Well, to be honest, this week’s ‘Big Bang Theory’ which promised a lot of excitement about Bill Gates, was, well, a little underwhelming. While I applaud trying to use a guest star in actual storylines instead of just having one show up and say “Look everyone, it’s Bill Gates!” it just felt like the man was hardly in the episode, and the rest of the show felt a little tacked on. But let’s jump in.
Obviously, as the title informs us, the episode is all about the gang’s excitement at the prospect of meeting Bill Gates who Penny informs them is in town to meet with her at the Pharmaceutical company. Unfortunately for the guys, Penny informs them that Mr. Gates has a very tight schedule and will not be able to meet any of them, not even Leonard, plus she does not want to jeopardize the tour she is giving the man because if it goes well she might be up for a PR position in her company. Sheldon does not believe that Gates is coming at all since Penny says his flight is landing on Sunday, April 1st, and he believes the whole thing is an April Fool’s joke.
But he soon begins to question that assumption after repeated assurances from Penny that she is not lying to him (not to mention her assertion that she has never actually pulled an April Fool’s joke on Sheldon, which I admit we have not actually seen on the show, but does not seem that much of a stretch for something Penny would have done to Sheldon over the years). Just in case Penny is not lying to him, Sheldon even tries to hold her laundry for her, which ends up being an inadvertent prank on him as the laundry he chose was not Penny’s, and she walks into the laundry room to find him holding some strange woman’s massive pink underwear.
To prove how busy Gates is while in town, Penny for some reason decides to show Leonard the man’s itinerary, which includes the hotel he is staying at, and despite the fact that it might jeopardize his wife’s job, Leonard takes Raj and Howard to stake out the hotel and wait for Gates. The man appears and Leonard steps up to meet him, reminding Gates that they met once when Leonard was little, with Leonard beginning to tear up as he tells Gates that the man has always been a hero to him. When Leonard returns home, he tells Sheldon about the experience and shows him a selfie he took with Gates (tears and all), and then proceeds to give Sheldon a fake hotel as a prank. Sheldon runs off and Leonard then learns that Penny felt bad for her husband and managed to wrangle him an invite to a cocktail party she is attending with Gates, which Leonard knows he cannot go to, as Gates will clearly remember him (especially as he apparently snotted all over the man’s tie).
As he informs the guys at the comic-book store of his dilemma, an angry Sheldon appears to berate Leonard for his prank, just as Howard and Raj give Sheldon another fake hotel, which he cannot help but go investigate, though he suspects it is another wild goose chase. Leonard decides to pretend to be sick to get out of the party, which Penny believes as she thinks Leonard looks particularly pale and clammy (which he finds mildly insulting.) Sadly for him, Penny does a video call later to cheer him up, pointing the camera at Mr. Gates, who instantly recognizes Leonard and outs him t0 Penny, who clearly is going to be pissed. Leonard hangs up and prepares an elaborate apology for his wife, including an “I’m sorry’ sign on the front door.
Sheldon, after another disappointing hotel trip with no luck, returns to the apartment building angry at Leonard but is touched when he sees the sign on Leonard’s door, assuming it is for him. He barges into the apartment, assuming the dinner cooking and Leonard dressed in a suit is all part of the apology for him and Leonard cannot seem to tell him the truth.
Meanwhile, Amy visits Bernadette and learns her friend has gone full “mom” brain, unable to talk about or focus on anything other than what is going on with her kids. Amy tries to be a good sport at their lunch, but when they return home Bernadette can tell Amy was bored, and apologizes, sad that she is becoming “one of those moms.” Amy tells her the good parts of the “mom” brain including a new ability to quickly learn things to help with child-rearing, which Bernadette decides to use to study current science and become a more interesting person, which seems to mildly confuse Howard, who seems just fine with their parental conversations. When Amy and Bernadette next go out Amy is bored once more, but this time because she is overwhelmed with all of the new knowledge Bernadette is spewing, clearly not sure whether she liked the mom stories more.
And in the last beat of the night, we learned that Stewart is trying to learn Spanish so he can talk to the other nannies in the park. Sadly for him, the Spanish speaking nannies find him a bit odd and creepy and begin wondering if he stole the children he is watching and getting his name so that they can potentially call the police later on him.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
HOWARD: “TBat-signalnal is also used to strike fear in the heart of his enemies and let them know he’s coming.”
LEONARD: “Sort of like Sheldon’s knock.”
HOWARD: “Why is your screenname ‘John Williams?’ ”
RAJ: “Because I always SCORE.”
Just not a very impressive episode, and never a good sign when a show needs to make their characters downright mean spirited toward one-another in order to get a cheap laugh, and sadly the laughs were not even that great tonight. Leonard seems very immature and mean in particular, both to Penny and especially to Sheldon, and his actions of late have kind of been making him a very unlikable character, especially when once he was the “star” of the show that we were all rooting would end up with the girl. Here’s hoping they get things figured out and get back to storylines that make sense, as after 11 years I have a hard time believing these people could be that cruel to each other and still be friends (even to Sheldon). I also thought it very strange that moments that could have been funny, i.e. Sheldon actually at these hotels looking for gates and yelling at management when Gates is not there, or Penny’s reaction when she finds out that Leonard was lying to her, are not in the episode at all. It felt like we got a bunch of great set-ups, but the show was too lazy to execute the punch-lines. One of the worst of the season for me, and definitely of the series.