Wow, what a difference a week can make. While last week’s episode felt really unbalanced and not overly good, I think tonight’s Raj-centric one was pretty darn great. I think the difference is that the writers kept the story focused instead of spreading it around too much. In this case, Raj is the main attraction–like Gladys Knight–and everyone else is singing back-up Pips style.
The episode kicks off with the dudes sitting around playing Dungeons & Dragons where they actually encounter both a dungeon and a dragon. Howard complains about wedding prep stuff while Raj wishes he had a girlfriend. Meanwhile the ladies are at Penny’s house waxing their hands and Amy not-so-subtly put it out there that she wouldn’t mind being one of Bernadette’s bridesmaids. I originally thought that they were going to focus on Howard and Bernadette this episode, but they zigged when I thought they were zagging and had the ladies decide to set Raj up with someone. Later, the guys are eating at the Cheesecake Factory. Sheldon has decided to let dice decide the more trivial decisions in life, which winds up ordering succotash, a pitcher of margaritas and Sunday for him. This is a fun recurring joke for the rest of the episode, but it makes me wonder if these are the performances worthy of an award winner.
Anyway, Penny and Howard introduce Raj to a deaf girl who he starts dating. At first he has to do so with Howard’s help because Howard is the only one who knows sign language. I thought this was actually a pretty clever way around his inability to talk to women, but the problem I had was that, if she’s been deaf her whole life, why doesn’t she read lips? I mean, I’m sure not every single deaf person in the world knows how, but Raj is saying all kinds of extra stuff to Howard, like adding subtly to signs that I assume isn’t possible (though those were really, really funny moments). Turns out that Raj winds up buying his new girl all kinds stuff, like a car and a ruby necklace. The others start worrying that she might be a gold digger or that she’s taking advantage of him, except for Penny who thinks handicapped people can’t be bad. Sheldon (who now has a mustache thanks to the dice) reveals to them that Raj’s parents are roughly Richie Rich rich, which lands between Bruce Wayne and Scrooge McDuck on the scale. This new knowledge makes Raj more attractive to Penny.
For some reason, Penny decides to call Raj’s parents who inform their son that they won’t be supporting him if he continues to date this girl instead of an Indian girl. He tells the girl this, she hugs him and makes a face. Cut to Raj crying on Penny’s shoulder because he got dumped. Poor Raj. The episode ends with everyone leaving Raj with the check because they all know he’s rich. In addition to having a much more solid and balanced story, tonight’s ep also sported a ton of great lines, like such:
“Eat another pie, you’ll have your own bazongas.” Howard to Raj who was eating a whole pie.
“Because you don’t have a girlfriend? If that becomes a reason not to play Dungeons & Dragons, this game is in trouble.” – Sheldon
“Does she really mean that or did she sign that sarcastically.” Raj to Howard.
“What else can I tell you about me that would make you like me?” Raj to his date.
“Get signing, hand-monkey.” Raj to Howard.
“Handicapped women are not gold diggers.”Penny, but I think i screwed that one up.
“I’m a gynecologist, I know exactly what she’s giving you.” – Raj’s dad.
“Sometimes I put the TV on mute just to pretend she’s still with me…but I can’t watch the closed captioning without crying.” Raj to Penny.
“Oh cheesecake, you’re just as good as a woman even if I can’t have sex with you” Raj “Just throw it in the microwave for a few seconds.” Howard