In this episode, Penny reads all about Leonard's childhood, Raj reunites with buddy Stuart and hits the online dating scene and Sheldon and Amy have a fight about a very serious (to Sheldon) issue. Let us review where no fan has reviewed before!
This is an episode of Big Bang which suffered from what I call "Lack of A". And by that I mean, they had three good "B" stories, all acting like subplots. The problem is, there was no main plot. Or at least it didn't feel that way to me. One of the three should have been more central.
Least funny was Leonard milking Penny's sympathy to get his way in everything. She'd read his mom's book about his horrible childhood for her class - or was about to when he stopped her - and felt so bad for him she was spoiling him. Then he started to work the system, til Bernadette found out - when Howard unsuccessfully tried the same thing - and Leonard got busted by his mom via skype. She's so awful it's almost not funny. What was funny was the difference between a dating couple and the old married couple of Bernie and Howard. She was taking her bath and that was that. It's sort of weird, though, when you think about it, because the Wolowitzes haven't been together longer than Penny and Leonard... I did like how good guy Leonard was a little evil here. And I liked how they brought in some of Penny's outside life: the fact she is still in school and that she still hangs out with her football pals. It wouldn't make a lot of sense if she spent all her time with the Big Bang group. Here's a thought: the show spends a lot of time with Penny hanging out with Bernadette and Amy who she met through Leonard- even though, in reality, they don't have a ton in common. I'd kind of like to see the reverse happen sometime, and Leonard make a buddy through Penny. Just a thought.
Then there was Sheldon's attempt to ruin something - anything- Amy loved after she pointed out a major flaw in Raiders of The Lost Ark. I think it's funny how she likes Little House on The Prairie - she mentioned that last episode, didn't she? It fits her. There were also two funny digs at Sheldon - one from Howard and one from Leonard- about how Sheldon was the ultimate flawed thing that Amy didn't notice. So true! Ah, love is blind.
And last we had Raj and Stuart trying online dating, which you'd think they'd have already tried given that's how Raj and Howard got Sheldon to meet Amy. And also, it seems like the way shy people would meet. Maybe they already had, or maybe Raj was afraid to try when he couldn't talk to women in person. There were some good beats here, like when Stuart couldn't take a decent picture, when they had a ton of people view them but got no dates, and when they found getting rejected at a bar just as disheartening as ever. I also like when Raj put his best trait was his parents' money. That made me laugh out loud. I wonder if there's more they could be doing with that piece of the story.
Incidentally, don't the costume people do awesome on Big Bang? The outfits those guys and girls wear are so funky and distinct for each character and the details are great.
I didn't dislike any of these stories, but it felt like one of them should have gotten more time, and they could have been a little more inventive with each of them, especially the one with Sheldon and Amy....Though I did like how Amy and Sheldon resolved their issues.
I also like pairing Raj with Stuart so he can continue his search for a woman with someone who gets it. People do tend to stick with people who are in the same stage of life. Christine Baranski is perfect as the bad mom. I would love to see her and Laurie Metcalf as Sheldon's mom on the same episode. They seem very opposite. Yet, oddly, didn't Leonard come out a little more normal? And someday, for real, they need to have Zeljko Ivanek play Leonard's dad. For real.