The Big Bang Theory – Episode 3-16 Review

While the world focused on the Olympics for the last two weeks, Big Bang fans had their eyes glued on the Maxim cover featuring Kaley Cuoco. This might be the reason why the snow was so slushie up in Vancouver. Just go do an image search on her and Maxim to get the view. How come we mostly see her now in sweat pants or her waitress outfit on the show? Can’t she get a job as part of the Swedish Bikini Team revival?

Since the show has been in reruns for two weeks, the producers are going legendary on the geek out with Stan Lee as the special guest star. The legendary comic book icon’s responsible for so many Marvel superstars including ones he co-created with Jack Kirby. Non-comic book readers might recognize him as the guy who drank the tainted soda in The Hulk along with cameos in other Marvel movies. Tonight he gets to face off with the greatest character of the 21st century: Sheldon Cooper.

“The Excelsior Acquisition” starts in the comic bookshop. Leonard, Sheldon and Howard are picking through the racks. Raj enters with a speaker built into his t-shirt. He taps his iPod-esque device to play “The Imperial March” from Star Wars. They kid him about how awesome it is to have sound coming from between his nipples. Stuart, the owner of the shop, is excited to announce Stan Lee will be signing on Thursday. Sheldon wonders if Stan will have a new autobiography covering his exciting years between 79 and 87. Stan’s just signing as a favor. He and Stuart’s uncle have the same dermatologist. Sheldon wishes he hadn’t been told that since he’ll be scanning the icon’s face for skin issues. Raj flips out at the news and turns the iPod to “I’m So Excited.” He dances around the shop. Howard feels guilty since he taught Raj those killer moves.

The geeks sit around the apartment picking through tons of comic books in plastic. Leonard can’t decide which to get Stan Lee to sign. Raj has the Final Jeopardy music play on his shirt. “Nothing worse than a papercut,” Howard says. Raj thinks Howard as forgotten his circumcision. Sheldon tells Howard to get Band-Aids and stuff from his desk. Sheldon has decided to have Stan sign the latest issue of Batman since he has nothing to do with it. That will be a unique item. Raj wants to do the same thing. Sheldon gets upset that his genius idea is being copied.

Penny arrives to get the good news of Stan Lee’s signing. She acts thrilled, but Leonard catches on that she’s unsure. She guesses it’s really Stanley Tucci. She’s clueless to his identity. She guesses Star Trek, Star Wars and finally Bruce Lee’s brother. Penny swears she pays attention to the things that matter to her boyfriend. She’s more concerned about her sweatpants with “Juicy” written across the rump. Howard notices that Sheldon’s desk is full of uncashed checks. Sheldon doesn’t need the money yet since the stuff he wants hasn’t been invented. Why won’t he deposit them? He doesn’t trust banks. He believes when the robots rise up, they will use ATMs as the first force. Howard also discovers Sheldon has a court summons on a traffic charge. There’s a photo of him running him the red light when he had to take Penny to the hospital. Penny denies the night until he gets her to confess she finked him out to the cops. Sheldon refuses to pay the fine because he’s not guilty. It’s Penny’s fault for telling him to drive through the yellow light that turned red. Raj plays the Law and Order theme. Sheldon has to go into court on Thursday which Raj points out is Stan Lee day. The guys will not be joining Sheldon as he pleas his case in court. The only person not going to see Stan Lee is Penny. She’s going to court although he suggests she not wear a pair of sweat pants with Juicy written across the rump cause it might distract the judge.

While The Bang isn’t a serial, this episode requires you to remember “The Adhesive Duck Deficiency” (Episode 3-8). Strange they didn’t rerun it during the Olympic break as a quickie refresher.

What was I writing about Penny in sweatpants on the show? Now they are mocking her wardrobe. The show is on at 9:30 p.m. She ought to be wearing outfits more revealing that Charlie Sheen’s wardrobe. On the subject of having the wrong people signing stuff, I think it is cool. In my collection, I have a copy of J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey signed by sportscaster Marv Albert. It was the only thing I had in my pocket. He was kinda perplexed by it, but J.D. Salinger was never going to sign it. I got John Landis to sign a production photo, “To Joe Corey, the highest bidder on eBay.” It took him a second to realize the strangeness of the request. Me and a pal once asked Gordie Howe to give us black eyes. He didn’t understand how cool it would be for people to ask us, “How’d you get that shiner?” We’d be able to reply, “Gordie Howe!”

Sheldon knocks on her Penny’s door. It’s court day and he’s suited up. He’s written out Penny’s lines for the hearing. It’s loaded with Sheldon’s idea of Nebraskan jargon. Penny calls her friend rushing her to the hospital the most heroic act of her life. There’s a cue for a tear drop during the testimony. After her first try Sheldon suggests she put on her Juicy sweatpants.

