Another stellar season of the Big Bang Theory has come and gone. The season saw a big change happen for the gang that’s long been awaited. In case you missed it or forgot or something in between here’s the episode by episode breakdown of what happened this season.
- The Hofstader Insufficiency. (B+)
Leonard is still away working on an experiment. Sheldon and Penny bond over missing him. Sheldon actually opens up to Penny and lets him know that she hurt his feelings during a conversation. Penny and Sheldon times are always fun, and it was a good way to start off the season.Amy and Bernadette are away at a science convention and get into a disagreement after two men buy them drinks. Bernadette insults Amy when she says something disparaging about Sheldon. The two get over it when they realize that they’re attracted to two strangers who resemble Sheldon and Howard.Raj is using his new found ability to talk to women when he attends a college mixer and has a moment with the recently divorced Mrs. Davis (who previously had to reprimand him for sexual harassment violations). Even though he has this moment, he’s not going to do anything about it.
- The Deception Verification. (A)
Leonard returns home early but doesn’t tell Sheldon. Instead he tries to steal some alone time with Penny. When Sheldon finds out he gets mad at Leonard. Meanwhile, Howard accidentally gives himself a heavy dose of estrogen by applying his mom’s ointment without using gloves. In an overly emotional state, he manages to get Leonard and Sheldon to reconcile. There’s also a great scene in this episode where Raj and Howard check each others breasts and Bernadette just walks away.
- The Scavenger Vortex. (A)
After everyone blows of Raj’s murder mystery night, he convinces them to all have a scavenger hunt like they did in school (well except Penny) where they are searching for a coin. They get randomly assigned to teams which ends up matching Penny/Sheldon, Amy/Howard and Leonard/Bernadette. Amy and Howard bond over their love of Neil Diamond after realizing they’ve never been alone before. Leonard discovers Bernadette’s competitive side and Penny and Sheldon make an oddly effective team. Eventually they find out that Raj has hidden a coin on each of them which ends in him fleeing from the apartment after Penny tells him “run…back to India”.Solid episode all around with some pairings that we almost never get to see (aside from Penny/Sheldon). This does kind of highlight that they may need to find something for Raj to do if they don’t want him to become a 7th wheel.
- The Raider’s Minimization. (B)
Amy upsets Sheldon when she reveals a big part flaw in Raiders of the Lost Ark. According to Amy (and several people on the internet) Indy actually has no direct effect on the outcome of the movie, because the Nazi’s would’ve died anyway. So Sheldon tries to find something of hers to ruin in retaliation.Steward and Raj make online dating profiles and Penny ends up getting a book about Leonard, written by his mother, for her psychology class. Leonard uses the opportunity to get Penny to have Penny sex with him. When Howard rats him out, Penny puts Leonard on a video chat with his mother, making him really sad. I really can’t imagine what having Leonard’s mom would really be like, but I’m sure it’s not good.
- The Workplace Proximity. (C+)
Amy gets an offer to work at the same university as Sheldon and the guys. Howard gets into hot water when he tells the guys that he wouldn’t be able to stand working with Bernadette and living with her. Amy takes the job after she and Sheldon agree to some terms. However, Sheldon attempts to endear himself to Amy’s coworkers and ends up embarrassing her. He never really gets what he did wrong although he does try to resolve things with Amy. Actually, none of the arguments in this episode really get resolved. Instead, the guys decide to shoot balloons with lasers. There were some funny moments in the episode but it really didn’t ever seem like it came together especially with the parts where it seemed like Sheldon should’ve learned a lesson.
- The Romance Resonance (B+)
Sheldon discovers a method to synthesize a new super-heavy element only to discover that he made a mistake in his calculations, which means the discovery was a fluke. Penny tries to be the romantic one in her and Leonard’s relationship and discovers that she’s pretty bad at it. Howard celebrates the anniversary of he and Bernadette’s first date but has to sing it to her in a quarantine chamber after she has an accident with some raccoon virus. Howard’s song is a highlight of this episode, but my favorite part was Sheldon’s victory dance around the apartment when he makes his discovery.
