The Wiggly Finger Catalyst
|"The Wiggly Finger Catalyst"|
|The Big Bang Theory episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||Mark Cendrowski|
|Teleplay by||Bill Prady,
Jim Reynolds &
|Story by||Chuck Lorre,
Steven Molaro &
|Original air date||October 6, 2011|
Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj are playing a game of Dungeons and Dragons, but Leonard becomes concerned when Raj eats a whole pie and states he has no reason to watch his figure as he is not in a relationship. Across the hall, Penny, Bernadette and Amy are also discussing Raj's loneliness.
Penny introduces Raj to her friend Emily. Emily is deaf, so Raj's selective mutism is not an issue, however, Penny calls Howard to interpret Emily's sign language to Raj (as he knows it). The two go out on a date at a coffee shop, and with Howard's help, the date goes reasonably well.
Howard reveals that Raj is buying Emily lots of expensive gifts, with Sheldon saying he can do so as his family is rich. Concerned that Emily is exploiting Raj for his wealth, Penny and Howard confront her at her gym. Howard gets distracted by the women there and asks Emily straight up if she is a gold digger, causing Emily, angry, to swear at them and storm off.
Raj, angry over Penny and Howard's "ambush" on Emily, confronts Penny. Penny says they were trying to help him, but Raj ignores her and accuses her of being jealous ever since they slept together. Determined to break the two up anyway, Penny calls Raj's parents and informs them of the situation. They talk to Raj on Skype and threaten to cut him off if he continues to date her. Raj chooses to continue dating Emily anyway, but once she discovers he is no longer rich and that he has to return the expensive gifts he bought her, she dumps him.
Penny comforts Raj, but Raj interprets this as her trying to win his affection and rejects her, saying his parents would get him a Maserati if he dated an Indian girl. The guys then go to the Cheesecake Factory and make Raj pay for everyone's meal, with Penny telling him not to "cheap out" on the tip, since they now know he is rich.
Meanwhile, Sheldon uses Dungeons and Dragons dice to make trivial decisions, such as what to order in a restaurant, so his mind can focus more on his work. Although he manages to co-author two papers and make considerable progress towards explaining why the Large Hadron Collider has not yet isolated the Higgs boson particle, he grows a ridiculous-looking mustache, gets chafed testicles from not wearing underpants and has to wait to use the restroom when he needs to urinate.
On the night of its first broadcast on October 6, 2011, the episode was watched by 13.92 million households in the U.S. It received a Nielsen rating of 4.5/14 for viewers aged 18–49 and beat all other episodes in its timeslot. It also received more viewers than any other show on CBS airing that night.
In Australia, the episode aired on Nine Network on October 16, 2011 and was watched by 1.551 million households. It was the most watched television show that night and third most watched that week.
In the United Kingdom, the episode first aired on November 17, 2011 on E4. It received 1.025 million viewers on E4 and 0.316 million when it aired on E4 +1, for a total of 1.341 million viewers. It had ranks of second and first that week for the channels, respectively, and received a rank of ninth on cable overall.
Robin Pierson of The TV Critic rated the episode 67 out of 100. Oliver Sava of the The A.V. Club gave the episode a D+. Jenna Busch of IGN rated it 7/10 and wrote that "the sub-plot was actually funnier than the main storyline".
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