Schadenfreude! Dear, sweet schadenfreude! After six seasons of chalking up Sheldon’s general suckiness as a friend and, at times, a human being, to “Sheldon being Sheldon,” Dr. Cooper finally did his dickhead routine for the wroooong audience. Twice. Or maybe thrice? Yes, I think the final tally stands at three times where Sheldon Cooper didn’t know when to just STFU: worst sex-ed ever with lady-assistant Alex, followed up by two terrible trips to Human Resources where he quickly steered the situation from bad to worse simply by being himself—which is, of course, the beauty of the situation. Was Sheldon trying to make Alex uncomfortable during his lecture? Certainly not. Sheldon was “just being Sheldon.”
But sometimes less is more and that proclamation also extends to Amy Farrah-Fowler, who seemed to barely make an appearance this week after showing up everywhere in the episodes preceding the hiatus. I love Amy, but after the creepy spanking and the needy girlfriend routine and the abundance of awkward that is as much a part of Amy’s character as Howard’s mommy issues and Raj’s inability to talk to people with vajayjays are to theirs, just a dash of Amy, rather than dumping the entire bottle into the soup, was definitely the right call. Sheldon talking about STDs ensured we had plenty to cringe at. And besides, Leonard and Penny haven’t made me pull my hair out in a while.
Speaking of those two, that epic role reversal was a long time coming and it was so delightful that if “The Egg Salad Equivalency” was the last we'll see of it, I’ll be sorely disappointed. The perpetual “will-they-won’t-they” couple of The Big Bang Theory, Leonard and Penny aren’t allowed to hook up in any permanent sense until the show’s dying days. That’s just how it is. JD and Elliot eventually got there on Scrubs, and Barney and Robin are finally getting there on How I Met Your Mother. It’s fate, but fate is going to make Penny and Leonard break up a few more times because, IDK, rules or something.
You gotta keep it FRESH, though. The problem with dangling Leonard and Penny week after week hasn’t so much been the dangling, but that they're always dangled over the same pit of sharks with lasers on their frickin heads: Penny met a guy and Leonard felt threatened. Leonard realized that Penny was hot and Leonard felt threatened. Leonard acted like a creepy overbearing stalker because he felt threatened... and Penny felt threatened. The dynamics never change and the characters never grow. Sure, The Big Bang Theory is not some big, sweeping drama where we should expect the characters to make like Pokemon and evolve accordingly, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to let them level up from time to time. Howard Wolowitiz a great example. He’s married now and he went to space and proved to his friends that he’s super-awesome even though he doesn’t have a PhD, but he’s still kind of a creepy horndog who's prone to getting upset when people don’t acknowledge his impressive accomplishments. He’s still recognizably Howard.
So Alex finally made her move and hit on Leonard by inviting him to a lecture and he turned her down because he was loyal to Penny. However, loyalty aside, Leonard loved the new-to-him experience of being desired by two attractive women at the same time. That’s cool. It’s not like he acted on it, right? Right.
Enter Penny’s threat-alarm blaring in the distance. Also jealousy, because she might be hot, but Alex is hot AND brainy. Be afraid, Penny. Be very afraid.
Well, probably not. Leonard shot Alex down the first time around and asserted his devotion to Penny without a second thought, so realistically, Team Leonard/Penny is probably just fine. However, Alex is a worthy opponent and Penny knows it. Just like so many of Penny’s male friends have given Leonard a cause for concern in the past—both justifiably and unjustifiably so—Alex is the threat-that-isn’t-really-a-threat-unless-someone-makes-her-one. So much of Leonard’s overbearing behavior toward Penny comes from his belief that she’s the only chance he has to have a relationship with a beautiful, desirable woman. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to having two equally desirable options, particularly if Alex continues to wage her campaign of actually pursuing him.
That is, if she doesn’t quit working for Sheldon first. After his amazing, fully illustrated, jealousy-driven STD lecture and the HR Office encore—featuring That Time Sheldon Called the Black HR Lady a “slave”—Sheldon quickly threw his fellow socially stunted friends under the HR bus (intentionally or not), earning them all severe warnings and a spot in the latest section of the online sexual harassment seminar. Then he declared that he just didn’t have time to waste on such silly matters and ordered his poor assistant to take the class for him. The boy just doesn’t learn.
What'd you think of the episode?
The Stray Observation Addendum
– One-liner of the night, Sheldon’s “Your ovaries are squirting so much goofy juice into your brain that you don’t know which way is up,” for use of the term “goofy juice.”
– Personally, Alex, I thought the egg salad comparison was hysterical, but I’m a bad person.
– Of course Sheldon gets to be “Einstein Von Brainstorm” in his story. Of course he does.
– “Sheldon Cooper's Council of Ladies” might make a good supervillain team name... but only if the women all dress like fembots and Sheldon wears a leisure suit and a fake ‘stache.
– Janine the Human Resources Lady was awesome and I’d like to see her more plz kthnx.