I didn't have such a problem with Wheaton during his TNG days.. he was just the standard kid actor (
calm down.. it's not like i claimed Nemesis was the best ST movie!) but seeing him here i realize that.. well.. he sucks as an actor. He has not improved in quality over time as most adults do and it's ok that he's not an actor anymore as his main profession apparently.
As to Penny disappearing for a few episodes.. she was injured and as i take they film an episode each week and she needed to recuperate she just wasn't available for that time. Even more hilarious was the text at the end of an episode last week or the week before that where the producer makes fun of the accident and sets some ground rules for his actors and doing dangerous stuff on their free time (in a humorous tone).
This episode you could clearly see the cast poking through her trouser leg when they were watching Indiana Jones.. they tried to hide it with wide legs but it was still noticeable. Glad it was just a broken foot and will heal.
Final thought.. yay for the admittance that her leaving Leonard was more of a panic reaction than the realization of not having feelings anymore. I'm a huge shipper and that was big for me as i think they make a very cute couple. Just recently i also learned that the two dated in real life for about the time they were a pair onscreen which was also nice to hear and it would be also a question to the guys i'd pose if i ever got to talk to them personally.. i just can't believe you can work with such an attractive woman and not have some "thoughts"
Edit: Oops.. important typo fixed