TV Show Review

TV Review: THE BIG BANG THEORY: Season 8, Episode 20: The Fortification Implementation [CBS]

jim parsons mayim bialik the big bang theory the fortification implementation

CBS The Big Bang Theory The Fortification Implementation TV Show Review. The Big Bang Theory, Season 8, Episode 20: The Fortification Implementation saw separate story lines as the show’s producers like to do, and this time the writers and actors kept all three balls juggling in the air quite well.

Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy (Mayim Bialik) are sharing a boring evening home together having dinner with Sheldon as usual complaining about his exclusion from a scientific symposium, hoping an asteroid will hit the house where it is being held. Sheldon questions why people shun him?

“Because you’re a pain in the ass,” Amy surmises.

“You’re just saying that to make me feel better,” Sheldon responds.

Sheldon then shows Amy a computer-copied image of his face grinning to show her he can be happy.

Just what is it that brings Sheldon and Amy together? Not sex. They’ve never had it. It’s loneliness. Shared loneliness. Sheldon is often a pompous bore with an inferiority complex coupled with delusions of grandeur. In his world, nothing is ever good enough to satisfy his image of himself although when the chips are down he has a good heart. Compare his prudish martinet character to that of Amy, a dowdy loner who led a childhood deprived of affection and acceptance from peers, a psychological leper of sorts, but in whose world-weary sadness exists a brutal sort of realist, and who unlike Sheldon, has her feet planted squarely in the symbolic manure of life—-always with the hope it will get better.

That Sheldon will finally see reason and sleep with her.

But not on this episode. They remain the perfect unfulfilled couple.

The two decide to return to Sheldon’s childhood by building a fort of blankets in the living room.

Meanwhile Penny (Kaley Cuoco) is being podcast interviewed by Wil Wheaton on her acting career and the few forgettable parts in the trash movies in which she has played including the no-doubt inspirational film “Monkey See, Monkey Kill” (This writer was in a movie just as bad, “It Lives Again,” about a devil baby that eats people).

Wheaton, known to viewers as the character Wesley Crusher on the Star Trek series, manages to steal the humor from most of this scene. When Leonard (Johnny Galecki) shows up and sits in on the interview and begins to comment on Penny’s desire to make other films, Wheaton milks their over-the-air quibbling for all its worth.

“Okay, so you’re a fiancee who believes women shouldn’t have dreams,” Wheaton announces dryly to his audience, then sadistically adds salt into the wound after Penny announces she makes more money than the surprised Leonard by saying, “Let’s listen to a really fun fight.”

Kevin Smith, a real-life director as well as actor, provides the off-screen voice of a film director attempting during the podcast to lure Penny into another celluloid clunker.

The series also marked the debut of Matt Bennett as the younger brother of Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg), who shows up at Howard’s house out of the blue after the death of Howard’s mother. He announces to the shocked Howard that he is his long unknown, younger brother. Remember old jungle movies where the two long-separated twins shared half of the same amulet worn around their necks and the natives saw the reunited couple and rejoiced and called them both king? You don’t remember that?

That’s okay. They should have done it here (the let’s compare our amulets bit) just for the fun of it.

What little humor there is in the reunion scene between the brothers as Bennett plays it very straight so there isn’t much comic we can say about him at this point—-is scraped off by Raj (Kunal Nayyar). Raj is the Indian equivalent of Sheldon, and his appeal has always been listening to his clipped Indo-English witticisms. “You can rip out a wall,” Raj advises Bernadette (Melissa Rauch), telling her how to remodel her place, “and install an indoor fire pit.”

In the end Sheldon and Amy decide to spend the night together in a platonic PG-rated manner and Amy reveals she has deposited her overnight stay supplies in every room just in case the relationship ever turns epidermal.

This episode was pretty good, managing to combine some human pathos with funny stuff. The weakest of the three simultaneous scenes (the brothers reunion) managed to almost keep up with the other two plots.

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About the author

John Sammon

John Sammon is a writer whose experience includes newspaper reporting, magazine writing, personality profiles, interviews, celebrity interviews (Clint Eastwood), historical pieces, investigative and crime. He was selected “Most Valuable Reporter” for California’s oldest continually operating newspaper, and covered the weekend crime beat for a daily newspaper in Nevada. If you beat your wife on Friday, he wrote about it and got you in deep trouble on Saturday.

He covered the Nevada brothel beat and did stories on wild horses. The publication of his investigative pieces led to a dishonest political candidate withdrawing from a statewide elective campaign, while another politician unsuccessfully sued him because he didn’t like an article Mr. Sammon produced. His articles led to government reforms, including a school district performing its first-ever financial audit, and a Nevada State Law rolling back home heating oil prices for fixed-income seniors who depended on it.

Mr. Sammon is also a humor writer of the website Sammonsays, a professional script writer, an actor and member of the Screen Actor’s Guild, a film narrator for the California State Parks system, a standup comedian, and the author of three novels and one nonfiction book.

He worked in his spare time with sick and wounded animals at the SPCA.

Mr. Sammon's latest book, "Sammon Says: Exposing American Empire," a compilation of over 100 political opinion columns written over several years and recounting America's involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, was released in October 2013 by Dictus Publishing of Germany.

He is working on a new historical romance novel.

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