|Writers||Nicole Lorre (Story), Steven Molaro (Teleplay), Eric Kaplan (Teleplay)|
|Starring||Mark Hames as Tom, Tyler J. Olson as Blaine|
|Air Date||6 October 2008|
Season 2, Episode 3 (0203)
Sheldon becomes distracted from playing Age of Conan by Penny who has accidentally attempted to use her car keys to open her apartment door. Sheldon learns that Penny is frustrated by her failures in life, specifically her not getting into any of parts despite auditioning over and over, not having sex for six months, not receiving a raise at work, and, on her way up the stairs, swallowing a fly. Sheldon invites her into his apartment to wait until the locksmith arrives to open her door.
Penny becomes curious about the game Sheldon is playing and he shows her how to play. Penny quickly becomes addicted, much to Leonard's shock when he comes home ("Sheldon, you wanna catch me up?"). The guys try to help her regain her sanity by talking to her, meeting her online inside the game, and so on, but she's gone off the deep end. She is pestering Sheldon constantly for help with the game, which is driving him crazy. He can't seem to stop her from calling him and even coming into his bedroom in the dead of night to ask him questions ("No one comes into my bedroom!").
Sheldon decides to be tricky -- not his strong suit -- and so he registers her with an online dating service. A guy turns up to be her date, but she walks into the room in sweats, hair dishevelled, covered in Cheetos, and demanding help with her game. The guy is turned off ("Sorry, dudes, she doesn't look ANYTHING like her picture!").
She doesn't realise how far she's fallen until she finds herself meeting Howard in the online game world and accepting an offer of a drink at a nearby virtual tavern. In shock, she closes the laptop and says "Oh my God, I need help!"
I. Living room
II. hallway in front of apartments
Titles and opening theme
III. Living room
IV. hallway in front of apartments
V. Living room
VI. Living room
VII. Sheldon's bedroom, at night
VIII. hallway outside of Sheldon's bedroom
IX. office of Eric Gablehauser
X. Living room
XII. virtual world of Age of Conan
XII. Living room
XIII. virtual world of Age of Conan
XIV. Penny's apartment
- Penny is shocked and realises she needs help.
This episode most likely starts on a Sunday if we assume that Penny went up to level 25 within 24 hours (which she is by Monday night). Sheldon and Leslie fight on Thursday when Leonard tries to talk to Penny. Sheldon sets up Penny's dating profile at least one day later and ends at least another day later when Sheldon's attempts to set Penny up on a date fail and she realises she needs help.
For the purpose of our "real world" time line, we could assume that all events take place within a week, from Sunday to the following Sunday.
While the previous episodes -- Bad Fish Paradigm and Codpiece Topology -- took place within a week or two of last year's season finale (therefore May or early June of 2008), this episode takes place about six months later, in October. We know this because Penny says in the opening scene that she hasn't had sex in six months, and we know that her relationship with Mike (April and May 2008) was very physical. Just an interesting note: Although Penny and Leonard haven't been going out and Penny has dated other guys since, she hasn't had a physical relationship, which is a bit of a change in character for her ("You're asking the wrong girl. I'm usually on the OTHER side of the tie!" (0106)).
'Sublimation' is a change in the physical state of a substance from solid to gaseous without transitioning through a liquid state. In this episode, we see Penny transition from her normal non-geek self straight through to being a 'barbarian' -- a totally-obsessed, Cheetos-haired, energy-drink-chugging, burping online fantasy gamer -- all in one go.
Sheldon's Interesting Facts
- Penny's door has a Baldwin Lock which uses edge mounted cylinder system.
- Penny's Volkswagen uses a center cylinder system for its lock.
- The American Midwest was mostly settled by Scandinavian and Germanic people.
- Insects are a dietary staple in many cultures.
- Insects are almost pure protein.
- Corn starch and water, when mixed together, forms Non-Newtonian fluid, which is a liquid but solid under the percussive action of a speaker.