Well, this was just an ok episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ I am not quite sure what I did not enjoy about the episode, but a lot of it just fell flat for me, and even the imagery of Sheldon with a train engine in his living room trying to learn how to repair it just felt over the top and a little surreal to me, but not really all that funny.
So while working on their project for the military, Howard and Leonard realize they are finally close to completion, only Sheldon has started doing computations for a smaller version of their navigation system, which the guys find upsetting as they do not want to redo all of their work. So to keep Sheldon distracted, Leonard pulls out his secret weapon, a gift he has been saving for Sheldon to get him out of their hair. It is a trip to Nevada where Sheldon will get to be an engineer on a real life train, a gift that cost Leonard $4,000 but he says is worth every penny because they have not seen Sheldon since he gave it to them. However, the next day, they are visited by the Colonel from the military who happens to see some of Sheldon’s new math, and suddenly he wants the smaller model, and demands they make the smaller model against the wishes of Howard and Leonard.
Sheldon meanwhile, is so excited he cannot shut up about trains, much to Amy’s dismay, who cannot believe Leonard pulled the trigger on his train gift. Sheldon keeps her up all night talking about the trip and the engineering package. When Howard and Leonard come over to tell Sheldon they need him to go back to work though, they find Sheldon has somehow gotten a train engine into his apartment, and is actively working on it, and has decided to give up science and become a train engineer full time. He refuses to go back to work, and Howard and Leonard cannot figure out his computations without him. They attempt to trick Sheldon into working with them by putting a blatantly wrong answer at the end of his equation (complete with a fake math symbol that is actually Charlie Brown’s hair), but Sheldon sees right through the ruse, and instead of writing down the answer to the equation, when he steps away from the board he reveals he has erased their numbers and drawn the rest of Charlie Brown’s head around the hair.
Eventually, he agrees to help his friends, appreciating that they cannot do the work without him, and convinced by Howard’s promise to help tutor him on how to properly fix that train engine as Sheldon is woefully ignoring of the various parts of the engine or what exactly he is doing.
The ladies meanwhile, decide to give Bernadette a night on the town as she seems a bit stressed being home alone with the baby now that Howard is back at work. So they decide to go out dancing, leaving baby Hannah home alone with Stuart and godfather Raj, who insists that he is charge. Raj and Stuart prove woefully inadequate at taking care of the baby on their own however, frequently calling Bernie over every little detail like funky smelling breast milk (which Stuart is more than happy to taste test himself, which Bernie demands he does NOT drink), and even calling when the baby starts crying because Raj takes a selfie with her while she was sleeping.
But the phone calls from the guys are not what ruins the night, as Penny accidentally chose a dance club that is no longer open, and while the ladies were all prepared to rage, with the club closed Penny now worries that they might be too old for what they are doing, and worries they are acting pathetically like older woman trying to recapture their youth. The conversation leads to more depression as Penny needs cheering up that her and Leonard, despite being married, are not moving forward, not like Bernie with the baby, and then Amy gets depressed because she and Sheldon may never get married. Amy and Penny start crying. Bernie begs them not to do as it will lead to her lactating, and inevitably she does indeed start up, which Penny comments is gross.
The episode ends with what you knew had to be a daydream by Amy, where she and Sheldon are on a train, with Sheldon as the engineer, wearing only the coveralls, and no shirt, dirtied by the soot, with Amy eying him lustily as he manages the engine. Eventually, he douses himself with water because he is hot and sweaty, which goes to slow motion, and she watches in abject glee, looking like she is ready to pounce on him and make love right then and there. She awakens from her daydream and we realize she is in the car with Sheldon on the way to the train vacation Leonard bought for them, and Sheldon informs her that they will arrive in 3 hours. Realizing the potential from her dream, Amy assures Sheldon she can get them there in 2 hours and slams on the gas.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
HOWARD: (as Leonard says he has a way to deal with Sheldon) We can just lock the door, you don’t have to kill him.
LEONARD: We can’t kill him, he’ll just respawn at the last save point.
BERNADETTE: For Howie’s occupation, should I also put in that he’s an astronaut?
AMY: Well, he mentioned it in his mother’s eulogy, so why not?
HOWARD: (on Sheldon’s train engine in the living room) How did you even get that up the stairs?
SHELDON: I said to myself, “I think I can, I think I can.” But then I couldn’t. So I paid two men to help me.
PENNY: Is everything ok?
BERNADETTE: I may have just left my infant daughter with Patrick and Sponge-Bob.
Aside from one or two moments (like the reveal of Sheldon having drawn Charlie Brown’s head on the whiteboard), there were not that many laughs this episode for me, which was a little disappointing considering how well the season has been going for the most part. But, to be fair, this may have just been a filler episode, in which case they should recover fairly quickly next week, making this just a small blip on the season. Here’s hoping. See you back here next week!
Nick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter.