In the episode entitled "The Higgs Boson Observation" the writers of The Big Bang Theory introduced some eye candy into the mix when Sheldon decided he needed an assistant.
The plot device to stir Penny's feelings for Leonard is an old one, but handled in a way that seems new when the dialogue comes out of the mouth of Dr. Sheldon Cooper. Read: Penny still on the fence about Leonard.
It turns out that you can combine beauty and brains. Alex Jensen, a theoretical physicist in the midst of writing her thesis is an admirer of Sheldon's work.
After passing the little interview tests Sheldon gave her she sealed the deal when she said. "It would be an incredible honor to work with a man of your brilliance."
Her job is to comb through the self-centered brainiac's early musings contained in journals and research papers that stretch from his toilet training days onward.
There could be a gem hidden somewhere which might become The Next Big Thing. Why scratch your head trying to find material that is Nobel Prize worthy when an idea buried in childhood observations could provide it?
Sheldon stumbled on the idea when thinking of Dr. Peter Higgs a physicist whose most famous work (Higgs boson) was contained in a paper that was rejected early in his career, but validated later.
As a new boss, Sheldon becomes a class warfare kind of guy. He rejected the idea of Alex joining the guys for lunch because of her status as an employee and grad student.
He's a big believer in the Upstairs Downstairs social strata. Leonard overrules his objection and Alex gets to sit at the big boys table, where she promptly displays her winning personality and big, beautiful smile.
Penny along with Amy observe from afar and one comes away jealous, with reason to believe there is a temptress ready to ruin a relationship.
As it turns out, rather than Amy being concerned about Sheldon straying, it's Penny that gets a dose of reality.
Contemplating why Leonard would be attractive to a woman like Alex, Penny dials up the reasons she is with him. She stakes her claim at the apartment when Alex arrives to assist Sheldon.
Leonard is totally clueless of course but benefits from being pulled out of the group and taken by Penny to her lair for what we presume is some canoodling.
Alex is a great addition to the team. She can make Raj feel like a fool, serve as a pet for Sheldon and Leonard gets rewarded with a more affectionate and attentive Penny.
Then there's Howard. With the mission extended he requires stun gun meds to prevent an anxiety attack. We left him as he was giggling and enjoying being weightless,
The Big Bang Theory is aired Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. on CBS. Image: CBS The Big Bang Theory