The Wife:

In regards to the title, am I to assume that Euclid is the alternative to Sheldon’s normal routine, or is it addressing the alternative to Euclid?

Whatever. It doesn’t really matter. Most of these titles only marginally make sense and, I think, are worded in such an obtuse way to make them sound smarter than they really are.

Frankly, when you tease me with Euclid, I was hoping for some hardcore geometry, but no, we got an episode that over-exposed Sheldon’s neuroses to the point where I feel they were no longer funny. I suppose that’s the point, as Sheldon’s aversion to taking speed-bump-laden Euclid Ave. to work is so strong that his constant chattering to distract himself from the speedbumps drives all of his friends batshit crazy. As if they weren’t annoyed enough that he spent the episode mooching rides off of them because his dependence on Leonard’s car was interrupted by Leonard working the night shift at the lab in order to use some fancy laser.

Can you drive me to Pottery Barn so that I can return my Star Wars sheets?

Can you drive me to Pottery Barn so that I can return my Star Wars sheets?

Eventually, taking a cue from last week’s How I Met Your Mother, the gang stages as Sheldontervention to get him to learn how to drive, an activity Sheldon believes he is too highly evolved to participate in. He quibbles with the DMV’s paper test, stating that a car length is not a standardized unit of measurement in what amounts to a less-interesting and more geekified version of a George Carlin routine (may he rest in peace), so annoying the stereotypical Angry Black DMV Lady that she immediately gives him a learner’s permit just to get him to leave.

At home, Wallowitz hooks Sheldon up with his latest software invention, a driving simulator to train soldiers in Iraq and points beyond how to drive large combat vehicles, but also serves nicely as drivers training for other purposes. Sheldon fails hardcore at the simulator and murders hundreds in his attempts to learn to drive. Alas.

I wish I was able to find more of this episode entertaining, but I mostly just found it annoying. Sure, I enjoyed Sheldon’s early quip about why he needs to return his Star Wars sheets to Pottery Barn:

“I don’t like the way Darth Vader stares at me.”

(By the way, writers, Pottery Barn would NEVER sell Darth Vader sheets, but Bed, Bath and Beyond sure would!)

But this was too much of a good thing. Sheldon is too much without others to balance him out and for the first time, I really saw what The AV Club’s Noel Murray was saying about Sheldon exhibiting some signs of Aspbergers and how, as a parent of an autistic child, Murray is happy to see a familiar face on TV, endearing him to the show even though it has never been expressly stated that Sheldon is anything more than eccentric.

Sometimes, though, I’m disappointed with where Sheldon’s eccentricities go. When Sheldon awkwardly asks Penny on the drive if she knows what the most common street name in the world is, he correctly tells her that its Second Street (where I live!), as First Street is often renamed. But you know what fact should have followed that? A fact which would have made the title even smarter and even more relevant? The fact that there are no Thirteenth Streets in America. You know what Thirteenth Streets are named instead? Euclid, as the number 13 is considered very important in Euclidian geometry.

Perhaps I’m a little unfair in how curmudgeonly I get about this show when it gets something wrong (see my rant about Renaissance Faire and historical inaccuracy), but in a show about geeks, I expect that someone on staff is doing their homework, and they really missed a golden opportunity here (ha! I made a Pythagoras joke!) to discuss a fact relating to the title.

The Husband:

Basically being dared to write this up, I hereby disagree with my wife wholeheartedly and find this to be one of the funniest episodes of The Big Bang Theory. I will agree that Sheldon’s antics are best when kept to a minimum, but to me that’s when he’s being a petulant douchebag holding his intellect above everybody. Me, I like it when he’s completely helpless, or when he’s relentlessly giddy, both of which were front and center this week.

I dare you to watch the scene where Penny is driving Sheldon to work and not giggle at his facial tics and awkward smiles, how talking about the elements gives him a happy energy heretofore unseen on the show. How about his girlish screams while on Howard’s wild scooter ride? I also appreciate the slapstick skills Jim Parsons exhibits when using the driving simulator, looking behind him over his shoulder at absolutely nothing and jerking around. And his final end credits bit of Phantom of the Laboratory was positively terrifying in the best way possible.

Hell, maybe it was just watching this after the depressing HIMYM episode (yay for DVR and not having to schedule my TV-watching time around what The Man sets for me) that got me to think this way. Maybe anything funny after that would be 10x funnier. But I’d like to think that this was Sheldon’s finest comedic hour, and my wife wasn’t paying attention to the laughs as much as the lost opportunities. Snap!

Note: CBS seems to think that BBT is not a photo-gallery worthy show, which is stupid, because I would kill for a picture of Sheldon as the Phantom of the Lab.