Just like Penny’s attempted comeback into acting, this week’s “Big Bang” only brought up negative memories and essentially amounted to nothing. “The Communication Deterioration” is as bland and uninspired as any “Big Bang” episode in quite some time.

The main crux of the episode is a project that Raj has been given to craft a message as part of a NASA expedition in the off chance they discover alien life. He initially only invites Leonard to help him, thinking Sheldon and Howard will force their ideas, but eventually relenting and letting them help out. What it boils down to, however, is a childish, and actually misrepresenting, debate amongst the guys over who are the dominant members of the group.

the-message-the-big-bang-theoryThis episode paints Howard as more of the second in charge, when evidence has always shown that Leonard is second banana and the usual voice of reason. They all eventually realize that Sheldon is the one who really forces everything down their throats without consideration for them, realizing something we all were aware of 20 minutes prior at the beginning of the episode.

Meanwhile, after getting the chance to audition for a Kevin Smith movie in last week’s episode, Penny heads out to her audition only to remember why she left acting in the first place. This is the only part of the episode that has anything interesting happen in it, with Penny recognizing her acting career is behind her and how she is actually happier because of that. It is frustrating how quickly and nonchalantly that plot angle was abandoned, though.

So by the end of “The Communication Deterioration” nothing has changed, Sheldon reaffirms his alpha male status and Penny’s acting career is still over. We didn’t even have much on the laugh side either, as most jokes stunk up the place. If this were the episode that a foreign species had to judge “The Big Bang Theory” on, the verdict would not be good.

Here are some of the best jokes from this (light) week:

  • Bernadette challenges Howard’s perceived alpha man status: Bernadette: Now, are you going to need help cleaning all this up or can you handle it all by yourself? Howard: All by myself. Bernadette: That’s my big boss man.
  • Sheldon: Who’s smarter? The wise man or the person who comes to him for advice? Penny: Maybe you’re right, maybe it is the person who asks. Sheldon: No, it’s the wise man. That’s why he’s called the wise man.
  • Amy: I can’t believe you walked out the audition for a big movie. Penny: I did. I mean, I walked in, read, stunk up the place, but then I walked right out.
  • Penny: The anxiety, the depression, the negativity. I don’t want those things. I want to sell drugs to people who feel those things.