Catching Up on The Big Bang Theory

I’ve been remiss about reviewing TBBT in real-time, so I’m going to do a catchall on the last three episodes.

First, Leonard is lonely. This takes him through a cringey blind date with Bernadette’s friend after he invokes the friend clause on Wolowitz, and then a resumption of the booty call relationship he has with Raj’s sister, Priya, when she has a layover in LA. This week, he finds his backbone and decides to be more cavalier with the ladies. Unfortunately he test drives that on Raj, who is receptive, and an FBI agent (guest star Eliza Dushku), who is not.

On the Wolowitz front, he’s back with Bernadette and sorting out what that all means and this week, he’s offered a promotion. This involves a background check, which begets the Dushku appearance. Before she gets Leonard’s inappropriate overtures, she’s treated to a drunk-on-rum-cake Raj trying to deflect possible questions about his right-to-work status. After Leonard, she gets Sheldon’s credentials test and a nugget of background information that can nix Wolowitz’s promotion, a passing mention of the Mars Rover debacle.

Sheldon is then panged with extraordinary guilt, which is a new emotion for him, so he (unsuccessfully) tries to drink his troubles away at The Cheesecake Factory, where they have a newly back-to-work Kaley Cuoco stashed behind the bar to hide her leg. Sheldon and Penny have a surprising heart-to-heart about Star Trek and Sheldon realizes how he can make it right with Wolowitz. He offers up his most precious asset, the sofa cushion that is the center of his universe, giving Wolowitz his spot on the couch. That lasts precisely 94 seconds, which nets Penny the pot for the bet from Leonard.

Prior to this week, Sheldon made more headway with the Shamy when Amy asked him to meet her mother. He panicked and tried to break up with her again and she wasn’t having it, so they worked that out with a webcam meet and greet with mom, where they maintained a ruse of intimacy to please her. And, when Sheldon caught Priya and Leonard together last week, he was apoplectic about how not to spill that to Raj.

I was glad Kaley was back so quick this week. The placard at the end of tonight’s episode was a hilarious do’s and don’ts in light of her injury – gems like “No friggin’ horses” and only consumer liquor at home in a comfy chair. I missed Two and a Half Men to see if there was a similar warning for the Plaza Hotel.

If I can digress for a minute – there’s been talk about professional enablement with Charlie Sheen because he was allowed to go straight back to work, and while I know very well he entered his show with his issues already established, I worry about the lovely cast of TBBT (which shares a production team, studio and network with Two and a Half Men) and whether anyone will cockblock them if they segue into self-destructive behavior (horses aside). I think this cast are solid and grounded and it’s highly unlikely, but it’s crossed the mind of my inner Mama Wolowitz all the same.

PS – It was lovely to have Eliza back on TV, but she sadly had to play it straight in G-woman dress blues while the boys flailed around her, and she even denied recognition of Mulder and Scully (for shame). I hope they run into her again when she’s on civilian time and we perhaps find out that she’s not so button down. Her one personalization was telling Leonard she had a 6’ 2” Navy SEAL husband at home, when his “How you doin’?” attempt failed, so, there’s got to be something there besides the by-the-numbers Feeb.

See you next week!

Photo Courtesy of Monty Brinton/CBS

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