The Big Bang Theory The Long Distance Dissonance

‘The Big Bang Theory’ truly delivered for their finale this year, as this was undoubtedly one of the best episodes of the season, hitting all of my criteria for a great episode of the series. The whole gang was involved in the storyline, and was in a lot of scenes together (even Amy who was remoting in from New Jersey), the plot focused on Sheldon and Amy who are the break-out couple this season and produce the best comedy, a major storyline was advanced, and they managed to play off of Sheldon’s social naivety (which is basically what the show was built on) in a believable way, that led to a very satisfying conclusion.

bbt sheldon has lunch with dr. nowitskiThe episode begins with some long distance flirting between Sheldon and Amy, where he admonishes her for improper grammar, which apparently is more than enough to get Amy going. All seems well for the couple until the next day when the guys are at the cafeteria eating lunch and Sheldon approaches with Dr. Nowitski in tow (along with a Toblerone candy bar), and it is clear her Season 2 infatuation with Sheldon is still a thing. She and Sheldon choose to dine alone, and while watching her laugh at Sheldon’s jokes and touch his hand, the guys know something is not right. They express their worries to the wives, but Penny and Bernie do not want to worry Amy just yet that anything could be going on.

At the comic book shop. Leonard and Howard come up with a plan to try to set up Dr. Nowitski with another guy, and while Stuart initially volunteers, they shoot him down because, you know, it’s Stuart. Instead, Raj gives it the old college try, and she immediately turns him away, right before inviting Sheldon to join her, confirming for the guys that she only has eyes for their friend. Meanwhile, Sheldon has naively told Amy about his friendship with Dr. Nowitski, and Amy clearly knows when another woman is encroaching on her man. She calls and yells at Bernie and Penny for letting this happen, and even though they try to tell her nothing could ever happen with Sheldon, Amy reminds them that she has put in a lot of work with Sheldon, and another woman could capitalize on that. And, of course, Bernie and Penny take out Amy’s frustrations on their husbands, with Penny in particular getting angry with Leonard for being more obsessed with Dr. Nowitski’s Toblerone bar than paying attention to what is going on between her and Sheldon.

bbt the gang waves hello to nowitskiThe gang convenes at Penny and Leonard’s place for dinner to discuss their next moves, trying to assure themselves that nothing could possibly happen with Sheldon this woman, when Sheldon arrives with Dr. Nowitski in tow, claiming that she just convinced him to go for a swim, which is a huge red flag since Sheldon has never done that before. The dinner is awkward, but the group does their best to keep the pair separated, with Bernie wedging herself between Sheldon and Nowitski on the couch, but eventually Sheldon invites his guest back to his apartment to see his letters from famous people, leaving the gang in panic mode at having the two of them alone in the apartment next door. Luckily, Amy herself interrupts the pair with a Skype call, and she is not happy to find Dr. Nowitski alone in her apartment with Sheldon and is not amused when Leonard tries to call her to warn her, snapping “Too late Leonard!” into her phone.

bbt amy yells at bernie and pennyAll too soon, Sheldon heads back over to the gang and states that Amy says it is time for him to go to bed, and says he is going to walk Dr. Nowitski to her car, which is yet another red flag. Luckily, Penny has the brilliant idea of everyone walking Nowitski to her car, and in true Mariokart fashion, every maneuvers themselves as they walk to push Dr. Nowitski as far from possible from Sheldon, who simply thinks they are racing down the stairs. They see her off, and Penny immediately grabs Sheldon, says they need to talk, and takes him back to his apartment. She explains to him what is happening, a scene that I love because it highlights the special relationship Penny and Sheldon have developed over the years, where he truly does trust her in these social matters, though in this particular case, he does not believe that his relationship with Dr. Nowitski is anything but innocent and cannot believe that she would try anything knowing he is with Amy. Penny still warns him, and as he leaves the room, she glances at the awful painting of her and Amy on the wall which we rarely see and mutters to her friend that she tried.

The Long Distance DissonanceThe next day, Dr. Nowitski brings Sheldon lunch in his office, and since he has no social filter, Sheldon immediately asks her if she is interested in him. She does not say no, and when he begins to explain why he would have a problem with that, she leans in and gives him a kiss, a serious one. He excuses himself for a moment, and in one brilliant montage, we see Sheldon hail a cab, go to LAX, hop a plane, watch a few episodes of ‘Spongebob,’ land in New Jersey, jump into another cab, and head down the hall of the Princeton dormitory where Amy is staying. Inside her room, we hear the familiar Sheldon three times knock, startling her as it is probably the last thing she expected to hear that night, and when she opens the door…. Sheldon is down on one knee, ring in hand, asking if she will marry him.

End of season.


bbt penny tries to set sheldon straightSHELDON: (making long-distance small-talk with Amy about New Jersey) Would you like to know the state bird or the murder rate? …. They’re both SHOCKING.

LEONARD: (When Raj offers to help take care of Sheldon) Great! Tonight he wants to look at ladders at Home Depot.
RAJ: Oh. Why does he need a ladder?
LEONARD: He doesn’t, he just likes looking at them… Bring a book.

PENNY: Do you think living with Amy has somehow stirred up Sheldon’s sexual appetite?
BERNADETTE: Ugh! How can you think that!?! How can you even put those words together!

AMY: (yelling at Bernie and Pennyt) I gave you ONE job! Keep an eye on him! How hard is that!?!
PENNY: We thought you meant keep him from running out into traffic!
BERNADETTE: Which he only did once!

BERNADETTE: What do you want us to do?
AMY: Might be the New Jersey talking but this Nowinski broad needs to disappear!!

PENNY: Come on, you know looks don’t matter to Sheldon… because he only has eyes for you.
AMY: (aware of the insult) Nice try.
PENNY: Thanks. I was scrambling!

I had hoped for this proposal all season, and I am really happy with how it went down. True, we did not get an answer just yet, but that’s just fine, it was a great moment, following a great episode, and I will happily continue watching the show if it can deliver episodes like this on a semi-regular basis. Sheldon and Amy need to be front and center next season, I don’t even care if they lose other characters, they have all become peripheral lately anyway (and I’ve personally lost all hope for Raj), those two are the heart of the show now, and bring the best comedy. I was very surprised at how well this season was done, and I think it was the infusion of changes brought on by advancing the Shamy relationship, and I cannot wait to see where it goes next year. I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode as much as I have, and feel free to share your thoughts and opinions about the finale and this season in the comments below!

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.