The Big Bang Theory – Episodes 2-17 Review

“The Terminator Decoupling” promises to bring true geek starpower to the show. It’s Summer Glau entering The Big Bang Theory universe. How will the boys go back to flirting with Penny after they get an upclose gander at the star of Firefly, 4400 and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles? Summer is a triple SciFi treat.

Howard opens up the Tivo to install a larger harddrive in the apartment. Sheldon protests that breaking the seal is wrong because they made a deal to never enter the sanctity of the Tivo. They have a service contract. The little strip of plastic is what keeps anarchy at bay. Leonard reminds him that they can keep the smaller harddrive if they delete the first season of Battlestar Galactica. Sheldon rips off the security seal and declares they’re outlaws. Penny brings over a small travel suitcase for Leonard. It’s really girly and pink. Penny wishes she could go to San Francisco with them. The guys describe all the amazing talks at the physics conference. Nobel Prize winner George Smoot is delivering the keynote address. Sheldon nearly soils his pants in breaking down Smoot’s work. Penny points out that when she goes to Frisco, she merely gets drunk and rides the cable cars. The guys are taking the train. Howard says it’s 7 times longer and twice as expensive. Penny asks why they decided on it? They did vote. Three wanted the plane and Sheldon wanted the train. Guess who won? But he’s excited about taking the train.

I’m not a fan of the DVR/Tivo business because it’s all harddrive action. I don’t like having to rent something. I own a DVD-Recorder since most of the time I record a show, I’m sending it off to a distant relative in either Boston, Seattle or Baghdad. I’ve seen too many hard drives fail over the years. I’d hate to think of my viewing pleasure can all get wiped out in one bad electrical storm. Why can’t they make a Tivo that lets me burn shows quickly onto DVD-Rs? Also a piece of Smoot trivia is that if you ever walk the Harvard Bridge in Boston, you’ll see that it is measured in Smoots. That is not the length of George Smoot. It is in fact his cousin Oliver Smoot that was the measuring stick. They did this in 1958 as an MIT frat prank. As proof that the man was destined to measure, Oliver eventually became Chairman of the American National Standard Institute. That piece of geek trivia is brought to you by .

Sheldon is in his bedroom typing away on the laptop. He’s wearing a Greatest American Hero t-shirt. Those rock. Leonard knocks and enters the sacred bedroom. They’re going to the Apple Store to make fun of the guys at the Genius Bar. Turn out that Sheldon is using RFID tags on his clothes so he can know what to wear and when its dirty. This is beyond anal.

The guys enter the Amtrak. Sheldon gets upset with Raj putting his stuff on the wrong side of the train. He wants the coastal view. He picks the perfect place to sit. Raj points out the bathrooms on Indian trains are holes in the floor. 

Summer Glau boards the train and the guys go nuts. What is she doing there? Sheldon thinks Skynet could fool everyone by creating Terminators that look like the actors that played Terminators to fool us into thinking they don’t exist until they attack. Howard decides he’ll risk his live to meet Summer. He’s got 11 hours to work his magic. Raj swears that even if he goes mute, he’s still more intriguing and exotic than the pasty Howard. But he goes to the bar car to get a little extra courage. Howard is still working on his moves. Sheldon is upset that he left his flashdrive back at the apartment. He was going to give George Smoot his paper at the conference. He wanted to see the Nobel Prize winner’s eyes light up at Sheldon’s genius. But now it’s all ruined. Sheldon lets the clickity clack of the train on the rails become his mantra of “you forgot your flashdrive.” Leonard doesn’t like knowing he’s got 10 1/2 hours of this to go.

Allan Havey once joked that if even if he was opening Christmas gifts with the wife and kids; if Sherilyn Fenn knocked on his door and said to get in her car, he’d be gone. Summer Glau might do that for me. Hopefully she won’t knock on my door the Christmas I buy the pony for the kid. That would be too awkward.

Howard finally sucks up his courage and makes that walk back to Glau. Except he over shoots her. He wanders back, but he can’t do it. He flirts with a couple of nuns. Sheldon comes up with a crazy way to catch a train and cab back to the apartment so he can get his flashdrive. They can then race to the next station to hop back on the train. Leonard suggests just having Penny get the flashdrive and emailing him the paper. He won’t hear of it since that means she’ll be in his bedroom. Howard practices his opening line “It’s hot in here. It must be Summer.” Before he can get up from his seat, Raj shoots down the aisle. He’s working a beer to keep his lips moving as he says, “It’s hot in here. It must be summer.” The female Terminator is impress. Raj claims Slumdog Millionaire is based on his life.

Rule number one when picking up famous women: You snooze, you really lose. If you want a torrid weekend with Bea Arthur, you better just bring your “A” game and a tub of Everclear.

Penny is back in her apartment. She’s painting her toenails while on the phone trying to get people to see her play. She’s playing Anne Frank in a theater above a bowling alley. Sheldon calls with instructions on how to get the flashdrive. She’s not impressed by Dr. Whackadoodle demands. She keeps taking other calls.

Raj impresses Summer with his knowledge of Venus. He jokes about how she had already been in space on Firefly. He claims he’s not one of those geeks. He asks Howard to be a dear and get him another beer. He explains to Summer that Howard is one of those geeks. The beer is doing miracles. Howard sits down with Leonard. Sheldon still can’t get Penny to dedicate her life to finding the flashdrive. Leonard points out that the beer is non-alcoholic. Howard has his revenge when he gets Raj to recognize he’s not drunk. The astrologist’s mouth freezes up and he quickly retreats. Howard introduces himself as the small package that good things come in.

Penny finds a box that she thinks has the flashdrive. Turns out it’s letter from his grandmother with his nickname “Moonpie.” Sheldon is about to explode. Howard tells Summer this evil dream about them ice skating and her legs rip off as he twirls her around. She’s not impressed and rather horrified.

Penny finds a Japanese puzzle box. Sheldon gives her instructions on how to open it. She forgets the intricate details and smashes it open. Howard points out that if she married Johnny Winter. She’d be Summer Winter. She’s completely zoning out. He asks if there’s any path that could lead to him asking her out and she accepting. Nope. So he does the next best thing and gets her to pose with him for a Facebook picture. She looks like the Terminator about to kill a worthless human. It gets worse when he asks for a second shot that looks like they’ve been making out. No go.

Sheldon has to explain why he’s called Moonpie before Penny will put the flashdrive in the computer. Howard looks sad as he rejoins the group. The Terminator broke his phone. Leonard sacks up and heads back to see Summer. However his big chance is spoiled when the train stops for Santa Barbara. That’s her stop. He didn’t even get to spit out his name.

I relate to Leonard’s moment. Once I had a chance to mingle with Famke Janssen at a party. I was eye to eye with X-Men‘s Jean Grey. I was giving her strong mindwaves. She laughing at my jokes. And then this drunk putz from Sony Studios nearly poured his martini on her. She backed away from me, bumped into Liz Hurley. The two started dancing and I vanished from Famke’s universe. There would be no Dutch treat for me that night in Manhattan. If only I had a wing man to intercept the corporate drunk, I’d be burning up some Phoenix.

Sheldon has cornered Smoot at the hotel. He tells the Nobel Prize winner that he can clinch another award with his thesis although it would be under Cooper Smoot since that’s alphabetical. Smoot asks if Sheldon is on crack.

It was nice to see a Nobel prize winner getting screen time instead of another musical breka courtesy of Beyonce. There should be more chances for smart people to smart off on sitcoms. Although it would be better if Summer Glau would win a Nobel Prize.

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