Coming off a little break, I’m pleased to say ‘The Big Bang Theory‘ had another upswing this week, with a format breaking episode that not only reminded us of the golden age of the show, but also had its own share of great moments and laughs. The flashback heavy episode, which frankly I’m surprised they have not done before, was a great bit of nostalgia harkening back to the show as it was 7 years ago, and giving us the best of the old days while also delivering some genuinely funny jokes in the present.
So tonight’s episode centers around the guys realizing how much Bitcoin is currently worth, and the fact that 7 years ago they actually mined a bunch of bitcoin and have it stashed away somewhere. Unfortunately for them, at the time they decided to exclude Sheldon because he was obsessed with the details and the tax implications, and now Sheldon is the only one who truly remembers where they left the bitcoin information. Thus begins a quest to find their bitcoin stash and their money, which has the potential to be huge because they mined quite a bit of it.
After flashing back to the past to remember where their bitcoin adventure began, (and to remind Raj that 7 years ago he was very into ‘Avatar’), their search first brings them to Howard’s house as they remember doing the bitcoin work on Howard’s old laptop. While Bernie eavesdrops on the baby monitor, hungry for newfound wealth, the guys check Howard’s old, porn-riddled laptop and flash back to the memory of them being unable to use it because of all the porn, the flashback including a nice usage of Howard’s mom, who I truly do miss on the series, even if we only ever heard her voice. Leonard remembers they had to switch to his old laptop and they head back to his place to find it, where he remembers belatedly that he gave it to girlfriend Penny at the time, who explains during a flashback that her computer is broken, causing her to miss an audition, during a great scene set in the Old Cheesecake factory.
Penny reveals that she gave that laptop to Zach when she and Leonard broke up, so she and Leonard head to Zach’s house to retrieve it, and fight along the way about Penny not being as heartbroken during their breakups. Leonard is proven wrong when Zach reveals a video on the laptop of a drunk and heartbroken Penny confessing her true feelings for Leonard before passing out in front of the camera, which Zach is very amused by (especially when she falls off her chair while sleeping). They return home with the laptop and are finally able to check to see how much bitcoin they have, and sadly find the bitcoin folder empty. As they wonder whether Zach could have stolen it (Penny flatly denies it, as it is Zach, and he is kind of dumb), Sheldon smirks, saying he has waited 7 years for this moment, when he can get his revenge. He reveals that he broke into Leonard’s laptop 7 years ago and stolen the bitcoins, putting them onto the Batman flash drive that Leonard used to always wear on his keychain.
Angry and sad, Leonard reveals that he lost that keychain years ago, meaning they now have nothing. Sheldon claims they have all learned a valuable lesson that day, walking away with Amy asking him what the lesson is, while he hastily whispers back that he has no idea.
In the episode close, we flash back to the comic book store where Stewart is sweeping up, and he finds the Batman flashdrive on the floor. He picks it up, intrigued, and realizes he can make $10 if he wipes the contents and sells it online, claiming things might finally be going his way. Oh Stewart.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
LEONARD: (making fun of Howard in the 7 years ago flashback) Maybe we should double date, I’ll bring Penny and you bring your mom.
RAJ: (as they look through Howard’s old laptop while Bernie eavesdrops on the baby monitor) Wow, I know you were single back then, but that is a lot of por-
HOWARD: SCIENCE! It’s science!
LEONARD: Wow, you liked a lot of Asian science.
SHELDON: (on holding grudges) I have grudges that go all the way back to pre-school. Someday I’m going to find a grown-up Elaine Dwyer and make someone eat her favorite crayon while she watches.
AMY: Is that why there’s an Elaine Dwyer on the [wedding] guest list!?!
PENNY (still waiting tables in the flashback): …I missed an audition that would have been the perfect part for me.
SHELDON: Was it waitress who ignores her customers? Because that is a role you were born to play.
PENNY: Shut up and eat your burger.
SHELDON: Actually it’s a turkey club.
PENNY: Didn’t you order a burger?
SHELDON: (looks knowingly at her) I did, and yet here we are.
PENNY: (past drunk Penny) Hello Leonard. I was gonna write you an email, but I’m a little drunk and spelling is a sober person’s game.
SHELDON: (knocking on her door) Penny? Penny? Penny?
PENNY: I’m making a video!
SHELDON: Oh, I’ll come back when you’re alone.
I really enjoyed this episode, and found myself laughing a lot more than I have at recent episodes of the show. It is almost a shame because I feel like I laughed more at the flashbacks, where the gang was single, a little more desperate, and in more realistic (somewhat situations), and not as settled down, and definitely in a time when they were not all as lovey-dovey with each other as they are now. I forgot about all the little quirks of the series that used to be so memorable like Raj being unable to speak in front of women, or Penny waiting tables, or Howard’s weird obsession with his mother. Almost makes me wish that they would end the show, because while it still does have some moments of greatness, it can clearly never be as good as it was back in those golden years. Ah well.