Tonight’s episode featured a trip to the hallowed grounds of Skywalker Ranch, as well as a ‘Game of Thrones‘ inspired battle of champions over the fate of Howard’s T.A.R.D.I.S.
To be honest, both stories were exceptionally strong tonight, so I don’t even know which one to call the A story and which the B story, which is an excellent predicament for a sitcom to be in. So, I’ve decided to start with the Sheldon and Leonard story, as it has been some time since we’ve seen the two friends alone on their own adventure.
The episode opens with Penny and Amy saying their goodbyes to Sheldon and Leonard, who are heading up to Berkeley to give a lecture about the paper they published together. To show off his preparedness for the trip, Sheldon pulled out his emergency bathroom bag, complete with gloves, air freshener, multi-lingual “occupied” sign, and, in Sheldon’s words, “…a mirror on a stick so I can make sure whoever is in the stall next to me isn’t some kind of weirdo.” (incidentally, potentially my favorite line of the night.)
On the road, after Leonard bests Sheldon on a newly invented game based on “I Spy,” and after they enjoy some music together, with Sheldon giving Leonard permission to get funky, the guys realize they might get to the lecture early, and decide to take a detour to nearby Skywalker Ranch. They make it past the first gate by luck, making it to the guardhouse where their adventure is halted by a security guard, who despite stopping them does offer them T-Shirts and hats. Not enough to be within range of the ranch and not actually go in, Sheldon bolts out of the car and runs inside, only to be chased and tasered by the Skywalker Ranch Stormtroopers, err, security. The guys end up in the Ranch security center, waiting with another fan who snuck into the ranch and made out with a Wookiee statue. They are allowed to leave without the security calling the cops, but they are told never to come back.
Returning home, Sheldon reminisces about the good points of their adventure, the highlight for Leonard seeing Sheldon tasered by the security guards.
The rest of the gang is cleaning out the Wolowitz car-hold for a garage sale, with everything marked with a sticker going to be sold. Howard takes offense that Bernadette wants to sell his full sized T.A.R.D.I.S. from ‘Dr. Who,’ and they decide the fate of the phone booth will be decided by the outcome of a ping-pong match, with Howard choosing Raj as his champion, and Bernadette choosing Penny (neither choosing Amy as she had no friends growing up and only learned how to serve). Raj is clearly the better competitor, but Bernadette turns his alliances by saying Raj could keep the T.A.R.D.I.S. if Howard was forced to give it up. Howard immediately picks Amy as his new champion, and her super serve puts him ahead once more. Bernie changes to Raj as her champion, and the game is evenly matched. Raj can’t hit Amy’s serves, and Amy only knows how to serve, meaning she can’t return any of Raj’s serves. At the last minute, Bernie explains to Amy that if Howard gives up the T.A.R.D.I.S., Amy could put it outside her bedroom, with the doors opening up inside, claiming that Sheldon would not be able to resist. Cut to the inside of Amy’s apartment with the T.A.R.D.I.S. installed as her new bedroom entryway.
In the episode closing, we see the results of Amy’s new ploy to get Sheldon into her bedroom, with Amy sitting patiently on the bed while Sheldon runs in and out playing ‘Dr.Who’ and essentially ignoring her. Indeed, Amy did not think this one through.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
SHELDON: (deciding Leonard should play music on the road trip) “Play that funky music white boy.”
LEONARD: “I’m surprised you know that reference.”
SHELDON: “What reference?”
SHELDON: (to the other occupant of Skywalker Ranch Prison) “Why are you here?”
RANDOM GUY: “Oh, I hopped a fence and they found me in the sculpture gallery making out with a Chewbacca statue.”
SHELDON: “Excuse me. (walks over and sits next to Leonard) Leonard… they have a sculpture gallery!”
HOWARD: “Just so you know, when this started I was going to put the T.A.R.D.I.S. in a discreet corner of the house. But I’ve since turned mean, and now it’s going right in the middle of the living room on rotating platform with a sign that says “Suck it” – GAME ON!”
SHELDON: “And, for all the times you find me irritating, today you got to watch someone shoot me with a taser.”
LEONARD: “That part was pretty good.”
Another excellent entry into Season 8, as everyone had something to do, with the majority of the cast being together during the ping pong match, playing nicely against each other comedically. I think the ping pong storyline slightly beats out the Ranch storyline, as the rest of the gang really shined while deciding the fate of the T.A.R.D.I.S.. Looking forward to see where the show goes next, if the promo for next week is any indication, they are continuing to inch ever closer to the Sheldon and Amy sleepover, and you know that will result in nothing if not hilarity.