TV Review: ‘The Big Bang Theory: The Bow Tie Asymmetry’ (Season 11 Episode 24)

For a season that basically ended up being all about the lead-up to Sheldon and Amy’s wedding, you knew this finale was going to be big and had a lot to deliver on. Luckily, it did exactly that. I can say without hyperbole this was the best of the season, and probably of the past couple of years, with a perfect combination of humor, heart, characters, and everything that makes this show great. It was a pleasure to watch, and in fact, they had so much good stuff, they even had to cut so amazing tags.

Diving right in, it is the wedding day (obviously), and everyone is uber-excited for the festivities, though they are struggling to come up with the appropriate pop-culture metaphor for the team mission they have ahead of them, with ‘Avengers’ being dismissed in favor of ‘The Lord Of the Rings,’ as Sheldon likes ‘Rings’ better as it too features a Ring that binds him for eternity. Penny gets the fun task of picking up Amy’s parents from the airport, meeting Mrs. Fowler (Kathy Bates), a constant complainer who never lets her husband (Teller, from ‘Penn and Teller’) utter a sentence. Raj picks up Mary and Missy Cooper from the airport (and huzzah for the return of Missy, the same actress from the one episode we saw her in almost 10 years ago!) and we learn they are bickering now that Missy is pregnant again and in the midst of a divorce from her husband. They all meet up at Leonard and Penny’s apartment, where Amy has just met Georgie, finding his Texas accent sexy and wanting to know why Sheldon does not speak the same way. She is very excited to meet Missy and welcomes her as her sister, and everything seems to be going great so far.

Meanwhile, at the Wolowitz house, Howard finds a lost dog and calls to return it to its owner, who turns out to be none other than Mark Hamill! And surprise surprise, the man really wants to do Howard a favor in return for finding his lost pet, Bark Hamill. So Howard convinces him to officiate the wedding, knocking Will Wheaton out of the position, and rushing over to the comic book store to announce the news to Stuart, who was just inviting Denise to be his date for the wedding. Wanting to meet Mark Hamill, her answer changes from a “no” to an instant “YES,” and even Stuart has a date for the wedding! (Poor Raj)

At the wedding, Sheldon and Leonard have a heartfelt moment, with Sheldon assuring his best friend that he will “always his problem” right before Mary Cooper enters. She tells Sheldon how proud she is of him, and they both share a moment wishing Sheldon’s father was there, a moment with a lot more impact now that we have met and come to love the man over on ‘Young Sheldon.’ As Mary attempts to straighten his bow-tie Sheldon informs her that Amy already told him that it was supposed to be a little asymmetrical, which suddenly inspires a scientific break-through for him. He rushes to Amy to share his news (a nice touch, that she is the one he wants to share his news with first) and after complimenting her repeatedly on how beautiful she looks, they both excitedly start working on equations on her mirror using her lipstick.

Meanwhile, Will Wheaton is annoyed by being bumped from officiating, but Mark Hamill is completely oblivious, even borrowing Will’s notes to help his speech. Also, the crowd is growing restless, and Stuart asks Hamill to stall, telling the crowd to ask him any ‘Star Wars’ questions they have in the meanwhile. Hamill is a little put-out, but luckily Stuart can answer almost every question they have, which actually impresses Denise, and it seems like she might be into Stuart now.  And when Amy’s mom announces that Sheldon must have chickened out, and is about to storm out, Penny takes charge, orders her to sit down and shut up. She then silences Mary who starts doing a slow clap at Penny defending her son. Penny then storms into Amy’s room and is not at all surprised to find Amy, Sheldon, and LEONARD (who got sucked in as well) working on a new theory called super asymmetry, informing them the guests are waiting. They decide the science can wait and they head out to get married.

Sheldon is of course shocked to see Mark Hamill, but he quickly pulls himself together, as it is his wedding day. He and Amy exchange their vows, Amy’s in particular being particularly beautiful, causing many in attendance to tear up (as well as some folks watching at home…), including Mark Hamill, who motions for Sheldon to do his vows while he composes himself. Sheldon, for the first time in his life, cannot think of the right words to say but ends up promising to show Amy for the rest of his life how much she means to him, which is just as beautiful in its own way. They kiss, and recess out of the hall to Kripke’s rendition of “At Last,’ reminding us of the deal they struck with the man so they could get the hall that day for their wedding.


MARY COOPER: (to Raj) Thank you for picking us up. You know our driver to the airport was also an Indian fella.

AMY: (to Georgie) I like your accent. Sheldon did you used to sound like that? (beat) Can you still?

AMY: It’s so nice to meet you! I’ve always wanted a sister!
SHELDON: Really? Why?
MISSY: I love you too Shelly.
LEONARD: Really? Why?

HOWARD: (upon learning the name of Mark Hamill’s dog) You dog’s name is Bark?…. Bark…Hamill?

STUART: Hey dude.
STUART: Yeah, you know. I want you to know I don’t think of you as a woman.
DENISE: Perfect, I don’t think of you as a man.

SHELDON: Are you having an allergic reaction?
LEONARD: No. I’m just so happy for you. And for me. After today, you are officially, and more important, legally, Amy’s problem.
SHELDON: Don’t be silly Leonard, I will always be your problem.

WILL WHEATON: So we finally meet.
MARK HAMILL: I’m sorry, who are you?
WILL WHEATON: I’m Will Wheaton, I was supposed to officiate this wedding. (waving his notebook in Hamill’s face) I was up all night preparing these notes.
MARK HAMILL: (grabbing the notebook) Well thanks so much, this is gonna be a great help!

MARK HAMILL: Congratulations on your wedding.
SHELDON: Thank you. When this is over I have 4,000 things for you to sign.

Highlight of the season. So many great cameos, and true, they were missing Sheldon’s MeeMaw, and Leonard’s mom, both of whom I hear had scheduling issues (though I also hear there is a deleted scene of Annie Pott’s as MeeMaw leaving a voicemail for Sheldon and Amy), they had A LOT of characters there for this wedding, and it was fun seeing them all there interacting in the background, and reacting to the vows. I especially enjoyed how the simple existence of the ‘Young Sheldon’ series made this entire episode that much more meaningful as those who have watched it can truly see how far Sheldon has come, and appreciate things like him thanking his mom for everything over the course of his life, and their shared grief that his dad could not be there. So many great moments in the episode, I may have to watch it again. Though the season itself may have been a little uneven, I’ll give the show credit for finishing strong, and I hope they come back just as strong next year. See you back here then!