The Big Bang Theory The Escape Hatch Identification

Tonight’s episode continues the saga of Raj’s journey to poverty and hopefully, maturity. It’s another strong outing for the show, made all the stronger by the inclusion of the entire cast in the main story, and the real stakes of the story as the final living situation for Raj will ultimately effect the dynamic of a few relationships on the show, and introduce some fun new conflicts that set up some great new comedy going forward for the rest of the season.

The Escape Hatch IdentificationThe episode opens with Leonard finding a recent posting by Raj online where he is asking if anyone knows of a cheap place to live, a posting that Howard also sees and pokes fun at Raj for. The posting spurs a conversation between Leonard and Penny about whether to offer Sheldon’s old room to their friend, while at the same time starts a conversation between Howard and Bernadette about whether to let Raj move into their garage. Both couples call and offer housing to Raj, who considers his options carefully before deciding to move in with Penny and Leonard because it is an actual room and not a garage with a space-heater.

Unfortunately for all, Sheldon takes some umbrage with the idea of Raj taking his room, especially since that had been his room for so long, and everyone around him suspected that he would have some problems with it. When Raj moves in and they have their first dinner, Sheldon inadvertently insults Raj by pointing out how sad his life is, and a fight ensues, and Sheldon and Amy head home, where Sheldon decides to call Leonard’s mother for her diagnosis about why losing the room is bothering him so much. She points out the spare room is his escape hatch from his relationship with Amy, and that is why it bothers him for Raj to take the room. She also points out how odd it is that Leonard and Penny keep taking roommates, wondering if their marriage needs a buffer to survive.

bbt sheldon expresses displeasure with raj moving inSheldon heads over to apologize but shares too much of what he learned from Leonard’s mom, and starts a new fight with Penny and Leonard when he points out what Leonard’s mother said about them needing a roommate buffer, and Raj leaves for the Wolowitz house feeling he is causing problems, causing another problem by announcing his presence by sneaking into the bedroom of a sleeping Bernie and Howard and scaring everyone with his presence. The Wolowitz’s let him stay and Stuart sets him up down on the couch, pointing out how great it is to live with Howard and Bernie and how he never wants to leave, but Raj says he feels bad sponging off his friends, a shame that Stuart clearly does not feel.

Meanwhile, Penny and Leonard call his mother to yell at her for her words to Sheldon, and yet Leonard strangely enough finds himself agreeing with her when she points out that Penny also tried to get her brother to move in with them, a fact that annoys Penny greatly. In the morning they realize Raj has left, encouraging them to scare Sheldon by proclaiming his dog, Cinnamon, has gotten loose in the building (even though it is with Raj), which Leonard does immediately, prompting Sheldon to cry out in panic that Amy needs to lock the door to their apartment.

bbt raj and stuart discuss being spongesEventually, they all meet up at the Wolowitz house to discuss Raj, and Penny and Leonard tell Raj to come back to their apartment, and Sheldon can just learn to deal with it. Raj makes sure they know it is a temporary situation, a statement which Bernadette uses to throw shade at Stuart who she knows is way too comfortable mooching off her and Howard, especially when he pretends to be taking care of the baby as his way of paying them back when the baby is actually at Bernadette’s parent’s house for the day. In the episode close, Sheldon points out how proud he and Amy should be because they are the only couple to not be taking in one of their friends as a buffer for their relationship (The Wolowitz’s with Stuart, Penny and Leonard with Raj), while Amy looks back at the life-size Batman statue Sheldon just convinced her to buy, and sadly/ sarcastically agrees that yeah, they are “killing it.”


bbt amy consoles sheldon over the loss of his roomLEONARD: (talking to Penny) It’s a video of him packing up his apartment asking if anyone knows of a cheap place to live. I want to say India but it sounds mean.
(smash cut to)
BERNADETTE: (as Howard laughs while typing) What’s so funny?
HOWARD: Raj is looking for a cheap place to live and I wrote “India.”

RAJ: (getting refreshments for everyone) It’s the least I can do after you guys helped me carry my stuff up the stairs.
HOWARD: It was really no problem.
BERNADETTE: Easy for you to say Mr. “box of towels.”

HOWARD: Hey look at that, you got a Raj, we got a Stuart. Maybe we should take them to the park and let them run around together.
LEONARD: I don’t know, yours looks like he has worms.

AMY: What’s that?
SHELDON: A little housewarming gift for Raj.
AMY: A bunch of fake snakes better not spring out of it cause that was a lousy anniversary present.

LEONARD: Why did you tell Sheldon we have marital problems, we don’t have marital problems!
BEVERLY: Then you must be yelling at me out of marital bliss.

STUART: (bursting into the bedroom with a bat after Raj startles Howard and Bernie awake) NOT ON MY WATCH!
BERNADETTE: It’s fine! You can hit him with the bat. But it’s fine!

Another solid entry for this season and I really appreciate how much they are letting Raj mature right now, especially since he has been such a spoiled mama’s boy for so long on the series. And all of the housing and roommates changes have really brought some great comedy about, and let Sheldon’s character really shine this season, forcing him into new situations that we would not have seen had they not starting shaking up the series a bit, and kept Sheldon living with Penny and Leonard forever (as could have been the case, and would have the been the case in other sitcoms). I am surprised they still have not gotten to the Howard’s dad storyline (and now am starting to wonder if they are even doing that this season), but with all they have done this season, I think they’ll be alright if they hold it off till next season.

Either way, I’m looking forward to the next episode and to see what Raj living with Penny and Leonard means for the show moving forward, and to see if they are going anywhere with how many hints they’ve been dropping about Penny and Leonard having serious marital issues below the surface, as it has been a recurring theme all season, and I cannot help but see a separation or some kind of split coming in the season finale, unless they’ve just been messing with us. Feel free to share your theories about the subject in the comments below. Other than that, see you next week!


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.