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The Big Bang Theory "The Higgs Boson Observation" Review: Attack of the Green-Eyed Penny Monster

The Big Bang Theory S06E03: "The Higgs Boson Observation"

The never-ending saga of Penny and Leonard continued this week, when Sheldon hired an assistant who got along swimmingly with Leonard, and Penny’s green-eyed monster showed up to drag him into the bedroom. See, even though Penny is on the fence about whether or not she wants to be with Leonard, she’s absolutely certain that no other woman should be allowed to even consider going near him.

The saddest part is that Alex—Sheldon's beautiful, friendly new assistant—actually seems kind of awesome. She’s the bridge between Amy Farrah Fowler and Penny, like a brunette Bernadette. After being introduced to Alex, Leonard responded with “Congratulations, and may God have mercy on your soul,” but to Alex’s credit, she just seems to “get” Sheldon and the other scientists. She mentioned that her father is a scientist, an astronomer who hunts for aliens, and sure, that sounds a little wacky by Sheldon's high standards, but even in other fields of science there is methodology, discipline, and the occasional obsessive-compulsive character. We saw Alex handle Sheldon’s quirks with grace, and she clearly thinks highly of Leonard both professionally and personally.

The arrival of Alex could've been the perfect out that Penny lacked in her attempt to break things off with Leonard last week. IT COULD HAVE BEEN BEAUTIFUL, MAN. However, even though it's easy to cast Penny’s insistence on keeping Leonard to herself in a selfish or immature light, there’s another approach we can take with regard to her actions.

Sheldon explained that his need for an assistant stemmed from his mission to study all of the old journals he kept as a child in search of a possibly overlooked scientific breakthrough. He was inspired by the case of the Higgs Boson, a subatomic particle also known as the “God particle,” that was postulated by scientist Peter Higgs in the '60s and, at the time, thought to be hilariously wrong by his peers. More recently, scientists have come to learn that Higgs was actually quite right, and he's on his way to winning a Nobel Prize for his work. Good job. Gold star.

Penny’s true feelings for Leonard can be compared to the Higgs Boson in the sense that although she previously rejected them, upon further exploration of those feelings—specifically by considering the possibility that Leonard could leave her for Alex—came to embrace and accept her true affection for the nerd next door. Maybe Penny really loves Leonard after all. However, until they manage to have a serious conversation that doesn’t devolve immediately into avoidance sex, I remain unconvinced. Leonard clearly wants more out of their relationship than Penny has previously been able to give him, and they need to reach a better understanding of what they’re willing to be to one another. It’s not fair to either of them if Penny only indulges in the girlfriend territory when it suits her or when she feels like her territory is being threatened by another woman.

Speaking of territory, how about Amy Farrah Fowler spreading her scent all over Sheldon’s office? I guess that’s kind of sweet. For them.

Howard is still in space, blissfully sedated by his fellow astronauts. I hope he comes home soon, if only to give Bernadette something to do besides sit in front of a laptop every time we see her. Where are her legs? Have they gone missing?



The Stray Observation Addendum


– One-liner of the night: “Looks like something used by Tinkerbell’s gynecologist.” Amy Farrah Fowler on eyelash curlers, ladies and gentlemen.

– Did anyone else catch Sheldon’s Downton Abbey reference? I wouldn’t have initially pegged him as a fan, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.

– Which team are you on? Alex or Penny?

Comments (52)
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You have no idea how much Penny reminds me of my ex... and not in a good way.

Is it just me or does it not seem as funny this season?
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Just wondering, how funny would this show be with no laugh track?

This really is getting a bit mediocre! Wolf is an embarrassment to all men! Big wussy!

Penny? Leonard can do wayyyyyy better!
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There is NO laugh track. The show is filmed in front of a live audience.
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Side Note: If you look at all the scenes with Amy in them, she is hiding her right arm because she was hurt in an accident
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I'm so bored with this whole "Penny + Leonard" thing. They're no Ross and Rachel, that's for sure.
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High!Wolowitz and the new girl. Highlights of this episode, not Penny, the green-eyed monster.
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Add your comment...forgive me if I may sound unsensitive or inappropriate but...

was Amy almost(and I'm weighing my words here, trust me!) cuter than Penny when she was putting on make-up???

OMG, what's happening to me , has the world gone upside done already????
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Not even in the same league.
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Actually you should look her up on other websites. She is really very pretty and she has an infectious smile. It's just charming.
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I have (she's roughly my age, so I've seen her my whole life, from Webster to Blossom to movies and guest spots to now). She's geek royalty, and she can be made up to look decent, but she's not pretty by TV standards. She's scientist pretty, but she's TV ugly.
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I used to love this show and I don't know what's changed but while watching this episode I realized I wouldn't care if I never saw another episode. Maybe it's that the show has changed too much, or many it's that it hasn't changed enough. They constantly use the same joke, "Sheldon's really smart, hahahahaha" and it's just not funny anymore.
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it's a show about nerds, what did you expect?



besides I'm still upset from your comment about 9/11 days ago.



if you don't like TBBT go watch Chuck Norris movies I'm sure you have the right amount of braincells to get them ^-^
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You know, Esme and I disagree about almost everything in almost every article about almost every show, but don't carry your baggage from page to page, it's tacky.

