The Weekend Vortex (The Big Bang Theory)

The guys decide to have a weekend gaming marathon for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Only problem, Sheldon can’t go because he already made plans with Amy and now he has to choose between gaming and his girlfriend. Will he honor his commitment or put his own needs ahead of hers?

Everyone who’s seen the show already knows the answer to that question. However, before I go further into that, I’d like to explain the reason behind this episode. Back when this episode of the Big Bang Theory aired, Star Wars: The Old Republic was a brand-new MMORPG. Big Bang Theory not only starred four geeks but was a huge hit at the time, so it’s only natural that Bioware would advertise their new game through the show. I have to admit, this episode and a recommendation on my review for Star Trek Online actually did sell the game to me. Unfortunately, it’s the only thing they succeeded at. For those of you who haven’t seen this episode, be warned that my review contains spoilers. If you want to go in fresh, then you might want to skip to the last paragraph.

First, I’d like to point out that this episode uses a typical cliché found in sitcoms, someone having to choose between what they have to do and what they want to do. The only show I’ve seen this cliché used successfully on is Boy Meets World where Corey Matthews has to be at Topanga’s Sweet 16 but also has to be at a wrestling match on the same day to help his classmate, Frankie, repair a damaged relationship with his father. Since this episode aired when only the rich could afford cellphones and neither event was about Corey himself, him trying to be at two places at once actually made sense. In this episode, as soon as Leonard, Howard and Raj hear that Sheldon has plans, it doesn’t occur to a single one of them to postpone their weekend gaming marathon to next weekend. However, Sheldon doesn’t exactly suggest that either. He just whines on and on about how Amy is making him go to her aunt’s birthday party instead of letting him have fun with his friends. Something the guy’s mock instead of trying to help by the most obvious solution I pointed out earlier. Sheldon, with the help of wireless technology, does try to implement the be in two places at once solution by going to Amy’s party but still playing the game on his laptop while he’s there. Something Amy understandably doesn’t like. I’ll admit, Amy was being obnoxious when she mocked the game instead of just explaining why Sheldon can’t be there, but it doesn’t make Sheldon’s behavior any better.

Sorry, Sheldon, even the relationship agreement’s against you on this one.

What makes it worse is that, instead of the guys mocking Sheldon for acting like a baby, they repeatedly used the whip sound app to make fun of him for having plans with his girlfriend. Get used to that app because, every time one of the guys does something nice for a woman one of the other guys uses that app. The only one who doesn’t get mocked like this is Raj because, unlike the other three, there’s no woman in his life. However, to make up for it, Raj does get a scene where he brags about how he brought a bunch of low-calorie snacks and beer, so he doesn’t gain any weight. Instead of mocking Raj for being stupid enough to believe you can’t gain weight from pigging out on low-calorie snacks, Leonard mocks him for acting like a stereo-typical woman.

Speaking of the women, while they play a role in this episode their roles are more about their relationship with the boys. As you can see, Amy has the biggest role as her aunt’s party is why Sheldon can’t game with his friends. Especially since Sheldon had agreed to go before Leonard suggested they have the marathon in the first place. Unfortunately, this is something only Amy and Penny point out. Sheldon just whines about how he’s been enslaved and, instead of his friends telling him that he has to go and promising not to start until he gets back, they mock him for it. The only one who has advice is Howard, claiming that Sheldon has to stand up to Amy instead of telling him that, since he agreed to it, he has to go. The rest of the episode is Sheldon whining about this and going so far as to invoke Penny’s help, only for her to turn him down and point out that he has to go. Meanwhile, Howard, despite telling Sheldon that he should stand up to Amy, can’t stand up to Bernadette as she asks to play the game with them. Then Bernadette, as the only woman in the room, gets tasked with being an annoying nuisance as, during their gaming session, she says “pew pew” instead of pressing the blaster key and “whee” instead of pressing the landspeeder key.

While Amy complains about how Sheldon ruined her time at her aunt’s birthday, Bernadette ruins the game for the guys.

As someone who’s played Star Wars: The Old Republic, there is not a specific key for the blaster or the lightsaber. Depending on what character you choose to play, you can press different keys to activate different moves with either a lightsaber or a blaster. As for landspeeders, you can assign your character different ones and press the right key for the landspeeder you want. Bernadette is also the healer of the group, but she only heals Howard to the dismay of the guys. Not just that, but there is a scene where Bernadette brags about a pretty purple robe and makes Howard put on his in favor of stronger armor. Again, as someone who’s played the game, I’ve had to wear ugly armor for the stat benefits. At one point, I had a character who was a member of the Sith species and had to put a red helmet on her. Since my character had red skin, the helmet made her look bald, and I hated it for that, but I had to deal with it until I could find better headgear. Which took a long time, believe me. It’s something Bernadette, as a girly girl, doesn’t realize and her general femininity ruins the game for the boys. As for Amy, we see her excited about finally getting to show Sheldon off to her family despite him making it clear that he would rather be gaming. Finally, after being able to put up with Sheldon’s selfish behavior no longer, Amy tells Sheldon that, if he’d rather play games and humiliate her by making her show up at the party alone, he’d better just go ahead. Sheldon not only chooses his own needs over Amy’s, but he has the nerve to ask Amy to pick up a piece of birthday cake for him!

