Big Bang Returns! Season 3, Episode 1 "The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation" Review - Featured

Last night was everything all-new on CBS, including the 3rd season premiere of The Big Bang Theory!

Because of how strong the show's 2nd season was, I've started to hold the show up to vastly higher standards than I used to, so...while the episode was in no way a bad one, I found it to be - an ok episode.

You might laugh at me, but I think my biggest point of contention with the "The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation" is that for a show that prides itself on its geek humor and general geek accuracy...I found it entirely implausible that the guys would allow Sheldon to run with the fake data. As someone with both family and friends in the scientific community, I feel inclined to comment that releasing into the scientific world fake data is like...the biggest sin imaginable in that field (even though Sheldon later retracted it and it was never his fault to begin with). It could be reputation and even career ruining.

Thus, throughout the whole episode, all I found myself thinking was...this is just a way meaner prank than they are leading us to believe, and frankly, I refuse to believe that these guys that we've come to know and love - Leonard, Wolowitz and Raj - would do something like that to Sheldon, no matter how obnoxious Sheldon was behaving.

That point aside, the fake data debacle did give us hilarious reason to visit Sheldon's roots in Texas when he went crawling back to his mother...and who ever would have guessed that Sheldon comes from a conservative, non-evolution believing family? Comedic gold!

Also - though I've always said that I find the Leonard/Penny relationship to be among the show's less interesting plot points - I applaud the show for finally seemingly moving forward with that relationship. We've tired with so many other shows lately will all of their 'will they/won't they' hype (Bones, House, to name a few) - many of which turned out to be giant teases in their season finales. Of course, since Leonard and Penny having sex turned out to be "weird" (and was it really because they were friends, or will it turn out that it was more so because the sex was bad?), it's unclear how long the relationship will last. I'm hoping it isn't an immediate bust, or we might be back right where we started!

Some great quotes and gags per usual from the episode. I particularly liked:

-The facial hair!

-Wolowitz: "Sheldon. You remember the first few weeks; we were looking for magnetic monopoles and not finding anything, and you were acting like an obnoxious, giant dictator?"

Raj: "I thought we were going to be gentle with him."

Wolowitz: "That's why I added the 'tator.'"

-Penny's ability to reference the Star Trek movie in conversation. I've said this before too...the show has gradually made Penny - less dumb - and I think that was absolutely the right move. I never really believed that Leonard would have been interested in the old Penny of early season 1. Hot as she may be, you'd think Leonard would want to date someone that he could hold some form of conversation with - even if it isn't about physics - and Penny has slowly evolved into a character capable of doing that.

What did you think of the Big Bang premiere episode?

Watch The Big Bang Theory Season 3, Episode 1 "The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation" Online Now


Default avatar cat
Sep 22, 2009 11:01PM EDT

I totally agree!!
Messing up with someone's career? that was a really douchey thing to do, I mean, that's ruining someone's life (goals, dreams, etc).
I didn't really liked the episode.

Large monkey
Sep 23, 2009 7:52AM EDT

I agree. If the show hadn't previously set itself up as "geek accurate" I probably wouldn't have cared but even beyond the Sheldon fallout, Raj, Wolowitz, and Leonard activly falsified data on a major grant project. Their careers are OVER.

Default avatar cat
Sep 23, 2009 9:04AM EDT

Erm.. No offense but wich big bang theory show did u watch in the past?The knowledge that sheldons mother is very very religious has been clear since the first season.Seeing u have friends and relatives in the scientific community,or so u claim ,i believe u would already know that religion is a way of limiting great minds,as is their denial of the evolution theory

Default avatar cat
Sep 23, 2009 9:05AM EDT

Oh right,sorry for the bump,but i do agree that their trick was very dirty but in the end sheldons presence and no where to escape might drive me to more insane things then ruining his career

Default avatar cat
Sep 23, 2009 11:01AM EDT

totally agree will all point rachel. i completely missed out on this great show for the first 1.5 seasons so when i finally came out of the dark, i watched it all on sidereel. was so funny i couldn't stop watching and caught up on season one and first half of season 2 in a couple of weeks. LOVED IT!! i've been waiting all summer for the new season and was a little disappointed in the episode. yes, there were some very funny lines and i love the fact that they brought in sheldon's mom again. keep the rosanne characters acomin!!the penny/leonard thing took me by surprise because i assumed that the show would follow suit with all other shows and drag this thing out for another season.still looking forward to next week but i hope they up the hilarity ante :)

Default avatar cat
Sep 26, 2009 4:01PM EDT

i think your all reading WAY too much into this.
sit back, relax and just enjoy the comedy of the show. its one of the funniest shows ive seen in ,my life.
your acting like its real life.

Default avatar cat
Oct 26, 2009 12:54PM EDT

I do agree that what the guys did to Sheldon was a bit harsh and that their apology didn't seem to be enough either, BUT the problem is that we could not see how Sheldon was acting during those three months. We just have to imagine three months of living with Sheldon (being in charge, no less) in the middle of nowhere and no way to escape. Unfortunately, without seeing it, it makes the guys seem uncharacteristically cruel.
Plus, the guys kept the original data and findings and no false data was actually published. All Sheldon did was send out an email saying that his findings would change things, but no official publishing had been sent out at that point. I do believe that Sheldon could have destroyed the other guys' careers if he had wanted, because tinkering with an experiment that cost a lot of money is not only frowned upon but is unethical and career-ending.

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