This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
This review contains spoilers.
10.17 The Comic-Con Conundrum
What’s that? An episode of The Big Bang Theory that doesn’t leave me frustrated and underwhelmed? Yes it’s true, I liked this episode. For the first time in a very long time, The Comic-Con Conundrum carries on a storyline from the previous week. Even more shockingly, it concerns Raj.
Sheldon is going through Raj’s finances (inc. penguin sponsorship and Pink Cheeks intimate waxing) and he quickly realises that he’s going to have to make some huge changes to his lifestyle. Putting Sheldon in charge of everything he spends, he’s told first that he can’t afford to go to this year’s Comic-Con with the rest of the group.
The rest of the group includes Penny, who has promised Leonard they would do more things together he’d enjoy. The trouble is, as with any couple with tastes as vastly different as these two, Penny at Comic-Con would make both of them miserable. Penny because she might have to sleep top to tail with Sheldon and wear full body makeup, and Leonard because no one actually wants their partner at something they’d hate.
This plays out with both of them trying to convince the other that it’d be a bad idea, but without coming clean about their real feelings. As terrible as Leonard makes it sound, however, Penny won’t back down.
I like this a lot, mainly because it hits that sweet spot between hinting at genuine trouble between Leonard and Penny and just being a storyline that fits a sitcom married couple that this season has been seemingly going for all along. It’s not nasty or unpleasant at any point, and gets the whole group involved at various points. It’s not a massive gag machine, but works well as an A-plot nonetheless.
The episode benefits hugely from bringing everyone in on the same plot, something I don’t know why the show doesn’t do more often. Comic-Con is, also, an ever-reliable catalyst. Raj can’t afford to go, Bernadette wants to trade help around the house for a weekend without her husband, and Penny needs Amy’s advice on how to subtly manipulate Leonard into disinviting her.
Raj’s journey to making extra money for his ticket is fun, especially the moment when he tries to sell a box of comics memorabilia worth $100s to Stuart for $20. Any scene where Stuart gets to have the upper hand just makes for a nice change to be honest, even if by the end we’re back to laughing at his lack of friends.
In the end, Raj refuses to accept money from Howard and Bernadette for babysitting Halley so much, and instead opts out of going to Comic-Con this year. It’s a small moment meant to tie up the episode and set up a joke in which Howard also decides not to go to avoid going alone with Sheldon, it hints at some growth for Raj.
All in all, this episode moves along at a lovely pace, getting everyone involved and for once keeping Sheldon as a side character they can trot out for a few laughs. Not overly ambitious, but something the show could do with more of.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, The Allowance Evaporation, here.