The Big Bang Theory – Scavenger Vortex
By Kevin Rigdon (@pralix1138)
A hunting they will go in the newest episode of The Big Bang Theory, “The Scavenger Vortex.” After no one showed up to his Murder Mystery dinner party, Raj tries to once again play party coordinator and get everyone to participate in a fun group activity. His solution: a scavenger hunt. The only question for this particular version of the scavenger hunt is: who ends up with Penny on their team.
So, the teams wind up being: Penny and Sheldon, Amy and Howard, and Bernadette and Leonard. Raj plays the game master, naturally. Other than Penny and Sheldon, these are groupings of people who aren’t used to being alone together, and this provides some wonderfully funny moments, and some insight to each of these personalities. For example, who knew Bernadette was so competitive? We all figured there was something slightly sinister lying in wait behind that high, squeaky voice, I suppose. But she goes off the rails in this competition. She was actually reminiscent of Wil Wheaton at one point where she attempts to sabotage Leonard and Penny’s relationship in an effort to win by telling Leonard that he couldn’t quit the game because Penny had taken to calling him, well, “a name that usually applies to a lady part…or a cat…or a willow,” and quitting would be detrimental to Leonard and Penny’s relationship.
As Bernadette is attempting to sacrifice Pennard (see what I did there?) on the altar of winning, Howard and Amy are discovering true friendship over Neil Diamond. I mean, come on! Who doesn’t enjoy some Neil Diamond every now and again? While Bernadette is consumed with winning at any cost, and Penny is concerned about beating Leonard, and Sheldon just wants to be smarter than everyone–and visit train stores–Howard and Amy forget about winning and losing as they’re having such a great time being in the car while cranking up the Neil Diamond playlist. I could not have predicted this a few years ago: Howard and Amy not only getting along one-on-one, but bonding. Over Neil Diamond. Maybe we should try that in Congress? Force them all in a room together and turn on some Neil Diamond? Neil Diamond may just be the key to national, and world, peace. Couldn’t hurt to try, could it?
As I said earlier, Penny wants to beat Leonard because he thought she would be a liability to him, and Sheldon is…well, Sheldon. Sheldon seems to be having fun playing the game for the game’s sake rather than a retributive, or maniacal, drive to win. More important than winning for Sheldon is being proven right that he needed to bring a bowling ball with him on the hunt. As a result, he gets to say, “My brain is better than everybody’s!” Yes it is, Sheldon. Yes it is.
I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, the episode moved really quickly. Even though there weren’t a lot of laugh out loud moments, I loved this episode. There was something indefinable there. After watching, I just felt good. The interaction between these characters keeps getting better and better. Season 7 is off to a fantastic start!
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars