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The Discovery Dissipation

Season 7 / Episode 10



Somewhere, in Ira Flatow’s nightmares, a madman is yodelling. Oh no wait, he’s here in the recording booth with him. In this strange but welcome reappearance of Vintage Sheldon (a sad and somewhat broken version, but nevertheless) it’s not so much Sound of Music, as Sound of Face the Music (see what I did there? Eh?)


Having soared to the dizzying heights of discovering a new element, then shot out of the sky by an arrow of blunder, Sheldon Rara Avis Cooper has landed upon a pedestal built upon a flawed foundation. Unable to deal with the adulation offered him upon this unstable elevation, Sheldon does what any sane man would do; he breaks out the model train set.


As the university authorities’ prospective swear jar overflows, in another universe, a dishevelled adult Wesley Crusher is playing trains with a tall Texan toddler, but he can’t blow the whistle. Perhaps this is another dream of Ira’s. Wil Wheaton, defunct nemesis, has been summoned from his Real-Ale-Brewing, probably rather charming and tastefully decorated lair, to ladle comfort and wisdom, with his kind eyes and soothing voice, upon an uncertain but trustful Sheldon.


Having adjusted, thanks to Wesley’s dubious motivational speech, to his new height, the well meaning (one must hope not subconsciously motivated) Leonard once more knocks Sheldon off his perch, and he flounders along with broken wings in the bitterest of muds. Metaphorically. What we need now, is a man with a speech impediment to come along and mock him. We have one you say? Excellent.


It’s not clear what purpose the writers have had in mind over the past few years, with the almost systematic kneecapping of Sheldon’s dignity and aspirations, but we suspect it has to do with making him “human”. The fact that the early “alien” version was both more relatable and more endearing, despite being a bit of a Dickensian, means that either someone cocked up badly along the way, or the motto in the writers’ room was changed to “No More Heroes” by an embittered overnight janitor. Which is a pity really, because Sheldon was quite a good hero.


by Major Gripe

Wil and Bawwy are always worth their weight in mint-in-package action figures (or bitcoins), and I’d happily see them every episode (although I suspect I’m a lonely loner walking down a lone road alone in that), but it’s hard to hear Bawwy’s amusing cry of “Wetwactor!” over the internal shouting of “what about the goddamn arctic!” Continuity in this episode took a long walk off a short pier.

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