The Big Bang Theory: The Cooper-Kripke Inversion

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by Kevin Rigdon (@pralix1138)

It’s a tale of mushed bathing suit areas, Darth Physicists, and action figures in the newest episode of The Big Bang Theory, “The Cooper/Kripke Inversion.” Raj finds a website that promises to make action figures based on submitted photos. Howard’s all in, but Penny’s less than enthusiastic response precludes Leonard from participating in the nerdly awesomeness. Though it turns out Penny was absolutely right, and Raj and Howard are out five hundred bucks each.

This prompts a truly asinine rationalizing on the part of Howard Wolowitz. Because Bernadette makes so much money, and because they’re married, Howard gets it into his not-so-bright-when-it-comes-to-marriage head that he can go in halfsies on a 3-D printer, and just plop down twenty-five hundred dollars without talking it over with his wife. Howard have matured over the years, but he still has a long way to go. As a consequence of his impetuosity, Bernadette makes him sell his half of the printer to Raj.

While Howard and Raj are printing their own 3D action figures, worlds are colliding, and the apocalypse has dawned as Sheldon and Kripke must work together to write a grant proposal for the university. At first, Sheldon is outraged which requires cocoa instead of tea. Then he’s angrier than ever and filled with despair, which requires hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks. Nothing else will help, however, when Sheldon discovers an unpleasant truth: Kripke’s work is far superior to his own. Here, we have the best example yet of the progression in the life of Sheldon Lee Cooper. Before, even if Kripke’s work was superior, Sheldon would never have acknowledged it, let alone allow Amy to offer a consoling hug, a hug which feels like being strangled by a boa constrictor…but “Why’d you stop?”

This is only a slight chink in the Sheldorian armor as Kripke surmises that Sheldon’s work is suffering because of his having a regular jostling of the genitals with Amy. Of course, this is the furthest thing from the truth, but Sheldon decides to use it as an excuse. The ridiculous, bald faced lie makes him look better after all, even if the lie includes a rather unorthodox use of a model rocket.

Amid the laugh-out-loud zingers, and euphemisms for carnal activity, Sheldon is becoming a man. No, this is not because he and Amy have engaged in, to quote Howard Wolowitz, “the dance with no pants.” It is because Sheldon actually admitted that Kripke’s work was far better than his own. It is because Sheldon admitted to the possibility, at some future point, of a physical relationship with Amy. It’s an interesting ride with Sheldon. He’s come a long way, and yet at his own pace. No longer is he immediately repulsed by the idea of human contact, but neither is he moving too quickly. The writers are doing a wonderful job of bringing Sheldon along at a believable pace; his progression seems organic and true to character.

Fantastic episode with lots of laughter, and solid character development.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars


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