'The Big Bang Theory' recap: Not coitus-ing around

Big-Bang-SpaghettiImage Credit: Monty Brinton/CBSTeam Leonard? Or Team Penny? Or do mommy and daddy both love you very much, and nothing will ever change that, even if mommy and daddy can’t be together anymore? As Penny and Leonard moved squarely into the “they already did” part of the “will they/won’t they” matrix, Sheldon, maybe predictably, found himself unable to navigate bros before hoes — without offending the hoes.

The Sheldon Factor was the real part at play with the Leonard/Penny breakup: There’s no credible way for the show to keep Penny totally isolated from the guys, but how does she reintegrate on a just-friends basis with Leonard, and how does she stay friends with Sheldon, especially after all that work he did to “accommodate” her in his life? He wanted to have dinner with Leonard and Penny, and figured the best way to do it was through careful stealth and emotional subtly…or, as it worked out, terribly conspicuous covers and gratuitous lies. But what it boiled down to for the recent exes was a mommy/daddy fight — and that was a big choice for BBT about what kind of breakup these two have. How civil can they be — and how civil do they want to be? Who’s in the crossfire? Can they separate the good parts of their friendship from the bad parts of their relationship? “The Spaghetti Catalyst” insisted they could, but only with Sheldon as their infantilized pawn.

Elsewhere in the episode, Wolowitz complained about his mom (knock me over with a feather), and Raj sifted through unusual pornography and lamented his year-long dry spell. Dude is due for a real love interest.

Last week’s Wil Wheaton episode packed so much in that this week was inevitably going to feel like a let-down. But it laid some solid groundwork for what’s to come, without, er, coitus-ing around too much. Penny and Leonard are going to find their rhythm again, and Penny and Sheldon are still one of the funniest BFF pairs on TV. Everything is right in the universe.

What did you think, PopWatchers? Do you wish Raj were Aquaman? Do you want Penny and Leonard to get back together, or are you glad to see them segue back into friendship? And what was your favorite line from the episode?

Comments (68 total) Add your comment
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  • Blake

    I love this show, but I was disappointed with this episode, the whole “divorce” thing has already been done on that 70s show when Donna and Eric broke up, I know this isnt the most original show of all time but still it was just absurd this time. Also Raj got a little too weird as every line out of his mouth was either about his lack of sex or porn, he definitely needs a girl. Hopefully it rebounds next week

    • Zeddicus zu’l zorander

      I have been disappointed with this season so far as it has become the Sheldon Show, but have to admit this episode was genuinely funny. To your points:

      1. The divorce schtick has been done before “That 70s Show” as well – that is show that is hardly original or creative, just a bunch of people trying too hard to look cool
      2. Its about time Raj had something to say, its almost as if the writers forgot that he existed in their insistence that they revisit the Leonard and Penny relationship.

      • Diane

        I watched the episode and thought “been there, done that” with the divorce/Sheldon as the kid episode too. The Micky Mouse ears, eating junk food, too tired schtick was so Fez I couldn’t even recognize Sheldon in the mix. I expect MORE from TBBT

    • Bob

      The divorce joke is an old one, but I thought they pulled it off well. Goofaphobia? That was a new wrinkle.

  • Dave

    This wasn’t one of the best episodes ever, but it still had it’s moments. Sheldon was a lot less… sheldon-y. I know the whole episode still completely revolved around him, but it felt like it did less, somehow.

  • Flyer

    I know there’s been a lot of talk about how it would work for Sheldon to actually be in a romantic relationship. However, I’d really like to see BBT explore Raj getting involved in a serious relationship, where he has to learn how to talk to a woman without relying on alcohol as a social crutch. That would be really interesting and would shine some much-needed attention on Raj.

    • Gayle

      I completely agree. I really like the character of Raj (I think he is hot) and would love to see him find love.

    • JosieG

      I too would love some more Raj. I think he’s a great charater that they could do a lot with. Looking forward to his story.

    • Sue1

      I agree too. Raj is definitely the most-underused character-while he gets great lines occasionally there is much potential for him.

      • seattleellen

        I agree as Raj is a hoot and recently they haven’t given him enough to do. Oh and I do hope Penny & Leonard get back together. Funniest moment with Wolowitz was when he got on his scooter & told Sheldon to step back because of the “horsepower”.

    • justin

      I’d love to see Raj have a girlfriend.

