The ‘Big Bang Theory’ returned from its Winter hiatus this week with a somewhat solid episode, reminding us where all of the major storylines for the final season were currently at, and letting us have some fun with the characters with the idea of a big paintball match (though the actual paintball war did not turn out to be nearly as entertaining as it could have been).
Starting off, we have the Sheldon and Amy story (which is the main story nowadays), as the two overcame their previous disappointment to turn their theories into somewhat famous scientific news, which they learn some on the internet are describing as the discovery of the decade. The university is so pleased with the pair that they invite Sheldon and Amy to dine in the VIP dining hall, where the President of the University invites Amy to do interviews to discuss their findings, encouraging Sheldon to stay behind due to his lack of social skills, something Sheldon does not appreciate but begrudgingly accepts. He even helps coach Amy to prepare her for her interviews and is ok with it all until he reads a headline which makes it seem like Amy is getting all the credit for their discovery. This leads to an argument when the two show up for the planned paintball outing in the climax of the episode. The argument is so distracting they lose track of their duties as guards of their flag and allow Bernie to steal it from them. They leave paintball still feuding, though they do agree to take Raj’s fiance home and are last seen in the episode at an interview where Sheldon is being interviewed alongside Amy, but within one question in, he knows he will not be able to control himself, so he excuses himself and allows Amy to continue the interview alone.
Raj and Anu’s story revolves around Raj setting up a doorbell app for her, which he first installs on his phone to test, which allows him to see her get a male visitor. His friends do warn him not to watch/spy on her door, warnings which, of course, Raj ignores. He does not confront Anu on what he saw until the paintball session, and they get into a massive argument where she reveals it was her ex-boyfriend coming by to pick up his belongings. When she demands to know why Raj does not trust her, Raj asks how could he when he barely knows her, which makes her wonder why they are even getting married in the first place. It’s a rather poignant moment for the new couple but one that I personally hope means this relationship is going to have depth moving forward as they are going to really think about the commitment from this point on. Anu ends up leaving with Sheldon and Amy, and the story line is left up in the air but I doubt that is the last we will see of Anu this season.
Stuart and Denise have their own story this episode as well, as we learn her roommate is leaving and she wants Stuart to move in. Stuart freaks out at the suggestion and does not answer her, which leaves them in a bit of an awkward spot going into paintball. So of course, she seeks him out and immediately shoots him (she is on the opposite team after all), and demands to know why he won’t move in with her. He admits he likes where they are and does not want to jeopardize things. So she proceeds to chase him down and shoot him repeatedly, leaving him with dozens of major bruises the next day when he finds her to apologize. He gives her a key to his apartment, which she points out is really just a key to the Wolowitz house. So after telling Denise she can never actually use the key, they kiss and make up, though he informs her even his face/lips are bruised after their paintball fight.
As for the last two couples, Howard and Bernie and Leonard and Penny, not much happens for them this episode, besides planning the paintball fight. Leonard was shocked to be chosen first to be on a team for paintball, and Howard was dismayed to be one of the last ones chosen. Leonard and Penny end up on opposite teams and Penny learns how painful a close up paintball shot to the chest is after she shoots Leonard up close and he returns the favor, and Howard (also on the opposite team of his wife), shoots Bernie without realizing it is her, and they creep inside one of the team bunkers to “make up,” being found making love by Denise, who comes back to grab the team flag from them so she can win, being a competitive person and all.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
HOWARD: I’ve been pretty annoying lately, Bernie’s gonna want to shoot me.
RAJ: I’m not trying to be a groomzilla…but this is my special day.
PENNY: Hey, who shot you?
STUART: Uh, Denise, Denise, Denise, Denise, Denise, Denise, Denise, and, uh, me, when I was running from.. Denise.
I really liked the idea of the paintball set-up this week, even if the execution was a little lacking, and I enjoyed the overall writing of the episode as it worked real hard to remind us of everything the season has been building so far with Raj and Stuart’s new ladyfriends and the scientific breakthrough of Sheldon and Amy. It was weird that it inadvertently highlighted how the show has nothing going on for Penny, Leonard, Howard, and Bernadette, who at one point in the series carried the story-lines, but I’ll cut them some slack for this week as they had enough story to go along with. Here’s hoping the second half of the season stays a little more consistent than the first half, especially as they start getting closer and closer to the end. See you back here next week!