For four seasons on The Big Bang Theory, Howard Wolowitz has rarely been much more than a charmingly skeezy horndog mama’s boy with a fetish for skin-tight day-glo trousers (and a cluelessly homoerotic relationship with his best friend Raj). Even during his courtship of and eventual engagement to the sweet Bernadette Rostenkowski (gesundheit), Howard’s changed his ways by mere microns. So it was startling and refreshing in equal measure to witness the man grow emotionally in this week’s episode by a full centimeter, possibly even two. And all it took was the promise of a trip to space!
Yup, that’s right, thanks to his engineering team winning the right to design the deep-field space telescope on the international space station, our dear helmet-haired Howard had been chosen to accompany the device into space, for three whole weeks. Bernadette, however, had some reservations. First, she was simply hurt that Howard hadn’t included her in the decision, a concern that the old Howard would have dismissed or laughed off, but the new Howard sweetly took to heart. So he started over. He told her about the opportunity, and asked what she thought. And she shot him down. And then relented. And then told his mom on him. So Howard kicked her out.
Granted, that wasn’t the most mature reaction to Bernadette’s betrayal, but, still, as Raj pointed out, Howard actually kicked a woman out of his bed, and for a justifiable reason! Eventually, the couple made up — Bernadette even called Howard her soul mate (I’m with Penny: Really?) — but Howard’s mom still has to be convinced to let her son launch into space. Which of course she will, because, c’mon, who doesn’t want to see that episode?
Meanwhile, after Leonard accepted Wil Wheaton’s invitation to a shindig at his home, Sheldon spent the episode in a Sheldon-esque tizzy over his roommate’s collusion with one of his 61 mortal enemies. But then Sheldon learned that his mortal enemy’s party featured one Brent Spiner (a.k.a. Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Lt. Cmdr. Data, and if this parenthetical was really necessary for you, then might I suggest you meant to click on the Grey’s Anatomy recap instead), and the lure proved too great. But here’s my question: Do you think Wheaton planned for Spiner to ruin his magnanimous gift to Sheldon of a signed Wesley Crusher action figure? Or did Spiner act alone, and should now be referred to as Evil Brent Spiner?