This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
This review contains spoilers.
10.23 The Gyroscopic Collapse
The Big Bang Theory isn’t one for long-running storylines, at least not lately. It shouldn’t have to be, really – it’s a light 20-minute sitcom after all – but the guys (sans Raj) building the navigation system for the government has been going on for an unprecedented amount of time. On any other show we’d expect that to mean it would be leading somewhere interesting.
But not on this show, apparently, because immediately after the gang get together to toast (apple juice for Sheldon, champagne for everyone else) all of their hard work, the lab is cleared out and the scientists involved unceremoniously dumped.
This leads to the episode’s best gag – the boys walking into the wrong apartment and thinking it’s been similarly cleared out by the military.
Maybe I’m just feeling generous today, but I quite like the underwhelming nature of this ending. Our surprise and displacement mirrors that of the characters and we’re left to wonder what’s next for them. Will Leonard try to work on his marriage with Penny? Could Howard’s post-project clinginess turn into something more destructive? How will Sheldon cope without Amy around to take care of him or a project to distract him?
A lot of the episode felt like a season finale, albeit a lacklustre one. Things are in freefall, with big changes for some characters and a return to a less than ideal normality for others. It would have helped had we seen more of what the characters had been doing in the lab all this time, or how it might have impacted their home lives. It’s just been there in the background really, not giving us much reason to care.
Raj, who once again gets almost nothing to do in this episode, is moving out of Leonard and Penny’s apartment and into Bert’s garage. I’ve written before about how much I like Bert, so I hope this is the birth of a brand new double act that will encourage the writers to give more to both actors.
In terms of the project fallout, Sheldon is – as always – given the most time. We learn early in the episode that Amy has been offered a prestigious research fellowship which would take her away to Princeton for months, and this coupled with the career setback pushes Sheldon into one of his tailspins. He tries to be supportive, which is something, but actions speak louder than words.
He understands it’s important, but can’t reconcile that with how much it would uproot his own life.
Amy is about to turn it down in order to protect her relationship, but Leonard explains to Sheldon that he needs to be a more supportive boyfriend. He’s completely dependent on her, as he says, but now it’s time for the two of them to see how they do without each other for a while.
The biggest sign of change is his willingness to have sex at an unscheduled time, and to allow someone breathing room when they so clearly need it. Sheldon stayed living with Leonard for years with little concern for how beneficial it would be for he and Penny to live alone, and that less evolved Sheldon could easily have done the same to Amy by preventing her from pursuing this opportunity.
Next week will be all about how he does on his own after becoming so used to domestic bliss with Amy, and the return of an old flame causes concern for the group. If we come out of the episode without a marriage proposal, then I’d be supremely shocked.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, The Cognition Regeneration, here.