up in my own mouth a little.

– Henceforth, whenever I find myself playing chess, I shall refer to my bishop as “the pointy-headed man.” Thank you, Leonard and Penny.

Comments (21)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
I can't understand how you can recap this episode without talking about that fantastic skype conversation between Howard and Bernadette. I mean all the actors in this sitcom are funny, but in this episode Howard Wolowoitz was OUTSTANDING. The whole scene from day two of nasa training, from "i blacked out" too "my pee is like toothpaste" was acting as good as it gets. And when he said "i ate a butterfly" in that way he did, i died i a little.



It was so beautiful acting with all its different levels, and just drop dead funny!

Reply
Flag
Am I the only one that doesn't like Amy Farrah-Fowler? She just always seems to me like she's trying too hard!
Reply
Flag
"Trying too hard" is the essence of Amy Farrah Fowler. Like Sheldon, she was an ostracized loner most of her life, but unlike Sheldon, she seems to have always wanted to do something about it. Now that she's met Penny, she's found a chance to break out of her shell, and in true Sheldonian fashion, she greatly overdoes it. (Her fixation-to-the-point-of-creepiness on Penny is a perfect example.) I'll readily admit that the writing for her is uneven at times, but she really shines when given the right material (such as "The Isolation Permutation").
Reply
Flag
She was better in small doses. This episode actually made me think about how there's been way too much of her lately in general, but especially this episode in particular. The harp thing was awful. The bed comment was desperate and pathetic. The body hair thing did make me laugh, but was also desperate and pathetic, like everything she says about Penny.
Reply
Flag
Did anyone notice that Raj was missing this episode?
Reply
Flag
Nope, cos he was having dinner with them at the start, when Howard announced that he would be going to Texas for Nasa astronaut training
Reply
Flag
Penny's bishops were both on dark squares, so did she actually promote to a bishop?
Reply
Flag
You have to love Mayim Bialik because she was on MacGyver. Watch her spasm out of control due to teenage drinking in the sixth season episode "Twenty Questions" sometime. it's a Very Important Episode (tm).
Reply
Flag
Is it just me, or is TBBT not nearly as good as it was in previous seasons?
Reply
Flag
I guess this was a decent episode. There wasn't anything wrong with it but I didn't laugh as many times as I often do while watching TBBT. The only time I laughed was probably when Amy said "There's not a hair on my body I wouldn't let this woman trim." Mayim/Amy's straight-face adoration for Penny is always pretty funny.
Reply
Flag
bongo solo!
Reply
Flag
Sheldon realizing the universe doesn't revolve around him enough to warrant controlling every tiny aspect was pretty good, I was only sorry to see that they couldn't keep the character from jumping off the deep end of broad writing. It'd be nice to see them either acknowledge that he's clinically got something wrong with his mind, or ease up on the over-the-topness of it so that he can occasionally come off his crazy and surprise the audience by being somewhat normal.



Howard's story was cute and he played it really well for such a silly bit, that ending was a crackup with his mom.



Penny beating Leonard at chess was... well, it was a bit much, but I did laugh. Her "lighthouse" was a good one.
Reply
Flag
I wasn't blown away by this episode. I've watched seasons 1 - 4 three times now (perhaps I shouldn't admit that....) and have so far found season 5 underwhelming on the whole. Maybe my expectations are too high?
Reply
Flag
Such a hilarious episode! The chess game between Penny and Leonard had me LMFAO!!
Reply
Flag
This one got funnier towards the end.
Reply
Flag
I love this show, all the characters are fantastic and there isn't one episode that I wouldn't watch again. I can't even choose a best season because all 5 so far have been fantastic. I know that this show will make me laugh every week and that is why it is one of the better comedies on TV today.
Reply
Flag
Wow, this show finally has its own photo-recap! How times have changed
Reply
Flag
not a photo recap - more a recap with some photos
Reply
Flag
A funny episode!
Reply
Flag
I wonder if they're going to do an episode of aftermath of the bad haircut! I would love to see Sheldon's reaction to it :D
Reply
Flag
Probably not, but they might refer to the events of this episode later on (they're pretty good about that, as this episode itself shows). Probably something along the lines of Sheldon claiming, in his usual exaggerated manner, that Penny "nearly shaved him bald." :-)
1
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook