Episode 20 - The Tenure Turbulence
7 April 2013
Synopsis: A tenured Professor dies at his desk leaving a vacant position that Leonard, Sheldon, Raj and Kripke would all like. When they discover that Mrs Davies ¬†from HR (612) is on the Tenure Committee they all try to suck up to her.
The Good: There are certainly benefits to any plot that gets every character involved. The banter back and forth between the gang and between individual couples was solid throughout. The pathetic attempts to curry favour, the double dealing, Howard stirring things up for his own amusement and the girls trying to help out their men was all solid stuff.
The Bad: Solid being as far as I'm willing to go. As the episode got going I realised that we weren't actually being told a story. No one of the gang was going to succeed or fail for any particular reason. No this was just a collection of sketches about sucking up. That's fine for a smile here or there but it never grew much beyond that.
Sheldon misunderstanding racial issues feels very cheap. It's one of those areas where the writers have to play with the character and make him wilfully ignorant rather than explaining why he is missing the point. Then suddenly he understands puns well enough to make "I slept with your mum" jokes with Raj. I didn't buy that as it's been established that he doesn't always follow sexual euphemisms (see 420).
We know that Raj's family are wealthy and helped him establish himself in America. However I don't remember hearing that he has a BMW before. That's a level of wealth that surely should be more a part of the Raj character. Why wouldn't he try and use that type of luxury to attract women?
Comic Highlight: The scene outside the memorial service was fun. Penny's stunning dress brought some fun reactions as did Howard standing on the outside making things worse. Although it's a cheap joke there's nothing quite like a shameless lie to make me smile: when Leonard accuses Raj or lying about going to the memorial, Raj responds "I have a thick accent, you don't know what I said."
In Conclusion: I hope the tenure story continues.
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