Well, perhaps the show has some life left after all, as this week’s outing proved to be better than last week’s, which continues that trend, meaning that perhaps this season was just slow to the start, and they are just beginning to find their sweet spot. It could also be the addition of Will Whedon and Bob Newhart this week, as they are both pretty hilarious whenever they make appearances on the show. Either way, this episode felt pretty solid.
The main plot revolved around the revelation that there was a casting call for Professor Proton, as a reboot was being planned for the science show that inspired both Leonard and Sheldon to become scientists when they were children, a show which starred Sheldon’s friend and mentor, Arthur (played, as always, by the amazing Bob Newhart.) Sheldon decides to audition for the role himself, but after shooting a disappointing audition tape which Amy, Leonard, and Penny find somewhat condescending toward children and a little scary, he turns to Will Whedon for help with his acting skills. Sadly for him, Whedon himself tries out for and gets the role of Professor Proton on the reboot, which enrages Sheldon.
He dreams about Arthur, the two conversing once more in the swamps of Dagobah with Arthur dressed as Obi-Wan (much to his chagrin) and Sheldon promises to set things right. He confronts Will, explains that Professor Proton should be a scientist, and asks Will to turn down the role. Will says no but does promise to do his best to make a quality show that will inspire other kids to like science the way it did for Sheldon. Unfortunately, that is not enough for Sheldon, and he puts Will back on his enemies list for good. That night, he dreams about Arthur again (with Arthur wondering why they never meet in a deli) and tells his old friend that he failed, but at least Will is his enemy now and will be punished. Arthur asks whether this “enemies list” is something anyone can ask to be put on.
Meanwhile, Howard goes in for a vasectomy, which lands him in bed for a few days to recover. Bernadette tries to take care of him, but she is pregnant and pushes herself too hard, landing herself with bedrest orders from the doctors, and Raj will no longer take care of them after one too many Indian servant jokes from Howard. Fortunately for them, Penny comes by to visit and offers her services to babysit Halley and take care of them, which Howard and Bernie are reluctant to take as Penny soon learns the gang things she is irresponsible. She proves them wrong by doing a good job but is annoyed when Amy shows up to check on her, apparently having been asked to do so by Howard, Bernie, Leonard and the rest of the gang. Penny persists in taking care of her friends as Howard and Bernie listen in horror on the baby monitor as little Halley speaks her first words of “mama” to Penny, and Penny rubs it in their face.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
SHELDON: I just know how much Professor Proton touched me as child, and I just want to touch as many children as he did.
LEONARD: You should put that on your audition tape.
BERNADETTE: (calming Howard down in vasectomy waiting room) This isn’t a big deal, stop whining.
HOWARD: When I said that when you were in labor you kicked me.
LEONARD: (on Sheldon’s audition tape) Sheldon, it looked like you were… having… so much fun!
SHELDON: Hey! That’s what you used to say to Penny when you hated her plays!
PENNY: (hitting Leonard on the arm) Hey!
SHELDON: (on Will Whedon) He is now on my enemies list, totally cut off forever.
ARTHUR: Interesting… can… can anyone sign up for that list?
Some great moments in the episode, and potential for the future, because the Will Whedon/ Sheldon rivalry is ripe with comedy, much more so than their friendship ever was. And I do find it interesting to see the nurturing side of Penny, I know they have longed talked about whether her character will ever get pregnant, but it might be the only card they have left for her at this point in the series. And everything with Sheldon and Arthur is gold, I wish Arthur could be on the show more often. Ah well, let’s see if they can keep it going next week!