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The Thespian Catalyst

Season 4 / Episode 14



Why antagonise people individually when you can antagonise them en masse? When the lecturing brilliance of Dr Sheldon Lee “Looks like a giant insect” Cooper, fails to captivate the theatrical sensibilities of a twitter-savvy drone of young science students, Sheldon’s pride catapults him into the wine-bottle-wielding arms of Penny and her $40 bucks a pop, one client only “Acting” class. (Quotation marks copyright Sheldon)


We soon learn that the concept of Improvisation and Sheldon do not make good bedfellows, unless they’re the sort of bedfellows who violently murder each other in their sleep.


Sheldon’s remarkable inability to embrace acting’s basic tenents with anything other than a surrealist’s unsettling grip (occasionally swapping hands with the maddening tweezer-like precision of a literalist), ensures the “acting” class veers swiftly through the realm of shoe-stores and inappropriate vendors of frozen yoghurt, to the land of Penny and himself rehearsing a sort of bizarre Fellini-esque juxtapostion of fantasy and reality, wherein Spock appears (via Penny’s dubious interpretation), to whisk the 10yr old Sheldon away from his fanatical Texan prison, to a more appropriate and mildly sycophantic future.


Meanwhile Raj is having a series of schadenfreud-ridden daydreams involving Howard being either self-exiled owing to his career, or brutally and fatally hospitalised, thereby granting Raj the morally acceptable duty of fulfilling the sexually “messed-up” needs of Bernadette.


Back in the land of ill-advised thespians, Penny’s Improv class has inadvertently regressed Sheldon to his uncertain childhood, or as she puts it to his speed-dialed mother, “broke your son”. Sheldon first channels his mother, then, in a flurry of anguished Texan, implores her not to abandon him to the future-dwelling Vulcan’s nefarious scheme. He obviously loves his mother dearly, and she evidently adores her “creep-the-bejesus-outta-me” son.


The episode ends with a Bollywood dance number, and outside of Bollywood that’s a rare sentence.



by Major Gripe

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