The Funeral: Jim Parsons, Mayim Bailik, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, and Kunal Nayyar

This week, The Big Bang Theory heats up when Sheldon, Leonard and Raj compete for a tenure position at Cal Tech in “The Tenure Turbulence.” What is Sheldon thinking with his choice of gifts? Is Penny dressed for a funeral or a night out on the town?

The Players:

  • Director: Mark Cendrowski
  • Writer: Steve Molaro
  • Cast: Johnny Galecki, JimParsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik, Melissa Rauch, Regina King, John Ross Bowie

Episode Title: “The Tenure Turbulence”

The death of Professor Tupperman opens up a new tenure spot. So Sheldon, Leonard, and Raj battle Barry Kripke to get in the good graces of the hiring committee. Mrs. Davis, who is of its members, is bombarded by the candidates at her office, the gym, and Tupperman’s funeral. When Amy and Penny get dragged into the boys’ conflict, they reevaluate the affect their bickering has on their friendship.

The Good:

  • In the Running: Howard isn’t a contender for the position without a PhD, so watching him as a catalyst to his friends’ fight is great. No more Wolowitz wallowing in self-pity and feeling inadequate in comparison. He moved things along by stirring the pot. Meerkat jokes aside, his ability to do so is a silent reminder that their friendship is strong enough to endure disagreements from time to time.
  • Be Our Guest: Two guest stars make an appearance in this episode. The lovely Ms. Davis and the quirky Barry Kripke liven things up. They really hit it off! We see them working out together, Kripke bakes Ms. Davis banana bread and offers to babysit for her. We’re glad Ms. Davis sets her personal feelings for the guys aside to determine who’s most deserving of the tenure position.
  • Little Black Dress: Penny looked hot at Tupperman’s funeral to win Leonard some extra credit by flirting with the committee. The resulting reactions and dialogue were some of this week’s highlights.

The So-So:

  • Your Mama: We usually enjoy the battle of words from Sheldon and Raj. The jokes about sleeping with each other’s mother were a bit on the crude side though.
  • Racism, the New Sarcasm: Sheldon’s lack of understanding sarcasm has always been a crowd-pleaser. With good reason–the genius who can’t comprehend the simplest irony is funny. This week, we delved into his unintentional racism. We’re even provided a flashback to his first slip-up back in “The Egg Salad Equivalency.” His gift-giving fiascos and hilariously handshake make for good comedy, but in hindsight should we really be laughing about this? Racism is a serious issue!

The Quotes:

  • Sheldon: “If we really want science to advance, people should have chips implanted in their skulls that explode when they say something stupid.”
  • Kripke: “If you need my nose, you’ll find it firmly lodged up the rectum of the tenure committee.”
  • Sheldon: “You know, I must say I go back and forth on this boyfriend-girlfriend thing, but those moments when you worship me really keep you in the running.”
  • Sheldon: “Sheldon Cooper doesn’t do cozy.”
  • Mrs. Davis: “Why would you think this is an appropriate gift?” Sheldon: “Umm. Well … You are black, right?”
  • Leonard: “You realize you might kill some of them.” Penny: “Then you all can get tenure.”
  • Sheldon: “Don’t just stand there. Take your breasts out.”
  • Amy: “You’re all wasting your time. Sheldon is the most qualified for the job, and no amount of gravity-defying bosom’s going to change that.”
  • Amy: “Seriously, is that tape? Like, how are they staying up like that?”
  • Sheldon: “Are you implying my girlfriend doesn’t have any sexuality to exploit?” Raj: “Yes.” Sheldon: “Okay. Because that was not clear.”
  • Leonard: “I don’t want to lose my friends over tenure. Friends are forever.” Howard: “So is tenure.”

Overall:

The Big Bang Theory continues to bring the laughs with “The Tenure Turbulence.It’s nice to see friendships pulled together rather than apart. But hopefully, Sheldon can keep the racism in check.

The Rating: 8/10

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

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