And we’re back for another ‘Big Bang Theory’ review! This week the series continues its upward trend from the past few weeks with a relatively good outing (still not as good as the episodes they started the season with, but progress is progress), that delivered a good number of laughs, and some good moments for the characters.
Jumping right in, one of the main stories for the night (and I say “one of” because it honestly felt like there were two main stories, neither one felt dominant) centered around Leonard being tasked by the University president with allocating extra grant money to whichever department he felt was most deserving (hence the episode title). Of course, Leonard is at first very excited and decisive, which makes Penny very excited as she has never seen this side of Leonard before, but after hearing arguments from his colleagues, including a scary one from a scientist with crows too smart for their own good who she worries might be plotting against her (hence her need for more money for better cages), Leonard loses his nerve and does not know who to give the money to, as he does not want anyone to be mad at him.
The University President is no help, telling Leonard he cannot make everyone happy, and that he has to make a decision, and Leonard later finds himself discussing the situation with Sheldon over a game of 3-D chess, which was nice to see as the pair have not played on-screen together in some time. Surprisingly, Sheldon has no skin in the game as he does not need / want the money, and Leonard tries to get him to make the decision since Sheldon does not care about upsetting people, but Sheldon sees it as a growing/learning situation for his friend, and leaves Leonard to make the decision himself.
In the end, Leonard realizes he was going to piss off someone no matter what, so he just gives the money to his own department so he can get a laser he has been wanting, and Sheldon is very proud of his friend, though not proud enough to stand by him when Leonard’s car is swarmed by crows who look like they might turn and attack Leonard as well.
In the second story of the night, Bernadette is feeling overwhelmed at home with Howard and the two kids, and starts lying to Howard about “working late,” and actually heads into Halley’s new playhouse outside to relax for a bit before actually going home. She confides in Penny about what is going on, and Penny eventually joins her once Leonard starts freaking out about the grant decision, and the two have a secret clubhouse, which now includes wine.
Eventually, Amy sniffs out the situation as she claims her power is always knowing when she is being left out, and Penny lets her join the club. The ladies are enjoying their night in the clubhouse (playhouse) when Howard and Raj decide to enjoy the hot tub nearby, causing them to have to go silent. Sadly, they cannot go completely silent as the easy-bake oven still dings when their food is ready, and Penny cannot help but pop open another bottle of wine, and Raj and Howard realize people are in the playhouse.
Howard informs Raj that he knows Bernadette is in there, but he lets her have her fun because he knows the main house is a lot to handle right now and she just needs some time, and besides, he can always use the knowledge of her lying for the upper hand in a future argument, especially if she ever finds out that Howard never actually got life-insurance. To which Raj cannot help but ask, “Why don’t you just get life insurance!?!”
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
HOWARD: (the overheard words that drive Bernadette to seek out alone time before coming home) Hallie, put down your brother’s diaper! No that’s not a hat!
FEMALE RESEARCH SCIENTIST: (Threatening Leonard) Just don’t forget, crows aren’t the only ones that hold a grudge.
AMY: (explaining how she knows Penny is lying) You know how your talent is getting just drunk enough to have a good time and not be hung over the next morning?
PENNY: (flattered and smiling) Thank you.
SHELDON: (on explaining that even though he doesn’t care about upsetting people, he won’t make Leonard’s decision) I’m sorry did I upset you?
LEONARD: (upset) Yes.
SHELDON: Ask me how I feel about that.
HOWARD: (after overhearing a wine bottle cork pop open in the playhouse) Huh, sounds like Penny is in there too.
SHELDON: (on Leonard giving the grant money to his own department) That is the most selfish thing you’ve ever done… I’m proud of you.
LEONARD: I don’t care.
SHELDON: Yes you do.
LEONARD: (smiling sheepishly) Yeah I do.
Definitely some good laughs in this week’s episode, and I really liked the visual of the three ladies in the playhouse drinking wine, and the reveal that Howard knew about Bernie hiding out in there all along. Also, I really liked the odd turnabout where Sheldon was kind of the mentor character to Leonard this week, helping him through a difficult life situation where Leonard’s eccentricities were tripping him up. It showed how much growth Sheldon has had these past few years, and illustrated yet again why these two characters are friends, because Sheldon does occasionally help out Leonard.
Again, I hope they keep up this good momentum going into the next couple weeks leading into the Winter finale.