The Big Bang Theory Review: "The Alien Parasite Hypothesis"

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As you know from my Big Bang Theory reviews, I'm still on the fence with Amy.  She was obviously designed to be a female Sheldon, but just doesn't come across as funny each week.

Penny, Bernadette and Amy

And that's not necessarily Mayim Bialik's fault.  When she's given good lines, her dead pan delivery sometimes works.  The real flaw is with the writing and design of her character.  She's way too much of a caricature.

Take this week's episode, "The Alien Parasite Hypothesis."  We're expected to believe that well into her late twenties (early thirties?), Amy has never experienced sexual arousal or even known what it is.

Over the years, we've been expected to suspend belief plenty of times with Sheldon, as he learned plenty of basic social interactions, but for some reason, this week's episode seemed to ask too much out of me with Amy.  Really?  She couldn't identify such an innate thing as attraction?

All that said, we'd be lying if we didn't say the episode made us laugh.  As ridiculous and unbelievable as the premise behind the A story was, it definitely started off from a very entertaining scene with the ladies going out, an always amazing laundry room scene between Sheldon and Penny and a funny Shamy lunch, as they attempted to dissect the symptoms together.

Once they eventually dismissed the idea of Amy having an alien parasite and settled on her being "horny," Sheldon came up with the same conclusion any guy would: setting her up with Zack.  Well, Sheldon apparently can't get jealous, so sure, why not?  Lord knows the man's not going to do it himself.

We're definitely glad Amy couldn't go through with it.  She's been created in a lab to be with Sheldon.  But then again, we were still happy when the experiment of hand holding with Sheldon failed.  Maybe she was made to be with no one.  In which case, what's she really doing on this show?

The A story was silly and over-the-top.  But it surprisingly worked on us. Meanwhile, the unmemorable B-story of Wolowitz and Raj fighting for who would be the superhero and who would be the sidekick was passable.

It has jokes and broke up the A story quite well.  And it also gave the self-loathing Leonard somewhere to sit around, sulk, and hate what a nerd he is as his friends wrestled in spandex.  Poor Leonard.  It's obvious the writers hate you as much as you hate yourself.

Overall, we're going to give this episode a much higher rating than our words have indicated.  Why?  Because it's a sitcom and in the end it made us laugh. 

Now we'll leave you with our favorite of The Big Bang Theory quotes from the episode:

Wolowitz: He got bit by a radioactive rat.
Raj: Did he get superpowers?
Wolotiz: No, he got five stitches and a tetanus shot. | permalink
Penny: He wasn't intellectually stimulating enough.
Bernadette: Couldn't you just fool around with him and then listen to NPR?
Penny: Wouldn't help. Zack couldn't even spell NPR. | permalink
Amy: Sheldon, I am not going through menopause.
Sheldon: Are you sure? You said that with the testy bark of an old bitty. | permalink
Penny: That's thinking ahead.
Sheldon: The alternative would be to think backwards.. and that's just remembering. | permalink


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (32 Votes)

Eric Hochberger is the programmer of TV Fanatic, so please forgive his mediocre writing. His programming is far better. Follow him on Twitter and/or email him. Just don't request threaded comments. They're coming.


You took the words right out of my mouth for Amy in the first paragraph. I don't like her. Amy is a bad try at a female Sheldon. All she ever does is say socially awkward things, especially about the female anatomy, and falls far short of Sheldon. I think it is the fact that she is so reserved while Sheldon does much more that makes her such a weak character. I like the idea of the ladies going out together, which contrasts the guys going out together, and Amy is the key. AMY NEEDS TO BE DEVELOPED.


Why so many misinterpreted this episode? I mean, as far as I know, Amy does feel arousal, but the fact that she got like that by JUST seeing a guy would completely surprise the hell out of me too O.o But once she realized her symptoms were simpler that the flu and on set Tourets, she was very open (if anal) about her urges. I liked that she accepts exactly how she is and what she is made of "I have a stomach, I get hungry, I have genitals, I have the potential to get sexually aroused" She just didn't realize it could happen in such a strong, blunt way. She even seemed surprised when she shook Zack's hand. I always thought of her as a message from the writers to us or to Sheldon, like a projection of sorts, if she feels this way, then Sheldon does too, and him being up set because of her feelings was maybe not so much about Amy's humanity, but Sheldon's development. "A cross we all must bear" So, he DOES feel it too; the writers had to do that because I didn't realize it before, but many, many fans think that Sheldon REALLY is a robot, when he is a human, not interested, or trying not to be, but a human nonetheless. Maybe I'm the only one who liked this episode a lot, apparently I'm the only one who actually payed attention to why the reason behind Amy, or payed attention full stop. Raj and Howard are so underrated, seeing them doing those crazy things was fantastic :D


it's just a TV show. Even episodes of Seinfeld wont be studied in Universities in later centurisa like Shakespeares plays. If you want to argue about missed oppirtunites once a great premise is set up. Complain about George Lucas.