- The Proton Displacement (A)
Leonard, Sheldon and Amy run into Professor Proton (Bob Newhart) and he ends up asking Leonard for help on a paper he’s working on. Sheldon is offended that he asked Leonard instead of him so he tries to one up him by getting Bill Nye, the Science Guy (apparently he and Proton have a history). Raj and the girls hang out while making homemade jewelry. Howard mocks Raj, but ends up taking over the jewelry night and making Raj jealous. The two make up in their usual intimate way, leaving Amy to posit that they’ll have sex before she and Sheldon do.
- The Itchy Brain Simulation (A)
Sheldon finds out that Leonard forgot to return a DVD rental he tricks him into wearing an itchy sweater until the video can be returned, knowing that the video store closed down years ago. Sheldon claims that unresolved issues make him feel the same way as the sweater. The girls run into Lucy, Raj’s old girlfriend at the Cheesecake Factory and Penny gives her the 3rd degree; verifying that she is a good friend, but a terrible waitress. The incident leads to Raj meeting up with Lucy only find out that she’s dating someone else. Leonard goes to great lengths to return the DVD only to find out that Sheldon purchased the DVD seven years ago and has been playing a prank on him. A little surprised that there wasn’t a “bazinga” after that reveal.
- The Thanksgiving Decoupling (A+)
After debating the feasibility of cow tipping, the gang has Thanksgiving with the Wolowitz’s and Bernadette’s father. Before leaving they find out that Penny and Zach got married during a drunk night and Vegas even though Penny didn’t realize it was real. Sheldon ends up hitting it off with Bernadette’s father when he finds out that Sheldon’s intellect can also be applied to football. Penny invites Zack tot he party and Sheldon gets drunk with Bernadette’s father. This produces one of the season’s most memorable moments when a drunk Sheldon slaps Amy on the butt. Drunk Sheldon, though rare, is very entertaining.
- The Discovery Dissipation (C+)
The University wants Sheldon to continue to receive attention for his accidental discovery, which doesn’t sit well with him. Amy brings Sheldon’s friend, Wil Wheaton, to give him some advice on how to move on from something he’s not proud of. Just as Sheldon has accepted his discovery, Leonard is able to disprove the existence of the element, forcing Sheldon to retract his paper (and get mocked by Kripke). Raj stays with Bernadette and Howard and ends up being a better housemate than either of them, leading them to realize that they need to get him out of the house so they don’t hate each other.
- The Cooper Extraction (B)
The gang sits around at Christmas time and talks about how nice it is to not have Sheldon around. At Amy’s initiation they all consider what kind of lives they would have had if they didn’t know Sheldon. Meanwhile Sheldon off helping his sister deliver her baby. The entire episode is a bunch of flashes to different possible relationships or lack thereof. This contains a scene where Penny tries to seduce Sheldon (in Amy’s mind). We also get to see Howard’s mother’s face…kind of. In other news, is no one worried that Stewart might be suicidal?
- The Hesitation Ramification (C)
Penny is excited about getting a role on a TV show only to be devastated when her scene is cut from the show. In a drunken stuppor, Penny asks Leonard to marry him, Leonard turns her down not wanting to take advantage of the situation. Sheldon tries to learn comedy and Stewart and Raj try to learn to talk to other people.I guess Stewart is going to be around more to give Raj something to do. It’s alright even if it is a bit one-note. Otherwise, I’m not sure how I feel about what’s going on with Penny. It is a direction for her that will likely lead to change, it was just more sad than funny. Sometimes that’s necessary though.
- The Occupation Recalibration (B)
Leonard is afraid that he may have lost Penny after not accepting her proposal. Instead of breaking up with him, Penny reveals that she quit her job at the Cheesecake Factory. Leonard is worried about the idea but continues to try to feign support for her decision. Ultimately, this leads to Penny and Leonard (…and Sheldon) talking about their relationship. The best moment(s) in this episode have to do with Leonard leaving Sheldon sitting on the steps like a puppy and Penny retrieving him later.Sheldon is upset because the university is forcing him to take his vacation days. Bernadette is looking to replace a comic book of Howard’s that she destroyed with her curling iron. Raj and Howard point out to Amy that a geologist named Bert (Brian Posehn) likes her. The guys try to get her out of it by telling him she’s a lesbian.
