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"The Spock Resonance"/S9E7

Posted on November 7, 2015 at 5:25 PM

By Dhruv Rao

Watching Sheldon walk away from Amy's building without any live studio audience sounds was an unforgettable image. This arc of him being separated from Amy is unlike any other television breakup, i.e. Sheldon doesn't need to find himself. This separation serves as his realization that he was truly happy with Amy, and this episode climaxes with him storming out and putting on human feelings: a trait which the writers have only recently tapped into. It's a very heavy subject to put at the forefront of an episode of a sitcom, but with practice The Big Bang Theory has improved its inclusion of drama into a traditional sitcom narrative. This week's episode, while being funny, carried a lot of weight due to the emotions the writers decided to play around with, not only in the A-plot, but also with the subplot of Howard and Bernadette's future, where Bernadette angrily confesses the real reason why she's delaying her pregnancy.

The confession of Sheldon's frustration was unravelled elegantly, with the writers wrapping it around an interview for a documentary (which is actually being shot currently). Had the episode not slowly build up to Sheldon's loud denial, I would have never appreciated the raw emotion Jim Parsons brought to the screen tonight. The show has often focused on Sheldon and his quirks, but for once they've focused on a key aspect which highlights his growth. I commend the writers for tonight's show not just for the emotion portrayed in the A-plot, but the underlying emotions hidden in the comedy of the B-plot.

Bernadette and Howard haven't had many changes in their marriage since 2012. The idea of children was brought up when Howard performed as a magician, but then never popped up again. The writers finally decided to bring the couple's future on the tracks and discuss it while dissecting Sheldon's repressed anger and frustration. What seemed as an innocent argument between the couple over renovating the house turned into a talk between them about parenthood and the unknown. In the past, the show has failed to provide the audience with raw emotion in relation to Howard and Bernadette's marriage due to the limelight usually shining on the two power couples. So, with the writers catching them up to the growth the other characters experienced, I was impressed at the handling of the delicate plotline. Furthermore, we got another set of scenes with Bernadette's father, which are always a treat to watch!

The Big Bang Theory has evolved over its eight-year run, and the ride has been enjoyable due to the writers being fearless and making changes in the series. Some of my favorite changes were to start including small bits of drama as forms of punctuation and reduce the wilderness of the live studio audience. These improvements have enabled the show to grow and claim the title as television's number one comedy, and episodes like these are the ones which make me believe that the show is worth all the acclaim and success its received.

Grade: A

Stray Observations:

- "This is a documentary about Mr. Spock. I'm sure if there's nudity, it will be tasteful."

- "It's not everyday I get to meet someone whose life's journey began in my hero's scrotum."

- Howard: "When is your visa up?"

- Sheldon hid all the Pop-Tarts in the floor safe because Penny was eating them all.

- Bernadette's tap-dance: "EARTHQUAKE! AFTERSHOCK!"

- The comic timing of Bernadette's father walking in the dining room as Howard is trying to seduce her is fantastic. 

- "Those are very wide words. It would be so much more comforting if they came out a television." 

Categories: The Big Bang Theory

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