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'Big Bang Theory' recap: Sheldon gets to second base with Penny. That's not a typo.

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I can’t say I’m a Sheldon/Penny ‘shipper myself, so I’m not entirely sure whether last night’s episode was cause to rejoice or not for those rather insistent Big Bang Theory fans who subscribe to the notion that the otherwise asexual quantum physicist should shack up with the rather sweet blonde Cheesecake Factory waitress who lives across the hall. True, Sheldon quite clearly, if accidentally, got to second base with Penny. And a drug-addled Penny did coyly joke at the end of the episode about Sheldon helping her to bed. But the vibe between them felt pretty much little sister/big brother all the way to me, right up to the climactic moment when Penny asked Sheldon to sing “Soft Kitty” with her. Then again, their in-the-round duet of Sheldon’s “when you’re sick” song did cause the studio audience to explode with such rowdy excitement that I can only attribute it to some serious pent up sexual tension.

And I’ve gotta concede there was certainly some sort of frisson when Sheldon first came upon Penny, clad only in her shower curtain, lying in her bathtub, wet from a running shower, looking like a character out of a Skinamax flick. He’d raced there after hearing her calls for help — not before partaking in his regular three-knocks-and-a-“Penny?” ritual, of course — and when he finally saw her, helpless and compromised, the way Jim Parsons paused and uttered a quizzical “Hello” made it clear he and Penny were entering brand new territory.

nerd!” (I loved his alternative, Angelo. “That has ‘angel’ and ‘Jell-o’ in it!”) But at least Leonard didn’t confess to losing his virginity to his cousin. No wonder Wolowitz is so keyed up all the time about getting laid; he’s perpetually trying to bone his way out of the guilt for getting his cherry popped by a blood relative.

Other than that ookie addition to Wolowitz’s already disturbing biography, the pot cookie camping scenes kinda defy recapping, since they were not much more than a strung together series of stoned non sequiturs. Raj has a thing for ruling rabbits; they ran out of pudding just as their munchies were beginning to peak; Howard saved the day thanks to his mom’s “I love you brisket,” which they all ate with their hands, causing them to miss the meteor shower. Out of all of it, my favorite moment was early, after Leonard exclaimed, “I can feel the Earth moving! It’s moving too fast! Raj, slow it down!” Raj obliged, making a I’ve-gotta-take-a-massive-dump face, and thereby slowing the world to Leonard’s satisfaction. Of course, once Leonard learns his roommate copped a feel from his girlfriend while he was gone, he may wish Raj had stopped the world from spinning altogether.

Raj’s best non-stoned line: [To Leonard, about Penny joining their camping trip] “That would’ve been great — you and Penny having sex in the tent while I sit out here and watch Howard hump a cactus.”

Raj’s worst non-stoned line: [To Howard, about his discovery of two 50-something female middle school teachers] “Ooo, menopause — nature’s birth control!”

Completely out of context portion of Howard’s I-slept-with-my-second-cousin confession that’s probably just as true for many other people: “I can’t look at pickled herring without being aroused and ashamed.”

So Big Bang theorists, do you think Penny and Sheldon are headed down a slippery slope to the boudoir, or is their platonic friendship merely growing? Were you as unnerved to see Howard’s tiny shirtless torso as I was? Would you get in a car that Sheldon was driving? Is it me, or is Raj starting to emerge as the season’s MVP? And is WALL•E the best Pixar character to describe Sheldon, or would you choose someone else? (I’d personally go with either Remy the rat from Ratatouille, or Slim the walking stick from A Bug’s Life.)

Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS