Episode 4 - The Hot Troll Deviation
23 February 2012
Synopsis: Howard wants Bernadette back but she is still upset with him for cheating on her in World of Warcraft. Raj is chafing under Sheldon's yoke at work and so decides to take action.
The Good: I very much like seeing the show bring back a couple of the arc plots in Bernadette and Raj and Sheldon working together. It rewards fans for paying attention and adds depth to the show.
Raj does a good job standing up to Sheldon and he comes out of this looking strong for doing so. The huge desk he brings in was a good visual gag and allowed him to be cocky which he is good at. It would probably be unbelievable for anyone working with Sheldon not to fall out with him so the whole idea of the plot made sense.
As for Howard, he needs Bernadette. I'm relieved to see her back because she seemed to have been written out of the show last season (321) and she makes him a more likeable character. As usual the writers take shortcuts for the sake of comedy rather than write a good character piece. However I do appreciate the consistency of having Katee Sackoff back (309) and all credit to George Takei who camped the hell out of everything they asked of him. The first fantasy sequence did allow us to get inside Howard's mind in a different setting.
The Bad: The Sheldon-Raj plot did not have time to develop properly nor did it get to any kind of conclusion. It was a wasted idea really because seeing Sheldon attempt to fight back could have been a fun episode all to itself.
As I said the writers didn't really write much for Howard and Bernadette to do which reflected anything real about their characters. What I particularly didn't like was Howard putting pressure on Penny by talking about his relationship with his father. How about we actually see that side of Howard and build some sympathy for him rather than throw it out there as a cheap joke. I also thought Penny looked really rude for eavesdropping so blatantly on Howard's confession to Bernadette.
Comic Highlight: Leonard fills Sheldon in on the Howard-Bernadette reunion. Sheldon simply asks why Leonard is telling him any of this. "I don't know" Leonard muses "sometimes your movements are so lifelike I forget you aren't a real boy" to which Sheldon gives a suitably confused and then withering glare.
In Conclusion: Two good stories but neither was well told.
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