The Big Bang Theory, Season 11, Episode 5 (October 23, 2017) -- “The Collaboration Contamination”

I didn’t see a thread for this so here it is.

Kind of a boring episode. Nothing really stood out except for the Amy and Howard dancing part.

Penny using the baby book on Sheldon was kind of funny. So was Bernadette getting Sheldon to clean her house.

I liked the subtle Penn and Teller reference as well.

Wait, where? I missed it.

It was sort of a slow episode. Usually there is a A plot and a B plot. The A plot is the main plot, and has the most character development, as well as moving the season along, and the B plot serves as a distraction to add to the suspense, and usually provides some visual humor. This one felt like it had three B plots and no A plot. There were lots of individual laughs, but this one really should have been tabled.

I said it was subtle.

I liked it. Mainly because it wasn’t just a bunch of them sitting in the living room talking about stuff the whole time. The quick cuts were good too, more content than typical.

The “Sheldon-as-an-easily-manipulated-child” routine was done pretty well, I think.

When Howard tells Amy to look in her brain model and she finds a card (the climax of a card trick, presumably) it’s the three of clubs. Penn and Teller have expressed a fondness for using the three of clubs in card tricks.[sup]*[/sup]

  • Mostly Penn.

Oh, I see. Had no idea!

In one of their books where they taught how to do a card force, they listed a phone number you could call that would just say “Three of Clubs!”. You were supposed to write down the number, force the card, then have your victim call it.

They also had a (short) list of restaurants where if you ordered a “P&T” special or something like that, they’d bring out your victim’s meal with a 3 of clubs card on top.

So in this episode, Howard and Amy bond over Neil Sedaka songs. Previously, they had bonded over Neil Diamond songs.

Basically they just like things by guys named Neil. I await the episode where they listen to Neil Young music, watch a TV show starring Neil Patrick Harris, and discuss the novels of Neil Gaiman.

They also have a monument at Forest Lawn in Los Angeles - a plaque set in the ground that has the 3 of Clubs on it and says “Is this your card?”

How to Play With Your Food. If you look carefully at the cover there is a pizza on the table with the 3 of clubs made with pepperoni.

Yeah. I just rewatched it this afternoon, because it is still on the DVR. I got it this time.

Also, the “Let’s do science” conversation between Amy and Sheldon was funny-- but that was the problem with the episode. There were lots of funny moments, but it was almost like watching an outtake episode. There wasn’t a really good thread connecting them. Usually the plot of the episode is stronger. I mean, you practically could have rearranged all the scenes, and the episode would have made just as much sense.

That’s what I liked about it. It’s too slow when they just sit around talking. I like the variety because there isn’t much to the story anymore. It’s not like beginning of the show about 4 clueless guys anymore, they’re all hooked up (except for Raj who does nothing but complain about being alone). What they really missed was seeing Sheldon trying to do the chores. I find it hard to believe he could change all the batteries in their smoke detectors without breaking anything, getting injured himself, or repeatedly bothering Bernadette (and I assume she won’t be doing much for a while because she’s pregnant IRL). I also thought the Tom Sawyer reference was fantastic, I’ve found far more people than I thought know nothing about the fence.

For an episode where nothing happened, it was much better than the previous episodes. Actually moderately entertaining.

They actually did 2 tricks with the 3 of clubs in that book. There’s the pizza one, where you set it up with your own pizza place ahead of time to make a 3 of clubs out of toppings on the pizza. There’s also the fancy restaurant one, where they had a list of 16 restaurants they had set up the trick ahead of time, and they’d deliver the an actual 3 of clubs playing card in your victim’s entree. That’s the 3 of clubs sticking out of the spaghetti on the cover.

The book is 25 years old, so I doubt any of the restaurants that still exist still play along. I know that that the 2 Massachusetts restaurants have closed.

And the phone number to dial is from “Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends”. I tried it this morning, it goes to a real estate company now.

well, if you want to use one of their forces to get the Three of Clubs out there, you can get hold of the videotape of Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends:

Or you could go here:

In one particular scene Sheldon had a very pronounced overbite and I found it distracting and now wonder if he always had it and I just never noticed.

I noticed the Howard & Amy “Neil” reference, too. I loved to see the two of them together. They have a great “friend” chemistry.

Best line: I thought I was your work wife.

Yeah, that was a great line!