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The Big Bang Theory Review: The Odd Couples

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After accepting Raj’s challenge of a M.I.T. level scavenger hunt, The Big Bang Theory gang paired up by drawing names from a hat with the resulting teams making for a hysterical half-hour in "The Scavenger Vortex."

While we've seen Sheldon and Penny on screen alone before, it was all new ground to witness Leonard and Bernadette get some time together (just the two of them), and for Howard and Amy get to hold a conversation alone.

Sheldon and Penny's Hunt

I wasn't sure how it was going to play out for the latter two squads, but once Howard and Amy started singing Neil Diamond, I knew it was going to be fun! And like a 20-minute glimpse into a modern day Mad Mad Mad World, the teams were off!

My favorite duo was Leonard and Bernadette. She had me in stitches with some of her comments, I don’t think Melissa Rauch has had me laughing this hard since she tried to be Howard’s magician assistant and we learned she wasn't good with kids. At all.

They were followed closely by Amy and Howard, whose love of Neil Diamond actually overtook the game, as they never finished and went to sing Karaoke instead. So, I think we can declare them the winners: they did end up having a ball!

This week was also unique for me on another level, as I was watching it with my in-laws for the first time and I didn't know if they would like the sitcom, much less laugh at any part of it. I’m thrilled to say that they both thought it was great, with my mother-in-law cracking up even more often than I was.

So in honor of the rare company I was able to enjoy the half-hour with, I’m giving this episode 4.5 laughing parents. What did you think of the episode? Did you have a team you were rooting for or was your favorite pairing? 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (180 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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    17 Comments New Comment Subscribe

    Avatar

    Ah, the scavenger hunt…

    This had all the makings of a brilliant episode, mixing up the couples and putting them through a series of puzzle games to win a golden coin. It appeals to the comic and to the child in us all. Unfortunately the end results were very much hit and miss.

    It was good to have Sheldon and Penny paired together again and the scene with the jigsaw was hilarious, demonstrating Sheldon’s logic beaten by Penny’s competitive instinct. Yet again however, Penny is discriminated against, the suggestion being she is neither intelligent nor part of the group per se. Why are they now all dining at the Cheesecake Factory and being waited on by Penny? Do you know anyone else who would socialize at a friend’s workplace? It rather rubs Penny’s nose in it. When it was only the 'lost boys' dining out it seemed cute and endearing, as Penny worked in their favourite restaurant, but it fails to be so now the girls are involved. Why don’t they eat there on her day off? Do they leave a tip? The questions bug me and I hope they bug the writers too. Equally, Sheldon once again shuns her as he refuses to acknowledge her contributions to the competition. It’s good comic fare because we know his character, but just occasionally he ought to show more insight, he might learn something. Naturally he comes out the only real winner in the game.

    The pairing of Leonard and Bernadette was less exciting. Leonard came across as a moaning insecure adolescent, which to be fair he often resembles, and his efforts to correct the right thing haven patently refused to do it initially had the ring of a standing joke. He doesn’t come across well in this sort of story. After a strong start to the season, his Superman alter ego (the happy-go-lucky, dancing, life of the frat party Leonard) has been replaced once more by the docile Clark Kent apologist. Not good. Neither was the sudden change in the young Mrs Wolowitz. For me Bernadette is by far the least interesting character in the show. She’s usually a pin for other’s jokes and this seemed to be a ruse to spice up her persona. Here she is aggressive, keen and quite objectionable. Sometimes the writers have hinted at this before and she is often quick to remind people she earns more money than her husband. Nonetheless, this felt too sudden a change. Howard clearly has his hands full, as he mentions to Amy during their 'Diamond Trip'.

    The last pair probably had the best time. They didn’t argue, got on well, thanks to a shared love of Neil Diamond, and spent most of the episode singing. They were fun to watch.

    The story had its moments, but overall it wasn’t successful. Putting aside the time frame issues, I found it to be quite an angry episode with a lot of shouting, snide remarks and bitterness. The action replayed much of what we’ve already seen (Amy’s singing aside). Sadly my endearing memory of the whole thing is Penny complaining loudly that everyone thinks she’s an intellectual liability and no one, not even her boyfriend, coming to her defense. Dear Lord, you wonder, why does she stick it?

    Jimg

    @Fifty,

    I'm sorry if my review feels to brief. As for being 4.5, there were a few minor bits I felt could have been a little better, such as: I would have liked to have seen another challenge or two, a puzzle and two riddles were a bit thin on "M.I.T" level scavenger hunt.

    Avatar

    I hope that Penny gets a big break soon. Howard got married with Bernadette went to outer space, Leonard partied/did a research project for Stephen Hawking, Sheldon got a girlfriend, and Raj... Raj got his voice back and became a chatterbox.

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    I hope Raj finds a girl for keeps soon. I would love to see a girl get swooned by him, without the help of alcohol.

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    One of their best episodes in a LONG time -- and everyone seems to agree. I loved the Neil Diamond interplay, and the fact that Penny contributed so much in the hunt. All three couples were so much fun to see. Perhaps a top 10 best episode.

    Avatar

    fun episode !! :)
    N my favorite line ...
    RUN
    Run To India !! :D :D

    Fifty

    Awesome!!! Best episode for air in a long while and really enjoyed this one. Sheldon and Penny were the pick for me in this one but all the couples were great. I really hoped there would be a more through review on this one and definitely deserve 5 stars not 4.5.

    Avatar

    After watching this episode I watch a season 3 episode "The Pirate Solution". It is sad how this show has changed. It was very clever and witty humour but has just turned to cheap humour and slapstick for its laughs. I was great liker of this in seasons 1-3 but it has steadily gone downhill for me.

    Sue-ann

    The episode was hysterically funny, up until there was no prize. The abuse heaped on Raj made me very sad, and it was not funny. It left kind of a bad taste, which was mostly taken away by Howard and Amy singing karaoke, but not entirely.

    I, too, hope they have Amy and Howard go to a Neil Diamond concert. No reason why they should not ...

    Phxcowbot

    hilarious - first time I've seen Amy have so much fun, and Bernadette is too funny for words. Great episode




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