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"The Clean Room Infiltration"/S8E11

Posted on December 20, 2014 at 12:50 AM

By Dhruv Rao

While watching tonight's episode, I realized how much Sheldon has tranformed over the years. Not how I didn't use the word "change", as I observe his character development as a positive aspect of the revamped version of The Big Bang Theory. His relationship with Amy has been a key aspect in this metamorphosis, and everytime Shamy had taken a small step, Sheldon took a leap. He has become less robotic and more humane: he tries to understand feelings. For instance, tonight, he tried to terrorize Amy by giving him a very personal gift, but he ended up making the situation better. His amelioration in communication with the other characters, specifically Amy, has proven that Lorre, Prady and Molaro are holding the steering wheel correctly. They have controlled the show's several characters over the last four seasons, and the comedy has actually bounced off the characters well. For instance, last season's "The Indecision Amalgamation" is a perfectly executed episode. I have often re-watched the episode, and not once have I kept a straight face for more than one to two minutes. The episode is just one of the few gems the writers have created, which includes this season's "The Prom Equivalency".

Tonight's half-hour provided some strong moments; however, the A-plot wasn't completely resolved. The contamination of the clean room was never going to be a plot that could hold the episode together, so making it the principal focus of the episode was undoubtedly a mistake. The plot did provide some funny moments, but the lack of flow in the story made it a fiasco. Furthermore, it employed the same trio as last week: Raj, Leonard and Howard. It was gold last week, but this week it seemed tired and elongated. The story should have been as small as the Bernadette plot in "The Indecision Amalgamation". If it were an accessory, the story would have been tolerable, but I simply got bored halfway. 

I found the subplots rather amusing and refreshing. Firstly, we finally saw Raj's father communicate with the other characters, so there was a win there. Furthermore, his sarcastic comments on his wife were hilarious. His appearance was the highlight of the episode for me, especially when he was left with Penny and Amy. His attempts to score with Penny and Amy, similar to Dr. Lorvis in "The Misinterpretation Agitation", a great episode of this season, are other comic moments that add to the value of the plot. Furthermore, the Victorian Christmas dinner plan by Amy was as hilarious as it gets, especially when they played the parlour game. The dinner was a sweet culmination of the plot, with Amy and Sheldon being happy together while Raj getting a slap for stealing one of Sheldon's cookies. The ending tied well with the other subplot, during which Sheldon visited Santa, while being his own "quirky" self. As far as I am concerned, the moment I retain is the one when Sheldon confessed that he truly did love Amy, a confession that has become so casual yet so special for the viewers.

The lackluster main plot this week couldn't be saved by the well-executed subplots. The combination of the three plots was definitely not a good holiday gift for the viewers: it was as though the audience was eating a meal in which the appetizers and the dessert rocked, but the main course bombed. No one would be satisfied by the end result of that, as the audience would still be hungry for a proper "meal".

Grade: B-

Stray Observations:

- Tomhanksgiving sounds awesome!

- "Santa thinks dating you is punishment enough."

- Kaley Cuoco nails her lines in his episode, especially when she is condescending towards Amy's parlour games.

- Amy inhaled a ball of wool. 

- Mr. Koothrappalli: "Forty years the woman never cleaned a thing!" 

- Sheldon: "I really do love her. Now, let's find something that makes her feel small and worthless."

Categories: The Big Bang Theory

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