Last night’s episode felt like the show took some much needed steps to start putting the Raj character back on track, and managed to bring the laughs with the Sheldon and Amy storyline at the same time, which I liked. At this point in the show, with the Wolowitz’s so stable and Penny and Leonard relatively stable, it does feel like the best stories are going to come from Raj, Sheldon and Amy, and this episode was a great example of how that could work going forward.
The episode opened with the gang taking bets on how long Raj could hold his breath, and whether it would be longer than an oiled disc that they have spinning on the coffee table, which felt very old school ‘Big Bang Theory’ to me – especially since it was the four guys around the table who started the scene, with Penny coming in and commenting how dumb the whole thing was. It progresses to Raj speaking to his father later on Skype (again, a trick they haven’t done on the show in some time), and Raj realizing that his father has basically given up on him since he is in his mid-thirties and has yet to find a wife, but more importantly is still letting his father pay all of his bills.
Upset, Raj crashes a get together at Penny and Leonard’s where Howard and Bernadette have come over with the baby and shares his woes, and the gang admits that they agree with his dad, especially when he admits his father pays for his rent, his car, and all of his credit cards. They discuss how he can cut down on his budget, and even discuss the possibility of him moving in with either Howard and Bernie (hey, they let Stuart move in!) or with Leonard and Penny (they do have Sheldon’s old room open…), the thought of which does not sit well with any of the married couples. Fortunately, Raj does not want to take advantage of his friends (and can clearly read the room, especially as they passive aggressively argue over who should have to let Raj live with them). So Raj decides to figure things out on his own and calls his father to tell him off and say he does not need his money anymore, but his father is overjoyed, which annoys Raj because he wanted it to be an angry moment.
Sheldon and Amy meanwhile go out for date night at a new restaurant she found and find colleague Bert there waiting for a blind date he met online at a Geologist dating site. Amy insists they go say hi, which Sheldon reluctantly does, and not long after they do, Bert informs them that he thinks that he has been stood up, as he has been waiting for over 2 hours and the woman has not arrived. Using his newfound empathy skills, Sheldon deduces that Bert is upset and invites him to join their dinner, which Amy is more than happy to agree to, pleased to see Sheldon care for another human being. She regrets the decision later when Sheldon and Bert monopolize the conversation talking about defunct search engines that they miss (I do kind of miss Ask Jeeves myself), and when Amy complains, Bert apologizes and says that he loves the two of them as a couple, and says that aside from only have sex once a year, he thinks they are the perfect couple.
The statement shocks and upsets Amy, and when she demands to know how everyone in the University knows such information about her and Sheldon. She learns that Sheldon was the leak, not thinking about how private such information was, and a fight begins that ensues all the way home, where she does not speak to him and makes him sleep on the couch, despite his argument that she is more “sofa-sized.” With time on his hands, Sheldon starts charting out ‘Zones of Privacy’ to help him decipher what should and should not be discussed with certain friends and acquaintances and shows it to Amy to prove he is trying to learn. She forgives him (probably remembering she is dating a socially special person). He also reveals that he has some private thoughts that he does not share with anyone, not even her, and she asks for him to reveal one of those secrets to her, and perhaps out of guilt for what he did, Sheldon decides to share a particularly naughty one. And then we learn that Sheldon has had his driver’s license for a few years now, and Amy is shocked. Apparently, he has continued to let everyone chauffeur him around because he likes to feel important.
In the episode close, Raj arrives to work with a lunch he made himself and says he already fired his dog-walker. When Howard asks how Cinnamon will go to the bathroom that day, Raj claims he gave her an Imodium and that her bowel movement will be a problem for tomorrow. Sheldon enters and berates the commissary for gossiping about his and Amy’s love life, and Bert apologizes for his role in the gossip. Touched, Sheldon says that Bert is a good man and did not deserve to be stood up and shamed the previous night, forgetting the privacy rules he learned with Amy. Bert informs Sheldon that he did not paint him in the best light, and Sheldon ends his speech by telling everyone to stop gossiping, and that “for a good time, call Bert.”
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
HOWARD: Come on Raj it’s like your favorite movie, ‘Waiting to Exhale!’
RAJ: (after he wins) Just so you know, my favorite movie is ‘The Princess Bride.’
RAJ: Wait, are you giving up on me? What kind of a father says that to his son?
RAJ’s FATHER: I have 6 children, 5 of whom are married and self-sufficient. I do not think I am the problem.
AMY: Sheldon there’s a difference between greeting a friend in public and following a celebrity into a bathroom.
SHELDON: If a judge couldn’t a explain it to me I don’t think you will.
AMY: (after Sheldon invites a despondent Bert to sit with them) Sheldon that was so sweet of you!
SHELDON: I could deduce from his facial expression and body language that he was sad.
AMY: So the part where he got stood up didn’t clue you in?
BERNADETTE: Penny you didn’t have a lot of money when you moved here, how did you get by?
PENNY: Sometimes you can get free food and WiFi from the neighbors… just know you might have to marry one of them.
SHELDON: I’m calling it ‘Zones of Privacy.’ Don’t Google that unless you want to see pictures of people’s private parts.
Some great moments in tonight’s episode and I loved the reveal about Sheldon being able to drive. I cannot wait till Leonard finds out, you know that has irked him for 10 seasons now, and it should be a real moment if the show plays it well. And I like that Raj is getting an arc this season. It’s about time they started maturing his character, especially since he is supposed to be in his mid-thirties by this point. Here’s hoping they have a plan for Raj going forward, and that he does not mature in small spurts. See you back here next week!
Nick 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.