This week’s Big Bang Theory was all about comic cons, comic books, and comic irony as the guys went on “The Bakersfield Expedition.” Unfortunately, while en route, Leonard’s car is stolen. What’s a group of guys dressed as Star Trek characters to do when stranded in the desert?

The Players:

  • Director: Mark Cendrowski
  • WriterChuck Lorre, Jim Reynolds, Steve Holland
  • Cast: Johnny Galecki, Jim ParsonsKaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik, Kevin Sussman, Melissa Rauch

Episode Title: “The Bakersfield Expedition”

The guys take a road trip to a convention in Bakersfield. Meanwhile, the girls decide to read some comic books to better understand the men in their lives. This involves a trip to Stuart’s comic store and stirs a debate about Thor’s hammer. When the guys stop for a photo shoot in their costumes, Leonard’s car is stolen. Stranded in the desert, they walk to a nearby restaurant and decide to go home. There, they are surprised to find the girls discussing comics.

The Good:

  • Makeup: The Star Trek characters are well-suited for each Big Bang character. Not solely based on looks either. Sheldon is overly-technical and often emotionless like Data, Howard works with robots (so a cyborg makes sense), and Leonard is the general leader of the group. As for Raj, his new appearance is amazingly foreign. We would’ve liked seeing them at the convention, but we’re satisfied with the humor of their diner experience.
  • Second Looks: Despite the controversy surrounding the girls in the comic store, we see no harm here. We understand that female comic fans exist, and this seemed to be another contribution to the running joke that girls hardly visit Stuart’s store. Further, the scenes easily serve as a parallel to the way the guys are stared at when they walk into the diner. One is a gender joke; the other pokes fun at being out of place in a surrounding.

The So-So:

  • Slushied: Yes, the red slush that’s thrown on Sheldon just when he has his moment of triumph and opportunity. It’s funny in it’s own right and brings us to a nearly-sentimental moment. But the Glee reference is unmistakable and perhaps too weighted, too fraught with an “us versus the world” mentality. The guys in the car yell, “Nerds!” so we can assume they were targeted for their appearance rather than victims of a random act of meanness.
  • GPS Hack: It’s a brilliant display of narcissism on Sheldon’s part, but we wish the facts had gone beyond common knowledge (maybe not the Eisenhower one, but we knew everything else). We also appreciated the car thieves listening to Sheldon’s facts later on.

The Quotes:

  • Penny: “This is the best. You have booze with breakfast on a Tuesday, you have a problem. You do it on the weekend, you have brunch.”
  • Amy: “When did Howard learn to sew?” Bernadette: “When he was a little boy, every couple months, he’d have to let his mother’s pants out.”
  • Bernadette: “Why are they staring?” Amy: “Who cares? Just soak it in. Hello, Boys.”
  • Stuart: “Can you please stop staring? They’re just girls. It’s nothing you haven’t seen in movies or drawings.”
  • Amy: “All right, well, who’s the best superhero?” Stuart: “Shh! You can’t ask a question like that in here. Are you trying to start a rumble?”
  • Raj: “Wool pants in the desert. I feel like I’ve got poached testicles.” Leonard: “Oh, poor thing, you’re sweating. That is so much worse than having your car stolen.” Raj: “Your insurance is going to buy you a new car. It’s not gonna de-funk my junk.”
  • Penny: “If Harry Potter’s wand can make decisions, why can’t Thor’s hammer?” Amy: “Okay, if you’re going to start comparing wands and hammers, I can’t even take you seriously.”
  • Raj: “Did we at least rent the car from Enterprise?”
  • Bernadette: “Well, what if Hulk picked up Thor while Thor is holding the hammer…then by the transitive property of picking things up Hulk picked up the hammer.”
    Amy: “No. Hulk picked up Thor. Thor picked up the hammer.” Penny: “Hang on. If I go to a bar and pick up a guy and he picks up a girl and then we all leave together, did I pick up the girl?”
  • Cop: “You guys need me to call someone? I’m guessing your moms?” Leonard: “Thanks, but we’ve got it covered.” Howard: “Okay, I just talked to my mom.”
  • Raj: “Are they actually arguing about comic books?” Leonard: “No, that can’t be right.” Howard: “Maybe ‘Thor’s Hammer’ is a new color of nail polish…”
  • Leonard: “Fine, but set them to stun. If we vaporize Penny, I’ll never find a girlfriend that pretty again.”


“The Bakersfield Expeditionis a well-written homage to geek culture, giving us a view of both. It’s a shared humor and loneliness that was heartfelt and funny.

The Rating: 9/10

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

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