The Big Bang Theory – Episode 3-17 Review

The Olympic break didn’t hurt the ratings for The Big Bang Theory. The visit from Stan Lee made it the most popular show on Monday night with the 18-49 demographic. The series is still a pop culture success yet I still don’t see the stars causing any trouble on TMZ like their CBS comedy co-horts. Why are Charlie Sheen and David Spade getting all the tabloid attention? Isn’t Jim Parsons doing something slightly scandalous like a Jersey Shore brat? He needs to just show off his abs outside various bars and nickname them “The Demarcation.” There should be a staged blood feud between Simon Hedberg and Kunal Nayyar over the heart of the same soccer player’s wife. How about Johnny Galecki constantly talking about launching his gangsta rap career now that Lil’ Wayne is locked up? It’d be so nice to see them on the cover of the supermarket tabloids since I’m sick of hearing about Jennifer Anniston versus Brangelina. At least their ratings are going up without their legal fees soaring.

“The Precious Fragmentation” has the geeks coming up the stairs with Leonard hauling a giant box. He wonders why it’s his job to carry the heavy load. Sheldon points out that he’s the smart one, Howard is the funny one and Raj is “the lovable foreigner who struggles to understand their ways and fails.” This means Leonard is the muscle. They go inside the apartment where Penny is eager for food. Except instead getting take out, they stalked Adam West. Penny doesn’t know Batman. Sheldon ponders what they talk about after sex. Howard guesses it involves breaking the four minute mark. He’s the funny one. Turns out Adam West (or a guy who looked like him) led them to a cool yardsale that was closing up. They bought the box without knowing the contents. Penny ponders if there’s a new girlfriend in there since Leonard might need one shortly. She’s hungry. He ignores her and digs into the mystery box. First out is an original copy of the Ghostbusters script with slime. They’re all excited till they realize it’s for Ghostbusters 2. Howard gets emotional at an Alf doll. This was his safety pal when his dad deserted the family. Howard begs the puppet to expose his father’s location. Penny thinks it’s sad. Sheldon corrects her that not knowing Adam West was the original Batman is sadder.

Also found in the box is a Mr. Spock doll head without a body and Mr. T body without a head. Finally Leonard fines a Mr. T head on Mr. Spock’s body. “I pity the fool that’s illogical,” Leonard decrees. Penny has had enough of the geek in the box action. She’s going back to her place for lunch and to “window shop on eHarmony.” Leonard pays zero attention to her except to say, “Bye.” Raj uncovers an Aquaman doll with a dirty thing drawn on him. Sheldon pulls out what looks like a Lord of the Rings ring. They all quote the ring ceremony from the movie. Raj points out that they’re so nerdy.

This is the geeks at full nerd mode. The mystery box is perfect fodder for the quartet. There’s a natural joy in finding something weird full of weirdness. Of course there is a risk that it’s going to be a zonk. Once I got a box filled with props from Kings. That was cool to have various fake badges. Finding a Lord of the Rings ring would be a geek’s ultimate prize. It’s refreshing to see Leonard being one of the gang instead of merely the smart guy with the hot girlfriend. It’s also easy to understand why she would be so unconcerned about the box. Ever show baseball cards to your girlfriend?

The geeks eat at the Cheesecake Factory. Before discussing the ring, Sheldon gives us the history of ketchup. Turns out it was a fish sauce at one point. Howard has investigated the ring with a seedy underbelly of collectibles dealer. His pal sells screen worn Star Trek underwear. Turns out the ring is not a replica, but the real deal. Sheldon doubts it was the ring from Middle Earth. Howard explains how 9 rings were made for the movie. Three were given to cast members. Five were destroyed. One was stolen. This was that ring. Sheldon grabs it and declares it his since he found it in the box. Raj wants to know its worth. In the underground market, it can sell for $15,000. Raj suggests they sell the ring and buy a jet ski. Sheldon wants to keep it, polish it and take it to the park to recreate their favorite movie scenes. Leonard wants to give it back to Peter Jackson. Howard will go along with it if Peter Jackson makes him a hobbit in The Hobbit. Raj thinks there are no Jewish hobbits. Howard mentions his relatives prove that statement is false. Sheldon snags the ring. He wants to know why he doesn’t get things his way. Leonard nearly lose it on that point. Before things escalate, Penny arrives and reminds them that she brought them food instead of a random box of crap. Leonard suggest Penny holds onto the ring. He reaches into his pocket only to discover Sheldon has snagged it again. Penny isn’t too thrilled that Leonard’s first “gift” of jewelry is a movie prop that she can’t keep. But she accepts the ring on a necklace.

