SPOILER WARNING: Don’t read on if you do not want to find out what happened in tonight’s finale of The Big Bang Theory!
Rajesh Koothrappali has spent 6 seasons of The Big Bang Theory in sober silence around women (and in occasional drunken chattiness). His selective mutism that renders him unable to talk to women outside his family (unless he has some alcohol in his system) has produced some of the series’ funniest moments.
But that all changed in tonight’s finale. Raj talked to Penny for the first time sans alcohol.
It was the “major breakthrough” that executive producer Steve Molaro teased for EW. In a scene that went from heartbreaking to shocking to hilarious, Raj and Penny shed some tears over Lucy and Leonard — Lucy because she had called it off with Raj and Leonard because he had left for a four-month long expedition in the North Sea. Aside from just how utterly hopeless Raj is here, it seemed like a rather normal conversation between the two — until Raj reveals he hasn’t had a drink since the previous night.
It was a reveal that caught me off-guard in the midst of all the emotion — it was a rewarding surprise and funny, too. And the hilarity continued as the girls realized this breakthrough of Raj’s means they have to listen to the guy talk… and talk and talk and talk right on through the end credits.
What does this mean for the show going forward? If Raj is really somehow cured of his selective mutism, I will miss the comedy that always comes with him whispering in Howard’s ear. But maybe after six seasons, it was time for this change for Raj; maybe his can’t-talk-to-women comedy has run its course. And his unique problem hasn’t seemed to be much of an issue for him lately; more and more, drunk Raj has been acting as if he’s rather sober.
What do you think, Big Bang Theory fans? How do you think Raj’s breakthrough will play out in future episodes? And what did you think of the rest of the episode — Leonard’s departure, Amy’s openness about how she felt as an outsider to the group, Sheldon’s performance worthy of a toothpaste commercial? Sound off in the comments section below!
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