  • Beth

    I want Penny and Leonard back together! I loved the fact that when they were a couple, not every episode was about them. It was refreshing for TV.

    Besides, the manipulation of evil Will Wheaton shouldn’t stand! ;-) Seriously, they both seem unhappy apart. They just need to figure things out — and Wheaton’s role in the break up.

    • Diggity

      Me too, I felt so sorry for Leonard last night. I like them together, but not when the show spotlights it. Does that make any sense?

      • Sue1

        Yes Diggity, it does. Incorporating their relationship into the group dynamic rather than bringing them to the forefront was working quite well. I also think that a little separation for them can work out well too, letting each character grow a little and learn to appreciate the other.

  • Joseph

    I refused to watch this episode because I know they were going to break up Penny and Leonard. I hate it when a show does this and can’t go through with it again. For example, Ross and Rachel on Friends and Donna and Eric on That 70s show broke up and back together too many times. It gets on my nerves and I can’t stand it anymore.

    • Zeddicus zu’l zorander

      Shows have been doing this forever, Cory and Topanga on Boy Meets World, Sam and Diane on Cheers, heck even Sabrina and Harvey from Sabrina the Teenage Witch

      • kate

        JD and Eliot on Scrubs… but it doesn’t make it any less annoying to me. Be together or be apart, but the constant break-up, get back together is so boring.

    • JLC

      I think you hit the nail on the head with Ross and Rachel on Friends. BBT got the “will they or won’t they” out of the way and so the couple will continue to stay apart…until the series finale.

  • Fangirljen

    Best line of the episode was from Raj: “…do you think the elastic woman from The Incredibles uses birth control, or can she turn herself into a diaphragm?” Then Howard: “It’s official, we’ve run out of things to talk about!”

    • cookiemac

      I agree, best line ever. I nearly fell of the couch with that one.

  • LuisPj

    I Lol @ the wording of Last week’s

  • javi

    wow zeddicus you brought some classic shows there and good memmory but you forgot kelly and zac from saved by the bell.

  • Jaz

    Meh an average episode. I was kind of frustrated with the infantalizing(?) of Sheldon towards the end but if there is one highlight that stuck with me was that the LP breakup actually stuck :) Thank you PTB! And please never-ever put these two together ever again they pretty much ruined season 3 for me lucky I still had Shelly and Raj to keep me amused during S3’s lowest points.

    • Kal

      This probably won’t soothe your frustration at turning Sheldon into a child stand-in, but at least the show is consistent, because they’ve done it before. There was an episode with Penny and Leonard fighting, and Sheldon couldn’t take it (it reminded him of his parents fighting, I think), so he fled to the comic book store and they had to buy him a toy robot and a comic book to get him to come home with them. So I appreciate the consistency, at least. (And I personally found it amusing, but I can understand some people not feeling the same.)

      • V

        Thing is…Sheldon is sort of child-like. Everyone likes to call him asexual, but that’s not true. He’s just at a different stage of emotional development (just listen to how he talks about his Memaw). Intellectually, he’s ahead of the rest of the world, but he doesn’t know how to deal with his emotional and physical (aka sexual) maturity and sees it as a distraction from science. This is a pretty consistent attitude throughout the show, so it doesn’t seem weird to me at all…

  • kim in kentucky

    liked all the little things in the show — Sheldon with his mouse ears, no Jewish Hell – just acid reflux, the sign by the mail boxes that read “don’t let your dog pee in the hallway”, etc

  • Fashonfirelfd

    °°°°°°`”[ Matchˉsugar. Cˉ0M]],( omit’ˉ’),,,,,,,,where to find educated men! where
    to find women with inner and outer beauty to date or marry..

  • steph

    i’m sorry but Disney Sheldon was adorable.

  • Amiee

    Best line of the night: “Are you coitus-ing with me?” LOL!

    • Jack

      I thought so, too! …and I did LOL!

    • Sue1

      I agree…great line.

  • RJ

    I thought it was pretty funny. Loved Sheldon with the hotdogs and being chased by the dog.

  • Jennifer

    I do wish Raj was Aquaman – I loved Aquaman as a kid. And I liked this episode. It wasn’t the best, but it made me not dislike Sheldon, which is always a good thing. The Evil Wheaton part deux episode was actually a disappoint to me since I’d expected far more than it delivered, so I’m okay with this one.

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