There comes a time when all groups of friends need some new blood to freshen up their routines. For the Big Bang gang, that meant a surprise guest-appearance by Billy Bob Thornton, and it resulted in an instant classic episode of the series.
BBT played Oliver Lorvis, “doctor to the stars’ urinary tracts,” and he carries James Cameron’s kidney stone in a tiny glass vial on his key chain to prove it. Dr. Lorvis shows up at Penny’s door with a bouquet of roses and an “unnecessarily graphic” note, hoping to woo his pharmaceutical sales rep after she winked at him and touched his arm for “two Mississippis” (“one Mississippi, two Mississippi”).
Dr. Lorvis bonds with Sheldon on his walk up the stairs to Penny’s pad, and Sheldon — after a brief rebuke of Leonard for forgetting the extra peanut sauce he requires for his takeout dinner — gives his roomie the heads up that Dr. Lorvis is about to put the moves on Leonard’s fiancée.
Leonard confronts Lorvis (wouldn’t that be a great first name?) before Penny answers her door, and both men get surprises: Leonard tells Lorvis Penny is engaged, so he must have misread her behavior as flirtatious. Nope, says the doc: She two-Mississippied him, and he never saw her wearing an engagement ring. Both men are upset, which means, of course, that Sheldon offers them hot beverages.
While Lorvis is in the guys’ apartment enjoying his hot tea, he shares tales of his celebrity urology adventures, which includes a vasectomy for Gene Roddenberry (which netted him an original Phaser from Star Trek), a bladder infection for William Shatner (who gave him what is either a Tribble or a toupee), and the aforementioned Cameron kidney-stone project (for which he was gifted a Terminator). Those are but a few of the treasures in his expansive collection, and by the time Sheldon asks, “What other celebrity genitalia have you handled?” it’s clear Dr. Lorvis has managed to woo someone(s) in the building.
Meanwhile, Penny comes in, sees Lorvis, and has some explaining to do to Leonard, and the explanation is, basically, “Yeah, I flirt with doctors and pretend to be single to make more sales.” On the other hand, Leonard soon rushes off with the guys to visit the home of the somewhat-creepy, somewhat-charming doc who kinda stalked his fiancé, so it could be considered a wash as to which member of the couple is lamer in this particular scenario.
Upon arriving at Casa Lorvis (wouldn’t that be a great restaurant name?), Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj are wowed by the doc’s nerd nirvana, a basement full of goodies like the Terminator, a Superman movie costume, a Donkey Kong video game, Indiana Jones’s hat, Hellboy’s gun, and that pricey iguana palace. It’s also revealed that Oliver’s mother lives with him (or vice versa), which the most self-unaware man in the world, Howard, mocks.
Even in a pop-culture paradise (“Leonard, I was wrong. Heaven does exist, and it’s in the basement of a urologist’s house in Sherman Oaks,” Sheldon declares), Sheldon can’t help but poke fun at Leonard, from comparing his oddly shaped body and pursuit of Penny to the plot of Donkey Kong, to sharing with Lorvis the running gag that Leonard and Penny don’t have longevity as a couple.
Lorvis sees that as his opening to lock the fellas in his playroom and head off, with another bouquet of roses, to try his luck with Penny again. While entering the apartment building, he meets Amy, and by the time they’ve climbed those stairs to Apartment 4B and she’s touched his back, the doctor has a bad case of crushin’ on Amy Farrah Fowler. (“You want what I want,” he tells her. “We had two wonderful Mississippis.”)
In the less fun part of the episode, Bernadette tells her friends a magazine wants to include her on their list of the 50 sexiest female scientists in California. Penny encourages her, but Amy tells her it’s degrading, that she should be celebrated for her professional accomplishments instead of her beauty. Bernie rethinks her participation in the article, but it’s moot, because the magazine cancels the whole thing. Seems Ms. Fowler sent them a strongly worded email about the inappropriateness of ranking female scientists by their sexuality, but despite her assertion that “Amy saves the day,” Bernadette sees it as a jealousy move.
“I think you don’t like people expressing their sexuality because no one wants you to express yours,” Bernadette says, prompting a hurt Amy to gasp and flee. “Please don’t go,” Bernadette yells after her. “Up until my vicious attack, you were the one in the wrong.”
Vicious, indeed, and the matter goes unresolved by episode’s end. Bernadette has some serious making up to do to her friend, but, minor spoiler alert, next week’s prom-themed episode includes a romantic Shamy moment that may prove Bernadette wrong, anyway.
- Give it up to CBS for keeping the Billy Bob guest-stint largely a surprise. No small thing these social-media days.
- Bernadette, explaining why there would be a sexiest-female-scientists magazine article, but not one for sexiest male scientists: "No one wants to see Neil deGrasse Tyson in a wet T-shirt bent over the hood of a Porsche."
- Except in a mock-up photo in Chuck Lorre’s vanity card for the episode (yep, he’s still doing 'em).
- Dr. Lorvis: “Welcome to my Fortress of Solitude. This is where I go to get away from … all my other solitude.”
- Word is that Thornton is interested in another TV series to follow up his Emmy-nominated performance on Fargo. “The Misinterpretation Agitation” suggests he should seriously consider making it a comedy. His deadpan delivery as the nerdy doc with a lack of social skills that makes Sheldon look outgoing and lack of dating savvy that makes Howard look like a lothario was Emmy-worthy itself.
- Sheldon: "Deliverymen are the unsung foot soldiers of our nation's commerce.”
Dr. Lorvis: “I’m not a deliveryman. Although I do often deliver alarming biopsy results to my patients.”
Sheldon: “That’s humorous.”
Dr. Lorvis: “Alright.”
Sheldon: “I bet you leave your patients in stitches. That was also humorous.”
Dr. Lorvis: “Alright.”
Sheldon: “Are you bringing flowers to a patient to cushion the blow of a terminal diagnosis?” [Dr. Lorvis laughs] “That wasn’t a joke.”
Dr. Lorvis: “Alright.”
- Yet another week without interaction between Raj and his girlfriend Emily. Is that the secret to their relationship? She wasn’t even mentioned this week.
- Dr. Lorvis: “Would you like to see Tobey Maguire’s prostate sonogram? Spoiler alert: He was worried about nothing.”
- How did a guy like Leonard get a girl like Penny, Lorvis asks. Sheldon: “Implacable, relentless badgering … in urology terms, he was a drug-resistant staph infection, and she was a urethra that could not shake him."
- Penny: “Dr. Lorvis, I did not mean to lead you on.”
- Dr. Lorvis (in my favorite line of the network-TV season thus far, delivered in the same tone as Ralph Wiggum’s “I bent my Wookiee”): “You touched my arm for two Mississippis.”