The Closure Alternative
Original Air Date: Apr 25, 2013
Kym Hoopes – Senior Reviewer
Oh the horror. Not only has Penny been recording things on Sheldon’s DVR again, but SyFy has canceled Alphas – throwing Sheldon into an uproar because of the cliffhanger that season two ended with. He’s looking for the number to call the network. Penny feels sorry for whoever gets that call. Leonard’s right though – they would have to expect calls from angry geeks if they’re going to focus on Science Fiction programming.
And for the record, I wholeheartedly agree that they shouldn’t have canceled Firefly, and that it’s only polite to at least make a movie to wrap things up when you cancel a show.
But, first let’s talk about Raj and Lucy. He’s stumbled on her blog and at first gets worried because she’s seeing a guy named “Roger” who’s also Indian and an astrophysicist – until Howard, who’s just installed a camera so he can watch his dog while he’s at work, explains that she’s just changed the name for privacy reasons and is really talking about him. Duh. While he’s not as bad as Sheldon, Raj can be really clueless at times too. He tries to resist reading it, but ultimately breaks down and does. And of course, he’s bothered by what he’s read. Particularly that he came across as a “little feminine”. Really? Just a little? Howard urges him instead to use the information in the blog to his advantage to get her pants off. Raj would rather see it as the key to her heart, but agrees. He starts out by trying to be more manly when she comes over again – but still preferring the hockey jersey over the football jersey because black is more slimming. Man, is he going to screw this up by trying too hard again? Although the new “manly” image is still thrown off by the Yorkie on the couch. I don’t think anyone would believe her to be a “face ripper”. It doesn’t take Lucy long to ask him why he’s acting weird. He can’t fake knowing hockey and it’s so unlike him to screw up making frozen burritos. She gets up to leave and he confesses to finding her blog and his worry that she thinks he’s too feminine. She tells him that she didn’t mean it was a bad thing. Just that he’s sweet and thoughtful and has great skin. Awww.
Now, back to Sheldon’s dilemma with Alphas. He’s having no luck at all with getting SyFy to listen to him. He’s called pretending to be everything from a cowboy to the network’s vice president of programming. They just keep hanging up on him. Amy first suggests the comfort of physical contact, but he doesn’t want to fly all the way to Texas for a hug from his mother so she instead suggests retraining his brain to get past his “pathological need for closure”. He denies he has a problem with that, even after she proves it by only knocking part of the familiar “shave and a haircut” rhythm and watching him try to resist finishing it – knowing he wouldn’t be able to let it go undone. He’s still fighting the idea that his need for closure is compulsive, when she proves it again by starting a sentence and leaving it open until he can’t resist finishing it for her. Let the exercises begin. She starts with tic tac toe – only she erases it from the white board just as he’s about to win to see how it makes him feel. It’s clear how frustrated he is, and I’m surprised Amy doesn’t smack him for claiming she couldn’t possibly understand what it feels like to build up that much desire to finish something and be denied. What follows is a succession of exercises in not finishing things until Sheldon looks ready to kill her. Ultimately he convinces her that she’s been successful to get her out of the apartment so he can go through and finish all the things she wouldn’t let him finish all day and reach what looks like an orgasm when the last one is done. Nope, his compulsions couldn’t be cured in a day. Months or years maybe, but not a day. He ultimately gets his closure with Alphas, too, by tracking down the writer and finding out how he planned to resolve the cliffhanger – and is disappointed by the answer, but relieved to have it.
In a final little subplot we’re exploring one of the issues between Penny and Leonard as he tries to get her into watching Buffy with him. She really wants to get into it for him and even asks for Bernadette’s help, but she just doesn’t understand how he can get so passionate about things like that. Sadly, it seems she hasn’t found anything she’s really that passionate about. No wonder she hasn’t been that successful at acting – or anything really. But I do have to give her credit for figuring out that the problem was her all or nothing view of things. She’s been going through the motions waiting for that one big thing to happen and make her a huge success and missing the excitement and passion that can be found in everyday life. It is an epiphany and I’m happy for her.
I enjoyed this week’s episode quite a bit. I love that Raj and Lucy seem to be working out so far and that he was able to be honest with her in the end. I can’t wait to see if he gets to a point where he can talk to her without drinking first. They’re so cute together. Watching Amy turn the frustration tables on Sheldon was great fun, even if her ultimate goal was unsuccessful. And I’m seeing more hope that Penny and Leonard can work out long-term, as long as she doesn’t lose sight of that new epiphany and remembers to see the passion and excitement in her daily life and not continue to hold out for her one big shot at stardom. You can’t spend your whole life waiting for that one big thing without missing all the little things along they way.