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The Big Bang Theory – Afghanistan’s Nice This Time of Year

The Big Bang Theory, “The Vacation Solution” was a great episode that really put Sheldon in his place.  Between being forced to take a vacation and being made to work for Amy he had to humble himself in a very Sheldon way.  Burnadette and Howard’s wedding, which I tend to forget about, is featured with some complications.

Sheldon starts us off with Science Mad Libs, it falls flat, even among the other scientists, but is amusing if only just for the fact that we got to see Sheldon really, really crack up, which happens so rarely.  It was infectious.  While the guys are in the cafeteria, as usual, President Siebert comes by to talk to Sheldon.  His first request is that Sheldon stop making suggestion boxes to put all over the place for his own suggestions, then tells him one of the number one suggestions he received in the box was that Dr. Cooper take a vacation.  Which leads us to his second request; for Sheldon to take his accrued vacation time.  After telling Sheldon he is forcing him to take time off, President Siebert suggests Afghanistan as a vacation destination.

Cut to Leonard driving to work, singing a really awful rendition of the Black Eyed Peas when Sheldon pops out of the backseat and scares the bejesus out of him.  Sheldon is hiding out in the backseat so he can sneak into work by using an old Scooby Doo trick; covering himself with a blanket and then Leonard saying that he has lobster traps in the back seat.  Sheldon also has a trucker hat with scraggly wig to disguise himself, showing the level of intelligence he truly believes everyone around him is capable of.  Leonard turns around and takes Sheldon home instead of testing his plan.

Next we see Burnadette, Penny and Amy Farrah Fowler working on wedding invitations, which Penny is surprised to see are in English and not Klingon.  Burnadette quickly corrects that sentiment by telling Penny to flip the invitations over.  They are two sided with Klingon writing opposite the English.  I would have been disappointed if it were any other way.  This exchange made excited for the wedding that I have so often forgotten was pending.  Unfortunately, Burnadette’s dad is pushing her to get a prenup because she makes so much more money than Howard, but she is really uncomfortable with the idea.   I was a little worried the writers would run with this and us it to break the two up, right when I got on the same page as everyone else with the wedding!  Incidentally a discussion between Leonard and Penny about the prenup later in the episode sparks a short discussion about the two of them getting married as well.  Hm….

Turning back to Sheldon’s forced vacation, he, Raj, Howard and Leonard discuss vacation destinations.  Sheldon, of course, finds something wrong with all of the suggestions.  Hawaii is riddled with disease, a seagull stole a hotdog from him while he was on the beach in Florida, to which he says he go the hint.  Only Sheldon could find being “forced to have fun and enjoy life” as a cruel punishment.  He ultimately decides to take a page from Richard Feynman’s book and goes to work with Amy in her biology lab.

We find Sheldon and Amy in her biology lab and Amy is giddy to have Sheldon in the lab to work with.  She compares the two of them to Madame Curie and Pierre, which seems the height of romanticism in her world.  Sheldon is really excited about what he will be doing and suggests growing an ear on a mouses back as he imitates said mouse “Ha, ha, I’m a freak!”.  Amy has other plans though and puts Sheldon to work washing beakers, essentially giving him work that she would give a student intern.  Sheldon is mortified.   After a while of doing Amy’s grunt work, Sheldon asks for something more challenging to which Amy is hesitant, but agrees (planning to see him fail) to let Sheldon try to cut into a piece of brain.  She suggest that he take on a delicate procedure to cut out a part of the brain that he doesn’t seem to be familiar with and he is so nervous that he is shaking.  It is almost disconcerting to see the Great Sheldon Cooper so rattled.  Instead of succeeding in his task, he cuts his thumb and faints, showing he is most definitely not biologist material.

Back to the prenup conundrum, Penny told Leonard about the prenup but swore him to secrecy since Howard doesn’t know about it yet.  Leonard tells Raj and then ends up telling Howard after all.  Such poor judgement from such a smart guy.  I guess that’s generally what the show is about, especially now that there are so many women in their lives.

The incident in Amy’s lab convinces Sheldon to really take time off.  He goes to the bar at Penny’s restaurant and orders a Pina Colada, minus the rum as we have come to expect.  Howard is at the bar as well, drowning his sorrows about Burnadette and the prenup.  Penny lays it out for both guys that they are lucky to have these women and shouldn’t bet on finding anyone else who will tolerate them anytime soon.

Sheldon takes Penny’s advice to heart and goes back to Amy’s lab.  He tries to apologize and with Amy’s help manages to on about his 5th attempt.  Sheldon Cooper saying he’s sorry, really saying he’s sorry is a pretty big deal.  It really goes to show us how much he truly cares for Amy and it gave me warm fuzzies.

The show raps up with Howard and Burnadette going to see her parents.  Howard offers to talk to her dad about the prenup, which Burnadette is really happy about.  She has to brief him first though.  She lets him know that her dad still carries a gun, but assures Howard it is more of a fashion statement than anything.  Burnadette also instructs Howard not to bring up Jimmy Carter, Gardeners, Recycling, that he’s Jewish and a myriad of other possible hot-button topics.  She wraps this up by saying as long as her dad is yelling Howard should be okay, but if he starts to get real quiet to get away as quickly as possible, using a zigzag pattern, just in case.

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Sheldon concede to let Amy have some of the control and to see that she earned his respect.  It was interesting seeing a different side of him with regard to Amy and actually seeing evidence that he truly cares for her.  I’m glad Burnadette and Howard made it through the episode with their relationship intact and I wonder where all this marriage talk will take Penny and Leonard.  The couple factor of the show really added so much and was the perfect step forward for this show.  They really did it right when they added these lovely ladies.

In closing, I’d like to say while watching such a clever, enjoyable show it is beyond obnoxious to have to watch commercials for the abomination that is Rob!  I’m counting the days until we can say adios to this CBS folly.


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The Author

Cat Edison

Cat Edison

Cat is an Austinite once removed with an affinity for film, TV, comics, graphic novels, and really anything she can read or watch. She gets emotionally invested in movie, television and literary characters, to an unhealthy degree. Cat has always had a passion for writing and there is little she loves more. Hopeful cynic and funny lady.