The Big Bang Theory The Romance Recalibration

Well, sadly, I feel the phenomenal streak ‘The Big Bang Theory’ had been on this season may have taken a break this particular week, as the episode that aired last night, while funny, did not seem to be nearly as good as the other amazing episodes we have seen this season. I suspect this was more of a bridge episode anyway, especially with all the set-up for the relationship drama with Penny and Leonard, so I hope the next episode has the show back to operating at their regular Season 10 high, and this was not the first of many lower-quality episodes.

bbt pennys daydream of attentionThe big storyline for the episode was Penny and Leonard’s relationship, which at first seems to be going great as Penny comes home from a trying day at work to find Leonard has prepped a romantic night for her, with flowers, candles, and her favorite meal, red wine and pizza bagels. Unfortunately, the whole scenario is just a daydream, broken by a burp from Leonard playing video games on the couch in his underwear while Penny watches sullenly. Later during girl’s night Penny asked Bernadette whether she ever felt Howard stopped trying and vents that she feels Leonard does not seem to care that much anymore, while Amy is perturbed that it is the first ladies night she has held in her new apartment and Penny is being a real bummer.

When Penny eventually shares her feelings with Leonard in front of everyone (Leonard and Sheldon were having a boy’s night in the apartment next door), Leonard is angry because he feels he always tried the hardest in their relationship and that she is being unfair. The argument escalates and Penny decides to take Amy with her on a planned spa weekend that she was supposed to go to with Leonard, and Leonard is left alone with Sheldon, who is having no problems with Amy at the moment, aside from feeling bad about showing their affection while Penny and Leonard’s relationship is on the rocks. Eventually, Leonard drags Sheldon along and they head to the spa to make amends, but Penny is not happy to see her husband, claiming she needed space and Leonard did not give it to her. After Sheldon suggests that he could write up a relationship contract for the pair, Amy drags him out of the room so their friends can talk, and she and Sheldon head down to the bar, where Sheldon tries cucumber water and is not impressed one bit.

Soon enough, Penny and Leonard come downstairs, and despite Sheldon’s secret hope that he’ll get 2 Christmas’s if they get divorced, they inform him they are staying together but are interested in him writing up a relationship agreement for them, which makes Sheldon ecstatic. Back at the apartment, the agreement is completed, and includes such gems as Leonard not being allowed to play video games in his underwear while Penny is home, Penny not being allowed to say things are “fine” when something is clearly wrong, and Penny needing to sign off on accepting Leonard “as is.’ With the deal struck, it seems the marriage of Penny and Leonard has been saved.

bbt raj and howard squeaky floorboardsMeanwhile, at the Wolowitz house, while putting baby Halley to sleep Howard notices how many floorboards in the baby’s nursery are squeaky, so he, Bernadette and Raj put their heads together to come up with a solution so the noises do not wake up the baby. Bernie learns from her dad the only real way to fix the floor is to take it out entirely and put in new floorboards, but Howard and Raj do not want to go with that option. Instead, they consider hanging ropes, a pulley system, and even a slingshot to get a person across the room and to the crib without hitting the squeaky floorboards. Eventually, they make a grid out of the floor and mark which squares squeak, which leads to an awkward path around the room, requiring a few jumps and a few splits moves to get to the crib, none of which seems practical to Bernadette, not even when Raj hits the light switch and reveals the whole grid glows in the dark. For now, it seems, they’ll just have to deal with the squeaky floor.


bbt sheldon keeps Leonard companyPENNY: Red wine and pizza bagels! It’s like 8th grade all over again!

LEONARD: (to Sheldon as the ladies go to Girl’s Night) So why don’t you hang out over here and we’ll have a Boy’s Night.
SHELDON: At our age why don’t we call it Man’s Night?
LEONARD: Not when we just spent our allowance on comic books.

AMY: (as Penny and Bernie discuss how Leonard and Howard walk around pants-less) Sheldon always has his pants on, I couldn’t pick his knees out of a line-up.

LEONARD: (while being annoyed in the car with Sheldon) I’d pull this car over and kick you out… but if Penny dumps me you’re all I got.

SHELDON: Penny if you could initial and sign here to indicate you are accepting Leonard in “as is” condition.
AMY: I remember signing our first relationship agreement.
SHELDON: You seem to be forgetting the nostalgia clause.
AMY: Oh, right.

As stated above, definitely not one of the stronger episodes of the season, but I definitely laughed at the squeaky floorboard visual jokes, as well as the nuances of the relationship agreement, so the show still has some decent jokes, they just need to get everything working together again so the episode could feel more complete. Looking forward to next week and the rest of this season, especially as I keep hearing that the Howard’s dad storyline is going to be coming up again, and I think that is a great opportunity for more comedy and more character moments.

See you back here for the next episode!


horizontal lineNick 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.