THE BIG BANG THEORY RECAP: Season 8, Episode 17: The Colonization Application

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bb1Walking up the stairs, Leonard is excited about a game of miniature golf where he had the game of his life, despite the fact that Penny beat him. Entering the apartment, Amy and Sheldon are waiting to spring big news on them. They’ve decided to move forward in their relationship with the purchase of a turtle, news which relieved the trepedatious Leonard and Penny. Sheldon and Amy explain their decision of a turtle, it being bb2compact, easy to accessorize to Halloween, and slow enough that Sheldon can outrun it if it goes berserk, which is also why he selected Leonard as a roommate.

Emily has kicked her own roommate out, or perhaps killed her, so that Raj could spend the night. Raj is vaguely concerned that Emily might be serious about killing her roommate because she didn’t immediately follow her bb5pronouncement with the phrase “Just kidding,” as the two of them agreed they would do when joking about murder. Emily’s character is actually a wonderful play on the dichotomy in Bernadette’s character. On the surface, both woman seem attractive and unthreatening, but Bernadette has a nastiness only microns below the surface and Emily has a darkness that comes out whenever she can be herself. If/when the writers more completely integrate Laura Spencer into the cast, it will be interesting to see how the darkness plays with the other characters. Before things can heat up between them, Emily is called to the hospital and assures Raj he can stay at her apartment without fear of Emily’s roommate returning since the roommate is in Palm Springs, well, her torso is (“Just kidding”) or possibly in a wood chipper.

bb6Sheldon and Amy arrive at the pet store, with Sheldon having run the gantlet of puppies. As he and Amy look at turtles, Sheldon talks about where the turtle will stay (surprisingly he is excited about keeping an animal, although he did adopt twenty-five cats in “The Zazzy Substitution” (Season 4) when he and Amy “broke up.”) and inadvertently mentions that if he is selected for a mission to Mars, the turtle will stay with Amy, which the first Amy’s heard of it. As Amy gets angered by this offhand statement, Sheldon, off in his own world, weighs the names Seth and Giuseppe for the turtle, which they won’t get, returning home with an argument instead.

bb7Penny and Leonard take advantage of Amy and Sheldon’s shopping trip to hold a makeout session on the couch, ignoring, again, that they could have all the privacy they want by simply going across the hall to Penny’s apartment. Leonard interrupts himself to tell Penny that he bought her a Valentine’s Day present, but was too embarrassed to give it to her. When questioned, he explains he stopped and an adult store, which upsets Penny since he went without her, although since he went to one in San Diego, it wasn’t particularly convenient. He gives her a tube and explains that after covering themselves in bodypaint they go at it on a sheet, starting what what might be the most explicit storyline the show has had to date. And they remember Penny’s apartment and head over to make some art.

bb8Bernadette is working on the Wolowitz’s taxes and finds that Howard, who is playing video games while she’s going through receipts, has spent a lot of money at the Lego Store, which he claims are business expenses. An argument is averted when Howard’s phone rings. A bored Raj is wandering around Emily’s and is calling Howard to chat. During their call, he absently pulls open Emily’s nightstand drawer, which gets stuck. bb9While he tries to fix it, the front of the drawer falls off. Fortunately, he has an engineer on the phone who can give him advice. When Howard tells Bernadette what happened, Bernadette notes how much she’ll miss Emily.

And paint-bespattered Penny and Leonard are looking at the results of their art (although covered in paint, they apparently own magical paint-resistant bathrobes). Everyone has an bb10image of what their sexual activities are like and Penny discovers that she is much more passive than she anticipated based on the paint pattern on the sheet. Interestingly, while they are covered in yellow, red, orange, purple, and green paint, only two of the colors migrated to the sheet. When Penny asks if they even moved, Leonard discusses their activities in terms of three axes. Penny sees it as a challenge to go again and create a more “interesting” piece of art.

