|Writers||Dave Goetsch (Story), David Litt (Teleplay), Robert Cohen (Teleplay)|
|Starring||Erin Allin O'Reilly as Cheryl, Brian Patrick Wade as Kurt, Rachel Cannon as Patty, Kimberly Kevon Williams as Vicki, Cynthia Holloway as Roberta|
|Air Date||29 October 2007|
Season 1, Episode 6 (0106)
Leonard, Sheldon, Wolowitz and Koothrappali undertake a challenging and risky experiment--attending the Halloween party being thrown by their hot neighbor, Penny.
(full synopsis, edited from Wikipedia):
The guys are invited to Penny's Halloween party, ("A 'boy-girl' party?") first turning it down as they "don't dance" but changing their mind when costumes are mentioned ("Gentlemen, to the sewing machines!").
Once at the party, only Wolowitz and Leonard attempt to socialize, with mixed success. Penny's ex-boyfriend Kurt shows up and humiliates Leonard, causing him to leave. Penny goes to check on him and apologizes. Drunk and upset, she kisses Leonard, but he doesn't take advantage of her, pointing out the obvious reasons as to why she's doing it. Penny says he's sweet and wonders why more men can't be like him, with Leonard replying, "Because the human race wouldn't survive". Penny goes to leave and kisses him once more in the doorway.
I. Stairs – Sunday morning
- The boys discuss their dismal failure at paintball.
Theme song and titles
II. Living room, Saturday, about 6 pm
- The guys each turn up wearing a Flash costume ("...we could walk right behind each other all night and look like one person going really fast!")
III. Living room, 7 pm
- The guys come back, this time in different costumes
IV. hallway and Penny’s apartment, 7.05 pm
- The guys go across the hall to the party, but they're quite early, not realizing that people don't actually show up at the time specified
V. Penny’s apartment, at least an hour later
- Party in full swing; Howard tries to make a move on one girl, Sheldon and Leonard try to talk to another girl.
VI. Penny’s apartment, some time later
- Party still going strong, Sheldon and Leonard are still trying to find things to talk about to the other guests.
- Kurt shows up, Leonard tries stand up to him, but Kurt embarrasses Leonard.
- Leonard and Sheldon leave the party.
VII. Living room
- Sheldon does his best to offer tea and sympathy, then heads off to bed.
- Penny comes in, drunk, to apologize for Kurt's behavior and kisses Leonard, who lets her off the hook by blaming it on the fact that she's drunk, and doesn't take advantage of her.
VIII. Living Room – some hours later
- Howard knocks on the door, looking for Raj.
IX. Cheryl's Bedroom
- Raj gets lucky.
This episode takes place on two days in October, 2007. We can make some guesses as to what dates those were:
- A Sunday about a week and a half before Halloween, which would be 21 October. We can guess that it's Sunday because the boys play paint ball on the weekends (0206), but if this had been Saturday, Penny would have said "I'm having a party next Saturday", but she says "I'm having a party on Saturday".
- The following Saturday, which would be 27 October. Halloween itself was on the next Wednesday. It's possible that these dates would each be one week later, which would mean that Penny held her party after Halloween. This seems somewhat less likely, so we'll go with the 21st and the 27th.
Comments & Trivia
This episode marks the second small step toward a romance between Penny and Leonard. While last episode we only see an enigmatic smile from Penny which suggests that she is interested in Leonard, here we see her kiss him. Much more importantly, however, we see evidence of Leonard's true caring about Penny, which is set off against Howard's ridiculous attempts to pick up women and also against Raj's "getting lucky" simply because he doesn't talk. Leonard reads the situation with Penny correctly (although he misses the deeper meaning), that she is kissing him more because she's drunk and feels bad than because she's genuinely interested, and gently refuses to take advantage of her. What he doesn't see -- and we do -- is that her actions and her comments actually demonstrate the beginnings of genuine feelings for Leonard. Penny realises from his actions that his interest in her is not like that of other guys', represented by Howard, and that Leonard is someone special. Of course, nerds the world over have cringed at hearing that "all guys should be more like you" from an attractive woman who then goes off with the handsome stud anyway. Leonard has only the vaguest idea that she might just choose him over guys like Kurt.
Another important theme in this episode is that of friendship. Penny discovers honest and true caring from Leonard, true. Leonard himself is shown true friendship and caring from Sheldon, not only in Sheldon's timid but true "backup" during the confrontation with Kurt (telling Kurt forcefully "He's a HOBBIT!" (and then to Leonard) "I got your back...") but also -- and more importantly -- in bringing Leonard a cup of tea ("When people are upset, the cultural convention is to bring them hot beverages") and then trying awkwardly to comfort Leonard (with a pat on the shoulder and a stilted "There there..."). As the series progresses, we get less and less of this kind of interaction, unfortunately, and we see an emphasis on the fact that Sheldon is not only incapable of being a friend, he offends and annoys everyone around him. This is changing toward the end of the second season, thankfully.
The music playing during Penny's party is "Mama's Room" by Under the Influence of Giants.
"Middle-Earth" is a reference to Leonard dressing up as Frodo Baggins for Penny's Halloween party.
The word 'paradigm' in this case can be defined as a world view, as in [a] "set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them...". In this episode, we see the juxtaposition of two paradigms or 'world views': Penny's paradigm, represented by the party with typical twenty-somethings drinking and socialising, and Leonard's, which in reference to his costume can be described as a 'Middle-Earth Paradigm'. In this episode, then, we see these two paradigms colliding ... and Penny's view of her world beginning to shift just slightly toward Leonard.