The Big Bang Theory “The Transporter Malfunction” Review


Of all the geeky things our favorite geeks of The Big Bang Theory are into, Star Trek is the one that makes me the happiest. So it didn’t matter that we didn’t get to see Leonard Nimoy in “The Transporter Malfunction,” this week’s episode. We got to hear the unmistakable voice of Spock, and that was good enough for me! (The sad thing is, of course, that we will probably never get to see the man himself, as his restraining order against Sheldon is probably still in effect.)

To make up for all of the meals she’s eaten on the boys’ dime, Penny uses a residual check from her one acting gig to buy both Sheldon and Leonard 1970’s Star Trek transporter toys in mint condition. Although Sheldon’s 1970’s Spock doll (which it seems he did take out of the box…youthful indulgence, or did his Kirk doll tell him to set Spock free?) would fit perfectly in the transporter, taking things out of the box is a strict collector’s no-no.

But Sheldon is powerless when his Spock doll speaks to him in a dream and compels him to open up his toy. Of course, after only one gleeful spin of the transporter, the vintage plastic falls apart. What is a geek to do? Why, stuff the broken toy back into the box and switch it with Leonard’s still-mint copy. It’s not like he’s going to open it, anyway.

The only thing Sheldon didn’t count on is that the guilt of a girlfriend who bought the dang toy to see her boyfriend play with it is an even stronger calling than the lure of Spock. When Leonard open his box and finds the broken toy, Sheldon cannot tell a lie. It is the core character trait of Sheldon. Yes, he does bad things occasionally, but he has never and will never be able to lie about them. It’s like he puts Truth Serum in his morning orange juice.

Meanwhile, Raj needs a date for Howard’s wedding, so he sets aside his American attitudes and asks his parents to set him up with someone. And it turns out, she really is a nice Indian girl….she just happens to like nice Indian girls as much as Raj does. She also wants to get married to a nice gay Indian boy to get her parents off her back. For a split second, Raj considers it…marriage, not being gay. But in the end, he’s simply too much of a romantic to resign himself to a sexless marriage. And that does not make him gay, man-purse notwithstanding. I love that Raj knows who he is. I just want him to find a nice, not-gay girl who will appreciate all the things about him that make everyone else think he’s hiding in the closet.

At least he got a puppy. A sweet, adorable puppy. It’ll do for now.

Any episode that features a guest spot by an original Star Trek cast member gets a five out of five in my book, but I think that if it hadn’t been for Mr. Nimoy, the episode would have scooted by at just okay. Funny, but not outrageous.

Best Lines:

Leonard: Once you open the box, it loses its value.
Penny: Yeah, yeah, my mom gave me the same lecture about my virginity. I gotta tell you…it was a lot more fun taking it out and playing with it.

Toy Spock: Consider this: what is the purpose of a toy?
Sheldon: To be played with.
Toy Spock: Therefore, to not play with it would be…?
Sheldon: Illogical. Damn it, Spock! You’re right!

Toy Spock: If I told you to jump off the bridge of the Enterprise, would you do it?
Sheldon: Oh…if I got on the bridge of the Enterprise, I would never, ever leave.
Toy Spock: Trust me, it gets old after awhile.

Raj: I can’t believe your attitude. I thought you were in favor of gay people getting married.
Howard: Yes. To other gay people!
Raj: Do you hear how homophobic you sound?

Penny: What is the truth?
Sheldon: My Mr. Spock doll came to me in a dream and forced me to open it…and when the toy broke, I switched it for yours. Later, he encouraged me to do the right thing and I defied him. And then I was attacked by a Gorn.

What did you think of the episode? Let me know below!