Tonight’s episode was another homage to Howard’s mother, who’s death has been the emotional backbone of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ for the past 4 episodes, which is understandable considering the real life death of Carol Ann Susi, the woman who played her. I was pleased that for much of the episode the entire cast was together, which always results in memorable scenes and moments.
The story begins with Sheldon and Amy, grabbing the mail downstairs where they see a ‘Scientific American’ featuring an interview with Sheldon about the paper he and Leonard published. Amy reviews the article, pointing out that Leonard is not mentioned, only Sheldon and his “team.” She explains to Sheldon why Leonard is going to feel bad about being left out, reminding Sheldon how he felt when he was not chosen to pull the sword out of the stone at Disneyland. Sheldon instantly understands, feeling terrible for his friend.
Meanwhile, Raj, Howard and Bernadette make their way to Howard’s old house to continue cleaning out Howard’s mother’s belongings. They arrive and are greeted by Stuart, who informs them that the power went out the night before, a transformer having blown down the street. In a panic, Howard rushes to the kitchen to examine the remains of the freezer, where the last food his mother ever made was defrosting, potentially ruined. Howard tells Bernadette that he wants to eat all of it, and they decide to invite the gang over to celebrate one last feast made by his mother. With Raj throwing in his culinary expertise, they prepare the meal, with Howard opening up on how he would never get to talk to his mother again. He and Bernadette agree to keep it together for the dinner party, though Raj, listening in from the background, states that he cannot guarantee his control, as he had already begun to cry.
Back at Leonard and Sheldon’s, Sheldon eases Leonard into the news about the article by reminding him how there is only one name on various utilities bills (never mind the fact that those are all in Sheldon’s name as well). Leonard is upset when Sheldon tells him the news about the article, though Sheldon tries to ease the pain by offering his friend a shoulder massage. Leonard ends up over at Penny’s complaining about the unfairness of the situation.
On the way to the Wolowitz house, Sheldon rides with Amy and complains that it was not his fault Leonard was not mentioned, and having the idea does not compare to actually doing the math. He then confides that he has ideas all the time, including a Seaworld where the dolphins pet humans, and an intriguing new take on the ‘Snow White’ story. In the other car, Leonard continues to complain to Penny, saying without his idea there would not have been a paper or an article. Tensions are high when they all arrive at the Wolowitz house, with Amy and Penny reminding the guys not to fight, as they are there for Howard that night.
With the power out and the massive feast lit only by candlelight, Amy comments that she feels like they were at an 1800’s salon, a reference that Sheldon obnoxiously explains to Penny, beginning a running gag of Penny and Sheldon explaining simple terms to one-another in a condescending manner, the best of which being Penny’s explanation of ‘The View’ and Sheldon’s explanation of ‘NextGen.’ Inevitably Leonard and Sheldon began to throw verbal jabs at one-another across the table, to the dismay of all. Bernadette orders the pair in the living room, and in an amazing off-screen voice, berates them for ruining Howard’s night, and orders them to behave for the rest of the meal, with neither of them getting dessert. The audience remains in the dining room with the rest of the gang, who listen in amazement at how much Bernadette’s angry yelling voice sounds like Howard’s departed mother. When Howard asks if anyone else noticed, everyone claims to not have heard it, not wanting to step in the minefield that is Bernadette’s similarities to Howard’s mother.
At the end of the meal, the gang sits around the Wolowitz living room, stuffed, in pain, and in Leonard’s case, trying to burp without throwing up. Sheldon announces another news medium has mentioned their article, and Leonard is pleased that this time his name is mentioned, which elicits a mild cheer from the group. Just then, Bernadette comes back downstairs with a bottle of Tums that she found, receiving a much greater cheer.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
SHELDON: (on the kid who pulled the sword out of the stone at Disneyland) “If you cry when you drop your churro you do not have what it takes to rule England.
SHELDON: (his many ideas) “‘Snow White’ told from the point of view of Sneezy. Why won’t Doc prescribe him something? Now we find out the true story.”
HOWARD: (cleaning out the freezer) “Here’s my boutonniere from my high school prom. And a piece of cake from my bar mitzvah…. If I find my foreskin in here, I’m going to kill myself.”
RAJ: We got one lasagna.
HOWARD: That’s noodle kugel.
RAJ: (rolling his eyes) One Jewish lasagna.
PENNY: (commenting on Howard’s house lit up by candles) It looks really pretty in here.
STUART: Yeah turns out half a dozen menorahs really sells the mood.
Definitely a strong episode, continuing both the storyline of Howard grieving for his mother and the storyline of Leonard and Sheldon’s paper from earlier, which I’m guessing will continue to be a big plot-point this season setting up events for the season finale. Even though the death of Mrs. Wolowitz was spurred by events outside the show, I do appreciate how they have brought it into the season and really made it mesh with the other events going on. And even though I had thought we might be getting more into Leonard and Penny’s wedding plans by now, it seems they’re either saving that for next year or going to rush it into the end of the season. Either way, things are looking good for the veteran comedy.