One can really start to feel the “final-season-ness” of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ now, as all of the storylines are starting to get some weight, and it feels like the show is starting to trade some of its comedic opportunities for moments with more drama which are sure to pay off as they get closer to the finale. This week especially, even though the episode did feature Amy and Sheldon more (which I had wanted), it felt a lot more about the drama of the events than the comedy, which was a real shame considering that the Shamy usually brings in a lot of laughs.
So as I started saying, Sheldon and Amy’s story was the big one for tonight, as they learned during an episode of ‘Fun With Flags’ that a pair of scientists had confirmed their theory, meaning they were on their way to a Nobel Prize for their discovery about super-asymmetry. After meeting the physicists who proved their paper, and learning the whole thing was done by happy accident, Sheldon starts to worry that the men might take credit for the discovery, a worry spurred on by his friends who say such things have happened before.
Sheldon speaks to the visiting scientists and learns that only 3 names can be submitted for the Nobel Prize, and they want to remove Amy from the list, as she is the only non-physicist involved. Torn, Sheldon tells Amy what is going on, and though she is clearly rattled, she appreciates Sheldon being honest with her and knows it is his life’s dream to win the Nobel. She tells him to remove her name and submit with the other scientists, though that still does not sit well with Sheldon who goes to the University President and demands they submit for the Nobel with just him and Amy’s names, fighting the other application. When the President agrees and applauds Sheldon for his decision, Sheldon is slightly confused and full of energy he had planned on using to fight the matter. So he and the President head over to the new University gym where Sheldon asks if there are monkey-bars to play on.
In the other story of the night, Bernadette announces to the gang that a drug she has worked on for years is finally getting approved, and she wants Penny to head up her sales team, a job Penny is reluctant to take. Leonard, of course, encourages her but Penny admits that she is unsure whether it is work that she wants to do, regardless of the promotion, and working under Bernadette might not be a good idea. When she tries to tell Bernadette, Bernie sees right through her and is miffed at Penny’s rebuff, confiding in Howard and Raj that she is good at helping people becoming the best version of themselves (look at Howard the Astronaut!) and wants to help Penny be better.
Raj suggests she instead take the time to help him out, and Bernie informs him that she has been helping him out for years, she is just that good. So Bernie has another talk with Penny, ambushing her on the stairs in the apartment building and convincing her to take the job, and then sits back, impressed, as Penny later leads her first sales meeting with the team.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
SHELDON & AMY: (yelling at good news about their paper) WE DID IT! WE DID IT!
PENNY: (standing with the gang in the hallway hearing them yell) Ahhhh, remember when they only did it on her birthday?
LEONARD: (as Penny finishes the night’s dishes) I am so proud of you.
PENNY: I know how to do the dishes, just sometimes I’m tired.
RAJ: (on the topic of Bernie helping people’s lives) Well, I could use some help.
PENNY: Raj, why do you think you stopped wearing crocks and socks?
As far as laughs are concerned, not the best episode, but there was a lot of story going on, and you cannot help but enjoy a Sheldon and Amy story-line where we see Sheldon really dealing with things like credit for the Nobel Prize where he is selfless due to his love for his wife, a massive change from the character we knew in the early seasons. And while some might say that is a sign of the character softening too much and losing his edge, this is the back half of the final season, if ever a character like Sheldon is allowed to “lose his edge” and become more compassionate, especially for the woman he loves, it is now, and as a fan it is somewhat appreciated. Does that make up for the rest of the show still lacking? Not really, but at least the Sheldon and Amy scenes are still bearable.
Here’s hoping for a more comedic episode next week.