Strangely, I found there was a lot to enjoy in this week’s episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ and I was not expecting much since I knew going in it was not a particularly special week for the series. The show revisited some fun dynamics of the past, Raj got an interesting storyline (that was very Raj), and one of my favorite local breakfast spots, ‘The House of Pies,’ got heavily featured, which I thought was hilarious.
The main story revolved around Sheldon discovering how difficult it was to work in his and Amy’s apartment due to lack of space, and so, to try to be more considerate to Amy and not take up to whole apartment (and after claiming he invented the concept of “empathy”), he goes in search of a suitable work environment for the evenings. Fittingly, he realizes his old bedroom in Penny and Leonard’s apartment is available and starts trying to convince the couple to let him work there. Leonard is adamantly against it, even when Sheldon promises to be quiet and they won’t even know he is there, but Penny, in the end, points out that Sheldon comes over all the time anyway, and if they lease the room to Sheldon (as Sheldon suggested), they would at least get some money for the annoyance.
So Sheldon moves into his new “office,” and proceeds to drive Leonard crazy by being the perfect tenant, something Leonard never expected and is completely thrown off by. Neither Penny nor Amy understand why it bothers Leonard so much that Sheldon is working quietly without bothering anyone, but for Leonard, it just seems completely out of character and it annoys him because he feels if Sheldon could have always been this way, rather than it being a choice of his to torture Leonard all those years that they lived together.
Eventually, Leonard realizes there is a stipulation in the lease agreement that would allow him to change his mind after 3 days, and he tries to throw out Sheldon, but Sheldon points out that the time on the document was based on Eastern Standard Time, so Leonard missed his chance by 3 hours. Thusly, Sheldon can now stay as long as he wants, AND he presents Leonard with the new longer (like the size of a book) contract that was activated, which seems much more like Sheldon, and includes such irksome things as Leonard having to get Sheldon lemon-tonic water or else be in violation. Despite being unable to get rid of Sheldon and having to go to the store to get the beverage, Penny notices Leonard is smiling on his way out the door, and he says he doesn’t know exactly why, but things just feel right again.
In the B-Story, Raj meets a woman named Nels after giving a lecture at the planetarium and hits it off with her, only to discover after sleeping together that she JUST divorced a firefighter two weeks previously, which makes him very nervous, and a little weirded out that she moved on so quickly, a fact he shares with Bernadette and Howard. After Bernie shared her theory of 8 days being the minimum to wait before dating after a break-up, Raj heads back to work, accompanied by Howard, who is there when the ex-husband, Oliver, shows up, looking for Raj.
He tries to be intimidating but is so broken up over losing Nels that Raj takes pity on him. They hit it off so well that Raj takes him to the House of Pies and shares a slice with him while they talk about what happened. Raj continues to see Nels, though he is now plagued with guilt, and eventually suggests she try to make things work with Oliver, which at first she does not want to do. Unfortunately for Raj, he then points out that even if things fail with Oliver she would still have Raj waiting for her and Nels is sufficiently creeped out enough to break up with Raj.
In the episode aftermath, Oliver meets up with Raj once more at the planetarium, and thanks him for being so creepy as Nels called him for comfort, and now the two of them are getting back together again. To celebrate, Raj invites Oliver to head back to the House of Pies for another slice and they head out, a weird new friendship formed.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
LEONARD (to Sheldon) : So you can just come in here any time you want?
PENNY: He does that anyway, at least now we’d get paid!
OLIVER: Which one of you is Rajesh Koothrappali?
HOWARD: Really? You’re not sure which one of us is Rajesh Koothrappali?
OLIVER: I am. I was just trying not to be racist.
RAJ: If you and Bernadette broke up, how long would you wait?
HOWARD: Well, I don’t even wanna think abou-
BERNADETTE: (without hesistation) 8 days.
BERNADETTE: 2 days to cry, and 6 days to hit the gym.
HOWARD: First of all, you already look amazing.
BERNADETTE: Ah, that’s sweet. (turning to Raj) I’m gonna give him an extra day of crying.
AMY: (to Leonard) Hey, your “mad” look and Sheldon’s “constipated” look are the same!
HOWARD: (to Raj) You shared a slice of pie with another man?
BERNADETTE: (turning to Howard) What, you mean other than you?
HOWARD: Well… Yeah!
I really enjoyed having Sheldon back in the old apartment, and I kind of agree with Leonard, things just didn’t feel right with all this growth from Sheldon, and this “empathy” for other people, and it felt much better once Sheldon showed his true colors and wormed his way into a permanent residence in the office with Leonard back to being stuck in a Sheldon contract. I could see this eliciting a lot of good comedy in the coming weeks, especially if Sheldon tries to hold Penny to some of the contractual terms. Only downside of the episode, while I enjoyed the Raj story, it has been 11 years, I would like to see them finally give Raj a real love interest, and have him settle down the way everyone else has. It is getting a little sad to see his romantic mishaps, and I think the show could do so much better than that. Ah well, we’ll see how they fare next week. See you then!