The BIg Bang Theory Recap: The Misinterpretation Agitation Season 8, Episode 7

Billy Bob Thornton makes for a great geeky doctor – urologist to the stars

bb19Amy begins the episode by talking about her current research into feelings of shame felt by one-celled organisms, leading Bernadette to ask the fairly obvious question, “What would a one-celled organism have to feel ashamed about.” Penny suggest that getting out of a car without underwear would foot the bill and Bernadette announces that she’s been invited to pose in her underwear for an article on “sexiest female scientists.” While Bernadette is excited about the prospect and Penny doesn’t see anything wrong with it, Amy is concerned that it sends the wrong message. Penny thinks it is just fine to use her attractiveness to help close a sale, an attitude which forms the basis for the entire episode, but Amy isn’t moved and Bernadette begins to reconsider his decision, although Penny counters with the concept that if attractive women were shown as scientists, it might lead to more women who are attractive going into science instead of trying to become actresses, models, or the next Kardashian.

bb18After grabbing the mail, Sheldon lets a delivery man carrying a bouquet of flowers into the apartment building and the two begin to walk up the stairs together, talking in a way which makes it clear that the delivery man, played by Billy Bob Thornton, is even less socially adept than Sheldon. When Sheldon praises the delivery man as a way people can live without human contact, the delivery man reveals he is actually a doctor, noting that he often delivers alarming news, a statement that Sheldon greets as a joke, although the doctor clearly didn’t intend it in a humorous manner. Sheldon asks if he is bringing the flowers to cushion the blow of a terminal diagnoses, which the doctor takes as humor, although Sheldon was entirely serious. The doctor reveals the flowers are for a woman who makes sales calls at the office, clearly Penny, although Sheldon is as oblivious to that as he is to anything else, and points out that there are delivery people who will bring the flowers for him. Further demonstrating the doctor’s lack of social awareness, as well as adding to his general creepiness, he explains that he is delivering them personally because he hopes to impress her by tracking her down and showing up unannounced at her apartment, which Sheldon sees as making the extra effort. When the doctor knocks on Penny’s door, it all comes together for Sheldon, who shrugs it off and enters his own apartment to find Raj, Howard, and Leonard about to tuck into food from Siam Palace, although Leonard forgot to order extra peanut sauce for Sheldon. Leonard offers to share his peanut sauce, leading to Sheldon explaining that as long as Leonard was willing to share, there was a gentleman caller visiting Penny, leading to a concerned Leonard heading for the door.

bb17In the hallway, Leonard confronts the doctor is the most non-confrontational way possible, explaining that Penny isn’t interested because she’s engaged to him, although the doctor points out that Penny has not only been flirting with him, but doesn’t wear an engagement ring, which is news to Leonard. He also tells Leonard that she touched his arm for two “Mississippis,” indicating the type of starvation for physical attention that one would expect from Amy Farrah Fowler. The fact that the doctor touched Leonard’s arm as he counted out the two seconds just added to the character’s overall creepy vibe. Of course, Leonard’s confrontation can’t go unwitnessed and his three friends are standing in the hallway, eating, and soaking up Leonard’s discomfort. bb16The doctor realizes that Penny’s flirtation was just a sales technique, as it is with most retailers he’s met, he hands the flowers to Leonard to give to Penny and heads down stairs, returning to grab the “unnecessarily graphic” note that he had included with the flowers. Seeing the emotional pain the doctor is in, Sheldon invites him in for a hot beverage. When Leonard points out that the doctor tried to score with Penny, Sheldon replies that Howard and Raj also both tried to score with Penny and they are having dinner with Leonard.

bb13Over drinks, Bernadette tells Amy that the photoshoot for the Sexy Scientist issue has been cancelled, although she doesn’t know why. Amy offers Bernadette commiseration noting that Bernadette should want people focusing on her achievements rather than her breasts, which leads to another awkward Amy-as-lesbian moment with Bernadette telling Amy to look at her face, not her breasts. Once Bernadette indicates that she’s fine not doing the shoot, Amy reveals that the reason the shoot was cancelled was because Amy wrote the editors a scathing e-mail taking them to task for sexualizing female scientists, since they would never rank male scientists by the sexiness or showing them in similar states of undress. Bernadette points out (rightly or wrongly) that nobody wants to see Neil de Grasse Tyson in a wet T-shirt bent over a car hood. Bernadette believes that she lost a chance to get some publicity because of Amy’s actions and claims Amy is jealous and that nobody (Sheldon) wants Amy to express her sexuality, which causes Amy to storm off.