My problem with the episode is that it contradicts everything we know about Sheldon, Amy and even Penny. I liked Amy up until now, I think it's fine for her to be a version of Sheldon, but she's a freakin neurobiologist, she was working on BRAINS in that scene with Sheldon. I don't need to be a neurobiologist to know that attraction begins IN THE BRAIN, not in the genitalia. That's why it was so hard for me to believe she wouldn't recognize attraction when she felt it. Playing by the BBT rules, it's not cause she's a female in her late 20's, it's cause she's a genius in the science of Neurobiology. Not to mention she once claimed to be part of a scientific experiment that gave her orgasms or something by stimulating her brain. So when she was horny I thought why not just hook yourself up to your favourite machine. Get it get it girl. :) Secondly, what is the deal with Penny suggesting to Sheldon to have sex with her. Even if that's not the idea Sheldon got, Penny should know Sheldon by now and know he is completely asexual. And as for Sheldon, he is entirely capable of feeling jealousy, since he's an annoying brat about everything else.


It's just bad comedy. If you have two characters that are of similar bent, one has to be at least more adventurous than the other. Fowler is so detached from her sexual desires that she doesn't even recognize that this is what they are? It's a bad device. I would have accepted that she clinically knew she needed to grease her wheels, but not even know this was her urge? And Sheldon is a foil. He cannot work in a situation where the other party is the same as him. The jokes from incredulity, not from terse acceptance. The Brainiacs' take on how the rest of the world functions. I feel bad for Galecki and Cuoco. The emotional centres of the piece. Galecki really has been given nothing to do but look bemused....and Cuoco was supposed to be injecting whimsy into the group. Now she's just a female Leonard...trapped in a role and stoically playing it out. Please please please no more Amy Farrah Fowler centric episodes. The character sucks the proverbial bag.


yeah once again, i am underwhelmed this season with just about everything Penny and Leonard have been asked to do. i wish it would go back to how it was, with Leonard's pursuit of Penny, with sheldon helping (or hindering) in the background. I dont like Amy - i feel her character is going no where, and in some 'coincidence', every episode involving her has somehow revolved around the 2 of them severing ties with each other (with sheldon's parent, and then with her parents, with her ability to be horny....) oh and i like to compare this show with How I met your Mother. whilst TBBT is funnier, the storylines sometimes suck and exist only for a specific joke. they always start well but end really suddenly - especially this season!


@eric hochberger - i love it when you guys (staff members) stick up for yourselves. it's always hilarious. we (most of us anyways) love what you do! thank you!


Shows like this and Shatners show sure make me miss Gleason, Skelton and Allen. Am I the only one that doesn't think there is anything really funny on this?


@lilian - It's not that I even can believe Sheldon as much anymore. I feel like both of them have become caricatures, even Sheldon this season. He was much more believable, albeit still silly in previous seasons. What I mean is, I could buy Sheldon not catching sarcasm slash jokes. That makes sense from a social awkwardness. Not understanding you're turned on and mistaking it for the flu? That's much more of a stretch to me. And yes, I do write reviews for the sake of it. What else would I write them for?


while amy may not be exactly a female copy of sheldon, she surely is close to being like him than any of the others are.. so then why is it believable for us to assume sheldon is asexual and hasn't had any sexual feelings while unable to digest the same from a woman who is certainly like a robot more than human??? I think this reviewer is simply writing reviews for the sake of it.

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The Big Bang Theory Season 4 Episode 10 Quotes

Wolowitz: He got bit by a radioactive rat.
Raj: Did he get superpowers?
Wolotiz: No, he got five stitches and a tetanus shot.

Penny: He wasn't intellectually stimulating enough.
Bernadette: Couldn't you just fool around with him and then listen to NPR?
Penny: Wouldn't help. Zack couldn't even spell NPR.