This review contains spoilers.
11.12 The Matrimonial Metric
The Big Bang Theory’s eleventh season has so far done a fair job of milking storylines out of the big finale non-cliffhanger, and The Matrimonial Metric once again produces a nice ensemble piece based around the catalyst that is Sheldon and Amy’s upcoming nuptials.
When Amy reveals that she’s still in the process of choosing a maid of honour for the wedding, she asks Sheldon to change the subject should it come up in conversation with their friends. He somehow manages to throw them off the scent despite some close calls, and the couple later decide to use detailed metrics to decide who should be in the wedding party.
This is of course pretty arbitrary because, as the audience, we know that Sheldon would never choose Raj or Howard to be his best man, and Amy has been in love with Penny for multiple seasons now.
So the two of them set about performing a number of tests that will prove how trustworthy, proactive or resourceful their individual friends are, at one point switching around to ‘best woman’ and ‘guy of honour’. Once rumbled, Penny declares that Amy is her closest friend and she won’t accept no for an answer, and Sheldon chooses Leonard after he’s reminded that wedding planning is about being selfish – something he’s been training for his whole life.
Poor Stuart gets to be best man for a whole day before he’s usurped, but wouldn’t a Monica Geller-esque headset and clipboard have looked great on him at the rehearsal dinner?
Considering that the entire show has more or less become a way for the writers to throw a spotlight on their biggest cash cow character (to the point where an entire spin-off has been created), it’s been nice to have Sheldon paired with Amy for most of their storylines this year. There’s a reason the couple has been a hit with fans, and Amy balances him out very nicely at times.
It’s particularly charming when the two of them can be as goofy and terrible as each other, like when Amy rejoices in the idea that she can hurt her friends’ feelings without taking on any of the responsibility. It’s also a testament to how thoroughly quirky the couple are that none of their friends twig until the last minute.
It goes uncommented upon in the episode itself, but it should also be noted that Raj and Howard’s friendship seems to have been repaired entirely. One small difference – the only cutting remark made between them this week was Raj towards Howard.
A huge part of me wishes The Matrimonial Metric had been a bottle episode that began when Amy and Sheldon entered the gathering at the start. The concept would have provided huge potential for a great, farcical hour in which Sheldon kept tripping over his obligation not to reveal Amy’s indecision and, once revealed, the gang would voluntarily compete for the roles.
Alas, was we got was still a fun instalment and, even if the results of the experiment where the obvious ones, it makes me hopeful for episodes centred on the remaining milestones. That’s before we get to the wedding itself, of course, and with the news that season 12 might be the last, we should expect fireworks.