- Title: The Big Bang Theory – The Cooper/Kripke Inversion
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Sheldon (Jim Parsons) is outraged to lean he’ll be forced to work with Kripke (John Ross Bowie) on the proposal for the university’s new fusion reactor. What frustrates Sheldon even more is admitting to Amy (Mayim Bialik) that after trading research with Kripke, as they prepare to work on the proposal together, he has discovered his nemesis work is “leaps and bounds” ahead of his own.
When Kripke returns after reading Sheldon’s research the scientist is prepared to be mocked. However, Kripke assumes an alternative (although highly implausible) reason for appalling level of Sheldon’s work on the project. Rather than admit to a truth that makes him look bad, Sheldon goes with Kripke’s assertion that his lack of focus is do to all the sex the scientist is having with his girlfriend. Sheldon’s lie however opens the door to Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) to inquire if Sheldon ever envisions and actual physical relationship with Amy, the answer to which makes Penny insanely happy.
In the episode’s B-story Howard (Simon Helberg) and Raj (Kunal Nayyar) decide to spend $500 a piece to each get a customized action figure of themselves only to be disappointed when the figures arrive and look nothing like them. To rectify the mistake Raj convinces Howard to buy a 3-D printer to create their own action figures. Although Bernadette is impressed with the his and her action figures Howard brings home she’s far less pleased when she discovers the full price of Howard and Raj’s enterprise.
The “Cooper/Kripke Inversion” is a bit of a mixed bag. Although the episode has a couple of very solid points, including Sheldon admitting to himself and others that another scientist is better than Mrs. Cooper’s little boy and the shockingly honest scene at the end between Penny, Sheldon, and Leonard as they discuss his discomfort with bodily contact, the rest of the episode (especially Raj and Howard’s action figure misadventure) feels a little flat. Still, I give the series credit for mixing in a couple of insightful moments of Sheldon’s struggles and phobias that remind us the character, at least in a few important areas, is a cuddly teddy bear compared to the Sheldon who introduced in the show’s first episode.