Big Bang Theory – The Love Spell Potential


by Kevin Rigdon (@pralix1138)

It seems like forever since the guys just sat down into a nice evening of Dungeons & Dragons™. Well, that gets put right in “The Love Spell Potential,” the latest episode of The Big Bang Theory. As the guys settle in for a night of spirited questing, their plans get suddenly interrupted by the departure of Raj, and the arrival of the Amy, Penny, and Bernadette, who were supposed to be headed to Vegas to, apparently, get free drinks via Penny’s new bikini, pepper spray anybody that gets too close to Bernadette’s tube top, and throw Amy’s old underwear on the stage at the Garth Brooks concert. Frankly, I’m a little baffled as to why D&D gets such a bad wrap in the world at large. It’s a helluva lot more fun than getting tanked and throwing up all over the shrimp buffet. But I digress.

Raj’s departure leaves a hole in the adventuring party, and so when the girls arrive after Amy was put on the no-fly list due to an unfortunate incident with the TSA, Leonard suggests that the girls join in and get their geek on. The girls agree, reluctantly, and with a little margarita-flavored potion to smooth the experience, they sit down to play. Wolowizard does a masterful job of DMing the game using impressions of various pop culture icons like Nicholas Cage as an old talking oak and Christopher Walken as a dragon (which was completely awesome!), and when the girls discover the joy of rolling that magical 20-sided die and actually taking down ogres and dragons, they’re hooked-at least for the evening.

To say that this is an auspicious occurrence is an understatement. The mere fact of these couples combining their lives in such a way, albeit with the help of the aforementioned TSA agent and margarita-flavored potion, is huge progress. We’ve seen them attend one of Penny’s plays. We see them eat together all the time, and now, finally, they join in questing together. Even through Penny’s myriad protestations to the contrary, they have fun. That is until Penny throws out the idea of Sheldon’s character and Amy’s character getting it on (do people still say that?) in the game because that’s not going to happen in real life any time soon. Bernadette’s character cast a love spell on them both. I thought that Sheldon would be the one to freak out, but it’s Amy who gets uncomfortable and has to leave the table.

While the others are left wondering just what the hell that was all about, Sheldon goes to find Amy in his room. Amy is upset because she thinks the others view her and Sheldon’s relationship as a joke because it’s not intimate, as if other people are qualified to define “intimacy.” If you’re looking to Leonard, Penny, Howard, and Bernadette as examples of intimate relationships, than you may have more problems than we first thought. But, here’s the thing: Sheldon is as intimate as he can possibly be with Amy, and it’s quite beautiful.

Whereas Amy has fallen for one of the greatest lies of pop culture (i.e. sex, in itself, by itself is intimacy), Sheldon has not. He continually rejects the cultural norm as less than ideal. And, I believe, he is 100% correct. Sheldon views Amy, and his relationship to her, as far more significant than having sex just to have sex. The other guys, and gals, have proven that they’ll pretty much do anything with anybody. Sheldon has not. For this he’s considered weird. I know it is the hope of many of the fans that he and Amy will get together at some point, but I applaud the writers for taking their time and making that progression feel organic, and true to Sheldon’s own personhood.

It is the sharing of one’s whole self that is being expressed here. Sheldon and Amy share tea, stories, intellectual conversations, experiments, couples’ costumes, and now D&D. All of these things matter in intimate relationships. All of these things are what make them who they are, and in who they are, when/if they reach the sexual encounter, it will be far more real than anyone else in the show. Awkard as hell, sure, but real.

And speaking of awkward and intimate, I’ve thus far neglected Raj and Lucy, primarily because the whole D&D thing was so awesome, but they too have their own little brand of intimacy, which is saturated in far more neuroses than Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler. On their unplanned date, they each tell each other what frightens them the most, and what they have trouble expressing, not only to each other, but to the world, and people around them.

But in this they’re not so crazy. It’s the lengths that they may to go in order to avoid these things, which may get a bit…odd. For example, Lucy has trouble telling the waiter that her crab cakes are funky. Now, I’m sure many of us struggle with the same sort of thing: we are afraid to speak up and say that the food we’re served is somehow bad. Maybe we’re embarrassed, as is the case with Lucy. Maybe we’re afraid the chef will take it and spit on it or something like that. Either way, we’ll either eat them, not eat them, or send them back and pray that nobody spits in it. And we’ll be ok with the decision. But Raj can’t let this one go. He keeps pressing Lucy to tell the waiter. He keeps pressing and pressing until she has to leave the table.

She goes to the bathroom, and in a reliving of their first date, climbs out the bathroom window, only to be confronted with a fenced in area. The only thing left for her to do is call Raj, furthering the awkwardness of the situation. Raj and Lucy are slowly coming into their own, and trying to figure out how to communicate with one another. They share an awkward, little, kiss through the fence, and seem to be heading in the right direction.

Speaking of heading in the right direction, The Big Bang Theory has been one of the few shows that I have not been disappointed in this season. They’ve had some really good character development, excellent writing, and acting. I’m particularly over the moon with this episode because of the gaming, and the strength and maturity of Sheldon’s heart and motivations, and it has me really looking forward to the season finale.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

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