Feeling depressed after Lucy’s rejection, Raj refuses to leave his apartment in “The Monster Isolation” on The Big Bang Theory. What happens when Howard, Bernadette, and Leonard drop by to convince him otherwise? Can they drag him out of his funk?

The Players:

  • Director: Mark Cendrowski
  • Writer: Chuck Lorre, Dave Goetsch, Maria Ferrari
  • Cast: Johnny Galecki, JimParsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik, Melissa Rauch, Kate Micucci

Episode Title: “The Monster Isolation”

Lucy, the girl Raj met at the comic book store in “The Tangible Affection Proof,” literally runs away from him during their date. Raj gets decides not to go out in public ever again. Meanwhile, Sheldon has Penny on as a guest on Fun with Flags. When she gives him acting pointers, he goes to her acting class’ play A Streetcar Named Desire. Sheldon, who only went out of obligation and curiosity, is amazed by Penny’s performance. Raj and Lucy decide to go out again.

The Good:

  • Similars Attract: When Lucy describes her social problems as why Raj shouldn’t date her, we enter a state of opposition. Raj launches into a self-degrading series of his own issues. It’s great because we see them finding common ground and being up front with one another. We’re happy to see Raj turn his negative attributes into positives. It’s nice to see characters embrace their quirks instead of changing them to gain the acceptance of others.
  • Penny’s Play: The irony of an actress playing an actress is made more intriguing by the fact that Kaley Cuoco’s portrayal of Penny in every day situations highly differs from her portrayal of Penny onstage. We’ve often seen Penny going to science quiz bowls and other things with Leonard and the others. Now they’re supporting her in her work. It’s particularly refreshing to see Sheldon become so enamored with her passion, especially since he was disinterested in the beginning.

The So-So:

  • Where’s the Humor?: For a show that relies on humor and one-liners, the comedy in this episode is dull. Sure, it’s mildly amusing to watch Sheldon take Penny’s advice to a new level of awkwardness. But Raj eating lobster in his underwear? Okay. Amy taken off a project for throwing feces back at monkeys? Alright. Sheldon completely immersed in Penny’s acting? Okay, that one did make us laugh. But we didn’t encounter the usual level of humor that keeps us watching.
  • Lucy: We’re not sure what’s up with Lucy. She forces herself to go out in public, then runs away from Raj, then returns to the public sphere to give Raj a letter. She comes to see him in person to tell him she’s sorry rather than simply saying so on the phone and then leaves suddenly. What is going on? We love the eccentricities some of the characters have, but this is too much indecision to be understandable longterm.
  • Last Time: The episode opens with a scene where Raj makes a speech in the comic book store before leaving with Lucy. This is probably meant to aid in the understanding of the plot in the future when re-runs are played out of order. Still, it seems unnecessary because the coffeeshop scene had enough context for us to understand they were on a date together. Regardless of Lucy’s continued reappearances (which were weird), the way Raj met her in the last episode doesn’t matter.

The Quotes:

  • Raj: “I guess you could say Raj is my name and stars are my game.”
  • Sheldon: “Please welcome my friend, neighbor and flag virgin — yeah, though not a real virgin. She’s had coitus many times. Sometimes within earshot of this flag enthusiast.
  • Sheldon: “Spread your legs. Invite them in.”
  • Bernadette: “It smells pretty ripe in here. You kinda feel it in your eyes.”
  • Amy: “Yeah, yeah, you want a cigarette. I’d like a normal boyfriend. Deal with it.”
  • Howard: “We can have a pants party. Go put some on.”
  • Howard: “I want to tell you it’s her loss, but you’re making it hard.”
  • Raj: “My heart is stone. From now on, I’m a monk. I renounce all worldly pleasures. Except for lobster.”
  • Howard: “Thanks for ruining lobster for me.”
  • Bernadette: “Let’s go discuss this at Red Lobster. What? We were all thinking it! I just had the decency to wait until he left!”
  • Raj: “You won’t regret it. I’m the most pathetic guy you’ve ever met.”

Overall:

“The Monster Isolationcontained some thought-provoking attributes regarding dating and social skills, but lacked the comedy we expect from The Big Bang Theory.

The Rating: 7/10

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

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