bb11Climbing up the stairs, Sheldon is concerned that Amy almost allowed him to bring a wild animal into his home. After poking the turtles face/playing “gotcher nose,” the turtle apparently demonstrated its displeasure (and my friend with turtles tells me their bites can be painful). Sheldon, of course, is still missing the big picture of Amy’s anger. She explains why she’s angry and Sheldon finds it difficult to believe that she wouldn’t leave him to have the chance to colonize a new planet. She points out that he could have mentioned that he was planning on filling out the application, advice Sheldon has already dismissed from all of the other characters, also indicating that Amy was the last to know. In an attempt to cheer Amy up and get out of the argument, Sheldon begins to play the Star Trek theme on his nose despite Amy asking him not to.

bb12Howard and Raj begin working on ways to fix the drawer. When Raj asks what he should use to nail the face back onto the drawer, Howard suggests pillow or wine glasses before suggesting a hammer.

Realizing how upset Amy is, Sheldon makes her a hot beverage, opting for peppermint tea instead of Red Zinger since Mars is the Red Planet. Amy asks why Sheldon would want to bb14go to Mars, clearly not understanding what drives people to pursue a dream. In response, Sheldon shows her his video application. It would be nice if any of the characters, but especially Sheldon, could allow some modicum of professionalism to insert itself in their endeavors, but his video looks more like a fan video applying for a spot on King of the Nerds than a professional scientist’s video for a mission to another planet. In the video, Sheldon makes a reference to his brother, who is rarely mentioned and hasn’t yet been seen. Perhaps the best part of the video, though, is his demonstration of his sense of humor when he has Leonard open a can of peanut brittle.

bb15Of course one of the problems with playing sexual games with paint is that Leonard can’t wear safety goggles, and, of course, the mood is somewhat spoiled when Penny has to rinse out his eyes.

Raj knows that his patch job on the drawer won’t pass muster, despite Howard’s video assurances. When Emily gets back, Raj runs out of her room and admits that he was looking in her nightstand. Emily points out that she’s never snooped at Raj’s apartment, although he thinks his case would be stronger if she had. At Casa Wolowitz, Howard and Bernadette are listening in, since Raj left his phone connected when he ran out to greet Emily.

bb17Looking down on at the multicolored sheet that looks like something Jackson Pollack threw up on, Leonard repeats his bragging that opened the episode and Penny informs him that she beat him again. This time, there is paint on the previously paint resistant bathrobes, although their hair seems oddly paint free. Leonard wants to hang it up, but Penny refuses to hang it up until Penny comes up with the brilliant idea of giving it to Sheldon and telling him that William Shatner painted it. Showing an understanding for the blind hero-worship displayed by a certain segment of the Geek population.

bb19Amy decides to leave, and Sheldon doesn’t understand why she’s upset. Amy tries to explain that she had thought that they were taking their relationship to a new level with the idea of sharing a turtle, but now understands that she’s merely a place-holder until something better comes along. Sheldon offers to withdraw his application for the program and Amy tells him that she wants them to work as a team instead of Sheldon just doing his own thing without worrying about her needs and feelings. Sheldon asks if she would be willing to go to Mars with him and the two head up to the apartment to fill out her application. Slim chance of being chosen aside, the two begin thinking about creating a race of Martians and forming Martian history out of completely innocuous events. The idea that Sheldon would even consider having kids, although Martian kids, is a huge step for the character and the writers and actors completely downplayed it.

bb20To cap off Raj and Emily’s fight, of course, there’s make-up sex and the two are shown in Emily’s bed coming back from the final commercial. Raj admits they almost had a prior fight when Emily criticized his pie crust. Before going to sleep, Emily asked Raj if he looked in her closet, when he confirmed that he only looked in the drawer, she refused to tell him what was in the closet and that he shouldn’t worry about what was in it, rolling over and giving a smile to indicate that she knows how paranoid she made Raj in vengeance for his snooping.

And Chuck Lorre’s vanity card was a photo of the recently deceased Leonard Nimoy, who provided voicework for the show, but never appeared on camera.

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starSpecial Note:  Actor Jim Parsons, who portrays Dr. Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, received his Hollywood Star yesterday.

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