Penny and Leonard sleep in his bed. The ring is around her neck on a necklace. Sheldon creeps into the room. He does little irritating things to get her to flip right. She doesn’t cooperate. He gets mechanical grabber to snag the ring. After he clamps down, Penny screams and punches him in the face. Sheldon runs out of the room with a bloody nose. Leonard is impressed that Penny popped him.

This episode is building so well. The pressure is on. There’s no way any of the four can be happy with just having a little time with the ring. Shared items never seem to work amongst friends. Didn’t they learn this from The Honeymooners and the shared TV? Who wants to timeshare a ring? Who gets to wear it for Christmas? Or Dragoncon? Or Comicon? If you want your friendship to last, only buy stuff that can given the King Solomon treatment and cut in half. Although you’ll argue lengthwise or width on the slice. Sheldon getting punched by Penny is another highlight moment of this stellar third season.

At the lunch room, Howard asks Sheldon what it’s like to be beaten up by a girl? Turns out Sheldon has a twin sister that beat him up in the womb. He wished he’d have absorbed her so he’d just have a hairy mole. Raj arrives with his laptop. His lawyer cousin in India is on the Skype. Raj wants to two jet skis for his share in the ring. Leonard won’t deal with a jet ski. Raj kills the conversation when his cousin chokes. Howard will bring in his lawyer relatives. Leonard wants to just send it to Peter Jackson, but the ring is no longer in his pocket. Sheldon has it. The foursome all grab at the ring. They decide to do a last man holding game. The foursome have to walk out as a group.

They walk up the apartment staircase all holding on. Sheldon reminds them he spend hours on hold with a computer company to complain about customer service. He’s a machine. Leonard tries to top it by how he watched all five seasons of Sex and the City with Penny. Raj gives him the bad news that there’s six seasons. More pain to come for Leonard. They have to do ballet moves to pick up the keys from the floor and open the front door. Penny asks what they’re doing. She doesn’t care what her boyfriend is doing, but she’s got a bag from Victoria’s Secret. Leonard lets go of the ring and heads to her door.

In the apartment Raj, Howard and Sheldon hold onto the ring. Howard lies to his mom about being at the office. Raj makes noises like they’re at a strip club. Howard hangs up. Raj works on Howard’s mother. Sheldon doesn’t care about them going after his mother. Raj decides to go after Sheldon’s grandma. It’s not good. Raj insists that Sheldon’s grandma had sex to have his mother. Howard wonders if grandma had sex more than once? This is getting nasty. Sheldon talks about water images to inspire the other guys wanting to use the bathroom. But all three have to go use the toilet. They shuffle towards the bathroom.

Thank goodness we don’t follow them down the hallway. This Hands On a Hardbody episode is taking things to a proper extreme. Since there’s been no buzz of Peter Jackson making a cameo, that’s one ending that won’t be happening. Of course the secret of winning this kind of contest is the ability to have those silent, but deadly farts. Bad gas will always make people think twice about the price paid for the object in their fingers. Don’t go after their mothers or grandmothers cause it only takes one free fist to give you a black eye.

On the sofa Howard, Raj and Sheldon have fallen asleep. Howard no longer holds the ring. Raj lets go and rolls over to snuggle against Howard. Sheldon awakes to find himself the winner. He races into the bathroom to wash off the ring. He looks into the mirror to see he’s transformed himself into the Gollum. He wakes up screaming. It’s been a dream. He’s on the sofa with Howard and Raj, but the ring is gone. Leonard lets them know he mailed the ring back to Peter Jackson’s office. He had to stop the game because it would end with a selfish person and three ex-friends. He also refuses to clean up the bathroom. He heads down the hallway. In his bedroom, Leonard reaches under the rug and pulls out the ring. He calls it his precious.

Leonard and Penny sleep in his bed. The grabber appears and pulls the blanket off Leonard. He’s wearing the ring. Sheldon makes a grab for it. The two fight over the ring. Penny climbs out of the bed and heads out. She tells herself that she needs to date jocks at the gym.

A couple shows have semi-spoofed the Lord of the Rings. This was the best. “The Precious Fragmentation” was also less disturbing than the South Park episodes. Nobody journeyed up the wrong hole. The episode finally gave us an episode where Leonard had to choose between his nerd nature and his desire to maintain being Penny’s boyfriend. Although in the end, he schemed his way to get both the girl and the ring without giving the girl the ring. Jim Parsons pulled off the Gollum moves and look This ought to be a bonus feature on the upcoming Lord of the Rings Blu-ray set.

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