'Big Bang Theory': WHEEEAATONNNN! (Also, Wolowitz kinda gets a girlfriend)

It would appear, Big Bang theorists, that Sheldon has finally found his Khan — or, maybe, his Kirk. See, if, like me, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is one of your favorite sci-fi flicks of all time, you probably noticed that the normally exacting Shedon became hilariously unmoored in his white hot rage for Star Trek: The Next Generation wunderkind Wil Wheaton. Quoting both Khan Noonien Singh (“From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee!”), and, in a fashion, Capt. James T. Kirk  (WHEEEAATONNNN!), it was unclear whether Sheldon saw himself as a wronged, genetically superior supervillian battling to destroy Wheaton’s impetuous Kirk, or a dashing starship captain striving to defeat Wheaton’s nefarious Khan. Then again, like most Wrath of Khan geeks, Sheldon probably just wanted to be both men at once, and I’ve almost certainly spent far too much Sheldon-esque time exploring this topic as it is. Suffice it to say, in the grand tradition of Newman vs. Seinfeld, Sideshow Bob vs. Bart Simpson, and Mr. Wilson vs. Dennis the Menace, I cannot think of a better bête noir for Sheldon Cooper than (an evil, underhanded version of) Wil Wheaton, since Wheaton’s Wesley Crusher on ST:TNG was essentially an earnest, 24th century version of Sheldon Cooper, replete with a comically unfortunate wardrobe. (For one thing, Wheaton is light years better as an adversary than the odious Barry Kripke.)

It’s so rare that we get to see Sheldon lose it so thoroughly like that, and what made his feud doubly fun was how one-sided it first appeared to be. Having established that his eidetic memory would make him, among other things, a dynamo player of the card strategy game Mystic Warlords of Ka’a, Sheldon declared an MWoK tournament a waste of his prodigious talent. That is, until Raj discovered that Wheaton had also signed up to play, sparking Sheldon to recall the day in 1995 when Wheaton was a no-show at a Mississippi Star Trek convention, denying an eager young Sheldon the chance to meet his childhood idol. This apparently placed the actor at sixth place on Sheldon’s All-Time Enemies List, between Batman & Robin director Joel Schumacher and childhood bully Billy Sparks, and Sheldon was out for blood. (Who else is kinda dying to know who are All-Time Enemies one through four, by the way?)

Sheldon did indeed cut a ruthless path through Ka’a and its various sweatpants-wearing mystic warlords to reach his foe, only to be duped by an equally ruthless Wheaton, who spun a (false) sob story about how the (fake) death of his grandmother kept him from going to that ’95 Trek convention. “If anything happened to my meemaw,” said a suddenly stricken Sheldon, “I’d be one inconsolable moonpie.” So Sheldon sacrificed himself, throwing down an Enchanted Bunny — as we’d all learned earlier, Warlord > Troll > Elf > Water Sprite > Enchanted Bunny, soon to be on t-shirts everywhere — and Wheaton pounced, gleefully admitting that he’d (obviously) lied about his dead nana and igniting Sheldon into the aforementioned Kirk-like, heavens cursing rage. Exec. producer Bill Prady and Co. better be planning a rematch for sweeps.

Oh, and I haven’t even gotten to the second epochal development in the Big Bang universe: Wolowitz (kinda) got a girlfriend! At the 2004 opening night of Spider-Man 2, Leonard and Wolowitz entered into a pact that should either land a hot girlfriend, the other was obligated to hook up his buddy with one of said girlfriend’s girl friends. In other words, it was the second consecutive week the writers used Penny and Leonard’s relationship as a plot device for some Wolowitz-y comic shenanigans. But I’ll tolerate two more of them if it gets us lines like this one, uttered after Wolowitz and his heretofore utterly incompatible blind date discovered they both endured overbearing mothers: “My mother calls me at work to see if I had a healthy bowel movement.” Or this line, after Wolowitz invited his date over for Shabbat dinner: “A Catholic girl like you wearing a big cross like that might just give my mother the big brain aneurism I’ve been hoping for.” I’m just hoping this relationship sticks around for more than a single episode, if only because it brought out a surprisingly un-skeezy, unnervingly pleasant quality in the bowl-cut-sporting, dayglo-scoop-neck-shirt-wearing horndog, and lawd help me, I really like it.

Best Pennard post-coital interaction yet:
Penny: “Wow, you really are a genius.”
Leonard: “Not really — I Googled how to do that.”

Most unwelcome image of the night: Wolowitz, with three percent body fat, looking “like a human chicken wing.”

New Sheldon-ism that sounds almost sensible: The four napkin system: Lap, hands, face, personal emergency.

So were you digging Wil Wheaton as Sheldon’s arch-enemy? Are you pulling for Wolowitz’s new ladyfriend to hang around for at least a bit longer? Were you as happy as I was to see the return of deadpan comic-book store employee Stuart (Kevin Sussman)? And did you have a crush on Ernie like Penny, or were you more keen on nuzzling Bert’s unibrow?

Comments (93 total) Add your comment
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  • Crystal

    During the car scene I was like “Huh. Howard is being a pretty good date but this chick is the odd one, Whodathunk?” At the end I was like “did Howard just get a girlfriend?!” I hope she’s around for a bit.

  • maiv

    I liked Wolowitz’s quasi-girlfriend and I hope she’s a reoccurring character for at least a little while. The plot with Sheldon ended predictably (I already figured out the grandma part while he was telling Sheldon the story) but I thought that getting there was funny. I just love hearing about Sheldon’s meemaw! I also really like Stuart and hope they use him some more.

