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"The Troll Manifestation"/S8E14

Posted on February 6, 2015 at 3:55 PM

By Dhruv Rao

I often view the eighth season of The Big Bang Theory as a compilation season, much like a greatest hits album. I observed how the writers were attempting to synthesize the finer elements of the first and second halves of the series into episodes that would play well with their original set of fans and the others that hopped on the bus as the years went by. It's similar to what How I Met Your Mother did when it used to air episodes involving running gags such as The Slap Bet. Those are the moments when the evolution of the writers' qualities are depicted best. For instance, last week, when the A-plot revolved about Sheldon's work and how it affected his relationship with Amy, I found it quite refreshing to see the characters engage in their romantic relationships and scientific discoveries. This week eliminates the former and places its focus entirely on Leonard and Sheldon's careers, while the females are given the relationships plot.

The A-plot placed Sheldon and Leonard on the same side of the equation, instead of the usual Leonard gets annoyed by Sheldon plots that were dragging on for a while. The paper they wrote is at the forefront of the plot, but the point of the plot was to get the audience to realize that even though they have been arguing over the past few episodes, they are still roommates who can often tolerate each other. Furthermore, it's worthy to note that Sheldon wasn't a boor when Leonard brought the idea to him. I would first think of these aspects of the episode would someone mention it. Furthermore, I would recall the quirky little improvisation act that Leonard and Sheldon put together for us. Other than that, the plot was mediocre, with a weak resolution that admittedly does make sense. I would have prefered a sequel to "The Zarnecki Equation" that would have improved upon its flaws...

Now, onto my favorite part of the episode: the embarrassing things one does. I found this one more relatable than the first one because we all have things that we regret and that we choose to forget. For instance, Bernadette's pageant days and Amy's fanfiction were not the cheek-reddening aspects I expected. Bernadette's video was a treat to watch, especially since it wasn't an anecdote this time. However, I would tell the writers to cool it with the visualization of Amy's story, as I got a little uncomfortable during those scenes. If I were to neglect those scenes, the story is a perfect easter egg in the episode, especially since the girls got deeply invested in it. Kudos to the writers for thinking of this plot!

Grade: B

Stray Observations: 

- Leonard: "When you talk like that, I wanna take you right on this table!"

- After all these years, Sheldon finally appreciated one piece of work Leonard did and gave him a cat sticker that says "Mewow!"

- Sheldon: "You mess with the bull, you get the horns! I'm gonna show you just how horn-y I can be!"

- Penny: "I really wanna know what happens! And Bernadette really-really-really- wants to know what happens!!!"

- Penny's reaction when Cooper returned to Amelia in Amy's story was priceless.

- Amy in the House Of The Prairie outfit reminded me of her Blossom days, and how Andy Samberg impersonated that on SNL once. 

Categories: The Big Bang Theory

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