This week on The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon’s accused of sexual harassment in the workplace. “The Egg Salad Equivalency” puts him in an awkward position, which gets worse before it gets better. Meanwhile, Leonard, Howard, and Raj get into some trouble too. What’s gotten into these guys?

The Players:

  • Director: Mark Cendrowski
  • WriterChuck Lorre, Bill Prady
  • Cast: Johnny Galecki, Jim ParsonsKaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik, Kevin Sussman, Melissa Rauch, Margo Harshman, Regina King

Episode Title: “The Egg Salad Equivalency”

When Alex asks Leonard out, Sheldon becomes concerned his assistant is distracted from work. Based on Penny, Bernadette and Amy’s advice, he takes the issue to Alex. But when he compares women to egg salad sandwiches (among other things), Alex reports him to human resources. Completely unaware of his own sexism, Sheldon gets into deeper trouble and inadvertently brings Howard, Raj, and Leonard down with him.

The Good:

  • Raj’s Research: There are only male characters on cereal boxes catered toward children? The more we think about it, the more we think Dr. Koothrappali is probably right. Surprising and clever observations like these are what make The Big Bang worth watching. It’s the kind of material we love to collect and discuss with friends.
  • Sheldon’s Sexism: Sheldon’s approach to Alex’s productivity level (and eliminating any distractions) is typically scientific to the point of being ridiculous. Mix that with the womanizing influence from his Texas upbringing and Sheldon’s eccentricities never lose their humor. Being reminded of his odd childhood and inability to see the effects of his own behavior makes his sexism and racism both forgivable.
  • Glasses and Molecules: We’re glad Penny and Leonard’s relationship issues were more lighthearted, instead of heavy and dramatic like earlier this season. The way they handled their insecurities was well-played and believable.

The So-So:

  • Stuart’s Absence: Since the scenes where Leonard, Howard, and Raj are called in to Human Resources are paralleled, we felt it begged of a comparison between the three’s relationships. After seeing Leonard with Penny and Howard with Bernadette, we were expecting to see Raj with Stuart, following their closeness in recent episodes. Why has a dog (licking its butt, no doubt) been substituted for Stuart? And how are we supposed to interpret Raj and Stuart’s relationship now? Nevertheless, it was still funny and we appreciated the added humor of the parallel.
  • What Alex Knows: Leonard speaks of hanging out with his girlfriend to Alex as if she already knows he’s dating Penny. Please rewind back to “The Higgs Boson Observation:” Penny lies to Alex by saying that she works with Leonard. Was this cleared up? If not, there’s no reason for Penny to say she hates her (although it was funny). The fact that Alex hits on Leonard is a great plot point that forces Sheldon to notice his sexism and forces Leonard and Penny to work out more of their differences.

The Quotes:

  • Raj: “Not one cereal mascot is a girl. It’s a total breakfast sausage fest.”
  • Alex: “What did I do?” Sheldon: “You don’t know? Oh, you poor dear. Your ovaries are squirting so much goofy juice into your brains you don’t even know which way is up.”
  • Alex: “I have to go.” Sheldon: “So does this fellow, but he can’t without it burning like hot soup.”
  • Sheldon: “I meant ALL women are slaves to their biological urges. Even you. You’re a slave.” Mrs. Davis: “I’m a what?”
  • Sheldon: [Knocks] “Human Resources Department.” [Knocks] “Human Resources Department.” [Knocks] “Human Resources Department.” Mrs. Davis: “Come in?”
  • Leonard: “That’s weird. I’m getting called in to Human Resources.”
  • Howard: “Huh. I just got called in to Human Resources.”
  • Raj: “That’s so strange. Human Resources wants to talk to me tomorrow.”
  • Sheldon: “Thanks to you, I know better than to ask if you are menstruating. And, based on your behavior, I don’t have to.”
  • Raj: “I both hate you and want to be you. It’s Ryan Gosling all over again.”
  • Leonard: “All these women chasing me, I kinda do feel like Captain Kirk.” … Penny: “Keep talking about Captain Kirk and we’re all going to stop.”

Overall:

The “Egg Salad Equivalency” kicked off 2013 with, well, a bang. There were some thought-provoking ideas, humorous situations and one-liners. Plus, the exploration of Penny and Leonard’s relationship was great.

The Rating: 9/10

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

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