'Big Bang Theory' recap: Wolowitz takes a bath with Katee Sackhoff

Barry Kripke, you have made a new enemy. Not only are your bratty antics a permanent thorn in Sheldon Cooper’s side. Not only is your speech impediment transparently designed to make you more annoying, which therefore actually does make you more annoying in a kind of post-modern, meta way. Not only does your mere presence in an episode of The Big Bang Theory certifiably guarantee unremitting lameness. But last night, you almost single-handedly torpedoed the Big Bang episode featuring very special guest star Katee Sackhoff, known to sci-fi geeks everywhere as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace of the late, great Battlestar Galactica. Which is to say, Kripke, that you have sinned against your own kind, and that is something I personally can never forgive. If you could see my face right now, in fact, it would be not all that dissimilar from Alyson Hannigan’s “You’re Dead To Me” stare from last night’s far superior episode of How I Met Your Mother. That’s right, Kripke; my brain is making you go boom.

Granted, before Kripke even showed up, things were headed in an unfortunately meh direction. On the bright side, it turns out Howard’s blind date with Penny’s Cheesecake Factory co-worker Bernadette from a few episodes back wasn’t a one time thing. On the dim side, it turns out she’s actually, well, kinda dim. Then again, she may not get any of Howard’s jokes, but at least she’s sharp enough to know that the third date = sex. You’d think a man who’s as much of a brainy horndog spaz as Howard is would be wise to that particular coital edict, but I guess not.

While Howard sweated deciding whether to commit to Bernadette or hold out for his geek goddess ideal, Sheldon had to cope with his debut on NPR’s Science Friday falling to ruin thanks to the machinations of one Barry Kripke. I have a feeling I’m going to run into the comment board buzz-saw for this, but such is my contempt for Kripke’s all-consuming insipidness that I couldn’t even get all that tickled by the sight and sound of Sheldon’s voice climbing into the squeak-osphere. (If anything, I was grateful for finally learning what the heck monopoles are.) And while Sheldon’s revenge did provide the chance to see some Real! Live! Science! in the form of a super-cool foamy eruption that gave off an unsettling sort of vapor, I just kinda shrugged at the overly wide angle of the big foamy explosion in Kripke’s lab. Without a decent shot of Kripke’s face, he might as well have been an extra.

With so little humor coming from the actual storylines at hand, the best laughs came from throwaway moments, like Penny catching Raj mid-bite with a blunt, “Yo, Raj, talk to me!” Or Sheldon’s nonplussed double-take when Leonard, exasperated by Penny and Howard speaking about his physical shortcomings (pun intended) as if he wasn’t in the room, turned to his roommate to ask, “I am here, right? You see me?” Or Raj taunting Sheldon’s helium-enhanced radio voice: “We represent the lolly-pop guild, and we want you!”

And Katee Sackhoff’s appearance certainly delivered. As a figment of Howard’s bubble-bath masturbatory fantasies, she gave just the right spin to the line, “I’m sorry, fiddling with yourself in the bathtub is a real class act,” and she must’ve been a real trooper, sitting half-naked in that bathtub, perpetually keeping a glass of white wine aloft. Her advice to Howard to spend his sexy times with a flesh-and-blood woman also propelled him to man up and (gulp!) propose to Bernadette in front of all her Cheesecake Factory patrons. Which she, thankfully, declined, forcing Howard to take to the keyboard and microphone inexplicably set up in the restaurant chain’s main dining room. (Have I not been to enough Cheesecake Factories? Is this a standard feature in all of them?) His romantic ode to her sounded to me like an unholy combination of Bob Dylan, Scissor Sisters, Billy Joel, and Rob Zombie, but it won fair Bernadette’s heart, so it looks like she’s sticking around for at least a little while. And I’m fine with that — so long as that means we never have to see Barry Kripke again.

Totally geeky exchange that also made me feel really old:
Leonard: You’d have a better shot with the three-breasted Martian hooker from Total Recall.
Howard: That movie was, like, 20 years ago — imagine how saggy those things would be!

Most disturbing part of Wikipedia entry on “saturated potassium iodide“:
“Potassium iodide is a possible teratogen (causing fetal goiter).”

So were you not feeling “The Vengeance Formulation” as much as I wasn’t, fellow Big Bang theorists? Does anyone care to mount a defense of Barry Kripke? How long do you expect Howard and Bernadette will last? And now that Michael Trucco and Katee Sackhoff have made their way to the Big Bang set, what other BSG alums would you like to see hang with Sheldon, Leonard and Co.?

Image Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

Comments (104 total) Add your comment
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  • Daisy

    The Kripke prank was lame, and for once I found Sheldon’s storyline the unfunniest of the night, but Howard’s Song for Bernadette was brilliant!!! What girl wouldn’t be charmed? Howard was on fire last night~ his episode, fully.

  • Alan

    Totally disagree with the recap. I laughed nearly uncontrollably throughout the episode. BTW, the keyboard by the bar was established in the first season in the episode where Penny made some extra money by tending bar. Who can forget an inebriated Sheldon (those slutty virgin cubra libres!) belting out “To Life” from “Fiddler on the Roof?”

    • Via

      Well, me apparently. I forgot. But thanks for the funny reminder!

