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REVIEWS

"The Space Probe Disintegration"/S8E12

Posted on January 9, 2015 at 4:25 PM

By Dhruv Rao


It has been a while since our last liaison, hasn't it? Well, I'm not the one to blame here, as the famous television hiatus season is here! We won't be seeing a lot of each other from now till about April, when the schedule is more regular. Speaking of regular, I wanted to actually share a thought I had the other day while I was binge-watching the second season of the show. I've realized how regular Sheldon's growth as a character has been over the past few years. During the first three seasons, we saw Sheldon opening the doors to a friendship with Penny and the two becoming close. Then, for the next three years, the writers tried to transform the robotic Sheldon Cooper into one who could be in a committed romantic relationship. Now, ever since the seventh season, we've seen Sheldon taking leaps in this relationship with Amy. 


The two big leaps that I can think of are last year's Valentine's Day episode and this season's prom night episode. The two episodes represent a huge Shamy first that then translated into Sheldon becoming accustomed to his relationship with Amy, and as a result the group now takes their relationship seriously. However, this week, the character trait which I am describing isn't his evolution with respect to females; it's his friendship with Leonard, as it was put to the test. We have often seen brief moments when Sheldon expresses his care for Leonard; however, we often consider them as comic moments the writers use like Shakespeare would use syntactic inversion for poetic effect. However, this week, I realized that these moments were bigger than they seemed, as they led to Sheldon's emotional burst when Leonard wanted to move in with Penny. These are the moments when the writers' skills truly come to light. Even though Sheldon has evolved and changed significantly, there are moments when the audience feels as though Sheldon never welcomed any female company into his life. Together, they give Sheldon the complexity of an amphoteric and a breakout character. That's what makes him popular. The fandom doesn't enjoy the other characters as much as they enjoy him simply because of his complexity, similar to Barney's situation during How I Met Your Mother's run or Jesse's popularity in Full House. The three characters had quirks which often formed the base of the comedy employed in the respective shows, and while others may find it unoriginal, I find it comforting to see a breakout character being himself or herself. That's why I like it when Sheldon is unaccustomed to change; however, I criticize how they handled this problem during the season seven finale by sending him away. It is one thing to let the quirk generate comedy, it's another to let it generate plotlines that bomb. 


The A-plot was a light-hearted shopping scene where the show focused more on friendships than on the couples that have often stolen the limelight over the years. The B-plot continued with the friendship theme by placing Raj in a stressful situation and Howard as the comforting friend. While the plot may not have the potential to thrill, it certainly performs its function by keeping up with the comic nature of the episode and making sure that the show doesn't get caught up in the emotional state like HIMYM often did. The viewers who have kept up with the show since season one have something to rejoice for in this episode, as its base is on friendship, not on romantic relationships. Many have often expressed scorn over the new nature of the show, but they do not realize that even though Leonard is the protagonist, the show revolves around Sheldon. Everytime the writers tweak his personality, they change the possible course of the show. I would have never imagined the show running beyond its third or fourth season had Sheldon and Amy not gotten together. Introducing their relationship was the start of a chain of relationships that were formed by the fifth season and cemented by the sixth. Now, we get to see these characters do things beyond these relationships, except for Raj, who has only spent a year and a half talking to females while sober...


Grade: B+

Stray Observations:


- Raj devoured a two-pound steak on Diwali. Oh, the irony!

- Bernadette: "Told you not to wax down there! It's itchy when it grows back!"

- Penny: "Somehow he managed to take all the fun out of it." Sheldon: "Once again, that's what I do."

- Raj: "Is this a story about patience and waiting, or just another reminder that you went to space?"

- Sheldon's "Son of a biscuit!" lines are a treat to watch!

- Penny: "You've got great friends, you've got a boyfriend, you're pretty, you have zero fashion sense!"

- Sheldon actually does notice the mean things the rest of the group says to him...




Categories: The Big Bang Theory

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