This week’s episode of The Big Bang Theorgy, “The Rothman Disintegration” was great and rife with inappropriateness. Love it.
When the episode starts, we find that Professor Rothman, another theoretical physicist is being forced to retire because he has apparently completely lost it. Everyone starts wondering how long Sheldon has before the same thing happens to him. As the guys are all standing around Rothman’s empty office, Sheldon calls dibs on it. When they walk inside one of Sheldon’s nemeses, Barry Kripke is already inside claiming the office for himself. Professor Rothman then makes his first appearance of the episode, naked and leaves with only a hat on.
Next we find ourselves with Penny and Amy Farrah Fowler, always a recipe for hilarity. Amy brings Penny a gift for making her life and herself cooler. Feels Penny has taken her from mousy nerd to super awesome hipster with posse, boyfriend and the icing on the cake – a front-fastening bra. Amy unveils a ginormous portrait of the two of them. Penny is mortified, but trying not to say it. All she can say is WOW, over and over again. In true Amy fashion, she is ready with hanging supplies and a hammer and helps Penny hang the painting.
Sheldon and Kripke take their fight over Rothman’s office to President Siebert, while he is at the urinal. When President Siebert expresses trouble finishing his business, Sheldon suggests it is indicative of another issue that can be solved with a self performed rectal exam, which starts the raunchiness of the episode. Siebert leaves the issue up to Sheldon and Kripke to resolve instead. Before leaving the bathroom, the guys go to use the bathroom and in a well-timed, hilariously hitting joke, Sheldon uses the famous line from his apartment, “Kripke…you’re in my spot” at the urinal.
Back at Penny’s apartment, Burnadette sees Amy’s gift and tries to help Penny figure out what to do about it. Penny suggests she use Burnadette as an excuse by saying she is jealous, but Burnadette says no way, she is worried she’ll end up with her own version of the monstrosity.
Raj, Sheldon, Leonard and Howard are at the apartment and Raj is upset at a delivery that just arrived. He finds that the hand-crafted Harry Potter wand that he ordered on EBay is actually just a stick some kid sold him from his backyard. Genius business plan. Raj is placated when he sees that a limited edition number is carved into the stick. Kripke shows up to settle the office debate and things really get good. Sheldon’s first effort at compromising is to tell Barry that Sheldon can just take the office and Kripke can just find a way to be okay with that. When that falls flat, Raj suggests Rock, Paper, Scissors, Spock, Lizard (RPSSL). Sheldon quickly explains how it works, so quickly that I didn’t get it all the first time. Thankfully he went through it a second time. It goes something like this:
Sheldon explains further that the game was created by Sam Kass, “All hail Sam Kass”. You can see the original idea and visit Sam Kass’ cafe press store here: http://www.samkass.com/theories/RPSSL.html
When this option is shut down as a viable solution, Sheldon suggests a duel of the mind. He suggests trivia in the form of any Star Trek original or spin-off episodes or model trains. Kripke deems this unfair. The two men can’t figure out what they are equally good at so Raj suggests they figure out what they are equally bad at. Kripke and Sheldon both agree that would be sports.
Leonard starts the competition out with basketball, he says that whoever gets 5 out of 5 baskets will win. Both Kripke and Sheldon cringe when Leonard bounces the ball in their direction and turn away out of fear, at one point Kripke calls a timeout because they “ran out of room” (they didn’t have any more court and almost walked into wall), both men end up chasing the basketball rolling around on the floor. Leonard says he finally understands why bullies gave them such a hard time in the past. He tries to simplify things and suggests that whoever gets the first basket will win. After 45 minutes of Sheldon and Kripke trying to make a basket, Leonard cuts it back to the highest bounce wins the office. The competition mercifully ends when Sheldon gets the highest bounce and the office.
Amy, Burnadette and Penny watch Grease, which Amy has never seen due to her mom’s fear of the movie causing her to join a gang. Amy is more intense than ever in her obsession with Penny and shares her obsession with the Penny in the painting. She tops even her most creepy comments with “Painting Amy will never leave”. As she and Amy leave, Burnadette turns to say goodbye to “Transvestite Penny”, as she calls the version of Penny in the portrait. When Amy and Burnadette are gone Penny takes down the painting, but Amy comes back to borrow the movie and sees the painting is missing. She leaves Penny’s apartment hurt and with the painting.
Sheldon moves in to his new office. Professor Rothman is still in his office, when Sheldon asks him why he is still there as he is retired, the professor answers (still naked), “Don’t you mean invisible?” Sheldon is not doing well in his new office. He looks disheveled and frazzled as he fights with the air conditioner. He is sharing a thermostat with a menopausal professor in the next room. There is a hole in his wall, though he has no idea why and we know how well unknowns sit with Sheldon. When Raj opens the window, Sheldon is disturbed by wind chimes, but also by a bird singing off-key with the wind chimes. The crux is that the bird is a mockingbird and Sheldon is convinced it is singing off-key on purpose, just to get to him. Meanwhile the geology lab shakes the ceiling, which seems to be the straw that breaks the camels back. Sheldon is losing it.
Penny shows up at Amy’s place to apologize for taking the painting down. She can’t bear telling Amy the truth about her feelings for the painting so she falls back on the excuse that Burnadette is jealous. Amy buys it because in her mind it reminds Burnadette that she is the least cool one of the three. She immediately tells Penny they have to take the painting back and hang it in her apartment, she doesn’t really care about Burnadette’s feelings. The conclusion of the Amy/Penny painting debacle is when Amy tells Penny that the original painting was done as a nude, but she felt that it was an unnecessary challenge to their heterosexuality. She footnotes this by saying if Penny ever changes her mind, all it would take is some warm soapy water and a couple of sponges. When Penny checks to make sure they are still talking about the painting, Amy’s perfunctory “Sure!” is a little too quick to avoid being suspect. The Amy Penny obsession is still one of my favorite things about this show, Mayim pulls it off so very well.
Our bonus at the end is Leonard finding Sheldon with his head stuck in the wall of his office, I’m sure something of a dream come true. He tells Sheldon he will go get help and instead takes a picture of Sheldon in the precarious position to share.
A beyond solid episode, a lot of scrotum jokes that I just couldn’t share here, the delivery would fall flat in print, but they all hit really well. If you missed them, remember that you can always watch the episodes on cbs.com. Until next week friends, Bazinga!