- The Convention Conundrum (B+)
The guys try to buy tickets to ComicCon but fail to get them before they sold out. While the rest of the group decides to get scalped tickets, Sheldon decides to create his own convention, which leads him contacting several celebrities and stalking James Earl Jones. Strangely, he seems to be okay with it and he ends up hanging out with Sheldon. I’m guessing his attitude doesn’t translate to real life.The girls decide to go to afternoon tea while the guys are nerding out. They don’t realize that the tea is for little kids. So they go to a bar and talk about being grown up. Several jokes were made about people thinking Bernadette being Penny’s child, which…isn’t too unbelievable.
- The Locomotive Manipulation (A)
In an attempt to get Sheldon to go along with Valentine’s day plans, Amy plans to a trip on a vintage train with Howard and Bernadette. The trip is going fine until they run into another train enthusiast and Sheldon goes off with him. Eventually, Amy stands up to him but Sheldon is outraged by the idea that she was trying to trick him into romance. When he starts to make a scene, he ends up kissing Amy on the lips, leading to a more romantic weekend. This is easily one of the biggest moments of the season.Raj leaves Cinnamon with Leonard and Penny. She gets into some Valentine’s chocolate while Leonard and Penny are having sex and has to be taken to the vet. Raj shows up and impresses the vet with how much he cares for the dog. She ends up giving him her number when he leaves and is glad to hear that Leonard and Penny aren’t actually pet owners.
- The Table Polarization (B)
Leonard and Sheldon argue over getting a dinning room table to go in the familiar unused space in their apartment. At first the dining room table becomes an tug of war between Penny and Sheldon over Leonard’s will. Somehow, this leads to Sheldon realizing that Amy has changed him and he goes to try to break up with her. With some forewarning from Penny, Amy nips that in the bud and begins manipulating Sheldon. The whole thing’s a pretty funny back and forth that goes on until Amy overplays her hand and tries to get Sheldon to move in to her place.Howard is given the opportunity to go back to space. At first Howard is excited about the idea but Bernadette and some others help to remind him how much he hated his first trip to space. Howard objects while everyone is there, but ends up faking having high blood pressure to get out of it once he realizes that he’ll have to do survival training again.
- The Friendship Turbulence (B)
After a dinner where the group discusses some of the depressing aspects of their lives, Penny and Leonard get into a fight when he finds out she turned down a movie part. Sheldon also reveals the reason why he constantly berates Howard. It turns out that Howard was mean to Sheldon when they first met and the whole thing has been building since then. Bernadette encourages Howard to bury the Hatchet with Sheldon and the two end up heading to Texas together. When their plane hits some turbulence, they both reveal their feelings.Raj and Amy talk about Raj’s dating life and later Raj comes back to Amy for help. He has Amy contact Emily (Laura Spencer), a girl from a dating website. Emily doesn’t want to meet with a guy who couldn’t talk to her for himself but does hit it off with Amy. Raj scares her away when he barges in on Amy and Emily getting coffee.Meanwhile Penny starts to regret her decision not to take the movie job, especially when her car breaks down. In a show of support, Leonard buys Penny a car so that she doesn’t have to go back to her job at the Cheesecake Factory. I wonder how the Cheesecake Factory franchise feels about all of this.
- The Mommy Observation (B+)
While Howard and Sheldon are still in Texas, the rest of the gang (and Stewart) are having dinner and trying to figure out what to do. Raj takes the opportunity to have another murder mystery dinner. This time, the game has everyone playing as themselves, and thinking about what they (and their relationships) might be doing in the future. In Texas, Sheldon drops in on his mother only to find her having sex. The whole thing is a bit of a shock to Sheldon (as you would expect). After a few drinks, he goes back to confront his mother. On the surface, it seems like Sheldon is having a typical “Sheldon” reaction to the whole situation but he’s actually having a problem reconciling the morals his mother preached to him as a child with what he’s seen her doing. It’s an unusually honest response to an issue of faith/practice that isn’t the shows normal stomping ground. Also, Sheldon having the sex talk with his mom is just priceless.
