The Big Bang Theory
Episode 8: The 43 Peculiarity
By: Carlos Uribe
The Big Bang Theory is about a group of friends who happen to be nerds and the girl next door.
The 43 Peculiarity feels like a rejected plot from before Amy and Bernadette were introduced. It might have been pitched in the second season but put in the library of rejected ideas. The writers must have needed to write an episode last minute so they picked this out of the group of bad ideas. They adjusted it enough some of the elements but kept most of it intact. This is the only way to explain the episode. It doesn't feature Amy or Bernadette and the jokes largely fall flat. The plots themselves were weak. There's the main plot that involves Leonard and Penny. Leonard finds out that Penny met a British guy at school and he's coming over to do a project. He acts insanely jealous because he's afraid that Penny will cheat on him. Leonard becomes so insufferable in this episode that it's shocking Penny doesn't dump him. He really deserves it which I'm pretty sure was not the intention of the episode. The series instead has Penny proclaim that she loves him. She runs away to cry and Leonard is relieved to find out his girlfriend. The entire plot is largely so boring and lifeless that it calls into question on what they're even doing together.
While this is all going on, Howard and Raj realize that Sheldon spends twenty minutes of his day disappearing and doing something. They decide to try and solve this mystery. They find out that he goes to an old supply closet in the basement only to find out that the door is locked. They later sneak in when Sheldon isn't there and discover a number. They try their best to decrypt it but they can't. This leads to them putting in a camera in the closet but Sheldon sees it and plays a trick on them. They don't find out what he does but the audience does. He plays hacky sack for twenty minutes in order to let off steam. The number is the record of how many times he's played the game before dropping the ball. I'm not saying this doesn't seem uncharacteristic of Sheldon but...this seems slightly out of character for him. The idea that Sheldon might be doing something mysterious with this time seems like a good idea but it failed in execution.
I might be wrong and this is just an episode the writers put together in haste because of a deadline or maybe they just lacked inspiration. Whatever the case might be, The 43 Peculiarity is a forgettable episode and it's easily amongst the worst this show has done. Here's hoping it's back to top form next week.
Despite being insanely terrible, this is now the most viewed episode of the season. Wikipedia claims this is because Penny accidentally professed her love to Leonard at the end. That claim rings false considering how late in the episode it came.
My thoery on what they changed in my completely baseless speculation that this is a rejected script from season two: they probably had Leslie be the one who flirted with Leonard but changed it to Alex while they made the reason the guy is visiting school related rather than work related.