‘The Big Bang Theory’ recap: Can scientists be sexy?

Is it ok for scientists to be sexy? When Bernadette is chosen to appear in a sexy magazine spread honoring California’s sexiest female scientists, Amy disapproves. She believes women in their profession work hard enough to be taken seriously as it is and posing for pictures in their lingerie won’t help their cause. Bernadette argues that women should be able to be thought of as both smart and sexy. She gets some support from Penny who acknowledges that she uses her sexuality to get ahead at her pharmaceuticals sales job all the time.

Bernadette doesn’t get a chance to pose however, as the shoot gets cancelled. Amy later confesses that she’s the reason behind it. She sent an angry email to the company accusing them of sexism for not featuring male scientists as well. The two argue and some harsh words are exchanged which leads to Amy storming out.

Later on we see the downside of relying on your sexuality at the workplace. Sheldon runs into a sad sack doctor (played brilliantly by guest star Billy Bob Thorton) in the hallway who has a bouquet of flowers for Penny, who he believes has feelings for him. His reasoning? She winked at him seductively and touched his arm for “two Mississippi’s”. When Leonard explains to Dr. Lorvis that Penny is his fiance, Sheldon invites the disappointed doctor into their apartment for hot beverages.

Penny is not pleased with this development, but does admit to Leonard that she doesn’t wear her engagement ring at work. Leonard takes this admission in stride, which speaks to how strong their relationship has become. He agrees to get Dr. Lorvis out of the apartment, which ends up being a breeze after the doctor, a self proclaimed “urologist to the stars”, invites all the guys to his place to check out his ‘Star Trek’ memorabilia.

Once they arrive, the guys are blown away. His basement is full of arcade games, robots and set pieces from all of their favorite movies. Recognizing their similarities, the doc asks how Leonard ever managed to land a girl like Penny.

“Implacable and relentless badgering,” Sheldon deadpans.

Dr. Lorvis takes this as a sign he has a shot with Penny too and leaves the guys in his basement, locking the door behind him. When he gets to the apartment he runs into Amy who is touched by his confession that he arrived to seek out love. Unfortunately she makes the mistake of touching his arm, causing him to trade his affections. Penny finds the two in the hallway and sets the doc straight, but the girls are alarmed to learn their boyfriends have been locked in the doctors basement.

At episode’s end Penny, Amy and Bernadette burst into the basement to rescue their men. It would have been a nice display of female empowerment, had the guys actually looked up from their intense game of 'Donkey Kong' and taken notice.

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