The Proton Resurgence
Original Air Date: May 2, 2013
Kym Hoopes – Senior Reviewer
For starters this week – I love the computer controlled foam dart gun Penny’s using to hit the guys. Her targeting is pretty impressive too. It’s also pretty cool that “Professor Proton” is still around. I remember shows like that as a kid. Contrary to Penny’s assertion – I believe that Leonard is using the words “cool” and “awesome” correctly. As far as I’m concerned, those words are user defined.
The question is will Professor Proton be willing to come and hang out with his fans? And for how much?
The answer is yes, for a “big check”. Sheldon’s so excited he can’t even sleep and is keeping Leonard awake too trying to decide what to wear and rehearsing his introduction. Leonard even tries going to smack him. It cuts of the practicing – but he still can’t sleep. The next day finds Sheldon staring out the peephole waiting for the Professor, who’s apparently a few minutes late. It seems he’s spent the last half hour trying to walk up to the apartment and has only made it as far as the third floor. They meet him there on the landing and it’s obvious that Sheldon’s freaking him out with his excitement at being allowed to call him “Arthur” and getting as close as he wants without his mom telling him he’ll hurt his eyes. The Professor even goes so far as to ask Leonard if Sheldon’s dangerous. And he’s right – “he’s a genius” does not answer the question. After Sheldon takes his bag and offers to race him up the stairs, the Professor asks Leonard if “the blonde” is really his girlfriend. When Leonard says yes, he tells him that he’s the one that’s a genius. Once he’s sitting awkwardly on the couch trying to figure out why he’s there, Leonard tells him they just thought it would be nice to hang out with him and hear about his life. According to the Professor, once his show was canceled no one in the science community would take him seriously in spite of his PhD from Cornell and he was forced to do kids parties to make a living. Poor guy. He seems baffled that two grown men, physicists even, want him to put on a kids science show. He does though, or at least part of one. I’ve seen the experiment with the flask and the egg before, it is pretty cool, but it’s clear he’s just going through the motions and it’s not a surprise when he decides to call it quits and give their money back. In fact, he doesn’t want to be Professor Proton anymore at all. He’s 83, other scientists think he’s a joke, he has a potato in his suitcase and the puppeteer that controlled his sidekick Gino also did his wife so what good has it done? Sheldon goes to get his autographed photo of Professor Proton and he and Leonard explain how his show was the reason that they and others like them got interested in and pursued careers in science. The Professor is clearly touched, but then starts having trouble with his pacemaker, so Leonard goes to call for help while Penny asks if it can run off of the potato like the clock. Sadly, he can’t even get rid of Sheldon when they take him to the hospital – he wants to come along in the ambulance. And at the hospital – Sheldon sings him “Soft Kitty”, of course, before the Professor asks if he can cover his next gig. Sheldon asks if he can be Professor Proton, Jr. and calls the Professor his father. Is the Professor going to be a recurring character now?
Meanwhile, Raj is going to be stuck in the lab all weekend and wants Howard and Bernadette to watch his dog. The pampered pooch arrives at their place in a stroller. I have a chihuahua, so I totally get it, but I’m not sure Howard and Bernadette will. I can’t picture them cooking breakfast and dinner every day for Cinnamon. Things seem to be going well at first, apparently they have a lot of fun at the park, until they discover that neither one of them put her back in the stroller. Yes, Cinnamon has been left behind at the dog park. So much for the “warm fuzzies” of thinking they’re ready to be parents. They drive around calling for her, even trying to mimic Raj’s accent. Disturbingly (but not surprisingly) Howard slips and tells Bernadette that her version of the accent turns him on. Until she gets creeped out by that. Then he just goes back to calling the dog. In fact – it’s someone else entirely that ends up finding Cinnamon and calling Raj. The gig is up. I’m sure Howard and Bernadette are going to get an earful after he’s picked his baby up. Well, after they go for massages to calm down. This turns the tables and Bernadette gives him an earful instead about leaving them worrying for hours instead of letting them know she’d been found. Having had my own baby get lost, I’m with Bernadette on this one. Yes, they screwed up losing her in the first place, but they were worried and looking for her all day. And she’s definitely got the “Mom guilt trip” down.
While I enjoyed the story lines in this weeks episodes, I didn’t really like that they were completely disjointed from each other. I would have thought that more of the group would have wanted to meet the Professor and was disappointed that Amy wasn’t in the episode at all. That said, I love the overall nod to those great science shows out there for the kids. I hope the real life “Professor Proton”s out there realize the significance that they play in those kids lives and don’t go on to feel forgotten and unwanted some day. One of the most significant things anyone can do in his or her life is to inspire the children in their lives to reach for their dreams.