Continuing the saga of Raj tonight, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ delivers a solid episode focusing on the gang’s plans for Comic Con 2017, especially now that they are all going through such big life changes, and have their significant others to consider before jetting off to San Diego for 5 days. The episode spent time on all the characters and all of their relationships, felt very well rounded, had a lot of laughs, and in my opinion, was arguably one of the better episodes of this season.
The main storyline revolved around Raj, as due to his new financial situation, he’s on a budget, and has asked Sheldon to become his new financial advisor of sorts, basically telling him what he can and cannot spend money on. And decision number 1 is that Raj cannot afford to go to Comic-Con, which Sheldon is adamant about. However, he says Raj can go if he finds a way to make the money outside of his budget, so Raj spends the episode struggling to find ways to make money. When selling his collectibles back to Stuart at the Comic Book store only yields $25 dollars (though he spent hundreds on the junk), Stuart offers him a job at the store, with his first job being marking up all of Raj’s junk to $50 or more. At one point Stuart even has Raj stand outside the store in his Aquaman costume wearing a signpost to drive up business. Sadly, Raj does not make enough money to go to Comic-Con, but the Wolowitz’s take pity on him and offer him money as “back pay” for all of his help with the baby, which he does not accept, as he wants to make his way on his own, though he truly appreciates the offer. Plus, as the baby’s Godfather, he says it’s his pleasure to help out.
As for Penny and Leonard, Penny has the idea to go to Comic Con with the guys to make Leonard happy and show an interest in something he likes, not realizing that Leonard really does not want her to go because he knows her misery will ruin the experience for him (and he already has Sheldon for that). So they spend the episode passive-aggressively feuding, and trying to get the other to admit that it is a bad idea, until at last Sheldon and Amy talk and share the secret desires of Penny and Leonard, and realize the truth. Though Amy councils Sheldon that they should stay out of it, when a fight ensues over whether or not Penny should drive to the Wolowitz’s for dinner that night, with Leonard pretending he’s fine with it while Penny knows he’s not (similar to the Comic Con dilemma) Amy cannot help herself and blurts out that Leonard’s real anger is because he doesn’t want Penny to go to Comic Con, to which Sheldon follows up by telling Leonard that Penny doesn’t really want to go either. The couple thinks for a moment about this revelation, with Penny in particular trying to figure out whether or not she should be mad at Leonard, and then decides everything is cool.
At the Wolowitz house, meanwhile, Bernadette has spent the week making Howard do all of the chores, cooking, and cleaning to get her to say yes to him going to Comic Con, since it would mean leaving her alone with the baby for 5 days. So while Raj struggles to make money, Howard struggles to be do everything Bernadette normally does, and unfortunately he learns he cannot outsource the work to his Indian friend, even if it would solve both of their problems. Later, when everyone comes over for dinner (not quite a meatloaf since Howard couldn’t get the meat out of the bowl), following the generous offer to Raj (and Stuart’s brief anger that he wasn’t offered pay for his help with the baby, though Bernie points out that he lives there for free), Leonard announces that he’s not actually going to go to Comic Con this year either, and would rather go somewhere fun with Penny that weekend. Immediately after that, Howard says he would rather stay home with Bernie and help take care of the baby, though Leonard points out it is really because Howard does not want to go to Comic Con alone with Sheldon. So it is decided that Sheldon will go alone, though Stuart does offer to go with him, but Sheldon tells him to check back in July, and they’ll see how Sheldon is feeling then.
In the episode close, Sheldon is trying to convince Amy to join him at Comic Con, but she has spent the whole episode telling Penny how she does not want to go to Comic Con, and Sheldon won’t change her mind either. She is intrigued though when he says what is in his pants might change her mind, but is instantly disappointed when he pulls out a list of panelists and shows her how long it is, as he clearly has not yet gotten to the point where he knows how to read Amy’s reactions or understand her true desires.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
LEONARD: (going through Raj’s receipts) What is pink cheeks?
RAJ: It’s intimate waxing- (snatching the paper from Leonard) quit looking at that!
SHELDON: (when they discuss the kind of person who would enjoy controlling Raj’s spending habits) He sounds like a sociopath.
LEONARD: (looking at Sheldon) We don’t know, his mother never had him tested.
AMY: (talking to Penny) Look at you, going to Comic-Con, talking about Ewoks, I really have become the cool one around here.
BERNADETTE: (when Howard starts being nice to her) Oh dear God! You’re cheating on me with Raj!
PENNY: Maybe it won’t be that bad. Leonard says it’s really mainstream now. Comic Books aren’t just for sad nerds anymore… (they spot Raj in his Aquaman costume outside the Comic Book Shop) Although that this still one of their key demographics.
RAJ: (thinking about ways to make money with Howard) Maybe I could sell my blood and sperm?
BERNADETTE: (entering the room at that moment) Maybe a should wear a bell around my neck so you guys could hear me coming.
Solid episode, solid laughs, solid arcs, and I really like that Raj turned down the money at the end, showed a lot of maturity and growth for his character. It did make me a bit sad to think that the guys would not be going to Comic Con this year, though it makes sense considering the fact that they have marriages, babies, and financial responsibilities. I like the direction the show is going right now as I’m beginning to actually care about the characters again, especially Raj, and he seems less the caricature they have made him out to be in the past few seasons. Here’s hope they manage to keep it going in the coming weeks!
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.