By Adam B. Vary
Updated September 23, 2011 at 12:00 PM EDT
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Credit: Adam Taylor/CBS

After ending its Emmy-nominated fourth season with arguably the most controversial episode in the history of The Big Bang Theory — namely, Raj and Penny getting drunk and getting it on, in Leonard’s bed — the show roared back tonight in fine style with two back-to-back episodes to launch its fifth season. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! In the first episode of the night, “The Skank Reflex Analysis” writers crafted a sneaky way to please both fans who thought Penny and Raj’s horizontal mambo was a plot twist too far, those who thought it was just funny, and those rare Pennaj ‘shippers who desperately want these too to finally see what they have together. How to put this? {C}Turns out Raj’s excitement was a bit premature.

With Penny off the hook — a secret that remains, for now, between her and Raj — by “The Infestation Hypothesis,” the second episode of the night, things between her and Leonard seemed to be settling back to normal, just in time for Leonard to struggle with long-distance cybersex with Priya. Meanwhile, Sheldon warred with Penny over the comfy chair she grabbed off the street, and Amy discovered why said chair should never have been brought up in the first place. (Anyone else oddly reminded of the Ceti eels from Star Trek II? Anyone? No?)

Anyhoots, let’s get to the best geekery, science, lines and exchanges from both episodes!

BEST GEEKERY

“The Skank Reflex Analysis”

This is easy: Amy Farrah Fowler’s secret language. A sample: “Sounds great!” is actually “Sounds gop rop e a top!” More of this, please.

“The Infestation Hypothesis”

This entry may also classify as science, insofar as it involved Howard engineering an Internet-based human interface mechanism that would allow Leonard and Priya to kiss each other long distance. But it’s boys with toys, which falls directly within the geek sphere. Really, though, how we should classify this device belongs is moot, since it provided Howard and Raj with their most hilariously (and obliviously) homoerotic moment yet, as they both tried out the device, on each other. Apparently, Raj likes to nibble, playfully.

BEST SCIENCE

“The Skank Reflex Analysis”

This is more like the grossest science, but, well, Sheldon, take it away: “Raj is from India, a tropical country, third-world hygiene. Parasitic infections are common, such as pinworms. The procedure for diagnosing pinworms is to wait until the subject is asleep, and the worms crawl out of rectum for air. [Leonard spits out his spaghetti.] Yes, just like that!”

No, the best science was Amy Farrah Fowler’s explanation for Penny’s sexually loose behavior. Take it away, Amy: “You can’t blame yourself. When your pre-frontal cortex fails to make you happy, promiscuity rewards you with the needed flood of dopamine. We neuro-biologists refer to this as the skank reflex.”

“The Infestation Hypothesis”

Other than Howard’s kiss-o-bots, the only thing that really qualifies as science in this episode was the $175,000 hydraulic thermoforming press the boys used to make paninis.

BEST LINES AND EXCHANGES

“The Skank Reflex Analysis”

Leonard: [After Howard claims Penny would’ve slept with him instead of Raj] Please! Sheldon would’ve been before you, and he might not even have genitals!

One minute later, after much conversation

Sheldon:For the record, I do have genitals. They’re functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Penny: You heard what I did?

Amy: Well, I heard who you did.

Bernadette: [Furious with Raj for confessing his fleeting feelings for her to Howard] What the hell is wrong with you?!

Raj: You were always so nice to me, I thought maybe you liked me.

Bernadette: I’M NICE TO EVERYONE!

Amy: [After finding Raj at her door while Penny staying with her] A guest in my trundle bed and a boy at my door? I wish I could tell 13-year-old me, it does get better!

Raj: [To Penny, after confessing that they didn’t technically have sex] Can I say I ruined you for white men?

“The Infestation Hypothesis”

Leonard: [Referring to his Skype date with Priya] You know, some people might say that it’s great that we’re trying to make things work long distance. They’d say things like, “Love is stronger than the miles between you.”

Sheldon: When I rise to power, those people will be sterilized.

Penny: [After Sheldon’s three successive triple-knocks at her door] What’s up, buttercup? … What’s the word, hummingbird? … What’s the gist, physicist?

Leonard: [To Priya, attempting cyber sex, after he removes his shirt] Tah-dah! Man nipples!

Sheldon: [Trying to get Amy to help him with his disgust with Penny’s chair] Name your price.

Amy: Kiss me where I’ve never been kissed before.

Sheldon: You mean like Salt Lake City?

Amy: Nevermind, I’ll talk to Penny.

What did you think of tonight’s season premiere(s), fellow Big Bang theorists? Think Priya and Leonard have what it takes to go the (long) distance? Are you hoping Penny booking the hemorrhoid ad bodes well for her character this season? And how many of you will be forever haunted by the image of Sheldon being covered by hundreds of insects while sitting on Penny’s chair? [Shudder!]

Follow Adam on Twitter @adambvary

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The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, Raj, and Wolowitz, Amy, Bernadette—the gang keeps growing. Bazinga!

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