Barry Kripke, you have made a new enemy. Not only are your bratty antics a permanent thorn in Sheldon Cooper’s side. Not only is your speech impediment transparently designed to make you more annoying, which therefore actually does make you more annoying in a kind of post-modern, meta way. Not only does your mere presence in an episode of The Big Bang Theory certifiably guarantee unremitting lameness. But last night, you almost single-handedly torpedoed the Big Bang episode featuring very special guest star Katee Sackhoff, known to sci-fi geeks everywhere as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace of the late, great Battlestar Galactica. Which is to say, Kripke, that you have sinned against your own kind, and that is something I personally can never forgive. If you could see my face right now, in fact, it would be not all that dissimilar from Alyson Hannigan’s “You’re Dead To Me” stare from last night’s far superior episode of How I Met Your Mother. That’s right, Kripke; my brain is making you go boom.
Granted, before Kripke even showed up, things were headed in an unfortunately meh direction. On the bright side, it turns out Howard’s blind date with Penny’s Cheesecake Factory co-worker Bernadette from a few episodes back wasn’t a one time thing. On the dim side, it turns out she’s actually, well, kinda dim. Then again, she may not get any of Howard’s jokes, but at least she’s sharp enough to know that the third date = sex. You’d think a man who’s as much of a brainy horndog spaz as Howard is would be wise to that particular coital edict, but I guess not.
While Howard sweated deciding whether to commit to Bernadette or hold out for his geek goddess ideal, Sheldon had to cope with his debut on NPR's Science Friday falling to ruin thanks to the machinations of one Barry Kripke. I have a feeling I'm going to run into the comment board buzz-saw for this, but such is my contempt for Kripke's all-consuming insipidness that I couldn't even get all that tickled by the sight and sound of Sheldon's voice climbing into the squeak-osphere. (If anything, I was grateful for finally learning what the heck monopoles are.) And while Sheldon's revenge did provide the chance to see some Real! Live! Science! in the form of a super-cool foamy eruption that gave off an unsettling sort of vapor, I just kinda shrugged at the overly wide angle of the big foamy explosion in Kripke's lab. Without a decent shot of Kripke's face, he might as well have been an extra.
With so little humor coming from the actual storylines at hand, the best laughs came from throwaway moments, like Penny catching Raj mid-bite with a blunt, "Yo, Raj, talk to me!" Or Sheldon's nonplussed double-take when Leonard, exasperated by Penny and Howard speaking about his physical shortcomings (pun intended) as if he wasn't in the room, turned to his roommate to ask, "I am here, right? You see me?" Or Raj taunting Sheldon's helium-enhanced radio voice: "We represent the lolly-pop guild, and we want you!"
And Katee Sackhoff's appearance certainly delivered. As a figment of Howard's bubble-bath masturbatory fantasies, she gave just the right spin to the line, "I'm sorry, fiddling with yourself in the bathtub is a real class act," and she must've been a real trooper, sitting half-naked in that bathtub, perpetually keeping a glass of white wine aloft. Her advice to Howard to spend his sexy times with a flesh-and-blood woman also propelled him to man up and (gulp!) propose to Bernadette in front of all her Cheesecake Factory patrons. Which she, thankfully, declined, forcing Howard to take to the keyboard and microphone inexplicably set up in the restaurant chain’s main dining room. (Have I not been to enough Cheesecake Factories? Is this a standard feature in all of them?) His romantic ode to her sounded to me like an unholy combination of Bob Dylan, Scissor Sisters, Billy Joel, and Rob Zombie, but it won fair Bernadette’s heart, so it looks like she’s sticking around for at least a little while. And I’m fine with that – so long as that means we never have to see Barry Kripke again.
Totally geeky exchange that also made me feel really old:
Leonard: You’d have a better shot with the three-breasted Martian hooker from Total Recall.
Howard: That movie was, like, 20 years ago – imagine how saggy those things would be!
Most disturbing part of Wikipedia entry on “saturated potassium iodide”:
“Potassium iodide is a possible teratogen (causing fetal goiter).”
So were you not feeling “The Vengeance Formulation” as much as I wasn’t, fellow Big Bang theorists? Does anyone care to mount a defense of Barry Kripke? How long do you expect Howard and Bernadette will last? And now that Michael Trucco and Katee Sackhoff have made their way to the Big Bang set, what other BSG alums would you like to see hang with Sheldon, Leonard and Co.?
Image Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS