The Big Bang Theory – The Itchy Brain Stimulation


by Kevin Rigdon (@pralix1138)

It’s a lesson in teachable moments on the newest episode of The Big Bang Theory, “The Itchy Brain Stimulation.” After 3 years Sheldon has finally decided on the prize he wants to trade in some old skee ball tickets for. While rummaging through the junk box Leonard finds the tickets. He also finds a couple unfortunate things that set up the main gag of the episode: an incredibly itchy sweater given to him by an aunt, and a 7-year old unreturned DVD that was rented on Sheldon’s card.

In anticipation of Sheldon’s inevitable overreaction, Leonard thinks he convinces Sheldon to remain calm and he, Leonard, will take care of it. To everyone’s dismay, Sheldon does not go crazy. He doesn’t flip out or obsess over it. He remains calm. Claiming that Leonard doesn’t understand what effects these little unresolved things have on him, Sheldon suggests Leonard experience an unscratchable itch as well. He has Leonard wear the sweater from hell until the matter is resolved. Leonard, full of self-assurance, agrees, and suffers the consequences, poked and prodded ever so gently by Howard.

Leonard’s sweater certainly brings the itch. I daresay he didn’t think this through. His triumphalistic attitude in the beginning quickly gives way to irritation, despair, and a sort of madness. The rental store closed down: dead end. The owner died: dead end. Owner had no immediate relatives: dead end. When Sheldon suggests that Leonard could travel to Lebanon or Armenia to find long lost relatives, that’s the last straw. Leonard can’t handle anymore. It’s at this point that Sheldon reveals why he didn’t freak out about the DVD. He’d found out 7 years ago that it was late, and he paid for it. He waited and bided his time so that he could have this moment. This teachable moment for Leonard. That’s some serious patient calculating. I think we may be seeing the emergence of a super villain.

Our next teachable moment is for Raj. I’m not so sure Raj’s newly uncovered ability to speak to women is such a good thing. Rather than being a good listener, he’s become something of a spigot of self-absorbed loathing. Oh, he’s never been confident or anything, but at least when he couldn’t talk, he didn’t let on how deep his particular pathologies go. It’s not so much the saying the wrong thing. We all do that every now and again. Some of us do it on a daily basis. No, it’s not that. It’s something deeper and more disturbing than just saying the wrong thing.

When Penny runs into Lucy, she sticks up for Raj and winds up berating Lucy. The result is that Lucy wants to meet with Raj for coffee, but it’s not to get back together. Lucy apologizes, and tells him that she’s seeing somebody else. Because Raj blames Penny for the entire debacle, she sets him up with a girl from work. And what happens? He talks.

He talks and goes down in flames. After accusing the girl of lying to him, he tells her that he’d be happy to be the other man if she just wants a little something on the side. Good God, man! At least when he said something inappropriate before, he could conceivably blame it on the alcohol. So, Raj. Learn this lesson: just because one has the ability to speak doesn’t mean one should. One should certainly think about what one says before opening one’s pie hole.

The season keeps going strong though this episode is a bit weaker than previous ones. And we get it, guys. We get it. Amy is unsatisfied sexually. We don’t need a little one line dig in every episode. Think up another joke.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

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