The Big Bang Theory season 11 episode 17 review: The Athenaeum Allocation

Save the date. A Big Bang Theory wedding is fast approaching. Spoilers ahead in our review of The Athenaeum Allocation...

This review contains spoilers.

11.17 The Athenaeum Allocation

For all those who predicted that Sheldon and Amy would be married by the season finale, have a cookie. A date in May has been set and a venue booked, and let’s pray the original plan of having Kripke sing at the wedding doesn’t go unfulfilled. I need to see that.

This week on the Shamy show, Amy has thought of the perfect place for the nuptials. The Athenaeum is close to work so Sheldon can use the bathroom he likes, it’s fancy enough that pictures of old, white dead guys adorn the walls, and rumour has it Albert Einstein was a member there.

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There’s just one problem – Leonard lied to Sheldon about not being able to get them into the place, with membership proving just too exclusive. In reality, Leonard has been enjoying membership for years, impressing Penny with the same lie. Sheldon and Amy discover them while viewing the place as a prospective wedding venue, but the true nail in the coffin comes in the form of Kripke.

Kripke has already booked the Athenaeum for his birthday, and general hatred of Sheldon gives him no incentive to move the party elsewhere. To make it up to his friend, Leonard offers Kripke his services as a glorified janitor/grad student, cleaning out radioactive grease in the lab.

Kripke’s generally a better presence on the show since his appearances became more sporadic a while back, and this was as good a use as any. Sheldon’s usual arrogance always takes a knock when his nemesis comes on the scene, which offers a few different notes on the character.

Meanwhile, Howard and Bernadette are still proving that they’re the most evolved couple of the bunch, not only bypassing the usual takeout nights at Leonard and Penny’s for quality family time, but having a genuine debate over which one of them should potentially stay home with the kids long-term.

Bernadette has always been presented as a gifted career woman, and we’re consistently reminded that she earns more money than Howard. It makes total sense for them to not just take it as a given that the mother should give up work, but actually make an informed decision based on the facts.

That said, it’s slightly disappointing that the conclusion (in this episode at least) seems to be that neither will give up work and they’ll figure out another solution. In the real world this is obviously a no-brainer, but I was kind of looking forward to at least an episode or two of Howard (backed by Raj and Stuart I’m sure) trying to figure out how to be a stay-at-home dad.

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That could still happen, but for now the show seems more interested in how the couple cope with two kids as a unit. That’s potentially just as fun, but we’ll have to wait and see.

After all that, however, Amy and Sheldon decide that the planetarium would be a better place to hold the wedding. To be honest I was wondering throughout the entire episode why they didn’t think of this first, mainly because the show already has the set. In any case, save the date – Shamy is becoming official.

Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, The Neonatal Nomenclature, here.