These past few weeks have been busy for this columnist, so for the first, and hopefully only, time we will combine two episodes of this 6th season of The Big Bang Theory into one column. Let’s get it on!
“The Habitation Configuration / The 43 Peculiarity”
These past few weeks have really delivered little in the way of story line development for this 6th season, aside from one major revelation and turning point for one of our couples that came in last weeks episode entitled “The 43 Peculiarity.” However, over the last two episodes, we were witness to Howard finally taking the next big step in his marriage with Bernadette: leaving his mother and moving in with his wife full-time. It should come as a surprise to no one that Howard has had a huge issue with leaving his mother permanently, after all it has only been he and his mom for all these years since his father left. As a child of divorce myself, I can appreciate the way with which this situation was setup and handled, and it was very well done all the way around and extremely heartfelt.
Also over the last couple of episodes we got more in the way of Penny and Sheldon interaction. Like we’ve said in the past, some of the show’s best comedic moments have been produced when Sheldon and Penny are placed together and separated from the rest of their pack. Case in point being Sheldon visiting Penny at the Cheesecake Factory seeking advice on how to deal with a relationship issue with Amy, and Penny getting him unknowingly drunk via Long Island Iced Teas. Kaley Cuoco’s performance as Penny continues to be undervalued and underrated week in and week out, and this scene between her and Jim Parsons is a prime example of the great chemistry the two actors have while working together, and the writers continued ability to put them in situations where they shine.
We also had several notable cameos, specifically in episode 6.7 with a nice turn by Wil Wheaton helping his friend Sheldon with his web show, “Fun with Flags” as he conveniently brought along a United Federation of Planets flag from his Star Trek days. It’s been nice to see the progress they’ve made with the Wil Wheaton character on the show, having him go from Sheldon’s nemesis in the earlier seasons to now kind of becoming an honorary member of the gang. Amy Farrah Fowler was also golden, as usual, in these scenes with Sheldon and Wheaton, playing annoying director to their acting montage. This episode was capped off by another limited cameo appearance by Levar Burton, also of Start Trek fame, stopping by for his turn on “Fun with Flags.”
The big moment of the past two episodes came last week in the form of a huge turning point in the Penny / Leonard relationship. For those of us who are true fans of the show, this was the big one, the one moment we have been waiting for: Penny finally admitting that she loves Leonard. Over the past couple of seasons, and most specifically this season, we have seen Penny struggle with coming to terms with her feelings for Leonard. Her relationship with him is unlike anything she has ever experienced before: he’s everything all of her past boyfriends have never been. This was one of the major developments I was hoping to see with the start of our new season, and it did not disappoint. In true Penny fashion, she lets it slip out over a discussion of why Leonard continues to be so insecure that she does, in fact, love him; and in true Leonard fashion, he has no idea how to react other than to be completely surprised and uncomfortable. While part of me wanted Leonard to grab Penny on lay one on her, that would have been completely unLeonard-like and I’m actually glad he didn’t, and instead retreated to his safe haven, the apartment. What an excellent way to bring the opening run of new episodes to a close as we arrive at the Thanksgiving break!
Other notable issues over these last few episodes include a throwback to earlier seasons with Raj and Howard trying to determine what Sheldon is up to in the basement of their school with the reveal that Sheldon is a closet hackey-sack player. We also got some excellent one on one time between Leonard and Sheldon which is always nice to have, and several limited appearances by Sheldon’s increasingly hot assistant who may prove to be a cog in the freshly greased Penny and Leonard wheel.
Fellow Big Bang fans, I’m sorry it’s been so long! Let’s discuss, argue, and look ahead! On Twitter: @davyshrader
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