The Big Bang Theory: The Robotic Manipulation

Well, Wolowitz and his wang were front and center (literally) during the fourth season kickoff of The Big Bang Theory. In a surprise to absolutely no one, the randiest member of the tribe found himself on the receiving end of a rather indelicate robotic death grip. It started out with “oohs” and “ahs” from the gang when his space station robotic arm could unpack their takeout and moved to “oohs” and “ahs” from Wolowitz when he used it for a shoulder massage, and then on to, well, you can guess.

Hilarity ensues when he calls Leonard and Raj to come help and they make light of his predicament with a variety of uncomfortable suggestions. They finally end up in the ER and the ever-reliable nurse Althea (the still awesome Vernee Watson, making her third appearance) just reaches over to the laptop driving the arm and turns it off. Sweet freedom! Unable to learn from his mistake, the episode ends with Wolowitz calling Leonard because he’s done it again.

The parallel story involved Penny chaperoning Sheldon on a proper date with Amy Farrah Fowler (and yes, all of her names are used each time). It seems Sheldon and Amy have had quite the Twitter/textmance going but haven’t actually seen each other since their initial coffee meeting four months prior (in the third season finale). Since they’ve reached the conclusion that they should bestow upon the world (via in vitro) their genius progeny, Penny suggests they might actually want to spend some time together.

So, of course Penny has to drive them, and then eat with them. Unfortunately for her, she becomes a research project of sorts as Sheldon breaks down her sexual history on the basis of what he’s observed and his assumptions about what that means for the rest of her habits. It turns out Amy also has a kind of sexual history via sensory stimulation of the brain, which Sheldon accepts as very interesting. They do not broach that Sheldon is the virgin at the table.

The episode didn’t click along like some of its stronger outings but it’s still one of the best ensemble sitcoms out there. Jim Parsons didn’t win his Emmy by accident. The real gem of the night for me was Kaley Cuoco trying to keep things conversational during Sheldon’s date. Watching her deflect the suggestion that Penny has had 31 sexual partners and the way she cycled through “No, that’s not right … No, that couldn’t be right … Noooo, is that right?” was some genius timing. She’s going to be out for a few episodes due to a broken leg, so I was happy she was showcased in the premiere. The ratings rocketed with the move from Monday to Thursday, and the gang just got a huge payday through season seven. The success couldn’t happen to a nicer group.

Photo Courtesy of CBS

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