The Big Bang Theory
The Benefactor Factor
Original Air Date: Feb 10, 2011
Theresa – Staff Writer
Some of the greatest thinkers of our generation have converged in a meeting of the minds to answer a life-altering question: what happens to already-dead zombies if they don’t have enough flesh to eat? Clearly, this inquiry is even more crucial than the last they solved, discovering that reflectionless vampires pair up and shave each other.
But this Saturday night, they will have to give up such pursuits to explain some of their more banal physics research to potential university donors. And if they don’t go, the university president will blind Sheldon with a hot spoon.
The threat does not prove successful, as Sheldon still refuses to go. Raj, Leonard, and Howard do attend – Leonard having to hide the awful tie-tying job Penny did for him – and are carted around to meet the donors. One major benefactress (played by the scathingly hilarious Jessica Walter) lays right into Wolowitz for being a “space plumber” without a doctorate, and makes Leonard so nervous he can’t remember what he does in his lab besides make coffee.
Sheldon has a talk with Amy, who convinces him that he has to go to the party to represent the Physics department; otherwise, his friends will fail and the money might go to *gasp* liberal arts! He makes such an impression that President Seaver asks him never to attend again.
Leonard also makes an impression – on the donor, Mrs. Latham. She calls the next morning and, after bypassing Sheldon (who I’ll thank you to remember is NOT crazy – his mother had him tested), asks Leonard to join her for dinner that evening. On the ride home in her hired car, she tells him she’s very interested in his department, and ready to take it to the next level. Then she grabs him and kisses him.
This poses quite the dilemma for Leonard, who doesn’t want to sell his body for a new cryogenic centrifugal pump. Sheldon, of all people, is very adamant that he do so, providing him with condoms and yelling at him as he heads out to see Mrs. Latham again. However, it turns out that Mrs. Latham plans to donate anyway because she believes in the research, and she was just taking a shot with Leonard anyway. For the record, she tells him, he wouldn’t forget a night with her.
And I’m betting he won’t, after he comes home disheveled, sore, and the recipient of a brand new cryogenic centrifugal pump. Penny mocks his walk of shame, while Sheldon is exceedingly proud, and starts plotting what else they can make him trade sexual favors for.
This episode made me SO happy. Great bounceback from some of the more disappointing dumbed-down stuff of late – I laughed out loud at least 5 times. Sheldon was in character but not annoyingly so, the plot was done well for a half-hour show, there was science-y stuff, and the dialogue was just beginning to end perfect. I had such a hard time narrowing down my favorite lines! I love the way Sheldon is going to Amy for advice and how they have a Saturday night “date” of sorts, and I loved the running joke that the gang had bought Sheldon a book to teach him about sex. I know I can’t get all the characters all the time though, so I’m glad to see that next week we’re getting a Howard-centered episode, and probably some good use of Raj too, as Raj’s sister will be back.
Let me know what you thought of this episode – leave your Two Cents in the comments!
Raj: (comparing the party to his family’s house) We are very wealthy. The only difference is we have more servants.
Leonard: More than this?
Raj: More than we can use. See, in India, we don’t make the mistake of letting our poor people have dreams.
Amy: (on webcam with Sheldon) Well, normally I respect your macho rebellious attitude toward The Man, but in this case, I think you’ve made a foolish mistake.
Sheldon: Unlikely. But make your case, keeping in mind that your critical attitude is ruining our Saturday night together, and I’m not above minimizing your window.
Amy: If your friends are unconvincing, this year’s donations might go to, say, the Geology department.
Sheldon: Oh dear, not the dirt people!
Amy: Or worse, it could go to… (leaning in) … the Liberal Arts.
Amy: Millions of dollars being showered on poets, literary theorists, and students of gender studies.
Sheldon: Oh, the humanities!
Sheldon: No, no, I’m just here for your money, I don’t want to shake anyone’s germy hands!
Sheldon: Given how much time you spend engaging in pointless self-abuse, you might consider just this once using your genitalia to actually accomplish something!