On this week’s The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon befriends Stephen Hawking in “The Extract Obliteration.” Penny signs up for a college course without Leonard’s knowledge. And once she tells him about an upcoming assignment, everything goes downhill.

The Players:

  • Director: Mark Cendrowski
  • WriterChuck Lorre, Bill Prady
  • Cast: Johnny Galecki, Jim ParsonsKaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik, Melissa Rauch, Stephen Hawking

Episode Title: “The Extract Obliteration”

Penny begins taking a college course without telling Leonard. When Amy and Bernadette find her textbook, she decides to tell him. Leonard then reads her paper (while she sleeps) and writes her a new one, causing a fight. Meanwhile, Sheldon plays the popular online game Words with Friends with Stephen Hawking. He decides to throw the game and let Hawking win. But instead of ensuring his friendship, he gets insulted.

The Good:

  • The One-Liners: The quips pulled this episode through. As always, there were a suitable amount of laugh-out-loud moments.
  • Stephen Hawking: Hawking plays himself, making his joke about schooling Sheldon in online scrabble even funnier.

The Bad:

  • At: Sheldon throws the game with the word “at”? That’s ridiculous. He could have at least played a noun or verb, something longer than the shortest preposition. We would expect Sheldon to want to win more than he would want to be friends with someone else, even if it is Stephen Hawking. We’ve seen him snub many of his idols due to his pride.
  • Class Act: Penny and Leonard’s fight about her class was boring. It took us back to same rut we thought they worked through from “The Decoupling Fluctuation.” We thought we were past this! They should just stay together for good or break up before it gets weirder. And for the record, Penny’s impersonation of him was confounding, and not in a good way.
  • R.I.P. Amy: That’s right, rest in peace, Amy. Or at least the Amy of previous seasons. She used to be in a relationship with Sheldon just to please her mother, but she’s become increasingly more needy. She’s falling all over Sheldon who either doesn’t notice (because he’s Sheldon) or is completely repulsed by her behavior (again, because he’s  Sheldon). I personally miss overly-logical Amy, the Amy who was Sheldon’s female equivalent. Who is this imposter?
  • Leonard’s Plagiarism: Leonard not only went behind Penny’s back to read her paper, he wrote her a new and improved version. We’re glad Penny is mad. She should be. But we’re disappointed in Leonard, who works at a university and should have better academic integrity. The same goes for Amy and Bernadette. We would have rather seen Penny turn in her own work and get that B -, proving she’s smarter than Leonard gives her credit.
  • Accents: Raj opens the scene with a funny line about his Indian accent. When he and Wolowitz proceed to talk in American and Indian accents, things get weird. Why is Wolowitz’s Indian accent deemed better than Raj’s American one? They both sound equally strange.

The Quotes:

  • Sheldon: “The game is not called “Words with Strangers.” It’s not even called “Words with Acquaintances.” It’s called…” Raj: “I’m not finishing your sentence. You pulled the plug on my funk.”
  • Bernadette: “When I got out of the shower this morning, I grabbed what I thought was a big towel. Turns out, it was Howard’s mother’s underwear.”
  • Sheldon: “Oh, it’s only a matter of time before we’re coming up with fun nicknames for each other. I’ll be Coop. He’ll be Wheels. If he’s okay with that.”
  • Howard: “Sheldon, I know Stephen Hawking. I worked with him.” Sheldon: “And if they ever come out with a game called “Words with People You Once Worked With,” you’ll be off to the races.”
  • Amy: “You have to be the weirdest couple I know.” Penny: “Really? You can’t think of anyone weirder?”
  • Leonard: “She writes like she cooks.”
  • Amy: “I feel like I’m in high school again.” Bernadette: “Yeah, doing the prom queen’s homework, so she’ll like us.” Amy: “I know. It’s finally working.”
  • Professor Hawking: “What do Sheldon Cooper and a black hole have in common? They both suck.”


The Extract Obliterationfalls short of our expectations for The Big Bang Theory. It’s particularly due to character changes, uninteresting plots, and lack of values. The one-liners and Stephen Hawking voice-overs were its only saving grace.

The Rating: 6/10

The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.

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