The Big Bang Theory season 11 episode 15 review: The Novelisation Correlation

The Big Bang Theory offers up a merciful change of pace and a potential change of career for Leonard in its latest episode...

This review contains spoilers.

11.15 The Novelisation Correlation

How come, after eleven seasons and god knows how many episodes, The Big Bang Theory has only just figured out that its four protagonists don’t necessarily have to be scientists for the rest of their lives.

Yes, the original concept of the show was built around that very fact and it’s convenient to have the four main players congregate in the university lunch hall every week, but on the other hand Leonard’s writing career (and Raj and the planetarium) is a hoot.

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What we saw here wasn’t particularly clever or original, but it was a merciful change of pace. Leonard, having set himself up with a mechanical keyboard that sounds like a typewriter and a symbolic glass of scotch, is finally making a start on his novel. Rather than sci-fi, as you might expect, the book is a crime novel based around characters not unlike Leonard and his friends.

Leonard having an “average-sized inferiority complex” might be the best joke of the half-season.

The manuscript causes confusion for Penny and Bernadette who both think that the blonde, mean love interest is inspired by the other. What that says about their relationship i don’t know, and what it says about Penny and Leonard i don’t want to think about. In the end things get even weirder when Leonard realises the character has been unwittingly based on his mother. Penny’s face says it all.

Meanwhile over in Sheldon-land the Professor Proton reboot is finally airing with Wil Wheaton at the helm. Obviously Sheldon has big plans to troll the show and Wheaton online but, when he ends up actually enjoying the episode, his plans shift. Now he needs to suck up to Wil in order to get a spot on the series, but that’s easier said than done.

Howard somehow features in the first episode, which leads Sheldon to ask why such information is normally kept from him. His insecurities worsen when Amy reveals that she doesn’t do certain things because she thinks they’d upset Sheldon. He doesn’t want that for their relationship – the healthiest in his life – so, when Amy is invited to guest on Professor Proton and promote women in science, he tells her to go for it.

It’s a sweet moment of growth for the pair, Amy learning not to diminish herself just so Sheldon feels more comfortable and Sheldon finally having enough maturity to seethe in private rather than taking his frustration out on loved ones. We all know that the final note on the season twelve finale is going to involve showing how much Sheldon has grown, and this is a solid step towards that.

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It was also cool for this episode to find something for Bernadette to do other than scream at Howard from the bedroom. I understand that this isn’t the show’s fault, as such, but I miss non-bed rest Bernie.

Will Leonard’s (terrible) crime novel make another appearance? Probably not, but hopefully it inspires the writers to be a little more ambitious when it comes to directions the characters can go in. Penny changed careers when the waitress/actress jokes ran dry, what’s stopping the guys?

Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, The Separation Triangulation here.