Amy must have a serious self-esteem problem to not dumb Sheldon after this.

When Amy confronts Sheldon about his behavior, he tries to blow her off with his own personally made coupon book where she can get a grammar check from him or spend the day with him at the California Science Center where he picks out their mistakes. Amy cleverly takes advantage of this by redeeming the California Science Center coupon, making it so Sheldon can’t game with his friends.

Despite Penny being the main woman on the show, she’s the one who has the smallest part to play. First, we see her talking to Leonard, who asks her if it’s okay for him to play video games this weekend, despite them not having any plans, and Penny reassures him that she’s not clingy but plays the part of the clingy girl when he’s disappointed about her nonchalant behavior. I already mentioned how Sheldon tried to convince her to get him out of going to Amy’s party but, later on, Amy goes to Penny for comfort. She does act decent when she tells Amy that opening your heart to someone else can sometimes hurt you. Though her dismissal of Leonard hurting her and her mocking the boys’ interest by saying that there’s no difference between Star Wars and Star Trek was cringy. First, I’d like to take time from this review to point out that I am a woman who is a fan of both and there is a huge difference. Second, as someone who’s seen every episode of this show, I can tell you that Leonard does indeed hurt Penny by telling her that her dream of being an actress won’t come true and, at one point, when Leonard was sent away on business, he kissed another woman. So no, he’s not the perfect guy that the show portrays him as. Penny also gives bad advice to Amy by telling her that she has to make a scene and it will make Sheldon feel so bad that he’ll apologize. Sorry ladies but making a scene doesn’t enforce your boyfriend to behave. It just makes you look crazy, and you give your boyfriend an excuse to label you an irrational basketcase no matter how right you are. In Sex and the City, they even talk about how when a man gets mad, he’s showing righteous fury. When a woman gets mad, she’s out of control even if she’s in the right.

In the end, when Amy does make a rather pathetic scene that leads to the coupon exchange I mentioned earlier, Raj manages to make a successful scene.

While Amy complains about how horrible Sheldon treats her, Raj complains about how horrible the show treats him.

Despite seeing how Amy and Bernadette made Howard and Sheldon’s lives difficult, he whines about how he’s the only one without a girlfriend. Even Sheldon, the one who couldn’t care less about having a girlfriend, managed to get one before he did. That’s right, the white asexual man gets a girlfriend before the man of color, despite said man of color being the best-looking guy in the group. I’d like to call unfortunate implications on this one. In the end, thanks to Raj’s whining about how he wanted things to go back to the way they were before his friends all got girlfriends, Penny takes pity on him and tells Amy to forget the coupon and let the boys have their weekend causing Bernadette to leave as well. Amy’s pain is forgotten, and Sheldon gets exactly what he wants with no compromise.

Before I give my final verdict, I’d like to talk about the popularity of the Big Bang Theory. I even discussed the show with someone on YouTube and learned that the reason for its popularity was because it was an incel fantasy. For those of you who don’t know, incel stands for involuntary celibacy and the group for them started as a way for people to meet and improve themselves so they could be in relationships. Unfortunately, while this had good intentions, the group got dominated by men who used it to express their bitterness towards women and handsome men and blame them for everything rather than trying to improve themselves as people. This episode itself is the perfect demonstration of the incel mindset as we see Amy not only try to prevent Sheldon from doing what he wants to do but Bernadette enforcing herself on Howard’s guy time. In the case of Amy and Sheldon, I have pointed out that this issue could’ve been solved by the boys agreeing to postpone the marathon to next weekend or at least wait until Sheldon gets back from the party. Instead, they start without him and Sheldon abandons Amy to do what he wants. When I pointed this out on YouTube, I got a response from a die-hard Sheldon fan that he would also rather play video games than go to his girlfriend’s aunt’s birthday party. I am going to say in this review what I said to him. When you have a significant other and you agree to go to an event with them, you have an obligation to go with them. You can’t abandon that obligation because something you would rather do came up. Instead, you work around it by getting together with your friends and scheduling another time to go. That game will still be there in the future, and I know because it’s still here today. Bernadette, on the other hand, acts as a clingy stereotype about how women can’t be without men for a few seconds. Hate to break it to you guys, but you are not the center of our world. We need a break from you just like you need a break from us. If you have an obligation to your friends before us, we’ll understand. However, if you made an obligation to us before your friends, we expect you to keep it and it’s not because we’re trying to enslave you. We are not trophies, we’re social obligations that you need to make time for just like we need to make time for you.

This episode has some funny moments, and it was cool to see bits of Star Wars: The Old Republic on the computers, but it doesn’t make up for its utter sexism. At the end, Sheldon gets everything while Amy gets nothing because, apparently, a perfect girlfriend is someone who lets you do whatever you want without expecting a single thing from you. I give this episode a 5 out of 10; enjoyable and a good advertisement for The Old Republic but the blatant sexism ruined it. Do you agree with me? Let me know in the comments and feel free to request a review in them as well, send it to my email, or send it to me on Discord at suburbantimewaster#8733.

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