‘The Big Bang Theory’ came back from the holiday this week, and they had a lot of catching up to do. Literally. Breaking the standard format of the show, this week’s episode featured the main character’s all getting together and sharing their stories of how they spent their holidays, with Sheldon and Amy’s trip to Texas to see Mary, the Wolowitz’s first few week’s with the new baby, and with Penny and Leonard finding a Christmas tree lot where they let you chop down your own tree. It was definitely fun to see the show experimenting with a different style of storytelling, but overall the whole thing felt a little uneven with jumping back and forth, but it was saved by the fact that there was still a lot of great moments and comedy.
Amy and Sheldon headed to Texas to visit Mary for holidays, and along the way Amy gives Sheldon some funny tasting juice, after which he sleeps through the flight and wakes up on the car ride to his mom’s house, as apparently Amy rented a cart and used inertia to get him across the airport following the flight. She informs him that she wants to tell Mary they are living together, and despite his fears that Mary is going to give them the religious lecture, he goes along with it. Fortunately, Mary takes it well, and instead is very happy for Sheldon, as apparently she was always worried that he would never find anyone in life, which Sheldon finds insulting, never realizing that his mother thought he was socially inept. He acts out by throwing a tantrum, wearing fins and underwear on his head, and reminds Amy that she should be insulted as well because his mother is insinuating that Amy is a weirdo too. Amy eventually confesses that Mary took the news so well because Amy had already told her, and Sheldon is now mad that Amy feels Sheldon cannot run his own life, so to rebel he ends up getting an earring, which his mom forces him to remove before the trip is over.
As for Penny and Leonard, they reveal they got into a huge fight over the holidays over a sh0w they were supposed to be binge-watching on Netflix together, but a lot of it was spurred on by their Christmas tree disaster. Apparently, they dressed up as elves and went tree shopping and found a lot where they let you “chop down your own tree.” Unfortunately for the couple, Leonard just is not that physically capable, and he lost his grip on the ax due to his mittens (which he insisted he needed despite the 70-degree weather), and chopping down the holiday centerpiece was a nightmare, as evidenced by their tortured look as they drive home. It gets worse as the tree slides down the front of the car, blocking their view of the road, having been improperly tied down. Once they return home, they drag the tree, alone, up all the stairs to the apartment, and Leonard is again not quite up to the task, at one point becoming trapped beneath the decoration while Penny looks on incredulously. And then once they get the damn thing in the apartment, they realize a woodland creature is still living within it, and the last we hear Leonard is telling the gang that if anyone asks, there was always a Christmas tree in the elevator shaft.
As for the Wolowitz’s, despite Bernie pretending living with the baby is great, it turns out the baby would not stop crying over the holidays, and only Stuart’s boring voice could put her to sleep, a fact which sends Bernadette spiraling into depression and tears thinking she is a bad mother. Which of course tortures Howard as he has not only the crying child to deal with at night, but also his crying wife, whose inconsolable sobs keep the baby awake and crying, leading to his own tears at night. Eventually, Bernadette figures out how to sooth her child, though, as she is small enough to crawl into the crib with baby Halle, and when snuggling with her mom the baby calms down and goes to sleep, and peace, at last, comes to the Wolowitz house.
The last one asked about their holiday is Stuart, but when he starts talking about his family coming to town everyone pretends to go to sleep, so we get no flashbacks from him, though I suspect it might be fun to do an episode with Stuart’s flashbacks and see what his life is like. And sadly, no Raj flashbacks, even though it might have been fun to see what he was up to over the holiday break.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
LEONARD: Did you at least have a good flight down there?
SHELDON: It was fine. Other than the weird tasting juice Amy gave me, I slept the whole way.
PENNY: So what happened in Texas that was so bad?
LEONARD: (to Amy) And before our next drive to Comic-Con I need the name of that juice.
AMY: (As Sheldon comes out wearing underwear on his head and fins) Sheldon what are you doing?
SHELDON: Just being the unsocialized eccentric my mother always thought I was.
MARY: (to Amy) You starting to see why I didn’t go in there? Sheldon, if you’re trying to prove me wrong the tighty-whities on your head ain’t changing my mind.
AMY: So we’re ignoring the fins…Ok.
SHELDON: (To Penny and Leonard) Can you believe my mother thinks we’re both STRANGE?
LEONARD: (somewhat sarcastic) ABSOLUTELY NOT!
PENNY: (whispering) That’s too loud.
LEONARD: (fixing his tone) Absolutely NOT!.
LEONARD: (as the Wolowitz’s enter with the new baby, with Raj and Stuart in tow carrying all the baby stuff) There’s the little family… and their sherpas.
SHELDON: (after Leonard tells everyone about Sheldon wearing underwear on his head on purpose) I was acting odd intentionally.
BERNADETTE: Really? You can control it?
LEONARD: Stupid idea.
PENNY: No what’s stupid is a physicist who doesn’t understand that when you swing an ax you DON’T LET GO!
SHELDON: Bernadette, if I express interest in your baby, will you promise not to make me touch it?
SHELDON: Hey, how’s life with your baby?
AMY: Really, you’re never going to touch their baby?
SHELDON: To this day, I’ve never touched Stuart. (both Bernadette and Stuart nod in confirmation)
SHELDON: So how does the story end? Is the baby a jerk? Or is Bernadette a bad mother?
Great way to welcome the show back to 2017, and I am very happy that they are still going strong, and so far it seems as though the baby is not going to slow them down one bit. Here’s to hoping for more of the same momentum they’ve kept up throughout this year in the weeks to come, especially as they start to delve into Howard’s dad storylines. And lastly, my big prediction for the year, now that Mary is on board, I think we are going to get a Sheldon/ Amy proposal by the year’s end. I know it’s a stretch, but I think it’s where the show is going at this point. Anyways, see you back here for the next episode!
Nick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter.