It’s impossible to watch The Alien Parasite Hypothesis without expecting Sheldon and Amy Farrah Fowler to engage in a little bedroom “bench research.”
You read correctly.
After almost half a season of watching Ms. Fowler exhibit the social graces of a robotic King Cobra, we learn in week 10 that she suffers from a far-too-human flaw: she’s a slave to the drives of her endocrine system. Translation: she’s horny, with a serious urge to build a perfect beast—of the two-backed variety.
Can it be true? Sheldon certainly can’t believe it—not at first anyway. As such, he helps Amy create a chart in order to compile a “differential diagnosis.” Sheldon narrows the possible diagnoses to: a) hyperthyroidism; b) premature menopause symptoms; c) hosting an alien parasite; d) sexual arousal. The good Dr. Cooper points out that he added the last option only in the interest of “covering all the bases.”
But of course, with symptoms that include “localized vascular throbbing in the ears and genitalia,” the most improbable of explanations turns out to be the truth: Amy is sexually aroused, sparked by meeting Penny’s old boyfriend Zack in the episode’s opening sequence. Is that really so hard to believe? After all, as Amy herself states, it’s logical: she has a stomach; she gets hungry. She has genitals; she has the potential for sexual arousal.
Sheldon’s forced to admit she’s right. Apparently, in Dr. Cooper’s world, genitals and the sexual arousal they generate are “A cross we all must bear.”
To help Amy through her “problem,” Sheldon accompanies her to a bar where Zack hangs out. She intends to seduce him into a night of passionate, estrogen soaked, gluteus-maximus-grabbing coitus.
Zack, however—typical Penny ex-boyfriend that he is—doesn’t know the definition for most of the words in Amy’s “pick-up lines.” Amy quickly throws in the towel, rejecting her animal hindbrain and retreating back to realm of pure intellect with Sheldon. On the walk home, in the interest of science, she briefly grabs Sheldon’s hand, but quickly relinquishes it, realizing her handholding “experiment” is a failure. She apparently feels nothing in that brief touch and Sheldon—no surprise here—feels even less.
In the wake of week 9’s passionate smooch between Howard and Raj, Parasite offers a follow up wherein the two battle for supremacy to see who’d be the superhero and who’d be the sidekick in the event they gained superpowers.
From a contest to see who loses his nerve when confronted with a tarantula to a wrestling match that’s sans actual wrestling but rife with posturing and “very excellent superhero quips,” the pair achieve nothing except inducing Leonard into a nap. There were a couple of funny moments between the two—the bit with the spider, highlighting Howard’s arachnophobia, was laugh-out-loud—but mostly this plot thread fell flat. And I certainly can’t see The Adventures of Ratman and Kid Vermin making for a terribly appealing comicbook adventure anyway.
After week 9’s kiss, is it all downhill for Howard and Raj from here? Stay tuned.
Overall, The Alien Parasite Hypothesis was a funny return following a 3-week hiatus. Parsons and Bialik were, as always, worth the price of admission and could likely carry an entire series centered around their characters alone. Spinoff anyone?
It was also interesting to see a bit of humanity breathed into Amy Farrah Fowler. Bialik played her reactions perfectly, too, making Fowler’s sexuality as socially inept, peculiar and awkward—and as funny—as we’d expect.
And who would’ve guessed that 5,318,008, while not the best number (that number, according to Sheldon, is 73), spells out the word “boobies” when punched into an upside-down calculator? Thank you Raj.
Next week our four favorite so-smart-they’re-dumb geeks enter a Justice League costume contest courtesy of Penny’s latest love interest in The Justice League Recombination.