Also, 20,000 people in the world die from cancer every day. If you want to get upset about something, get upset about that, and do something about the people who can still be saved. 3000 people died 11 years ago and it was an injustice. Tens of thousands die every day unjustly. To obsess in an unbalanced fashion about American deaths caused for political reasons is jingoist. Your disporportionate response to the 9/11 deaths disrespects every other person who has ever died ever.
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I agree with you there, I found TBBT to start becoming a bore during Season 5, to me it stopped being funny and it felt forced. Then Season 6 started, the first two episodes I found funny because of how bad I found them, but surprisingly I found this episode to be classed decent in my eyes, and it was a tad funny here and there. I never give up on a show though that I've been watching for years... here's hoping this season just had a rocky start! :)
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Why the show it's so short? Like 19 minutes.
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Ok, the "Raj can't talk to girls" thing is getting really old ... it's not even funny anymore. Just get him a girlfriend already!

Except for that .. I liked this episode. Especially Wolowitz at the end made me lol for a few minutes :-)
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Of course, the reference to the servants in England is almost a quote of Lady Mary in season one of Downton Abbey.
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One of the best one liners on Penny was in this episode - "I'm just a blonde monkey to you, ain't I?"



Other than that, the whole TBBT is shifting into details of relationships rather the nerd centric focus which it had earlier. It was nice when the nerds didnt know how to handle a relationship but now the whole focus is drifting and in my analysis, if this continues, the show will fizzle out in a couple of seasons.
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It's currently in its sixth season, so you know what? Even if it only lasts two more years, I'm going to call it a success.



Besides, it makes sense that the show is moving in this direction. It's the influence Penny's presence has had in the group.
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Isn't the reference of Sheldon more to the older series Upstairs Downstairs that the BBC broadcasted in the 1970s? (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upstairs,_Downstairs_(1971_TV_series))? Downtown abby is, in a way, a sequel to this series...
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Aaaaand now this is in my Netflix queue. I'm a huge Downton fan and I knew it was influenced by Brideshead Revisited, but I didn't know about Upstairs, Downstairs. It would make a lot of sense if this is what Sheldon was referring to.
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Upstairs, downstairs is doing kind of a doctor who because there is a classic series and a revived series that features actresses from the original. I havent seen the original but I like the updated version. second series is airing now,
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That was a really awesome comparison between Leonard and Penny's relationship and the Higgs Boson thing. I never thought about that, but the more I do, the more sense it makes. And you are completely right about Penny's relationship with Leonard REALLY needing to go somewhere. I don't like this back and forth of Penny changing her mind. I also really wish Raj gets a girlfriend soon. I still feel bad for him, but this storyline of him being pathetically alone is getting old.
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This idea of Team Penny and Team Alex seems moot to me since it is very obvious that Alex is the romantic interest for Raj that the writers and actors spoke off during the off-season. Leonard helped plant those seeds by speaking of Raj and Alex's shared interests in astro physics.
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By the way, that top picture is just begging to be turned into an internet meme.
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A long-running sitcom with a badly-planned out, back-and-forth relationship arc. Whoda Thunk.



This is one of the main reasons why I avoid this kind of show.
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Best episode of the season yet...
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This was one of the best episodes in a long time, though I'm ready for the space storyline to be over. Seems like a lot of filler. I like Howard and Bernadette together. His character has shown tremendous growth since the show started. I wouldn't want him to revert back to the old Howard. As much as I like Penny and Leonard together, Leonard deserves someone who doesn't have so many insecurities. Raj not being able to talk to women needs to be resolved in some way. Don't understand why he isn't seeing a psychiatrist.
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I liked the episode and I thought Alex was pretty cool. I feel bad for Bernadette, she has nothing to do in the episodes except sit in front of a computer and talk to Howard which must get old fairly quickly. I think it would've been interesting if they'd gone down the route of having Amy being jealous of Alex as I'm finding Leonard and Penny kinda boring now and it kinda seems like Penny only wants to be with Leonard when there's another woman around.
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Other than seeing Margo Harshman for the first time since Even Stevens (back when you only got paid scale to play Shia LaBeouf's girlfriend), this episode didn't really do anything for me. The only other redeeming quality was Howard's space madness...he's no Ren Hoek, but then again, few are.
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Pennard, the relationship that just won't die no matter how show-draggingly-awful it gets. Be happy or piss off, either way stop doing THIS awful sitcom junk, it's bringing the show down to a halt every time now. You have the Alex/Sheldon/Amy storyline which could have been so much more, Alex was so over the moon with Sheldon that Sheldon should have had more appreciation for her from the outset - he's an egomaniac and she's apparently some grotesque braingroupie/stalker in the making, that seems like the perfect relationship for Sheldon. Instead they palmed the joke off on Pennard.

