“The Guitarist Amplification” promises there will be noise around the apartment. The folks at the Big Bang Theory Wiki tipped me off that tonight’s episodes was originally called “The Wandering Troubadour Catalyst.” Somehow that seems to describe the worst fear of any woman that knows Howard. How come he doesn’t sit around the lunch room playing “Dust In the Wind” on an acoustic guitar? He seems to be that kinda guy.
Before the episode starts, I’d like to apologize for flipping names on last week’s summary. Finally it hit me why I keep switching Sheldon and Leonard’s name occasionally. Because their names come from the legendary TV producer Sheldon Leonard. He’s the driving force behind The Danny Thomas Show, The Andy Griffith Show, Dick Van Dyke and I Spy. You shouldn’t name two characters with one man’s name. Let’s see if the right name goes to the right character.
At the apartment Penny is excited to get to play a board game invented by Sheldon. She rolls the dice and moves her piece in “Research Lab.” All the fun and excitement being in a research lab now fits in a box. Sheldon points out that they are the first to play which will give them an advantage over Raj and Howard when they all play on Sunday. Leonard points out that they won’t be able to make it and Penny will have an excuse for their absence. She does have an excuse. A friend from Omaha is coming into town. He’s a guitarist looking for session work. He’ll be sleeping on her sofa. Leonard has an issue with her house guest. He wants to know if the guy is gay. She says he’s not gay. She kinda went out with the guy, but they didn’t seriously date. The argument grows. Sheldon runs into the kitchen and puts ice in a blender. He wants to drown out the bickering that keeps growing. Leonard doesn’t like knowing the guitarist will be on her sofa. She storms out. Sheldon turns off the blender and offers Leonard an orange snowcone for being the first winner of Research Lab.
Sheldon and Leonard drive in the car. Leonard wants to discuss Penny’s friend. Sheldon wants to play a new game called “Scientist.” It’s very complicated game involving. Leonard doesn’t care. He bickers and argument by speaking in his “Penny” voice. Sheldon demands he stop the car. He can’t stand listening to them fight anymore.
When you’re in a relationship, you kinda do have to clear your apartment guests with your partner. Things can go wrong. While I wasn’t dating this woman working at a coffeeshop; we had plans to go out. We just had schedules that weren’t quite synching. One night we met for beers and she told me how a mutual pal had been kicked out of his girlfriend’s house and was sleeping on her sofa. But she emphasized how they had known each other for so long that they were like siblings. A month later, she was pregnant with his kid. At that moment, I kinda got the idea that we wouldn’t never go out for dinner. They did get engaged. Six months later, she tossed him out after discovering he was fooling around. What a coincidence. Leonard being paranoid about a guitarist sleeping on her sofa is a worthy fear. Penny could end up guest starring on Accidentally On Purpose.
Sheldon, Leonard, Raj and Howard leave the apartment to see Time Bandits on the big screen. Sheldon breaks down the time and how they’ll have to skip the pre-movie bathroom break at the rate of travel. Raj wishes he hadn’t polished off the last Red Bull. On the floor below, they run into Penny. It quickly gets cold and nasty. Leonard won’t budge on his attitude toward her future guest. Sheldon returns to the group to announce, “When that woman moved in three years ago, I told you not to talk to her and now we’re late for the movie.”
The guys are browsing the comic books store. They have to wait for the next screening of Time Bandits. Leonard keeps talking about Penny. Raj points out that Penny can do what she wants since as Beyonce says, “Cuz if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it.” Raj argues about Howard stiffing him on a dinner. It turns good and nasty. Sheldon can’t take it. He screams, “All this fighting, I ought to be back with my parents.” He goes through a meltdown recreating his parents verbal battles. He storms out of the store. The genius can’t take the stupidity of relationships.
Penny waitresses at the Cheesecake Factory. Sheldon is sitting in her section. He begs her to crawl back to Leonard and apologize. She won’t. He wants to order lunch. He is concerned over what happens to the half sandwich in the soup and half sandwich special. Does he have to wait for someone else to order so they can split the sandwich? Do they throw away the other half? She attempts to clear it up, but he decides to just order his usual. Sheldon points out that she should forgive Leonard since her beau forgives her transgressions including her bad driving skills. She wonders why Leonard has never mentioned this stuff. Sheldon says his roomie says she’s sensitive and has a temper.
Back at the apartment. Sheldon begs Leonard to go across the hall and apologize to Penny. Before they can talk, Penny bangs on the door. She unloads on what Sheldon blabbed at lunch. They get nasty and notice Sheldon has run away.
The spectator sport of watching roomies argue with their lovers rarely gets fun. It gets to the “mom and dad are arguing” mode fast. It’s more brutal that Kimbo Slice on Dancing With the Stars. You don’t want to pick a side although whichever one has the name on the lease gets bonus points. Unless you’re having an affair with one of them, you want these wizards to go behind the curtain and sort it out. And if you are having an affair with one of them, you hope they keep their mouth shut and not unload your fling as a parting atomic bomb blast.
Sheldon knocks on Raj’s door. Raj begs Sheldon to tell his parents (on the laptop) that their Dark Matter research is at a crucial juncture. They want him at the wedding in India so they can set him up with a woman. The parents fear Howard and Raj are more than just friends. Raj tries to fight this suspicion, but admits he needs to come to the wedding. When that is resolved, he notices Sheldon has run off.
Penny screams Sheldon’s name out the window and whistle. Leonard insists that his friend isn’t a dog. He also wants her to pay attention to the road. They argue about her driving while she misses.
Sheldon rings the doorbell at Howard’s house. Howard and his mom argue about who’ll get the door. It’s shrieking versus howling. Sheldon runs off before Howard answers.
Leonard and Penny show up at the comic books store. Sheldon is in a corner looking at graphic novel. He ignores Leonard. The comic bookstore guy hits on Penny. Richard Feyman gets name checked as he discusses his family meltdowns. Sheldon uses a robot doll to block out their bickering. Penny turns into a concerned mother. She promises to buy him a robot if he comes home with them. Leonard swears he’ll only play with the robot twice before it ends up in the closet. He’s in pure dad mode. Sheldon asks about getting the comic book. She is in full mom mode letting him know he can get it.
Leonard and Penny are in the bed. He asks what her guitarist pal did when he realized he couldn’t sleep in her apartment. She points out that a guitarist will sleep in his own vomit. Back in the living room the guitarist sleeps on the sofa next to Sheldon. The uber genius realizes he should have asked for more than the robot and comic book.
This episode has the friendship of Raj and Howard hit the Odd Couple bump where you wonder if they are in denial. Now that Raj’s folks have made him think about it, let’s see if Raj figures a way to find a woman in upcoming episodes. Perhaps a mousey girl who prefers to communicate without words?
The producers were smart to change the title since “The Guitarist Amplification” describes what drove Sheldon nuts. Jim Parsons once more proves he’s the funniest guy on TV as he takes us into Sheldon’s youth. It’s amazing he survived his home. Leonard is extraordinarily annoying in his lover’s spat although he does have a reason to be suspicious. Although it would have helped if he had experienced a coffeeshop girl that got pregnant from a sofa guest.
Tags: The Big Bang Theory, The Odd Couple