The Big Bang Theory Recap: Season 8, Episode 4: The Hook Up Reverberation

The plot thickens: will the boys invest in Stuart’s comic book shop: will the girls accept Emily? Will the girls let the boys invest in Stuart’s store?

bb openerThe episode opens with Howard, Leonard, and Sheldon sitting at their traditional table in the cafeteria. Leonard mentions research trying to use chickens and dinosaur DNA to create a chicken dinosaur. Sheldon fully applauds the research, despite being afraid of both dinosaurs and chickens, because he thinks the resulting food would be delicious. Unstated is Sheldon’s very particularly food likes, dislikes, and schedules. Too late to join in the dinochicken discussion, Raj enters and conforms that they’ll be getting together the next night to meet his girlfriend, Emily, someone who Sheldon and Howard have already met. Sheldon points out that research shows that when someone gains a significant other, they tend to lose two friends in the process and wonders which two friends Raj will lose because of Emily. Questioned by Howard about his reading social science literature, Sheldon explains that it makes for light bathroom reading. When Raj pushes back noting that Sheldon didn’t lose any friends when he met Amy, Sheldon explains it only refers to romantic partners and Leonard explains that even when Sheldon and Amy are engaged in traditional romantic behavior, there’s nothing romantic about it.

bb new girlfriendFollowing the first commercial, the group is sitting in the living room, eating (because there is a lot of eating on The Big Bang Theory). When Amy asks if Stuart is still living with Howard’s Mom, Howard complains that his mother has finally gotten cable, again treating Stuart better than she ever treated Howard. It is clear that Bernadette is getting tired of listening to Howard’s jealousy regarding Stuart. Raj and Emily enter (as an aside, this is the second girl named Emily Raj has dated, the previous one being the deaf gold digger from the season 5 episode “The Wiggly Finger Catalyst”). He introduces this Emily to Leonard and Penny (ignoring Amy, who also has not previously met Emily). Emily greets Leonard warmly, but is very cool towards Penny. Raj defensively points out that Emily does, in fact exist and the conversation turns to her job as a dermatologist. Bernadette suggests that Emily let Penny practice her new position as a drug rep with Emily, who agrees to the experiment. Of course, everything is all about Sheldon, who mentions some odd freckles on his buttocks and he asks if he can make an appointment, causing Amy to complain that he has gotten chummy with Emily pretty quickly.

bb three women 2Later, Bernadette, Amy, and Penny are in Penny’s apartment and Penny says that she has the feeling that Emily doesn’t like her, which she finds a strange experience, since she has always been liked (or at least is unaware of the people who dislike her). This contrasts with Amy’s experience of generally being disliked and an outsider.

bb comic shiopMeanwhile, the boys are at Jesse’s comic book store (last seen in season 7’s “The Occupation Recalibration”) with Sheldon complaining about the comic book store since it isn’t Stuart’s. Howard agrees with Sheldon, but Leonard calls him on it, explaining that Howard’s complaints don’t ring true, because unlike Sheldon, Howard isn’t an 80 year old man in a 15 year old’s t-shirt. Howard admits that his dislike of Stuart’s comic store is more due to his jealousy of Stuart. Raj explains that Stuart may not re-open his store because the insurance company isn’t coming through with the money. Leonard suggests that the four of them could invest in Stuart’s comic book store. And they all get exciting about the prospect.

bb pennyPenny, meanwhile shows up at Emily’s office with coffee. Her nerves about her trial run and her fear that Emily doesn’t like her clearly makes Penny nervous until she starts her sales pitch, although her uncomfortable jokes about contraceptives shows that she still isn’t entirely at ease. Emily is working on something else, clearly disinterested, and Penny comes out and asks why Emily has a problem with her. Emily reveals that Raj has told her that she and Penny had a hook up (in the season 4 finale, “The Roommate Transmogrification”). Penny is upset that Raj told Emily about it and doesn’t think of it as a hookup.

