‘Big Bang Theory’ Recap: The Bigger Man on ‘The Parking Spot Escalation’

Big Bang Theory “Parking Spot Escalation” may have started with a discussion about whether mummies and zombies are the same thing (note: they are not, as everyone agrees but Raj [Kunal Nayyar]). But it evolved into something equally ridiculous but much more funny, and not just because of a few pranks and amazing one-liners. Most of the characters also revealed how they really feel about their friends.

So what’s the big argument? Howard (Simon Helberg) got a new car and the university assigned him to parking space 294. But that can’t be, because that’s Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) space… even if he doesn’t have a car. Since he wasn’t using the spot though, it got reassigned. “I don’t use my nipples, but I still have those,” Sheldon protests, and so begins one of the funniest BBT episodes this season.

After Sheldon takes his protest to the president — after pushing Howard’s car failed to work — he’s told that Wolowitz is a high-profile asset to the university. But for Dr. Cooper that reason just won’t do. So Sheldon decides to take something of Wolowitz’s that he’s not using: his $500 limited edition collectible Iron Man helmet. And so Howard takes Sheldon’s diploma, which Sheldon so cruelly, and hilariously, points out that it’s the “only doctorate” Howard will ever get.

Even the girls contribute to the Big Bang Theory “Parking Spot Escalation.” After Amy (Mayim Bialik) gets her first bikini wax, and is feeling five pounds lighter, she and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) lament that their boys can’t seem to talk about anything else other than the parking spot. That’s their “testosterone-fueled alpha males.”

But then it becomes quite clear that they’ve each sided with their significant others. First, they trade jabs about Howard and Sheldon’s jobs. Sheldon, according to Bernie, hasn’t made a contribution to science. But, according to Amy, you don’t need to be special or qualified to go into space. Cue Penny (Kaley Cuoco) trying to jump in and talk about her first bikini wax that involved a box of crayons. It doesn’t help.

In one of the best moments, Bernadette declares, “I’m sensing some hostility. Maybe because, like Sheldon’s work, your sex life is also theoretical?” That statement means war, and Amy replies, “At least when we do make love, Sheldon won’t be thinking about his mother!”

It only devolves from there into further amazing craziness. Next, Howard sits naked in Sheldon’s spot on the couch. “He wasn’t using it,” Howard explains, “and I needed a cool piece of leather to wiggle my naked ass on.” Then later, “I have to be honest, I thought you’d be more upset that your laptop is sitting on my junk.”

In retribution, Sheldon spray paints over Wolowitz’s name with his own and has Amy park her car there. (And let’s not overlook the moment Amy shows Sheldon what she had done that day in the back of the car. “What do you think?” she asks. “I think you’re high on paint fumes,” Sheldon retorts. “And boy that’s a lot of bandaids.”)

Bernie gets involved again and gets the car towed. This leads to Amy accidentally hitting Penny with her purse — full of her wallet, keys, and a jar of change she meant to take to the bank.

The boys are far from done either. Sheldon attempts to do work with his white board in the parking space — until Howard literally pushes him in his chair with his car bumper. And when Leonard (Johnny Galecki) tries to calm them down, Howard insists, “He can’t handle the fact that I’m a bigger deal than him now.”

Sheldon takes the opportunity and climbs into Howard’s new car and strips naked. “Revenge is a dish best served nude,” he says.

So Howard is done. He’s not going to win by tangling with a “superior intellect,” as Sheldon says. Howard gives up, claiming he never realized how much the spot meant to the “crazy bastard.” But Sheldon can’t let Howard be the “bigger man,” so he says, until he learns to drive — or gets a Batmobile, Howard can have spot 294.

The hatchet is buried, and Bernadette and Amy feel like the whole argument brought them closer together. But Penny might disagree as she serves them at Cheesecake Factory, what with her black eye and broken nose.

That’s not all though. Because of course Sheldon needs to get his beloved couch cushion cleaned by the best dry cleaner in town after that “nude revenge wiggle.” He’s also going to sell his computer, which, in his sales pitch he says, “spent less than 20 minutes on an astronaut’s penis.”

What was your favorite moment or line from Big Bang Theory “Parking Spot Escalation?” The CBS comedy airs on Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST.

Photo credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

© 2012 Elizabeth SanFilippo

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