In a refreshing twist, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ this week was not all that bad, with an episode that just so happened to check off a number of boxes on my list of what the series needs to be doing right now to produce decent episodes. They leaned on Sheldon and Amy for some of the bigger laughs of the night, they put Leonard and Penny into an actual adult storyline that did not just involve their marriage on the rocks, and they found a fun, interesting semi-scientific-type activity for Raj and Howard and their ladies to do that felt like a throwback to seasons of the past. All in all, not a bad way to start off the final 10.
So the main storyline for the night. As Leonard prepares to donate his specimen for Penny’s ex so they can have a kid, he learns he cannot have sex for a week before the procedure. At the same time, Penny’s dad comes to visit, and he learns what Leonard is planning on doing when Penny “accidentally” lets it slip, and to her surprise, her dad understands why Leonard is doing it, and even compares him to a stud on a farm, not wanting to waste the potential. So Penny passive-aggressively tries to seduce Leonard to ruin the procedure, and he ends up sleeping on the couch at Sheldon and Amy’s, where they discover him in the morning and ask what is going on. He explains the situation and they point out that Penny might not be as ok with Leonard doing this as he originally thought. In the end, Penny talks to her dad about her decision to not have kids and he assures her that he is actually fine with whatever she decides, and Leonard decides not to go through with the plan.
As for Raj and Howard, they get to talking about the Wedding with Anu that would have happened that week had they not decided to take things slower, and Howard reveals the bachelor party would have included a flight on a weightless plane. They decide to do it anyway and make it a “guys weekend,’ but when Sheldon and Leonard cannot make it, Raj brings Anu and Howard tries to invite anyone else, knowing that Bernadette would not want to go. Of course, she is offended when she finds out and demands to go, but upon arrival, she confesses to Anu that she does not really want to be there, but also does not want Howard to be right. She tries to back out by using the excuse that the plane is dangerous and they have kids and therefore should not both go, so Howard volunteers to sit it out, saying he has already gone once, and knowing the real reason Bernie is trying to get out of it. So Bernadette rides the plane just to prove a point, screaming in terror the whole time, though she does think it is worth it just to prove Howard wrong.
Later, when Leonard breaks the news to Zack about donating his sperm, he offers a suggestion for another candidate. We then jump cut to Amy and Sheldon’s apartment when Sheldon is clearly on the phone with Zack, looking very excited, with Amy yelling that he cannot do it either.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
LEONARD: (as Sheldon barges into the apartment) Sheldon we’re kind of in the middle of something…
SHELDON: Oh I just need to grab something off a shelf…because I’m both tall, and smart….
AMY: (from their apartment) SHELDON COME HOME. THEY DON’T WANT TO HAVE YOUR BABY!
HOWARD: Would you mind if Raj and I went away this weekend?
BERNADETTE: Well, you gotta keep the spark alive.
AMY: (after they find Leonard asleep on their couch) Is everything ok?
LEONARD: Yeah I had to get out of the apartment, my wife kept trying to have sex with me.
SHELDON: Been there.
AMY: Why are you trying to avoid having sex?
SHELDON: Well we just did it three weeks ago!
AMY: I WAS TALKING TO LEONARD!
LEONARD: If Penny had a problem she should say something.
SHELDON: She tried to seduce you! If that’s not a cry for help I don’t know what is!
ANU: They are definitely your weirdest friends.
RAJ: If only that were true…
(cut to interior of the plane)
BERNADETTE: AHHHHHH! I hate this! Why am I doing this!?!
ANU: To prove a stupid point to your husband!
BERNADETTE: Oh right…totally worth it.
Relatively solid episode, though I am curious about whether the conclusion of the Penny storyline this week opens the door for her to have kids. It has been reported that Kaley Cuoco never wanted to play pregnant on the series, but now that the show is coming to an end, perhaps they will have her get pregnant at the end, so they can have their cake and eat it too. She won’t have to play pregnant, but Leonard and Penny can still have a kid, which is clearly what Leonard has wanted for years. Back to this episode, massive props to the writers for how they used Sheldon and Amy, their couple dynamic is amazing, and even Amy yelling across the hall to Sheldon is enough to get a chuckle out of me. Here’s hoping this is the start of a very strong final 10 episodes to the series!