A Downpour of Impending Changes

Nerds in the wilderness. Hmm, that statement just doesn’t sound right. But that’s the thesis The Big Bang Theory explores in its latest episode — “The Big Bear Precipitation.” Well, we can’t really say that they approached The Revenant levels or even Ernest Goes to Camp levels. It did, though, give the characters a great change of venue to do some more evolving, and an about-face in regards to a certain person’s current happiness. Our talented After Show hosts — Adam Kruger, Tia Robinson, and Cherise Bangs — lead us through this great episode and give us their thoughts on how these wacky, yet lovable characters are changing … for the better.

Amy’s Manipulation Is “Virtually” Foolproof

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We start the episode off with Sheldon venturing into the wilderness … via virtual reality goggles. Gotcha there! Sheldon may be evolving, but he’s still Sheldon. Why is he doing this? To up his intelligence of course. Sheldon wants to see if his intelligence will rise due to some quality time with mother nature. For Sheldon, this is wanting his cake and eating it too. Or what Cherise would say, “This was his safe way.”

Penny then brings up the fact that a doctor she knows owns a cabin, and she keeps getting invited on these wilderness escapes with her (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Amy suddenly gets the idea that they should all use that cabin and make a weekend out of it. Of course, Sheldon doesn’t want to deal with real nature. However, Amy quickly hints that Leonard will just return smarter than him. And that’s all it took to change Sheldon’s mind.

Adam and Tia both note that Amy has been getting quite good at manipulating Sheldon. I guess if you can’t win with reason, find your opponent’s weak spot and have at it. Sheldon is too much like a child, so it makes Amy’s plans that much more easier. All she needs to do is break out the “spoon pretending to be an airplane” game and feed his ego.

Sheldon “Out-Evers” Penny

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When the group gets to the cabin, the weather starts to change. Soon, a downpour ruined any chances of a hike (yeah, Sheldon was really disappointed at that … not). With a bevy of board games missing their crucial pieces, the gang decides to pass the time by playing “Never Have I Ever.” It’s soon revealed that Sheldon was once arrested for … jaywalking. Actually, he go arrested for being Sheldon. After noticing a cop not noticing him jaywalking, Sheldon annoyingly calls the law enforcement officer out. And that’s when he got his silver bracelets.

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What was particularly surprising and funny was that Penny has never been arrested, which is a testament to the writers always keeping us on our toes and surprising us. But it looks like Cherise is one of those rare sophisticated television watchers who has already caught on. She didn’t find it to be that much of a surprise. In fact, she was expecting it. Cherise’s thinking is actually quite rational. For most of the latter half of this season, the writers have boosted Sheldon’s character arc — revealing various things about him, and also having him change into a better man.

Tia notes that Penny has also been changing. And like Sheldon, the changes are nuanced and subtle. She seems a bit more tamer and responsible — more grown up. However, the one signature thing about Penny is her confidence, which has been left intact and stronger than ever (as evidenced when she stated that she could seduce the female doctor if she wanted to).

The “Mid-Raj”

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Raj’s continuing efforts to be awkward seemed to have reached a season high in this episode. Yes, Adam, I too cringed when Raj mentioned the lactation machine. It was way too personal. Seriously, is he trying to be Bernadette’s midwife? That dude needs to learn some boundaries.

Adam is right that Raj is probably acting this way because he’s missing something in life. Some people can handle being alone and just be the cool loner type. Then, you have people who naturally need to be around others, but are forced to be alone. These individuals become the creepy types, showing extreme desperation. That’s not a good color on Raj.

Cherise, though, sees this as an opportunity for Howard to grow. Because Raj seems like the ever-present parent, Howard could probably learn from him. Bernadette would benefit from this by getting the perfect mate out of this strange Howard/Raj amalgam of a person.

Speculations

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“The Big Bear Precipitation” was an episode that prompted our hosts to ask some pretty keen questions. Let’s start off with the main plot line happening in the cabin. Leonard and Penny have a serious heart-to-heart after Penny discovers that Leonard has a secret bank account. Due to her spending habits, Leonard wants to make sure that he has some money stashed away for a rainy day. Hmm, this episode had them caught in the middle of a rainstorm. How symbolic! Anyways, the conversation finally leads to Penny not being happy at her job — flirting with doctors for the purposes of making a sale. She still wants to be an actress, but knows that the responsible adult thing to do is to hold down a good paying job.

Cherise and Tia think this is a foreshadowing and that something huge is being set up for Penny. Could it be an unexpected acting job? Could she somehow find another route to becoming an actress? Cherise doesn’t think Leonard will pay off her debts, but I do have to point to the episode where he bought her a car. Leonard is a big softie and he’ll do whatever it takes to make Penny happy — which brings me to this idea: since there’s been so much character growth for Penny, could Leonard’s offer of help be rejected?

And now back to Raj again. Could Emily return? I think that might make it even more awkward. He’s obviously going to be with someone he doesn’t want to be with. In my opinion, holding onto someone just for the sake of not being lonely is worse than being a weird lonely person. This idea basically supports what Adam has been saying all along, “Raj needs to grow a backbone and stand on his own two feet.” I don’t think he’s going to find any love until he can show that he doesn’t need it. I know, so very Catch-22 of me. Raj is seriously going downhill in these past few episodes. My prediction is that things may start looking up for the poor guy. Will we see Zoe Graystone Claire coming back in the picture?

What are your speculations? How will Penny deal with being at a job that doesn’t make her happy? How desperate will Raj get in terms of companionship? Are there more Sheldon secrets to be revealed? Adam, Cherise, Tia, and I want to here your thoughts, so sound off in the comments!

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Join Adam Kruger, Tia Robinson, and guest Cherise Bangs this week, live and on demand, for review and conversation about each new episode of The Big Bang Theory. Tweet in questions or comments to the hosts all week using the hashtag #BigBangAS

Each week our host will take a ‘Nerd Word’ from the show and will try to dissect it and use it in a sentence so be sure to check out the word of the week!

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theStream.tv Fan Show Network presents the The Big Bang Theory After Show. Tune in each week, live or on demand, for review and conversation of The Big Bang Theory. A woman who moves into an apartment across the hall from two brilliant but socially awkward physicists shows them how little they know about life outside of the laboratory. If you’re a fan of The Big Bang Theory then tune in each week for the live after show.

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