This week’s The Big Bang Theory was probably the best of the season if not to say the best in years. It was particularly funny, showed lots of character development, and gave us a glimpse of what we liked about the programme in the first place. The show also featured an amazing thirteenth episode two weeks ago that captured a huge audience. Let me just say if they can keep this up, Sheldon and his friends might go back into my top 5 shows list. However, let’s focus for now on “The Cooper/Kripke Inversion”, and figure out what was so great about it.
First of all, the show kind of went back to its roots. The writers chose to take attention away from the girls for a week, and centre it back on the guys. We open up to Penny having dinner with the fellas, like in the olden days, then we had plenty of Raj/Howard and Leonard/Sheldon scenes, and it basically worked. I mean, I love Amy and Bernadette. I really enjoy their storylines and the jokes they allow are particularly funny, but it was nice of the writers to remind us of why we started watching the show in the first place. That also allowed us to realize how much the characters have grown and developed (specially Sheldon), but I’ll discuss that in a bit.
As of now, let’s do a small recap of what happened. Like I said, the show opened with a typical dinner at Leonard and Sheldon’s apartment. The guys and Penny were eating as Sheldon was sucking at the tit of mother Physics. Right from then we get glimpses of what is going to happen in the next few minutes. For example, Penny tells us it’s hot when Sheldon talks dirty, and boy are we gonna hear him do that. Also, Howard and Raj find a store online that let’s you buy an action figure of yourself for only $500.
After then, the stories split up. Leonard, Penny and the rest of the girls are mostly brought in for jokes along the way, but we spend most of the rest of the episode going back and forth between Raj and Howard, and Sheldon and Kripke. The former get their dolls in the mail to realize they were confused with Toucan Sam and Wesley Snipes as they get the two figures with the blackest skin and the biggest nose. After that, them being the nerds they are, they choose to buy a 3D printer and make the action figures themselves. In the end, Howard gets punished for spending Bernadette’s money on silly things and that’s that.
However basic as this story sounds, it is extremely funny and great. We haven’t had that much Raj/Howard alone time lately. That’s probably right and rather realistic. After all, good friendships never die, but with the years, the relationships and well, with life, they just drift slightly apart. It was very necessary and rather nice to have the dynamic duo back together again and, for once in a while, to not see Raj so lonely. Am I the only one who’s starting to get worried about him? I mean, he had to pair up with the depressed, possibly suicidal comic book storeowner to get some company. Yet, besides that, the story also was packed with lots of jokes. Bernadette’s screen time, although very little, was also hilarious and so, that enough would have made a great episode.
Nonetheless, we still had possibly the best part of the episode to look forward to. Sheldon was forced to work with Kripke when the university realized they were both working on the same subject, and only one of their works could be submitted for consideration. Obviously this sent Sheldon down a spiral of feelings and warm-beverage needs as he got over the fact that he, the smartest physicist in the world, was being forced to worked with not only an annoying, but also an inferior mind. However, things got even more interesting when he realized that Kripke was actually smarter than him.
This realization was perhaps the best event in the episode in a long time because, there’s not many things that humble Sheldon and make him reconsider his life and his opinion of himself. Besides, everyone loves to laugh at Sheldon being brought down. I mean, we love him but he’s annoying as hell. So, after this he didn’t want to go to work, but in the end it wasn’t so bad. Kripke blamed his problem on all the laid he was getting, and Sheldon played along to avoid embarrassment. Sheldon dirty talking was indeed hot, but also the funniest bit of the show.
However, the best of the story line was probably its end. All this Shamy sex talk gave Penny the opportunity to confront Sheldon about what his plans were on getting physical with Amy. To our shock, the guy didn’t avoid an answer, but in fact had a moment of insight, and realized how much he had advanced on his fear of physical contact with the years. His final answer was that perhaps with time it would be a possibility, and Penny’s reaction was pretty much mine.
That bit right there, Sheldon realizing he was on the right path to physicality, and perhaps to normality, showed the biggest development to his character ever. I know it’s probably unfair to say what makes Sheldon unusual is his inability for coitus, but just that would make him become ten times more a person and not a machine. Any way you see it, it will be hilarious when it happens. No one can deny that. (Can you just imagine him being a father in season 9? It could go very wrong or very hilariously.) Besides, I really hope we can see the moment Penny tells Amy about it next week, because can you just picture her reaction?
So, all in all, the show was a complete success this week. I had low hopes after “The Bakersfield Expedition” because I really liked it, but I was starting to think The Big Bang Theory was losing its sparkle after so many years. This episode proved me wrong and actually gave me hope for the next few seasons. If they keep it up, not only will they maintain the level of ratings they’ve been getting, but actually could live on for many years. What do you think? Did you also feel the same way?
Luiz R. Ruiz – @Not_reallyLuis