On this week’s episode, our favorite scientists work on discovering something new. It’s not a prototype drive system for the High G Rover or some other fancy experiment, but it’s them discovering an extracurricular activity to get some exercise. The last time Howard exercised was when Bernadette got him a Fitbit and he tried to run away. According to Sheldon, thinking about exercising even when sitting could still have physical benefits, but it’s been a while since he thought about it, and so it’s time for these boys to discover the athlete in them. It’s always entertaining watching the boys do something new together, especially when that something new involves physical activity.
Leonard gets started on the search for their new activity. The university offers an ample selection. There’s rock climbing, archery, flag football, all of which require a bit of physical exertion. Penny thinks they should rethink this seeing as Leonard twisted his ankle playing scrabble. However, in his defense, he got a triple word score with the double letter Q! That was definitely a time to breakout the scrabble dance even if that meant twisting his ankle. They finally decide on Fencing. Sword fighting holds an elegant appeal, it’s indoors, no throwing, no catching, no running, and no gym shorts that can be yanked down…or up. Plus, the word “touché” comes from fencing, and this would be their opportunity to use it in a non-metaphorical sense. It’s a win for everybody.
An added bonus for us is that Barry Kripke is their fencing instructor, and he gets straight to the point. It’s not going to be like Star Wars, Game of Thrones, or even The Princess Bride. He teaches them some moves all of which require using their dominant leg. When Sheldon reveals that both of his legs are pretty submissive, Howard asks him which leg he uses to flush the toilet. It’s his right leg! After that’s settled, they learn “advance and retreat” moves, but Sheldon wants to know when he’ll finally be able to stab his friends. Kripke reminds him it’s actually called “touch” in fencing, but Sheldon retorts back that he can’t go around saying that he wants to “touch” his friends. That’s a certain call into Human Resources. Touché.
Meanwhile, at the comic book store, Stuart enlists the help of the girls in order to figure out how to get more women into the comic book store. So far he’s stocked up on more female-oriented titles, he’s folded the end of the toilet paper into a triangle, and he’s even designated a whole area for breastfeeding. He doesn’t know what’s wrong, but after Penny reads some online reviews, they conclude the problem is Stuart. According to past female costumers, he stares without blinking, he’s always shamelessly asking girls out, and he doesn’t know how to take a compliment. One time, a girl complimented his shirt and he proceeded to take it off on the spot and give it to her. It’s going to take more than a sign reading “Women, come in. Don’t be afraid.” to get them into the store.
In a heartbreaking moment, he reveals that he thought that at this point in his life he would be married or be in a relationship or have a pet that didn’t run away or kill itself. The longer he’s alone, the more desperate he becomes. Amy, more than anyone, understands. She opens up about how she was before she met Sheldon, and Stuart being Stuart, naturally takes that as a hint to ask her out. Suddenly, the pet killing itself makes perfect sense to her.
Back at the fencing court, the boys are following instructions, but when Kripke takes a phone call and turns his back on them, the boys break out in a full on duel. Their names are Inigo Montoya, and their partners must prepare to die for killing their fathers. Sheldon can’t wait till they learn glove slapping, which is useful when someone insults his honor. In such a case, he would slap his glove across his or her face, challenging them to a duel. The most recent case for glove slapping has been his trip to the doctor that gave him a prostate exam. Now, it seems like he’ll have to challenge Kripke to a duel. Kripke overheard that Amy and Sheldon are no longer an item, and it’s quite obvious that he’s going to ask her out. Thus, Sheldon challenges him to a duel at high noon…three years from now when he’s adequate enough at the sport. And let Kripke be warned, Sheldon is going to “touch” him all over.
After their fencing session, the boys end up getting drinks at a sports bar. Funny enough, it was Sheldon’s idea. First of all, he’s feeling down about Amy. And second, like it or not, they’re athletes now. I mean, look at his blister! In an attempt to cheer him up, they tell Sheldon he should start thinking about dating another girl. Sheldon thinks the only girls are those in his circle of friends, but there’s a whole world of girls out there, and he decides to give it a try immediately. He goes up to a woman in the bar and is sadly turned down. Even sadder, he’s then turned down by her grandmother. Might have been the Pokémon reference that stacked the odds against him.
Back at the apartment, Amy is doing some turning down of her own. First, Stuart. Now, Kripke. She’s surprised that she’s getting all of this attention, and is somewhat intrigued about Kripke, but ends up not wanting to find out. As she and Bernadette are leaving the building, they run into Leonard and a buzzed Sheldon. He warns her that she’ll be hearing from Kripke soon, but she quickly lets him know that she turned him down. This reminds Sheldon of being turned down that night by girls. Amy is visibly shocked and hurt at the thought of Sheldon seeing other girls, and it seems this might be the point where she reconsiders her decision to breakup with Sheldon.
This episode wasn’t the best of the season, but it had some memorable laughs, especially with the boys learning to fence together. Literally every line that was said during those scenes was hilarious. This episode also highlighted Stuart, which is rare, but always worthwhile. We mostly see this weird and creepy character that he’s grown to be, but in this episode, we catch a glimpse of a man who just wants to start living life. It’ll be good on the part of the writers to explore his character further. Maybe if he starts acting differently, “Stamy” can be the new “Shamy.” Till next week!
“Had me at flag. Lost me at football.”—Sheldon
“En garde, Leonard. Prepare yourself for rigorous touching.”—Sheldon
“I mean, I can’t say for sure, but I swear that rabbit looked me right in the eye before it hopped in front of that car.”—Stuart
“I told you things would change if you plucked your eyebrows.”—Penny
EPISODE RATING: 7/10