Well, at the very least I think last night’s episode was another step up for the series, though it is still struggling to recapture the magic of even last season in my opinion. I did laugh more than I have in the previous two episodes, which is always a good sign, so maybe the show is finally getting back on track.
This week’s story revolved around Amy and Howard (an unlikely pairing) deciding to work together on a project at work, which at first does not upset Sheldon, not until his new/ old ride to work Leonard asks him whether it bothers him (perhaps to get out of the “guess what siren this is?” game) and Sheldon suddenly finds himself jealous of the time Amy is spending with Howard. He does not even last one day before going into a kind of meltdown, questioning her time keeping skills (“What scientist says 8:15ish?”), her choice to work late with Howard, and then trying to get Amy to “collaborate” with him when she gets home by bringing out old projects they worked on together even though she is exhausted after her day of working, and proceeds to turn him down.
Changing tactics, Sheldon decides to visit Bernadette to commiserate together, but aside from Howard not being around to do chores, she does not seem to mind her husband working with Amy, though she does mind Raj and Sheldon whining about how much time Howard is spending with Amy. And while she cannot get rid of Raj, she does manage to trick Sheldon, Huck Finn style, into doing Howard’s chores around the house by telling Sheldon that he can get back at Howard by doing all his “favorite” things, aka housework. Sheldon jumps at the chance and is only enlightened to the truth hours later when Raj tells him that Howard hates housework.
Amy and Howard get along amazingly well with Amy loving Howard’s magic tricks and impressed with his engineering work and both enjoying their project, almost oblivious to the friction it is causing to their loved ones (Raj and Sheldon, as, again, Bernie does not care). Raj stops by to try to get Howard to take a break and go to the movies with him and is shot down, so he tries to guilt trip Howard into going home to Bernadette, but Amy points out that Raj just tried to get him to go hang out with him, so the guilt trip clearly means nothing.
Back at the apartment, even when Sheldon tries to find solace with Penny and Leonard, Sheldon is hurt, as earlier in the episode Bernadette had left a parenting book behind which Penny took to reading, deciding to try out the tactics on Sheldon, and finding them very useful. When she explains everything to Leonard he even joins in on trying to use the book on Sheldon, but eventually, he comes clean to his friend and throws Penny under the bus, which angers Sheldon even more, and he texts Amy that he is now mad at Leonard, Penny, Bernadette and Mark Twain.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
BERNADETTE: Yeah, Howie’s the best engineer, it says so on his coffee mug.
PENNY: Aww, you bought him a mug?
RAJ: I did.
SHELDON: I’ve got a new car game we can play, it’s called “What siren am I?”
LEONARD: Kill me.
HOWARD: Based on the ring on that finger I’d say you’re pretty good at controlling robots.
AMY: Careful, that’s my fiance you’re talking about…. and I can program him to kill you.
SHELDON: What kind of scientist uses “ish” ?
LEONARD: I’ll give it a go, my ride home with you was hellish.
SHELDON: (sending Amy to bed after she isn’t excited about collaborating with him when she got home from work) But don’t be surprised if you walk out here and find me doing it by myself.
RAJ: Bernadette is feeling a little abandoned by all the time you’ve been spending here.
AMY: You just asked him to go to the movies!
RAJ: Yeah but our weird relationship was grandfathered into the marriage and yours was not.
AMY: (checking her text messages) It’s Sheldon. He’s upset with Leonard and Penny… And Bernadette….. And Mark Twain.
I enjoyed the Penny using the book of parenting storyline tonight as it does harken back to the old plot of Sheldon using the dog-training technique against Penny (giving her chocolate when she did something good), and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the tables turned. I sincerely hope this is not the beginning of some crazy storyline where Amy and Howard cheat on their partners with each other, as that would be an awful storyline on a show like this, and is not the kind of shake-up the show needs. It needs to be more comedy, not more drama, and I cannot imagine something like that being anything more than drama. Here’s to hoping the writers know what they are doing.