This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
This review contains spoilers.
10.15 The Locomotion Reverberation
What happens when you introduce a big storyline in a show like The Big Bang Theory only to forget it exists after the first couple of episodes of the next season? You get an episode like The Locomotion Reverberation, which conveniently reminds us that Leonard, Howard and Sheldon are still working on that guidance system, and the project’s nearing completion.
We start the episode with Leonard and Howard getting increasingly frustrated with their team’s third member wanting to, you know, do a good job by making the system as small as possible, and Leonard reveals something he’s had in his back pocket for a few years.
In order to get Sheldon out of their hair while they wrap things up at the lab, Leonard gives him an invitation to some sort of train experience. Obviously Sheldon’s thrilled with this and doesn’t for a second suspect that the gift is anything other than completely heartfelt and genuine, and for the rest of the episode we must deal with his excited ramblings about all of the things he’ll get to do.
It’s old hat, but charming in its own way. Different is the fact that Amy has to deal with his enthusiasm, and puts on as good a supportive girlfriend act as she possibly can. That obviously has its limits, until she realises she might quite enjoy watching her boyfriend operate machinery in dungarees.
After being awful as always, Howard and Leonard are handed some comeuppance when they’re asked to make the device smaller using Sheldon’s indecipherable formula. After dismissing his suggestion earlier in the episode because they didn’t want to do any extra work, now they have to ask their friend – thoroughly preoccupied with his train hobby – whether he’ll help them.
I enjoyed the gag of Sheldon declaring to a disbelieving Howard that he’s ‘an engineer now’. That’s one decade-old running joke that still works for me.
On the other side of the hallway, Penny is having a midlife crisis. I’ve spoken earlier about how I think this season is treating Leonard and Penny, and The Locomotion Reverberation suggests that the writers have something cooking for Penny in particular. She’s feeling pressure to do all the things you’re supposed to be doing in your thirties like buying a house or having kids, and her relationship doesn’t even seen that different to before she got married.
The friendship between the girls has consistently been well-cared for, which I appreciate greatly, so this is an obvious element of Bernadette’s pregnancy arc. As much as Bernadette’s having trouble keeping on top of things now that Howard’s back at work, Penny is sad that she doesn’t have the things her friends do.
I’ve always assumed that the show would end with a Sheldon/Amy engagement, but maybe there’ll be another pregnancy announcement before we’re done. On the other hand, it’d be great if the two of them decided that they’re fine as they are and, just like they did marriage in their own way, can take their time with everything else.
This was a by-the-numbers episode of The Big Bang Theory, but I look forward to what the rest of the season might do with these characters, even if it’s not the last we see of them.