This episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ opens with Sheldon enjoying the great outdoors, all from the comfort of his desk. He is using virtual reality goggles to simulate being in a forest, which is interrupted when Penny and Leonard come home and add a little reality to his virtual reality. Sheldon goes on to tell them of the cognitive benefits that supposedly come from time in the great outdoors, and after some jokes about how Leonard would love to take Sheldon into the woods and leave him there, Penny asks why there are no brilliant squirrels if being in nature really helps increase reasoning skills.
Later, Amy comes over and encourages Sheldon to go into the actual woods, and Penny tells the group that she has access to a cabin in Big Bear, being offered to her by a female doctor she knows that is flirting with her. She and Leonard decide to head up for a weekend at the cabin, and Amy tries to convince Sheldon to go, but he does not like the woods. Only when Amy states that Leonard might come back smarter than Sheldon does he agree to go.
Bernadette and Raj meanwhile have been running errands, returning home as Howard learns that Raj has been doting over his wife ever since he learned she was pregnant. While Bernadette appreciates the attention, Howard thinks it is weird, especially when Raj buys them a giant Teddy Bear that barely fits in their living room, right after buying an ultrasonic microphone so they can hear the baby’s heartbeat. They tell Raj he needs to take a step back, and he leaves the house, trying to take his giant teddy bear with him with as much dignity as he can muster. Unfortunately for Howard, Bernie’s pregnancy hormones kick in and she feels bad for telling Raj to back off, and she demands that Howard bring him back, complete with the snuggly Teddy bear. Raj returns and they all decide to listen to the baby’s heartbeat, with things getting awkward once more when Raj asks if he can squirt the jelly on Bernadette’s stomach. Howard finds the heartbeat, and they sit back and listen to the new person they created, with Raj right there in on the moment.
On the way to Big Bear, we learn that Penny had to trade attending an Indigo Girls concert with the doctor for access to the cabin, and that Sheldon has never been officially off the grid before, a fact that comes out when he laments that his cell-phone coverage is officially out. At the cabin, Sheldon immediately worries about having received a tick bite and wants everyone to strip and check each other for bites, which everyone scoffs at save Amy, who would not mind looking over every inch of Sheldon’s body. Later, they had planned to take a hike out in the woods, but a massive rainstorm leaves them trapped inside, with no phones, no internet, and board games that are missing so many pieces they are practically useless. Penny suggests building a fire, and while Sheldon and Leonard discuss the best way to do so, she and Amy easily get the flame going. With nothing else to do but drink, Penny suggests they play ‘Never Have I Ever,’ which leads to some interesting revelations about the couples. Apparently Sheldon has been arrested for jaywalking (he was desperate to avoid an aggressive Girl Scout in the height of cookie season), Penny has used Sheldon’s toothbrush to clean the sink before (Sheldon’s reaction to this is classic, akin to a full body spasm of shock), Leonard has named his junk Alvin and the Chipmunks, and lastly and most dangerously, we learn Leonard has a secret bank account that Penny does not have access to.
Penny storms out of the room when Sheldon reveals this one, and though he thinks he has won the game, we all know that really, Leonard just lost. He and Penny have a heart-to-heart in the bedroom, where they discuss her massive credit card debt, and that he is squirreling away money in case of an emergency. In light of his secret, Penny decides to come clean herself and reveals that she hates her job, and is basically just doing it to get out of debt. She is tired of flirting with doctors to make sales and does not feel fulfilled. Fortunately, it sounds like she does not want to go back to waiting tables and acting, but I would not be surprised if Penny was looking for work very soon. They make up, and head off to “make up” in the woods, while Amy and Sheldon continue playing the game in the living room, with Sheldon horrified to learn that Amy once pushed all of the buttons in an elevator, to which she replies that everybody has a past.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
SHELDON: Who wants to check me for ticks?
AMY: Sheldon, we just walked in from the car.
SHELDON: Suit yourself (he pulls down his pants) Who wants to check me?
AMY: On the other hand…. safety first.
RAJ (as he drags a giant stuffed bear out of the Wolowitz house) Please Bernadette! Let me leave with some dignity!
AMY: (as Sheldon drinks in the ‘Never Have I Ever Game’) I can’t believe you’ve been arrested!
SHELDON: I can’t believe Penny hasn’t!
LEONARD: (to Penny) This game is dangerous, I could get you in trouble.
LEONARD: Ok, Never Have I Ever used Sheldon’s toothbrush to clean the sink.
RAJ: (as they listen to the baby’s heartbeat) You guys made a person!
HOWARD: (resting his head on Bernie’s shoulder) We did.
RAJ: (resting his head on Bernie’s other shoulder) I’d like to think I helped.
HOWARD: (annoyed) You didn’t.
Definitely a fun episode, as I enjoy seeing the characters in uncomfortable situations (especially Sheldon), and adding alcohol and drinking games into the mix always makes for some hilarious conversations. The Raj, Bernie and Howard story was enjoyable as well, though I am not sure where they are going with Raj’s clinginess unless they are setting up a scenario where Raj ends up having to deliver the baby or something. All in all, it definitely feels like the show is starting to pick up some momentum now that the season finale is approaching, and I cannot wait to see what this year’s big cliffhanger will be!
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 (@starfro67)