The Big Bang Theory, "The Desperation Emanation": Leonard needs a lady

Quick Take, The Big Bang Theory, "The Desperation Emanation"
"Is it because you're sad and alone and no one loves you?" - Sheldon


Review, The Big Bang Theory, "The Desperation Emanation"
(S0405) Sheldon and Amy are doing well, Howard and Bernadette are all lovely-dovey, Raj has been dating a deaf girl so it doesn't matter that he can't talk to her, and even the comic book guy has a girlfriend. Leonard falls into a funk, and when Sheldon and an attending-by-webcam Amy find him sprawled on the couch, they suggest ways he can find a girlfriend to cheer him up. At first, he's resistant to the idea, but when they suggest alternative sorts of bars where someone like Leonard might have a chance, he gets to thinking. Cut to him wearing an Apple Store employee shirt at Howard's, having just been released from Mall Jail. He invokes the Girlfriend Pact where Howard's girlfriend has to hook him up with one of her friends. This leads to Joy, who is entirely unsuitable, obnoxious, mildly dangerous, and far too convinced of her own hilarity-- but she needs a date for a wedding next week, and she promises that alcohol makes her a sure bet, so Leonard agrees to go.

Meanwhile, Amy Farrah Fowler wants Sheldon to meet her mom. Sheldon flips right out and goes from comfortably in control of the situation to flailing lunatic in about three seconds flat. He decides that it means she wants to take this to the next level, and he has no interest in the next level, so he has to get rid of her. That leads to a pretty funny side story of him changing all their contact info and trying to get Leonard to lie to her so she can't find them, which is undone by the simple fact that she's been to their house before and knows where it is. Eventually, she gets around to explaining that it's just to get her mom off her back, but before then, we get to hear Sheldon talking about how "bitches be crazy".

All in all, a pretty funny ep. It wasn't as laugh-out-loud hilarious as previous episodes, but it had a lot of sweetness and a good balance of the uncomfortable embarrassment-humor that situations like this sort of spawn of their own accord-- not too much, and not too little. Leonard got to do something other than stand off to the side and deliver the straight-man lines, and for a moment, he had a little self-worth and self-respect... even if it did almost immediately evaporate.

The interesting thing is that it was an entirely Penny-free episode, and they didn't once step into the lab, but it still felt like a solid episode of Big Bang. I take this to mean that the characters are filled-in enough and well-rounded enough that they can carry the episode even when the cast isn't full and they aren't in their usual haunts, and there's no need to explain any of it away. Which is awesome.

More thoughts on "The Desperation Emanation"

  • Raj was really only in one scene, and he managed to still be a bit of a jerk while maintaining a sort of harmlessness. 
  • Howard's mom is just the most awful woman ever. Really. Worse every episode. Ick. Aside from her, there was very little bathroom humor this ep, and that can only be for the best.
  • Amy Farrah Fowler was much less annoying this episode, like the writers somehow looked at my complaints from the last time and took them into account. She wasn't as heartless or mean, she actually tried to help Leonard in her own way, and she was a little bit as awkward as Sheldon without it coming across as more arrogant or disconnected than him. Brilliant. The show is better without that big block of annoyance in it's center.
  • Leonard: What would you be if you were attached to another object by an inclined plane, wrapped helically around an axis? Sheldon: Screwed. Leonard: There you go.
  • Stewart the comic book guy: I met her at Comic Con, the one place in the world where saying "I own a comic book store" is a pick-up line.
  • Leonard: This is pretty much the worst date I've ever been on. Howard: Really? I was once robbed by a pre-op transsexual I met on JDate. It didn't even make my top ten.
  • Video for The Big Bang Theory, "The Desperation Emanation"
    Sheldon gives Leonard a hard time for not having a girlfriend...

    By Samantha Holloway

    About the author

    Samantha is a freelance writer, editor and book and TV reviewer. She's currently in gradschool and working on her first novel, and one day she'll rule to world. Or marry her TV. Whichever comes first. Follow!

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