bb12Back in the apartment, the doctor compliments Sheldon on his Star Trek mug and mentions that he has one of the phasers from the original show. When the boys ask how he got it, he reveals that it was a gift from Gene Roddenberry after his vasectomy. More impressed with the doctor now, they ply him with questions about his clientele and the doctor reveals that he has no understanding of HIPAA laws, or at least no compunction about breaking them. It turns out that he has a lot of famous clients who give him movie memorabilia, such as a Terminator from James Cameron or a tribble or toupee from William Shatner. When Raj asks to see his collection, the doctor invites them over at any time, explaining that he thought it would be a good way to meet women, but… He then asks Leonard how he was able to get together with Penny. Sheldon interjects and explains it was due to implacable, relentless badgering, comparing Leonard to a staph infection and Penny to a urethra that couldn’t shake him. When Leonard asks to change the subject, Penny enters the apartment and bb11we learn that the doctor’s name is Oliver Lorvis. He explains why he had come to the building and Penny asked to speak to Leonard in the hallway, telling Leonard that he had to get rid of Dr. Lorvis, Penny couldn’t because Lorvis was her best client. Although Leonard is more concerned about Penny hiding her engagement ring while on sales calls, he agrees to get rid of Lorvis, noting that Penny owes him one. Conveniently for Leonard, Raj comes out of the apartment and announces they are all going to Dr. Lorvis’s to see his collection.

Dr. Lorvis’s basement is a museum of science fiction movie props, posters, and costumes and old video games, leading Sheldon to realize that Kevin Costner was wrong, while Heaven might exist, it was in Sherman Oaks, not Iowa. As Lorvis shows the boys around his “Fortress of Solitude,” and lets them play with his collection, his mother shouts downstairs that she’s leaving to play Bingo and Howard comments to Raj about how scary it is that Lorvis still lives with his mother. Raj is left somewhat speechless and Howard gives him a goofy, non-commital look. Leonard finds Donkey Kong, which was his favorite game growing up and Sheldon compares Leonard to Mario and Penny to Pauline, claiming the game represents Leonard’s life. As Sheldon leaves Leonard to play Donkey Kong, Lorvis asks Sheldon about the group’s mocking Leonard’s relationship with Penny and Sheldon tries to explain the humor to Lorvis, who clearly takes it that everyone thinks they will break up. Seeing that he might have a chance with Penny again, Lorvis leaves the basement, locking the boys in.

Lorvis is next seen carrying more flowers up to Penny, meeting up with Amy, who demonstrates sympathy for him. By the time they make it up to Penny’s apartment, Amy has rested her hand on Lorvis’s back and he has become smitten with her. By the time they get to the third floor, Amy is now carrying Penny’s roses. Lorvis knocks on Penny’s door to tell her they should just be friends.

Back in Sherman Oaks, Raj and Howard are wondering if Lorvis’ iguana bites. When Leonard comments how long he has been gone Raj suggests that he might have gone to play Bingo with his “mommy” and Howard comments how sad it is that some guys can’t cut the apron strings. Raj looks at his incredulously and accuses Howard of messing with him. Leonard interrupts by discovering they are locked in, which makes Sheldon exclaim how wonderful the day is.

bb5Penny is serving Dr. Lorvis a hot beverage, clearly having learned hospitality from Sheldon. Amy is clearly not enjoying Lorvis’ attention and when Penny points out how creepy his behavior is, he reveals that he has also stalked Sigourney Weaver. Rather than take Penny’s advice, Lorvis reveals that he has a new relationship guru: Sheldon, who Lorvis believes really knows his way around the ladies, given Mayim Bialik an excellent chance to give a complicated smirk in response. Leonard calls to let Penny know they are locked in Lorvis’ basement. Penny, Amy, and Lorvis head over to free the boys, bumping into Bernadette on the way out of the apartment.

Lorvis and the women walk in on Leonard playing Donkey Kong with the boys cheering him on. Lorvis apologizes, but the boys aren’t ready to leave until Leonard finishes the game. Lorvis, continuing to disregard medical ethics, offers to show the women Tobey McGuire’s prostate results and the show ends, flashing up Chuck Lorre’s vanity card, a picture of a shirtless Neil de Grasse Tyson standing next to a car.

The opening sequence of the episode raised a lot of intriguing questions about female empowerment, the concern for being taken seriously on a professional level, and ways to get women involved in STEM. Unfortunately, those topics are ignored in favor of pursuing the theme of the socially maladjusted male trying to connect with an attractive woman in an inappropriate way. Dr. Lorvis and his amazing collection are played for laughs, and show a stereotypical, and one-dimensional, nerd of the sort the show rarely descends to depict and which viewers generally hope it tries to dispel.

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