bb raj penny2Raj, Howard, and Sheldon decide that in order to bring kids into their comic book store they can provide transportation, completely oblivious to the creepiness of their suggestion, even after Leonard points it out, along with the sarcastic suggestion, gleefully accepted, that they could also lure children into the van with promises of free candy as well as transportation to the comic book store. Penny storms in, complaining that Raj told Emily about their hookup and Raj points out that he actually tells everyone about it. Penny’s anger at Raj makes Sheldon happy that the Oxford study he mentioned in the cold open has proven correct and wonders who else will break off their friendship with Raj. Raj, clearly annoyed with Sheldon’s perpetual insensitivity, notes that Sheldon will be the next to go, a concept Sheldon scoffs at since he views himself as so adorable.

bb three womenThe three women are drinking wine in Penny’s apartment trying to figure out how to make Emily like her. Amy suggests that if Penny just hangs around and acts like a friend, she might eventually become friends. Penny dismisses the idea as ludicrous. Bernadette suggests that Penny uses her sales training to promote herself instead of drugs or food. And suddenly, a light goes on over Penny’s head as she realizes that she didn’t initially like Amy, but has grown to see her as a friend.

bb lenoard penny bb howard bernadette bb sheldon amyBack at Jesse’s store, Sheldon and Howard begin to really like the idea of owning their own store. Leonard, meanwhile is obsessing about Penny’s list of sexual partners and Sheldon points out that she was so promiscuous that she must have left people off their list. Howard says that complete honesty isn’t always the way to go, which Sheldon ties in to his own relationship with Amy. When Leonard asked Sheldon why he was participating in the conversation about relationships, Sheldon points out that if he had a fiancé or a wife, he would talk to them about investing in a comic book store before actually doing it, a thought that hadn’t occurred to Leonard or Howard.

And so Leonard mentions the investment idea to Penny, who doesn’t understand at first why Leonard would ask her. When he points out that since they are engaged, they should start discussing major finance issues, and Penny realizes that she might have to disclose her “massive credit card debt” to Leonard. Bernadette, of course, is less than thrilled about Howard’s idea, rejecting it even before he can describe it. Howard tries to change her mind by bringing up his missing father, but Bernadette sees through his story. The scene is shot so that one of the wine glasses on the dinner table is in the middle of the shot, looking large enough to easily hold a pint of wine. And Sheldon brings it up with Amy, setting her expectations before telling her about the investment. Aware that Sheldon wants her to approve of the idea, Amy tries to get him to see why someone wouldn’t think it a great idea, an impossible task given Sheldon’s self-centeredness.

bb raj pennyRaj and Emily swing by Penny’s so that they can clear the air and Emily apologizes. Raj, however, manages to make the apology quite awkward. Penny and Emily agree to put things behind them and they complement each other on their appearances, leading to more awkward and inappropriate comments by Raj.

bb stewartHoward and Bernadette visit Stuart at Howard’s mom’s house, which is almost derailed by Stuart’s possessiveness of Howard’s mom’s house. When Bernadette explains that the boys are thinking about putting up money towards re-opening the store, but with some stipulations, Stuart reveals, much to Howard’s consternation, that Howard’s mother has already offered to front the money. When Howard runs upstairs to confront his mother, Stuart tells Bernadette that Howard mother is not even home, instead out at Target buying him shirts.

penny doorRaj and Emily leave Penny’s apartment with tentative plans to have dinner with Penny and Leonard. In a shot that shows the wall of Penny’s apartment dividing the two women, after Penny closes the door, they both announce that they hate each other.

bb loungingThe boys are sitting around reading comics, complaining that without being able to own the comic book store, they won’t have a quiet place to sit around and read comics in peace, even as they are describing reading comics at Leonard and Sheldon’s apartment. And given how frequently the boys denigrate Aquaman, it is good to see Leonard reading an Aquaman comic in the scene.

Although there is the possibility that the four will buy a comic book shop, their investment could really be in just about any business that appeals to juveniles for the jokes to work in the episode. The writers really didn’t try to come up with specific jokes to play off of the purchase of that particular type of business.

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