The Big Bang Theory, "The Skank Reflex Analysis": fallout from unexpected hookups

Quick Take, The Big Bang Theory, "The Skank Reflex Analysis"
"I feel like two completely different people - Dr Jekyll and Mrs Whore." - Penny

Penny and Raj talk it out

Review: The Big Bang Theory, "The Skank Reflex Analysis"
(S0501) The new season of The Big Bang Theory picks up right where the old one left off, which is probably for the best as we were left with a cliffhanger-like-thing. It's the morning after Penny and Raj woke up naked in bed together, and Raj thinks he's in love with Penny while Penny wants nothing more than to hide forever. She thinks she's ruined everything, but mostly the boys are awkward and confused more than anything else. Leonard is uncomfortable while Howard is ticked, but it's because he finds out that Raj was only moments ago enamoured of Bernadette.

Eventually it comes out that Raj finished before they actually did anything, so Penny doesn't have to feel bad about anything, and they decide to stay just friends. Still, she thinks everything is a mess and does some soul searching. She decides to give up on acting and go back to Nebraska with her family -- but as she's telling them this, she gets a call from her agent. She's gotten a role in a hemorrhoid-cream-for-women ad, and calls off her move on the spot.

Meanwhile, Sheldon is the captain of the department's painball team and everyone is too upset to play, so he sacrifices himself in a big, dramatic, slow-motion scene. It inspires the others to take out their frustrations on the opposing team, and they win the trophy and are back to being friends.

This episode was comfortingly in line with the last. A lot of shows have have tried to make this new season a "game changer," but Big Bang Theory went the other way. They took the opportunity to follow exactly after last season's closer, and make a solid, silly, charming episode that continues all the elements that make this show so great. If anything, it improved on them a little, with better integration of the slowly-expanding cast so that everyone had something to do and good lines to deliver.

It did give Penny a neurologist's point of view on her sexy-times issues--she isn't getting the rush of accomplishment from her life, so she turns to something she knows will make her feel better--and that could be groundwork for future plotlines. But it wasn't really messed with here. One of the great things about this show is that it can mention something without automatically having to deal with it, and yet it doesn't forget that these issues were brought up. Everything comes back around, eventually, and usually in a way a little off-kilter from how we the viewers expected it to be. That's how it stays fresh and engaging: it carries over storylines, it stays clever, and it doesn't usually fall easily into expected jokes and outcomes.

More Thoughts On The Big Bang Theory, "The Skank Reflex Analysis":

  • "You can't ruin friendship with sex. That's like tyring to ruin ice cream with chocolate sprinkles." - Raj
  • "She engaged in interspecies hanky panky, but people still call her great. Your reputation can survive one little Indian boy." - Amy
  • "If you need my help again, my books are available on Amazon." - Leonard's Mom
  • "Screw you, that was a beautifully written penis metaphor." - Raj
  • "If there's ever a church of Sheldon, this is where it started." - Sheldon
  • You can watch the full episode on (which still doesn't allow embedding, sigh).

    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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    On: Friday, September 23, 2011
    Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

    Welcome back Samantha !

    Now, quick and awkward question: did this show really "go there" with Raj "finishing" before anything happened? 

    On: Friday, September 23, 2011
    Samantha Holloway said:

    Yeah, it totally did, and continued with his insistance that it was beautiful as full-on sexy times for him. That's Raj for you!



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