    • Kat

      I laughed all the way through this episode. This show just keeps getting better! And I loved Kripke’s prank!

    • Natertot

      I agree, I was dying through the entire episode.

  • Julie

    I thought the absolute best exchange was this:
    Howard: “I’m interested in what’s inside people, too. Why is it wrong to want those insides wrapped up in, say, the delicious caramel that is Halle Berry?”
    Raj: (whispers to Howard)
    Howard: “Yes, you’re delicious caramel, too.”
    Raj: (nods and smiles)

    • Sadie

      Raj and Howard arguing like a married couple provide some of the best exchanges so far this season.

  • Garry

    What a stinking review, and one that is TOTALLY WRONG. Who the hell is Adam Vary to declare that Kripke is such a loathesome character, and who ruins every episode he’s in? I was in hysterics watching this episode, ESPECIALLY Kripke’s sabotage of Sheldon’s interview (and, of course, Sheldon’s revenge).

    And what was so special about Katee Sackhoff’s scene? The show could have used ANY beautiful actress to play Howard’s fantasy woman (whether she’s been on a sci-fi series or not). I just don’t get why Sackhoff is such a big deal.

    • claire

      well, I suppose since they’re geeks, it makes sense to take an actress from a geeky/scifi show.
      I think they plastered toomuch make-up on her, her face looked kinda weird to me.

    • Michael

      You don’t get Katee Sackhoff? If you ever watch BSG, you’d know. Gorgeous, butt kicking, insightful character. That’s what his dream is, not the actress.

      • K

        Agree. I’m female, but I’d swing for that. Maybe cause I see her as Starbuck, who is so awesome.

    • Fallon

      Who’s Adam Vary to dislike Kripke? Who are you to disagree with him? They’re called opinions. But I will flat out say that by reading your post, you’re a fairly petulant insufferable brat.

    • Ally

      she is a GODDESS in the scifi world. and personally, i thought she was gorgeous last night. :)

  • Brooke

    Eh, I thought it was all hilarious. Although I agree that they should have had a close-up shot of Kripke after he’d been slimed.

  • Brent Eidsness

    I couldn’t help thinking that the helium prank would have been much funnier if it had been played by the Sara Gilbert character. She provided a much better foil for Sheldon!

    • KJ

      Oooh – I totally agree!

    • Shdrew

      I was just thinking the exact same thing! ITA with the recapper’s opinion of Kripke – he’s annoying as hell and really dumbs the show down. Bring back Sara Gilbert!!!

  • Red

    I agree, this episode was just meh. After last week’s stellar performance, almost anything would fall short, and this did. I don’t object to Kripke as much as you, and I did find the helium gag amusing. But the expanding/exploding foam was pretty cool. Raj still gets great lines and the Lollipop Guild quaote and “I didn’t come to help, I came to mock” were dead on. Here’s hoping the show will return to the level we know it can reach.

    • Mark

      You can always count on Raj for at least one great line per show. My favorite last night: “It looks like the Ganges on laundry day.”

  • boya3706

    I loved this weeks episode (last weeks was really really blah). Every comment by Raj was hilarious. The pranks are something actual nerds would pull off, the lack of an abort causing Sheldon to admit he made a boo boo?!?! Thats like admitting he was wrong! Putting Leonard and Penny’s relationship in the back of this episode made it more realistic. I do agree about the wide angle shot of Sheldons “experi-prank”. It would have been better if it had mixed on the way down and filled the room….

    • Michael

      You think LAST week’s was blah? I think last week’s was one of, if not the best, ep ever. Seeing Sheldon and Penny in the hospital waiting room and Sheldon acting “comforting” was true comedy genius! I thought last night’s ep was a big let down. Not funny at all.

  • Wordchick

    No close-up of Kripke was a big mistake. I loved Penny screwing with Raj and his reaction shot was priceless. It was something that brought the show back to its roots.

  • H

    I think Adam nailed the review. It was not one of the better efforts from Big Bang.

  • carol

    Funny moments but not a top episode, but on a side note- Where can I buy “Slap Bet the game”? Loved that episdode!

    • Jason

      Funniest thing of the whole night was the fake commercial for Slap Bet the Game – hilarious!

  • Seeking Unemployment

    Thought this was one of the best of the season. When Kripke appears and pushes Sheldon to his limits, you know something funny is going to happen, and the show delivered. Jim Parsons on helium was a riot. Loved the revenge, and it only got worse (funnier) for the gang when Sheldon’s video appeared and outed Leonard and Raj. And it was nice to see Howard get a good storyline. We need to see more stories for him and Raj that are off their beaten (pardon the pun) path.

  • john

    I like Barry Kripke. He is funny. I hope when howard breaks up with cheescake girl she starts dating Kripke. Last night episode was great . You are wrong.

  • Susie

    Not sure if the reviewer realizes that “Bernadette” is a Four Tops song! It was the same melody as last night…

  • Sara

    I thought it was hilarious. I liked Kripke bringing the boom box into the cafeteria for everyone to laugh. I liked the explosion. I was properly amused and horrified by Sheldon (and Leonard and Raj, by proxy) taking credit for the explosion.


    Kripke annoys me too, but he didn’t annoy me too terribly much this time, if that makes any sense.

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