The Big Bang Theory, Season 9, Episode 19 (March 31, 2016) -- "The Solder Excursion Diversion"

I am starting this thread in anticipation of tonight’s episode.

Man, I was running errands and missed it. I’ll catch it on demand tomorrow.

Change that to “disappointment.”

I found the Shamy to be quite touching, even though I knew what was going to happen as soon as Sheldon said, “I have something to show you.”

The other story sucked hard.

I enjoyed the subversion of the trope about the guys lying to their wives. The Shamy story didn’t do anything for me.

They’re doing reshoots for Suicide Squad next week, so they probably aren’t pre-screening it yet. Not that that level of realism is required for a sitcom, it’s just a dumb trivial fact I know.

Lame. The series seems to be limping along and just not caring anymore. Is this the end of Rico?

Whether the writing was lame or not, I thought Mayim Bialik and Jim Parsons were really in character, putting a lot into it, and had great chemistry in their story line. I thought it came off well because of their performances.

The attempt to reach for something original in the other story line made it fall flat. It was anticlimactic, and I thought Penny’s comment early on about "What if I end up being the one the make a worthwhile contribution to science, was a gun that never got fired. I kept expecting something like, she’d make some kind of error that would cause the experiment to go awry in a way that would give Leonard a brilliant insight. Or better, she’d think of a more efficient way to do whatever it was they were doing, and they’d finish early, and this would lead to a fight, during which Leonard would somehow have an insight, etc.

If Sheldon stores all his crap that he would have otherwise discarded, at a storage facility only accessible by car, that none of the others knows about, how did he get all of his crap there in the first place?

He could have taken one box at a time via bus starting before he even met Leonard.

What I had a hard time believing was that the engineering department at a major university would ever run out of solder. Plus they wouldn’t be working on a weekend, they’d do it during the week and send a grad student out for some in the rare event they did run out.

Predictable, but it was cool that Sheldon palmed the golf ball and rolled it back in when closing the door.

Was Sheldon really in character? I think this is this first time that Sheldon ever expressed shame about one of his eccentricities. I know he has experienced guilt when he realized he treated someone badly and maybe he expressed shame at being bullied in some context (although I do not remember a specific example) but I don’t remember him ever expressing shame about how something he did would seem to others.

I do not mind the change to his character but I think this was something we hadn’t seen before.

That’s what I was thinking. Surely he would need Leonard to drive him there with the stuff.

I didn’t get why he was ashamed about the situation. That doesn’t sound like Sheldon, if you ask me.

I did enjoy his interactions with Amy, though. They do make a cute-but-odd couple!

I thought Mayim was over-acting. She was too earnest, even a bit heavy-handed, in her expressions of empathy towards Sheldon. This was disappointing because she’s normally the best performer on the show.

I liked it, because his explanation that he’s a fraud. It shows that he actually does have some idea of how he comes across to other people, and enjoys being a little eccentric, just as long as his eccentricities are things that can somehow be tied into his intelligence, or would be things people would grudgingly respect, like his super-organizational skills, or his memory. He knows that his inability to let go of things is a little childish, and no one would respect it; people would either laugh at him or feel sorry for him. He has had a lifetime of people laughing at him, that he has usually gotten in front of, with a sort of “I meant to do that” attitude toward his eccentricities. He can’t do that here.

I guess I liked the guys maturing enough to apologize to their wives for lying, but the resolve was kind of flat. Raj was just in there for silly comic relief.

Sheldon being a hoarder seems a bit out of character for me, but maybe it fits because he hates change and can’t bear parting with things, although as a nerd, he should be more than happy to get the latest and greatest in technology.

With only some comic exaggeration, this episode seemed more like people who actually like and care about each other which is a good thing.

Just to nit pick, while it makes a lot of sense that Sheldon would never throw anything away but logistically that storage compartment would have been impossible for him to keep a secret given his move from Texas and that he never drives.

This is what bothered me about his old laptop. Surely he would have replaced it by now. And once he got the new one, wouldn’t he have to transfer the contents of the old one? And had he really never seen a hi-res screen before? He’s usually a lot more up-to-date with new technology.

Don’t judge him by the standards of rationality. His OCD, and the rest of his autism-spectrum issues, govern his decisions. Hoarding is part of it.

I agree. From a real-people point of view, it’s nice that Leonard and Howard knew they were wrong, and apologized. From a comedy point of view, that isn’t really funny, and I thought that storyline just kind of fizzled out.

The Shamy story wasn’t terribly realistic, for all the reasons that people have already mentioned about how impossible it would be for Sheldon to keep such a storage facility secret. But I thought it was rather sweetly acted. Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik have such good chemistry together. Although the ending almost felt like a message from the production team: “Okay, they had sex, so you can stop bugging us about it. But don’t expect it to ever happen again.”

Another nitpick: can you buy Alienware in stores (Amy seemed to have bought Sheldon’s new laptop in a brick-and-mortar store)? I had the impression Alienware was strictly a direct-from-the-manufacturer company.

Ah, but if you want realism, the fact that the theater they saw the SS preview was showing 10 Cloverfield Lane was correct, since that film is currently in theaters today.