The Big Bang Theory S5 Ep19 – The Weekend Vortex

In this episode, it is on like Alderaan. Oh, yeah.

Sheldon and Amy

Amy invokes the Relationship Agreement. Curses!

There are a few things to remember before jumping into The Weekend Vortex. Penny and Leonard continue in their relationship beta test. Sheldon and Amy have entered into a relationship agreement and have had a few bumps in the road; the biggest having been smoothed over with a tiara. Howard and Bernadette are still engaged and entirely too cute. Raj continues to be the loner. Sheldon also continues to sport the odd longish hair style.

The episode opens with Howard, Leonard and Raj walking up the steps to the apartment discussing the new Star Wars online game. They decide to do a weekend of it and marathon forty-eight hours straight of gaming. They reminisce about the good old days when they mainlined World of Warcraft and the cops were called due to the smell. Gross but funny.

When they enter the apartment, they propose the idea to Sheldon.

“Movies or videogames? Or board games? Or trading card games? Or legos? Or dress-up? Or comic books? Or dramatic readings of the novelizations? Yes to all!”

I hear ya, Sheldon. Yes to all, indeed!

Of course, there is a snag. Amy reminds Sheldon that he had promised to accompany her to her aunt’s ninety-third birthday party. Despite Sheldon’s protest, Amy invokes the protocol of the relationship agreement in which she had submitted the request in writing at least 72 hours in advance, checked the air pressure in the tires and followed up with the CDC regarding shots needed to travel to their destination.

Sheldon does not take this information well.

In the next segment, Sheldon seeks advice from Stuart regarding a gift for Amy’s aunt and receives unsolicited advice from Howard regarding

TBBT Weekend vortex shopping

I'd love a Batman utility belt for MY birthday

the birthday party situation. Howard believes that Sheldon should just tell Amy that he doesn’t want to go. Sheldon likens being in a relationship to slavery and at that point, Howard pulls out his phone with an app that makes a whipping noise. Nice, Howard.

After, Penny finally gets some screen time with Leonard and they talk about their beta test relationship. As usual, it gets interrupted by Sheldon’s knock. This scene had the only laugh-out-loud joke for me this week. “Sorry, Stallion, your weird friend Giraffe is here.” Anyway, Sheldon asks Penny to intervene with Amy. Penny refuses despite being offered Cooper Coupons (one free grammar check, an afternoon at the California Science Center where Sheldon points out the mistakes, etc).

Unable to get out of his commitment, Sheldon comes up with another plan. He decides to bring his laptop to the party and through the wonderful invention of wireless technology, intends to still game with his friends. Amy is less than pleased. She explains to Sheldon that his plan is rude and that she would rather him not come at all. In a facepalm social moment for Sheldon, he doesn’t pick up on Amy’s cues, and gets out of the car, leaving Amy to go to the party alone, but not before requesting a piece of birthday cake.

In the final segment, the boys start their weekend marathon. Raj has gone shopping and has brought back typically female food (low carb beer, one hundred calorie) and gets teased about needing to have purchased a Y chromosome. Howard shows up with Bernadette which makes Raj upset. Sheldon uses the whip sound app with hilarious results. And as much as I like Bernadette, she makes a horrible gamer.

Meanwhile, Amy shows up at Penny’s and complains about Sheldon. They decide to play a game of quarters in which Penny gets drunk really fast. Penny corrects Amy on her use of Star Trek versus Star Wars (ah, I like indoctrinated-Penny) but then explains that there is no difference between the two. (Excuse me, Penny. There is a huge difference between Trek and Wars.) Together Penny and Amy discuss how Amy should express her displeasure with Sheldon. Withholding sex is automatically out as is the silent treatment. They decide that Amy needs to “make a scene.”

Amy and Penny cross the hall and Amy attempts to make a scene. In response, Sheldon offers his Cooper Coupons. Amy wants to redeem the science center one right away.

Raj then stands up and makes his own scene about how he just wanted a weekend with the guys. Amy, Penny and Bernadette leave, allowing the guys to continue with their weekend. That is, until Howard’s mother shows up.

The Weekend Vortex - passed out

What a successful gaming weekend looks like!

So the humor in this episode was really based in gender roles and relationships and ‘battle of the sexes’ if you will. Many of the jokes were played around stereotypes such as Bernadette being a girl and sucking at gaming, and Raj engaging in stereotypical female behavior such as making a scene at the end. Then of course there was the whip-sound app. I like the idea of Sheldon and Amy having bumps in the road with their relationship because they are really two odd ducks but I found the play on gender roles in this not all that funny. Actually, I found those jokes quite stale. I think I would’ve found it funnier if Bernadette was playing the game and was awesome at it or maybe if Amy didn’t care that Sheldon didn’t want to go to her aunt’s party and then Sheldon worried about Amy not caring. The show is capable of better humor than this episode provided. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it but I think it wasn’t the best outing.

There were some good jokes though and they were centered on the geek information such as the Wars vs Trek joke and the scene with Sheldon shopping for the aunt at the comic book store. I’m just saying, when I’m 93, I wouldn’t mind Excalibur with a tennis ball stuck on the end for my cane. (Gift idea!)

All in all, this episode was solid but not the best.