Big Bang Theory – Episode 2-12 Review

“The Killer Robot Instability” opens with the geeks checking out a newly constructed battle robot complete with a circular saw arm. They name the robot “Monty” as Howard breaks down the wicked stats of his lethal creation. It’s mechanized death. They look around the room to find a first time opponent for Monty. The Magic 8 Ball is spared. The toaster oven is chosen as the sparring partner. The guys debate what profound words should be said. Raj suggests, “Die Toaster! Die!” The toaster oven is torn apart like a chicken in a gator pen. People for the Ethical Treatment of Toaster Ovens will be writing the show for it’s graphic carnage. The geeks try to figure out what’s next for Monty to attack.  Penny comes up the stars. She’s shocked when Monty busts through the geek’s front door. She shrieks.

Did you know that back at the start of the 21st Century Robot battles were a hot property? There must have been at least four different shows dealing with mechanized brawling. Wrestling superstar Mick Foley hosted one of them. Comedy Central got in on the nuts and bolts action. And then the bubble burst as Poker-mania took over the tube. It became the first fade to go big and fizzle. But there are still serious geeks who like to create the servos of death. Thankfully those geeks can be found on this episode.

Howard analyzes the huge hole in the front door. “This door got the full Monty,” he confirms. Penny is shocked at the robot. She fears for her safety. “If it wanted to kill you, you’d be dead,” Sheldon replies. The guys talk about the robot war that’s coming up. Howard invites Penny to be his date for a dance after Robot Battle. He declares she’ll be the only doable girl in the room. She’s really unimpressed by this fact. Howard presses his luck by swearing there’s a chance Penny wants to do him. He swears there a sexual tension between them and they need to just get it on. Penny swears that Howard is “pathetic and creepy.” She melts down on him. Howard realizes they aren’t flirting. She’s being cruel in her attack. She wraps it up by saying that Howard will grow old and die alone. Howard sadly walks out of the room. He’s a broken man. Raj jokes that they should enter Penny into the robot battle.

Poor Howard doesn’t realize that Penny really wants to have a romp with Sheldon. Although it seems that there’s very little chance of that happening since we all know that Sheldon has promised his virginity to Counselor Deanna Troi. It is painful when a woman damns you to hell. Especially a hot woman. You think tipping 20% will get you a little more than your Diet Coke promptly refilled at Hooters.

Howard lays in his bed comforted by his pile of comic books. The phone rings. His mom answers in the other room. She shouts through the door that it’s Leonard. Howard won’t answer the phone. She thinks her son goes to school instead of works at a university. But he wants his mother to bring him a popsicle.

Carol Ann Susi once more steals the show as Howard’s off screen mother. Her voice is so charming shrill that if you don’t laugh, you’re eardrums will explode from the pressure. She’s worse than George’s mom on Seinfeld.

Sheldon gets nasty when co-worker Barry Kripke (John Ross Bowie) swears his robot will take out Monty. The ubergeek resorts to smack talk to defend Monty’s honor. The co-worker decides to challenge a battle them to a match before the tourney. They can’t fight cause Howard’s not around. He’s the robot man.

Once more Jim Parsons takes his character to uncharted turf. But it’s easy to see him getting emotional about a robot. They’re practically kin.

Leonard begs Penny to apologize to Howard. He needs his main man’s ego back. Leonard explains how when Penny gets angry, she goes into Bruce Banner turning to Hulk mode. She still refuses. Leonard remembers the time when he was depants by her ex-boyfriend. Leonard wants to collect the one she owed him. She gives into his pleas.

Penny arrives in Howard’s bedroom. Howard doesn’t want to talk to her. He’s bitter and no longer has his  Davey Jones hair. He’s a mess. She does a horrible job of apologizing. She’s worse than Sheldon expressing emotions. Howard tells her to get over herself and shows her the door. When it shuts, she hears him sobbing.

Sheldon, Raj and Leonard watch video footage of the Kripke’s robot destroying a Chevy Cavalier. Leonard wants out of the challenge. Sheldon thinks they can still win. He will modify Monty to be able to defeat Kripke’s Crippler. But first he needs help opening the toolbox.
I really wanted to see a robot fighter take on a mid-size American car. It must resemble a scene from Idiocracy.

Back in Howard’s room, the sobbing geeks is being semi-comforted by Penny. He keeps going on about his high school crush. He starts singing a song using his old lover’s name to the “My Love” song. She really wants to bolt, but his tale goes tragic. Penny suggest Howard might try to hard to find love. Penny admits that she’s finally seeing the real Howard. Unfortunately he takes this as his moment to go for a kiss. She sees his open mouth coming and gives him a five finger lip block.
Sheldon, Raj and Leonard check out Kripke’s killing machine. They think they have a chance. They all go behind the protective glass and start their engines. It’s a nasty battle in the back of a lab. They discover the co-worker’s crippler robot has a new attack device. A flame thrower comes after Monty. Sheldon directs Monty to bust through the nearest door. The crippler comes after Monty. It’s not looking good.
If you didn’t see it the first time, you must hunt down the footage of the robot battle. They captured the pure fear of a little machine.

The epilogue has poor Monty reduced to wires and twisted metal. Sheldon takes the blame. Monty died from his “hubris and pride.” Raj doesn’t argue. Howard busts into the apartment. His nose is taped up. Penny packs a wallop. Penny doesn’t really say what went down. The guys realize they can’t put Monty back together again. Penny wonders why Sheldon should care about a toy robot. Sheldon flees the room. Penny has to chase him down the hall. Howard feels good about himself since he’s now “halfway to pity sex.”

Good to see Howard get his crack at Penny. It’s a shame that she doesn’t realize that she’s getting attention from guys who don’t think their prettier than her. Is she secretly playing all four of the geeks trying to figure out which one is the next Bill Gates? Why get stuck with the career academic? She craves the private sector wiz kid. This episode has quickly become one of my favorites between the robot carnage and Howard’s working his mojo on Penny.

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