The Big Bang Theory Review: "The Russian Rocket Reaction"

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I would never have thought that Howard would end up being the most mature male on The Big Bang Theory. But on "The Russian Rocket Reaction," he showed that he really is ready to be in a relationship.

Like Howard, if I were ever offered an opportunity equivalent to going to space, I'd be so excited that I would accept it before talking to my significant other and family members also. It probably isn't the right thing to do, but I can see how it would happen, especially in Howard's situation. Not only hasn't he dated much, but he is newly engaged. A period of adjustment to joint decision-making is not unexpected.

Party with Wil Wheaton

Howard showed his maturity in the car when he decided to discuss it with Bernadette. In the past, I think he would have just pouted and stood his ground. Surprisingly, it was Bernadette, normally the more grounded in the relationship, who acted inappropriately by not discussing the issue and then ratting him out to his mother.

While the show is a comedy, I enjoyed seeing a real life situation play out. And, hey, it was funny! So, will Howard actually end up going to space? I'm guessing no, and I have high hopes that the writers will come up with a hilarious situation to prevent his space adventure.

In contrast to the real life fight of Howard and Bernadette, we saw the contrived, but laugh-inducing fight between Sheldon and Leonard over Wil Wheaton. Should Leonard have gone to the party? I'm not sure. Sheldon has his oddities that create situations which allow for different actions than most normal friendships. In most cases, a friend shouldn't go to their best friend's enemy's party. However, Sheldon's grudge against Wil Wheaton was not normal. 

In the end, I'm not sure if I'm happy that the Sheldon-Wil rivalry is over or not. It was comedic gold for both of them. Perhaps Wil has turned his mortal enemy guest spots over to Brent Spiner, though. And maybe we'll see more of Wil Wheaton, just less of Evil Wil Wheaton.

Overall, it was a very funny episode and the two main stories were well-balanced and played off each other nicely. There were some laugh-out loud moments, no doubt, and you can enjoy them again with some of this week's The Big Bang Theory quotes. Read on!


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (85 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


I agree.


@Kevinator, I love the show but I'm not really into the films and comic-book characters Sheldon & Co always talk about, so I do appreciate it when they make references more explicit. Further I don't agree with previous posters who find Amy and Bernadette superfluous at times or that Amy "sucks". The two actresses playing their roles are doing a great job. These characters give the writers the chance to let us see our socially and emotionally impaired guys interact with their significant others and that is fun to watch. I do hope they'll eventually come up with someone for Raj too...


Was it just me, or do they always explain their jokes as much as they did in this episode? First, they had Penny explain Schrodinger's experiment to anyone who wasn't familiar with it, despite it being fairly well-known and referenced in the show in previous episodes. Then, for anyone who didn't happen to see the previous episodes featuring Wil Wheaton, they conveniently had a scene where the whole rivalry thing is explained to Amy. Also, when Sheldon says "Excuse me, stormtrooper, those are the droids you're looking for", Leonard conveniently explains the joke by saying, "I'm going to a party, not turning R2-D2 and C3PO over to the Empire", as if anyone could not get that reference.


I've only recently started watching this show. The hubs loves it. I'm still trying to understand the group dynamic. It's an okay show, certainly not my favorite comedy but it's growing on me.


Worthless the first scene of the episode talking about freaks books' swords. I'm huge fan of all that stuff and I empathize so much with the gang


I agree amy was a waste of space. Amy and Bernadette don't need to be in every episode... And the will Wheaton episode was pathetic. He didn't do anything evil, and then turned good. What a cop out! I hope we never see him again.

Sue ann

I agree -- I think it likely that Wil Wheaton will now be a good guy, and Brent Spiner a bad guy. I just don't find their version of Wil Wheaton convincing as a nice guy. Their version was the one who deliberately broke up Leonard and Penny just to win a bowling contest. That is not something a nice person would do, so I found his niceness ringing very fake tonight. I know nothing whatsoever about what the real Wil Wheaton is like; I am strictly discussing Evil Wil. He played that very, very well. Nice Wil, I kept waiting for the centipede to wriggle out and bite. I was also very impressed with Howard in the car, and actually, in the bedroom. An opportunity to go to space is something which has filled the dreams of every kid in this country since we watched or listened to Alan Shepard's first launch. It is a natural for an engineer who has been inventing machines for use on the space station and on Mars to be sent up to handle the work on his creations. It is an honor, and a privilege which people seldom get. For Bernadette to refuse permission for Howard to go is understandable under the circumstances she lists, but she is too smart to have not considered thoroughly what it means to marry an aerospace engineer. It did not ring quite true. Except Howard's mother. She screeched very true indeed. Nevertheless, quibbles and issues aside, I liked this episode a lot, and I am looking forward to seeing it again when reruns start. Very funny. Oh, I noticed that now that Priya is back in India, Penny is free to hang out with the gang again. That's the way it should be. I am also not a fan of Priya, like many others who post here regarding this show. And did you notice that Bernadette was there already, BEFORE Howard arrived with his news? And Amy and Penny's eye contacts in the all-girl conversation in Penny's apartment looked as though they really have become true "besties", not just Amy's idea of "besties". Cute, cute, cute.


They need to dump amy, she sucks.


I am so glad to see a return to the kind of episode that made BBT a joy to watch when it started. Where the Nerdiness of the characters is front and center and was the basis of the humor. Over the last few seasons it seems like the writers had lost their way and more and more of the laughs came from sex jokes. It seemed to becoming less and less BBT and more and more Two & Half Nerds in content. Here's hoping this return to form continues.


I agree - it was a really good episode. My favorite this season.

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The Big Bang Theory Season 5 Episode 5 Quotes

It's gonna be another Wil Wheaton sausage fest.


Okay if you're going to question the importance of an actor's signature on a plastic helmet from a movie based on a comic book then all of our lives have no meaning!