In the courtroom, Sheldon begins to explain his legal terms. The judge reminds him that he did graduate from law school. Sheldon ponders why the judge is now stuck in traffic court. Sheldon wants to have an opening statement. The judge wants him to keep it short since he’s had a bad breakfast burrito. Sheldon claims a three legged defense including Penny’s bad advice and the fact he can’t confront his accuser (the traffic camera). The judge thinks he has a point and declares him guilty. Sheldon gets nasty. He accuses the judge of being stuck at the kiddie table of the judicial system. He’s expected to apologize. Sheldon is a scientist and never apologizes for the truth. Suddenly he’s behind bars for contempt of court. In the holding tank, he points at the end of the bench and announces that is his space.

Raj, Howard and Leonard wait in line outside the comic bookstore. Raj plans on asking Stan Lee why all his characters have first and last names with same letters like Bruce Banner and Peter Parker. Leonard’s phone rings. Penny is back at the courthouse on her phone. She explains Sheldon’s being held on contempt of court. Leonard tells him to apologize. She wants him to come to the courthouse and help. The line is moving and Leonard won’t be coming down.

Finally Leonard’s jerk attitude plays right. There’s no way anyone should get out of the line because a pal went over the line. Sheldon really played his court visit like Felix Unger on The Odd Couple except with less hypochondria. He has no clue of the reality of being before the bench. There are a few select people you can never directly insult including airport security, IRS agents and traffic court judges. Sheldon was right in thinking this guy’s career on the bench had hit a dead end, but you don’t tell the judge the news. It’s easy to see that Sheldon has no problem proving he’s right no matter the consequences. He wasn’t a crybaby when they threw him in jail. Maybe this season is going to turn into Sheldon Goes to Oz.

Back behind bars, Sheldon has to use the bathroom. He asks the guard to let him out. He’s informed that he has to use the non-private toilet in the holding tank. Sheldon begs to see the judge to give an apology.

At the apartment, the geeks admire their autographed treasures. Leonard is amazed that Stan Lee signed it “To My Friend” and “Excelsior.” Howard also got the same cool signature. Raj’s just has “To Raj From Stan Lee.” Seems Stan didn’t like Raj’s naming question. Sheldon arrives in the apartment with Penny. He’s upset that he had to pay $553 in fines. Penny promises to give him a check as long as he puts it with his uncashed check collection. He has three points on his non-existent driver’s license. And the ultimate punishment was missing Stan Lee. Howard rubs it in that he didn’t merely met Stan Lee. They had gelato with Stan Lee after the signing. They got to call him Stan except for Raj. Sheldon stands up. He’s pissed off at Penny. She has brought evil into his life. He will never have gelato with Stan Lee. He quotes the moving finger. She fears she gave him the finger.

Penny enters the comic bookstore and shocks Stuart. She asks what he’s going to do after closing the store. He’s got big plans to share a can of tuna with a cat that isn’t his own. She feels guilty for not being able to let Sheldon meet Stan Lee. She begs him for Stan’s phone number to set up a meeting with Sheldon. Stuart confesses he has Stan’s address. He can’t give it to her. She heads to the door. He gets desperate. He’ll give her the address if she joins him for a cousin’s wedding. She can bring Leonard, but he’ll have to pose as her cousin.

This really shows how much Penny cares for Sheldon. What woman would go to such an extreme to patch things up with her boyfriend’s roommate? It’s not like Leonard would care if his girlfriend was being shunned by Sheldon. She’s willing to fix things as long as the solutions don’t cost money or double her car insurance. It’s perfect for her.

Penny guides Sheldon towards the entrance of Stan Lee’s mansion. He’s giddy. After teasing us all episode, the front door open and there’s Stan Lee. He wears a Fantastic Four bathrobe. He looks confused at his guests. Sheldon thinks Penny and him were invited by Stan. Penny confesses that she just had the address. She explains to Stan how Sheldon ended up in jail. Stan is not impressed. He complains about fans showing up at any hour. “Why don’t you just come inside and watch the Laker game with me,” Stan sarcastically announces. Sheldon admits to not being a sports fan, but he will watch the game with Stan. He ducks into the mansion and races down the hallway. Penny explains that Sheldon doesn’t understand sarcasm. Stan will give him something he can understand. He calls for his wife to ring the police.

Raj, Leonard Howard are eating in the apartment. Raj keeps listing on all the same letter superheroes Stan has done. Sheldon struts through the front door with a big smile. He’s out done their gelato memory. He’s been inside Stan Lee’s house and has an autographed application for a restraining order. He’ll be meeting Stan again at the hearing. Sheldon thinks this restraining order will look perfect from his one signed by Leonard Nimoy.

This is how you should work a superstar cameo on a sitcom. Compared to all Stan’s work in the various Marvel films, this is his finest dramatic hour. He isn’t the gushing fan of the fanboys. He doesn’t exactly go full Shatner on Sheldon with the “Get a life” speech. He’s an old man who needs his peace and quiet. This is another high point of the series as it delves into the life of geeks. It’s just a shame that they never showed us Sheldon stalking Leonard Nimoy. Where is that glory moment? Don’t tease us with Spock and Sheldon.

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