Well, from this point forward there are only 10 episodes left of ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ and as a long-time viewer, that comes as somewhat of a relief as the series continues to struggle through its final season, unable to find any comedic consistency. This week’s beleaguered episode felt like little more than filler, pitting the Wolowitz’s against their neighbor’s encroaching balcony, and making Leonard jealous of all the attention those around him have been getting this season due to their own story advancement. Nothing really exciting happened, little plot movement forward for the season, and few laughs.
The main story was all about Bernie and Howard discovering their neighbor “somehow” built a brand new balcony overlooking their deck and hot-tub, with a motion sensor flood-light that shines right down upon them…. which they magically did not notice until it was completely finished. Right.
So at that point, they are annoyed and take the fight to city hall where they enlist Sheldon’s help to see if the guy even had a permit for his new balcony, only for Sheldon to discover Howard and Bernie did not even bother with permits for their own renovations. The episode MIGHT have had some merit if Sheldon had made the decision to turn in his friends for their law-breaking, but instead, he simply snitches on their neighbor for them after stressing out about the right thing to do. And while some might say this demonstrate’s growth on Sheldon’s part, to side with his friends even when they are clearly breaking rules like not getting permits, story-wise it makes for a rather bland episode, as less conflict equals less comedy, and thus a boring story-line, that simply ends with the neighbor losing his balcony and Sheldon earning the ire of said neighbor.
The secondary story is about a meteor that Bert the geologist finds that he asks for Raj’s help in investigating, which completely distracts everyone from Leonard’s new laser which he had invited the guys to see. To make matters worse for Leonard, he is also getting a cold and is annoyed that when they want to open up the meteor to see inside, his idea to use his laser is shot down in favor of Bert’s saw.
Later, left alone in his apartment in isolation when Sheldon discovers he is sick, Leonard has nightmares of stealing the meteor and cracking it open with the laser, only to discover some alien power inside which takes over his mind and makes him attack and start eating Raj and Bert, and later Penny.
Eventually, Leonard apologizes to Raj and Bert for his attitude, revealing he was jealous of the attention they were getting for the meteor, especially when Sheldon and Amy were also getting so much attention over the Nobel Prize (a story-line which is back-burner-ed for this episode because, as I said before, this is clearly just a filler episode).
In what is arguably the funniest bit of the episode, Stuart and Denise are concerned when they hear Raj and Leonard talk about cracking open the meteorite while shopping at the Comic Book store, and warn them that if comics have taught them anything, it is to not mess with objects from space. We also learn that Stuart has a complete collection of cold medicines for Leonard to choose from for his sickness, as he even collects medicine. And in the episode close, when Denise and Stuart see no one in the store or on the street, they guess that the guys might have opened the meteorite and unleashed a plague upon the Earth, leaving the two of them the last two humans alive. They discuss survival and realize they will need to repopulate the Earth, which they both seem very excited about, with Denise going to brush her teeth as Stuart locks the doors to the store, just as Sheldon walks up. Stuart puts the “closed” sign up right over Sheldon’s annoyed face, and as Sheldon shouts about a bad Yelp review, Stuart hurries back to begin the work of repopulating the Earth with Denise.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
BERT: I don’t really have dreams. In life, or in sleep…
STUART: Whoa whoa, you’re not going to cut open a meteor, are you? Look around here? Have we learned nothing from comics? I see nothing but warnings!
SHELDON: Are you telling me I showered in an un-inspected bathroom?
BERNADETTE: You showered in our house?
SHELDON: You made me hold your children! What else did you expect me to do?
I feel like we are either in for a long slog before finally getting to the finale, or this was maybe one of the last “filler” episodes of the series before they really get into the final run of episodes where they finish strong. Clearly, the show is not going to have one of those amazing final seasons where they rekindle the old magic and keep it going for the whole season, but if they manage to finish the final 10 strong that would still be something great, though I am not holding my breath. I just don’t know if the writers have it in them anymore. Even in the final season they can’t seem to find anything to do with Leonard and Penny, sophomoric story-lines like “Leonard is jealous about the attention the other characters are getting” just doesn’t cut it in the final season. Give his character some depth and growth, after 12 seasons, he deserves that, same with Penny. Ah well. See you back here next week for what will hopefully be a better episode.