Episode 16 - The Excelsior Acquisition
7 March 2010
Synopsis: Sheldon is summoned to court on a traffic violation which he incurred whilst driving Penny to the hospital. The court date is the same day that Stan Lee is coming to the Comic Book Store to do a signing. Sheldon of course gets thrown in jail for contempt while Howard, Raj and Leonard have gelato with Stan Lee. Penny gets Lee's address out of Stuart and takes Sheldon round there to try and make it up to him.
The Good: The Big Bang Theory could run for years and years and now has the reach to pull in various celebrities to make fun cameos. While Stan Lee isn't the best here it does open your mind to the amazing possibilities on offer from all the different geeky worlds which the guys are into. Stan Lee's visit to the Comic Book Store is a plausible plot device to add further grievance to Sheldon's situation with Penny. There was also particularly good continuity, both with the use of the dislocated shoulder story (308) and mention of Sheldon's eidetic memory (305).
Sheldon has his moments as ever. He cracks a nice joke about Stan Lee's autobiography as well as his uniquely silly idea to get him to sign a copy of a Bat Man comic. His witness stand script for Penny to read led to a typically amusing exchange between the two. His rage at Penny was entirely justified and his use of the "the moving finger writes and having writ moves on" was very fitting and amusingly dramatic.
I did smile at the pathetic closing line from Stuart once he exchanges a date to his cousin's wedding for Stan Lee's address with Penny. He explained that he needed her there because this is the cousin he normally goes to weddings with. To make sure there is no funny business Penny asks if Leonard can come to. To which Stuart consistently replies "Sure what the hell...We'll tell people he's your cousin."
The Bad: Sheldon being in court and jail should have been a bigger deal than this. There are so many jokes which could be made and there was no time for them here. However I am sure they will revisit the scene in a future episode.
Seeing Stuart further reduced to a cross between Leonard and Howard is a shame. Even if they are going to turn him into a fellow geek (as opposed to the well adjusted guy he first appeared as in 220), why not give him a uniquely funny personality?
A couple of lines from Sheldon were misplaced. Particularly him telling a fellow jail mate that he was in his spot. His particular desire for the perfect place to sit is one that takes him a while to figure out (see 117). It isn't an arbitrary decision to always want the far left seat in any situation.
Comic Highlight: Raj pointing out Stan Lee's proclivity for goofy sounding character names (with the same letter beginning both first and last names) and then actually saying it to Stan Lee and annoying him. It was a very well researched running gag which didn't require much Marvel knowledge to enjoy.
In Conclusion: A fun story which was enjoyable throughout without being overly funny or interesting.
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