The Barbarian Sublimation
Season 2 / Episode 3
After a particularly bad day, an audition rejection and getting her car key stuck in the front door, Penny finds herself confronted by a literal and emotionally challenged Sheldon. Overwhelmed by the miserable state of her life, she sinks to the floor and begins to cry. Leaving him unsure of how to be of assistance. He reluctantly invites her into his apartment where he was playing 'Age of Conan', and when the guys arrive Sheldon has taken her under his wing. "What a noob," he smiles at his new recruit when she squeals excitedly over her first virtual prize. The bewilderment on the guys faces is absolute magic but it's the incredible fit of these two characters which really makes this episode sensational.
If 'The Luminous Fish' was Sheldon's ticket to 'crazy-town', then this is the Penny equivalent. Gaming is natural to him but it's a walk on the wild side for Penny and she soon spirals into addiction. Unleashing a dark side, as Queen Penelope, which sadly, we only ever see once. She gives up washing and forgets to go to work, latching on to Sheldon, like he's the Oracle.
Sheldon can't shake Penny off, for love nor money. He tries everything, "I texted her, I sent out a very emphatic twitter. I even changed my facebook status to 'Sheldon Cooper wishes Penny would leave him alone'. I don't know what else to do," he appeals to his roommate.
But when Leonard is decapitated by Queen Penelope when he enters 'The Age of Conan' to speak to her, Leslie Winkle offers up a suggestion, "Tinkerbell just needs to get her some," she tells them. This prompts Sheldon to make several attempts to hook Penny up with a sexual partner (a theme they repeat with Amy in a later episode). He asks a guy in the cafeteria, he even signs her up for online dating and invites a man to meet her but none of this has any effect. And she would have stayed a "middle-earth Barbie", if it hadn't been for the infamous charms of, 'Sir Howard of Wolowitz', whose slippery proposition snaps her back to reality.
by Informal Protest