- The Indecision Amalgamation (A)
Sheldon is in the midst of making a very tough decision: whether to buy a PS4 or an XBox One. Similar decisions have plagued video game nerds and geeks for a long time. When Sheldon gets to the store he is paralyzed by indecision. He ends up taking so long that the store closes.Bernadette has a mishap at work when she signs a get well card for a coworker thinking that it’s for her retirement. The scene where she tells the girls about it is wonderful. Raj also has some good moments away from the group as he runs into Emily, the girl from episode 17 and ends up going out with her. Despite his usual weirdness, the two seem to actually hit it off.After not getting another gig, Penny finds out that the terrible horror movie job is still open. She has a somewhat depressing meeting with Wil Wheaton to get some advice, and ends up deciding to take the job after all. Afterward, she ends up finding out that Wil is actually on the same movie that she is. This episode is full of some really funny individual scenes.
- The Relationship Diremption (A)
Sheldon has decided that researching String Theory is a dead end and that he should move on to a new field of study. Penny gives him the advice to treat the change like a break up, complete with a new hair style and some drinking. My favorite line from this whole thing was, “Geology is the Karadashians of science”.Raj has told Lucy about Emily, which ended that relationship. Now, only dating one girl, Raj agrees to go on a double date with Howard and Bernadette. After being afraid that Howard would embarrass him, Howard is the embarrassed one. It turns out that he went on a date with Emily that had results he wishes he could forget. The date also shows that Emily might be just as weird as Raj.
- The Anything Can Happen Recurrence (B+)
With Sheldon still making a decision and Amy and Bernadette unavailable; Penny, Leonard and Sheldon decide to reinstitute anything can happen Thursday. While they’re looking for a place to eat they find Amy and Bernadette out by themselves. When they tell Penny and Sheldon that they needed a break from them, they decide to go off on their own and leave Leonard with the girls.
Meanwhile, Raj is pre-watching a movie that he’s supposed to watch later with Emily. It’s an incredibly gory film that Raj doesn’t think he can get through so he wants to watch it with Howard. As they try to get through the film, Raj starts to wonder why (or how) Emily could be in to this kind of thing. There’s a great couple of moments at the end of this episode between Sheldon and Amy and Raj and Emily.
- The Proton Transmogrification (B)
Star Wars day (May the 4th) is approaching and the guys are making plans to celebrate. However, their plans are interrupted when they’re informed that Professor Proton (Bob Newhart) has passed away and that his funeral is the same day. Sheldon has a hard time dealing with the death, but recovers after seeing Professor Proton in a Star Wars influenced dream. Penny and Leonard go to the funeral while Bernadette and Amy make a Star Wars cake to cheer Sheldon up. When leaving the funeral Penny and Leonard get into the engagement conversation again and Leonard gives Penny a hard time for actually proposing more than he has. It’s a sweet episode, but not the strongest.
- The Gorilla Dissolution (A)
Howard and Raj are moving a treadmill into his mother’s place but they have an accident that ends up with his mom being disabled. Later, Sheldon and Raj go to see a movie and run into Emily, who’s there with another man. Penny (and Wil Wheaton) are both fired from the monkey movie leaving Penny, once again, with no idea where her career is going.
Amazingly, Sheldon ends up being the one that gives Raj relationship advice. Raj calms down, talks to Emily and then she shows him her tattoos. Howard and Bernadette burn through their patience and several other options before eventually deciding to hire a maid for Mrs. Walowitz. Penny and Leonard, after a strange conversation about breakfast pastries, finally agree to get married. After all of the back and forth these two have had, this moment felt really appropriate for the show and the couple.
- The Status Quo Combustion (B+)
At the beginning of the finale we find out that the Walowitz’s have had a hard time keeping a maid, Penny and Leonard announce their engagement, and Raj announces that he had sex. Later on, Sheldon finds out that the university won’t allow him to switch his field of study. Between his issues at the university and the changes being brought on by Leonard and Penny’s wedding, Sheldon becomes overwhelmed. The last straw seems to be when he goes to Stewart’s comic book store to find that it burned down. All of this leads Sheldon to decide that he needs to leave town for a while. The Walowitz’s also help Stewart and themselves by bringing him on as a live-in maid for Howard’s mom. It’s an interesting end to the season that has some pretty serious moments. I found it somewhat appropriate that this season ends with Sheldon taking a trip after Leonard leaving last season. Hopefully, we’ll see a bit of a different Sheldon when season 8 begins.