    • geekchic

      I loved the Sheldon/Wil Wheaton rivalry. I had a huge crush on Wil Wheaton as a young girl, so I was excited for him to be on my favorite show!

      I also liked Stuart. I LOLed when he got up from the table and said “This was fun!”

  • Television is so bad these days…

    I’ve nearly given up on network television. These terrible shows that they try to pass off these days as comedies….just terrible!

    • Elizabeth

      Then why do you post a reply?
      Move on and let the people who did enjoy this show react to the posting.

    • KJ

      Then you’re whining on the wrong entry, TiSBTD, because The Big Bang Theory is among the best comedies on television! INFINITELY better than the caricature of former awesomeness that the The Office has become.

      • AWFUL SHOW

        Simple-minded dolts being sucked into mediocre television.
        Ya’ll probably think 30 Rock is great, too!

      • Marie

        I finally tuned in to see what the big deal is about this show and didn’t think it was too lousy, except for that horribly annoying character. Since he’s a main character, there’s no avoiding him, so I’m passing on this show.

    • MNI

      Is reading the recap improving the quality of the show then?

  • JenR

    I enjoyed the episode and hope Wheaton returns. Now, if they’d just get rid of that awful laugh track!

    • L.E.

      There is no laugh track, that is a real live audiences. According to Wil’s blog, they have to filter out some of the audience laughter because they are too loud!

      • Isembard

        If my house is anything to go by, that can easily be a live audience. Nothing better than being able to laugh like that on a Monday, eh?

  • cl

    Wolowitz got all dressed up in his “Beatle” outfit for his date. Loved this episode.

  • kim in kentucky

    gotta give it to Howard, he WAS trying anything to connect with his date — DO YOU LIKE PUPPIES????

  • darclyte

    Big Bang Theory is filmed in front of a live audience, but a laugh track may augment the show.
    All in all, this was one of their best episode yet, as both stories were funny. I didn’t mind seeing the Wil Wheaton story as fake from miles away because the Wolowitz dinner made up for that. “Am I great matchmaker or what?” And besides, having Wil as Sheldon’s nemesis is a great twist.

    • Chappel

      “a laugh track may augment the show”? I’d say at least 99% of the laughter on TBBT is canned. It’s the same frickin’ laughs every week. I love the show but find the loud artificial laughter incredibly annoying.

      • Mark

        I’ve been to a taping of the show. The people there actually do laugh like that. Even though I like the show, I have to say that the laughter of the audience seemed forced and unnatural to me even while I was in the audience.

  • boya3706

    Clearly one of the best episodes yet. How did Wheaton know that the dead grandma story would work against Sheldon? Hopefully Sheldon’s become some sort of uber Wheaton fan before hand, and he (Sheldon) is actually one of Wheaton’s Arch Nemesis as well.
    PS EW writer: I do want to know Sheldon’s Arch Enemy list, but because will Wheaton is between Billy sparks and Joel Schumacher, we need to find out 1-3, not 1-4. Because you know people like Sheldon watch this show, he would point it out too!

    • Katja

      Nah, if Wil Wheaton is at #6, that means either Joel Schumacher or Billy Sparks is #5, and the other is #7. So the writer is correct!

    • Diane R

      I want to know the whole list

    • OvenMitt

      Maybe Stuart had something to do with the Wil Wheaton meemaw hoax thing. They were partners in that crazy tournament, after all. Though I have to say it’d be even funnier if there was some other reason for Wheaton sabotaging Sheldon, just so he could come back again. LaChance!

  • Katja

    LOVED Wil as Sheldon’s nemesis. And it was so funny to me how his facial movement and mannerisms just SCREAM the earnest Wesley Crusher to me, after my years of watching and loving ST: TNG. (I myself didn’t mind Wesley at all, though I know lots of people apparently looooaaathed that character.) Unlike other people here, I actually didn’t see the fake story coming; I believed him at first, but I was so glad they twisted it so that we got Sheldon bellowing “WHEATON!!!” I laughed sooooo hard.

    • jmo

      Wil Wheaton is also playing a bad guy on The Guild, although not as a fictional version of himself like on TBBT. Good acting and very funny.

  • Emma

    I was strictly a Bert kind of gal. But, not in *that* way. I just felt sorry for him having to but up with Ernie. I loved Wheaton as Sheldon’s nemesis and hope to see him again.

  • Gaylle

    I really hope they keep the girlfriend. He was trying really hard to make conversation. Now if they just find a girlfriend for Raj!

    • smokey gets in your eyes

      not in his lifetime..sorry..love the character as is..

  • Diane R

    I really hope Will Wheaton shows up in a couple of episodes. I nearly fell off my couch a couple of times when Will and Sheldon were facing off

  • john

    I love barry kripke

  • Ellen

    Wil’s dead grandma story was from Survivor – Johnny Fairplay played the dead grandma card to win a challenge.

    • Mike

      That was my thought exactly when that was revealed.

  • Amy

    Did any of you ever notice that on the very last frame of the closing credits, Chuck Lorre writes a funny paragraph about something totally random? I never realized it until I started watching the first two seasons on dvd.

    • escargot

      He’s been doing that on all his shows since Dharma & Greg. Go to chucklorre.com and you can read all of them.

    • Barbara

      He’s been doing it for years. All his comedies have them at the end of the show. But they pass by so fast you have to TVO or PVR them to read them. They’re hilarious!!

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