The Big Bang Theory, S5 Ep20 – The Transporter Malfunction

big bang theory cast with Leonard Nimoy
big bang theory group shot

Raj with a plus one? Preposterous!

The gang is back from being on hiatus due to the NCAA basketball tournament. And what a way to return! This episode has Leonard Nimoy joining the ranks of George Takei, Wil Wheaton, Brent Spiner and Levar Burton as Star Trek alum who have guest starred on the show. We don’t actually get to see Mr. Spock but we do get his unmistakable voice. Also, a quick Happy Birthday to Leonard Nimoy who just turned eighty-one!

The show opens this week with Penny, Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj sitting in the apartment eating food as usual. Sheldon and Penny have a quick back and forth about how Penny is always eating their food and never paying. The talk then turns to Howard and Bernadette’s upcoming wedding and Howard needs to know if Raj is going to be bringing someone. He decides that he does want a “plus one.” That leads to everyone asking who Raj is going to bring. He then calls them all “Nosy O’Donnell’s.” This scene serves to set up the two plotlines of the episode: the first being Penny repaying Sheldon and Leonard for their food via gifts and the second being Raj looking for his plus one.

Raj decides to talk to his parents via Skype. I love when his parents come on screen. They are hilarious and they don’t disappoint this time. Raj talks to them about how “he thinks it’s time.” They immediately jump to the conclusion that he is coming out of the closet. He tells them he is not and explains that he is a metrosexual and gives probably the best definition of a metrosexual I’ve ever heard. “I like women as well as their skin care products.” Anyway, after the confusion is cleared up, Raj tells his parents he would like them to arrange a marriage for him.

The second plotline is established in the next scene. Penny comes in and as repayment for all the years of mooching off of Leonard and Sheldon

big bang theory mego toys

Open them Penny? It's like you're in season 1 all over again.

she brings gifts. She gives Sheldon a mint-in-box Star Trek Mego Transporter. Sheldon, understandably, flips out. Penny then gives Leonard a label-maker. Leonard acts pleased but when Penny pulls out a second transporter, throws the label-maker across the room and promptly jumps up and down with Sheldon. Penny makes the newbie mistake of asking them to open the toys and is immediately and thoroughly shot down. (This leads to hilarity later.)

So Raj’s parents must be really quick to arrange something for him or had someone in their pocket because the next scene is Raj, Howard and Bernadette meeting Raj’s intended, Lakshmi. There are some jokes here about Hinduism and Judaism between Raj and Howard but mostly a filler scene to introduce Lakshmi. I was very excited for Raj when she came on screen because she is beautiful and they hit it off. Raj even talks! Of course, he has a glass of wine in front of him so that always helps. In fact, Raj talked in the opening scene with Penny there. Hmmm. Interesting.

This episode did have a lot of cuts between the two competing storylines this week which balanced out the episode nicely but also made the editing feel a little ADD.

big bang theory toy spock

Tiny Spock!!

So now, we’re back to Sheldon. He’s sitting at his desk with his transporter and his Mego Mr. Spock sitting on his desk. What follows is probably one of the most hilarious sequences in the history of this show. The Spock action figure starts talking to Sheldon. It’s Leonard Nimoy’s voice which is awesome but what makes it even better is that each time there is a cut away to see Sheldon’s reaction and then back to the figure, the figure is in a different pose. It happens throughout the scene and it is hysterical. I was laughing so hard, I missed some of the dialogue and had to go back and listen to it. The point of the conversation is that Tiny Spock convinces Sheldon that not playing with a toy is illogical and therefore, he must play with his transporter. Sheldon agrees to do it and Tiny Spock tells him he will have to wake up first. Sheldon wakes up in his bed and runs out of his room. He opens the mint-in-box Mego Transporter, puts his Mego Spock action figure in and breaks it. He is devastated but then looks over at Leonard’s desk and sees his mint-in-box Mego Transporter and yes, we all know where this is going.

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