The Big Bang Theory: Dude, Where’s my Nimoy?

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The Big Bang Theory: S05E20 “The Transporter Malfunction”

When I was told that Leonard Nimoy would be guest-starring on an episode of The Big Bang Theory, certain expectations took root in my nerd brain. Specifically, that the mighty Nimoy (we are not worthy!) would actually, you know, make an appearance on The Big Bang Theory.

I know, I know, he was there, technically. But providing the voice for the plastic Spock figure in Sheldon’s dreams just isn’t the same, man. I waited. I waited. I waited some more. Then the credits ran and I thought, hey, maybe I misunderstood what the definition of "appearance" is.

Negative, Ghostrider. But I’ll live with it. In a way, it’s kinda refreshing to see that even though The Big Bang Theory dangled the Nimoy in front of the nerd hoards like a marble before the Hungry Hungry Hippos, the show can practice restraint from time to time. I was expecting some zany chain of sitcom events that put the gang in the presence of the Great One, followed by lots of Trek jokes and hero worship and, I don’t know, Penny getting stuck babysitting the man’s puppy, only to lose it in a bowling alley or something.

So even though I’m mildly disappointed by the lack of flesh-and-blood Nimoy in “The Transporter Malfunction,” I have to admit, I wish I had a plastic Spock in my dreams like Sheldon does. Plastic Dream Spock put his logic to good use in convincing Sheldon to open his mint-condition original Star Trek transporter toy. The function of a toy is to be played with. Therefore, it would be illogical not to play with the transporter.

I’ve faced the collector's dilemma before. Admittedly, I’m more of Star Wars geek than a Trekkie, and though it made my mother cry that her sole female child preferred Han Solo to Barbie, my father indulged me... and completely freaked out if I took anything out of the box. There was still a twinge of residual guilt when unboxed the Indiana Jones bobblehead and placed him on the mantle this past October. It’s hard to destroy your investments... but totally logical. Plastic Dream Spock as voiced by Leonard Nimoy said so.

Then there was Raj. Fretting over his impending status as the "Guy With No Plus One" at Bernadette and Howard’s wedding, Raj asked his parental unit to arrange a marriage for him. He went on a date with the lovely Lakshmi and it was great. He used his words. She liked his cooking. They really hit it off.

Until Lakshmi admitted that she wasn’t looking for a husband so much as a front to get her own parents off her back. She liked girls, thought Raj liked boys, and thought it was a match made in repressive society heaven. Despite the intended laughs, the sad part is that they were very much a good match. I wouldn’t be opposed to Lakshmi hanging around. I’ve never seen Raj more at ease with a woman. He even considered taking her up on the marriage offer because, well, the guy just doesn’t want to be alone anymore.

So Bernadette and Howard bought him a puppy. That works, too.



The Stray Observation Addendum


– “Quantum physics is like looking at the universe naked,” said Sheldon. I think it was meant to be creepy, but it was actually oddly poignant. No really.

– Raj claimed that, if anything, he's metrosexual. That means he likes women and their skincare products. I don’t know if I’ve ever come across a more accurate definition.

– According to Penny, your virginity is more fun when you take it out of the box and play with it. I say that depends on the playmates.


What are your own thoughts on this long-anticipated Leonard Nimoy episode?

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