Last week’s experiment of running The Big Bang Theory at 9 p.m. wasn’t an utter failure. It lost to Dancing with the Stars in total viewers, but tied in the 18-49 demo. There were still several upset fans who tuned in at 9:31 to watch a repeat. Adding to confusion is that tonight’s episode is back at 9:31 yet all the previews about The Bang were for a rerun airing later in the week at the finale of The New Adventure of Old Christine. Why must CBS confuse the smart kids? “Plimpton Stimulation” better be worth readjusting the timer on the DVD-R.
Before sitting down at the gang’s table in the lunchroom, Raj sneezes. Sheldon won’t let him sit down with them after determining the sneeze wasn’t from pepper. Raj is exiled to another table until he gets medical tests to prove he’s clean. Sheldon can’t afford to be sick at this time. He gives Leonard written notice that a non-related female will be his guest in the apartment. They’re shocked. Howard thinks he might be kidnapping a woman. Turns out the non-kidnap guest is Dr. Elizabeth Plimpton of Princeton. She’s a superstar in the geek universe. Raj is blown away that she’s staying in Sheldon’s room. Howard thinks he’s kidding. Why wouldn’t she stay in a real hotel room? Sheldon goes on about his hotel phobias. Sheldon leaves to get ready for his guest. Raj returns to the table. He sneezes on Howard’s food. Howard and Leonard quickly flee the table.
While this might sound like a germaphobe thing, you do need to avoid people who sneeze around this time. While it seems to be the end of cold and flu season, this is the time for those dreaded “Being sick while it’s nice outside” illnesses. The title had me expecting a cameo from George Plimpton except the famous writer died in 2005. He did appear on The Simpsons. Maybe Sheldon could get addicted to Intellivision?
In the apartment building’s lobby, Sheldon begs Penny to let him know if the wings on Maxipads helps them fly. Sheldon has stocked up on women related projects from scented candles to yogurt that helps a woman’s bowels. Penny is also shocked with Sheldon having a woman coming over. He begs her not to talk about her girlie things if they meet. Dr. Plimpton is beyond such trivial things.
Sheldon cleans up the kitchen when a knock come from the front door. Leonard races into the room in his best suit. Sheldon reminds him to remember this moment for the sake of giving it to his future biographer. This shall be a monumental meeting of two brilliant people with Leonard as the only witness. Dr. Elizabeth Plimpton (Judy Greer) is more Maxim than Popular Science. Leonard is stunned, but Sheldon only sees her mind. He introduces his roomie as “only an experimental physicist.” Dr. Plimpton (Judy Greer) rambles weird about how she doesn’t really have any friends that are experimental. Sheldon offers her the bowel relieving yogurt.
She thanks the boys for letting her stay in the apartment. Leonard mentions Sheldon’s problems with hotels as if the routine was his own. He becomes tongue tied and babbling to the doctor. Sheldon declares it’s bedtime and guides her back to his room. He shows off all the finer points of his bedroom from the comic book collection to the survival supplies in the closet. She asks about Leonard’s relationship status. He speaks of the roomie’s former waitress lover. He returns to the tour by pointing out the welcome packet under her pillow with escape routes and bathroom schedule.
Leonard sits in his bed reading a book. Dr. Plimpton knocks on his door. Turns out he’s reading her book. She tells him how she wrote part of the book completely naked. She demonstates by lecturing and losing her robe. Leonard is impressed.
Dr. Plimpton’s disrobing should be shocking, but some science geeks are major freaks. Ever been to Dragoncon after midnight? The show already dealt with this subject with Dr. Leslie Winkle (Sara Gilbert). She’s already gone through Howard and Leonard. For those wondering where Dr. Winkle has gone this season, don’t fret. She’s part of the final episode.
Sheldon wakes up on the sofa and picks up the alarm clock. It goes off. He performs vocal testing. Leonard and Dr. Plimpton come out of the hallways. They give a nervous laugh when he asks how their night was. Penny knocks on the door. She needs a ride to go to work since she let her car run out of gas. The two women meet and there’s a weird vibe that Sheldon doesn’t notice. Penny nails Leonard for having slept with the guest. Sheldon attempts to defend his friend against the charges, but Leonard cracks. Penny shall take the bus. Sheldon is shocked at being betrayed. The guest is his friend and Leonard was playing with her.
At the lunch room, Raj drinks NyQuil out of a flask. Leonard brags on the sly about also being up all night. Howard and Raj are clueless. Raj thinks he got a Japanese love pillow. Sheldon and Dr. Plimpton arrive with their food. She asks Leonard to get her some coffee. She wants her java hot, brown and sweet. She gives Raj the eye.
Howard knocks on Raj’s door. It’s Halo night, but Raj wants him to go away. Dr. Plimpton tells him to come inside. She wants to role play. Howard seems up for the fun, but Raj doesn’t want to share. “She wants New Deli; not kosher deli,” says Raj. Besides, what would Howard tell his girlfriend. Howard claims he broke up with Bernadette. Leonard arrives on the scene for game night. She’s happy to see Leonard. She changes the fantasy to moving men and a landlord where she has to come up with an alternate way to pay. She comes out of the bedroom in bra and skirt. The guys are turned on, but realize they don’t want to see each other naked. Howard and Leonard flee. Raj shutting the door. He’s ready to collect the rent from Dr. Plimpton.
Thank goodness this episode is on at 9:30 p.m. since this is an extremely adult story. This final moment is very important to reaffirm that Raj isn’t that latent. He’s not pining for Howard. He wasn’t even up for a Devil’s Threeway with his pal. Raj is merely in touch with his feminine side without being too freaky. Sheldon’s shock at what went down is understandable since he had found a kindred spirit and genius. What could be worse than finding out she has the same taste in men as Penny? Although it was interesting that she didn’t even make a pass on Sheldon. Perhaps this shows that on a short visit, the doctor isn’t up for a challenge. Or that she knows that Sheldon’s intent is to create their uber-genius baby that will dominate on the Toddlers and Tiara circuit. The bad news is that Bernadette is gone. Although actress Melissa Raunch can be seen this summer as Summer on True Blood.
Leonard enters the lobby. Penny has Sheldon’s Spider-man underwear. Leonard wants to explain, but Penny doesn’t care about his time with Dr. Slutbunny. When she lets him explain what he did, he goes silent. Finally he blurts out, “She let me.”
This was the most sincere and truthful moment on TV this season. Although that excuse will never get you out of a Tiger Woods situation. “Plimpton Stimulation” aims for the carnal, but reminds us that the geeks won’t completely forget their cranial activity. No matter how hot and brainy she was, they weren’t going to see each other naked.