This episode was not terrible but it had no teeth, no impact. Howard in space was just ridiculous antics. Raj was back to being in the background. Stuart they built up so much the last few weeks and then evaporated here.

As to addenda: Tinkerbell's gynecologist was a great line. Sheldon's Downton Abbey ref was pretty good but kinda grotesque that he thinks of this girl as his servant. I want to like Penny, but they've made her kind of unlikeable, while Alex is new and so far seems nice, so I voted her way just because the writers have made Penny and Leonard impossible to tolerate and put half of that on Penny's shoulders.
More+
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They gave Sheldon a grad-student stalker once already.
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Played by Riki "Garfunkel" Lindhome, quite excellently.
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Even though she's being a major douche about the situation between her and Leonard am still Team Penny. I like Alex though, she's the anti-Penny. She's cute, smart, and she can handle Penny. I have no quarrels if her and Leonard get together but all that means is that Penny has to figure out quickly how she feels for Leonard until its to late.
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when used to mean also, the word is spelled too. I'm sorry; I know I'm being a grammar nazi. I'm a retired college prof. and current OCD sufferer, and the two have conspired to make me this way. Please forgive me. I'll try to stop doing it. On another, more on topic note, I have read that the show writers have envisioned the Penny/Leonard relationship as one that takes place when the two people are chronologically in the wrong place. Leonard wants to settle down, but Penny is still trying to establish herself in life and in a career. She's not ready to make permanent decisions about things like marriage. There's no way for this to end, unless she grows up quickly, except painfully. That is, pain for Leonard for losing her and pain for Penny knowing that she let her true love get away.
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Genius. Its CDO... alphabetically of course.
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lol. I appreciate the understanding. I've always been this way, but sometimes it's worse than others. When I was a kid I would correct any notes my friends would pass me in class. They used to call me Miss English Teacher.
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Im so on team Alex, Leonard has been giving all he has to Penny who doesn't seem to appreciate him enough imo. If this is a wakeup call to Penny (and that is the way i think they are going to spin it in the series), her and Leonard are going to have a better relationship from now on.



On a different note, is it just me or is Penny getting a little bit chubby ?? her face and arms looked a little bit bloated in this episode i think...?
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Why does that matter?
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cause i noticed it...
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I liked how Sheldon hired Alex. Those questions about marihuana cigarettes, ear infection,parking tickets....

don't watch Downtown Abbey so have no idea about that one.



in Stargate Universe they "went after" God Particle and then show got canceled :(



one thing I had question about,but it seems tonight I got my answer to it:

if Raj is still unable to talk to ladies.....thought that problem was solved and that he talks to Penny,Amy and Bernadette and other ladies,but guess I was wrong. Didn't he took some test medicine for that problem?
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He can talk to them if he's been drinking. That's why he always has a drink in front of him or in his hand. The test medicine he took worked very well. He took a pill and was talking to a girl at a coffee shop, and then he just took off all clothes so he could show her his penis. I'm assuming he quit taking them after that.
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I know about drinking,but I think I saw him in few episodes without drink and that he was talking to them....or maybe he was just in same room and far away from them and he talked to guys.

also know that he took off clothes with test medicine, but like I said,thought I saw him talking in few episodes without drink
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I certainly won't argue with you about it. I don't watch the new episodes; I watch the syndicated ones on TBS. So, I haven't seen any from last year yet.
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In SGU they didn't go after the God Particle, they went looking for God.



Raj still needs liquor to do the job.
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MaryAnn do you know if Alex is going to keep being on the show, or she was just a guest for this one episode only?



On Topic, this episode was a bit better than the last two.



I don't like Bernadette and Howard. I would prefer if Howard goes back to be the weird single guy and Bernadette disappears from the show.
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Not sure if spoilers are allowed here, but I went to a taping of TBBT a few weeks ago, and Alex wasn't in it. The episode had Howard coming back from space, where there is a funny scene at the airport. And Penny, Leonard, Amy, and Sheldon were playing Pictionary in the apartment.



I like Alex better than Penny. She is more compatible with Leonard, and IMHO prettier than Penny too.
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I like Howard, but I tolerate Bernadette. She has such big teeth for a short person, and her high baby voice grates on my nerves. When she smiles, I'm always afraid she's going to use those huge teeth to reach through the screen and bite me. Idk, maybe I should up my meds.
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I'm honestly not sure how many episodes Margo Harshman is supposed to be in specifically, but when they announced her casting a few months ago, TPTB said Alex would "create tension" between Penny and Leonard. I'll be disappointed if that tension only extended to this one episode.
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Weird, I like Bernadette more than I like Howard. I'd rather he go away.
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My favorite line was Penny's. Something like "I'm nothing but a blonde monkey to you, aren't I?" (It's funny because it's true).
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Wasn't as good as the last two, but it still made me laugh.

Hope Howard is back on earth next episode cuz now its getting tiresome
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