This review contains spoilers.
11.19 The Tenant Dissociation
If I was in the business of naming The Big Bang Theory episodes, which I’m not, this one would be called ‘Penny and Leonard Get to Have Some Fun’. What presents as an average episode of the show does a lot with a little, pitting one side of the hall against the other in a battle of stubborness.
As the gang are having their usual Thursday night Chinese takeaway, Penny enters with contraband from the pastrami food truck downstairs. This obviously causes a ruckus, even as Amy tries to convince him that the Chinese actually invented the whole ‘meat between bread’ concept way before the Earl of Sandwich and so no one is breaking the rules. They have a tiff, everyone leaves, and no one is around to hear him tell Amy she might be right. He must really be in love.
Before this exchange, there’s a funny little moment where Raj informs the group that Halley bit him. Antisocial child behaviour aside, it takes a special kind of show to make a sexist joke, point out that it’s sexist, and then laugh about it anyway. Lampshading a thing doesn’t mean you didn’t do it in the first place, Big Bang Theory.
Another half-attempt at pointing something out while tripping over the thing before you get there is Raj and Howard’s storyline. While sharing a nice manly hot tub session during which Howard’s no-homo trigger goes off in record time, the pair discover a broken drone in the yard. After half-heartedly wondering who the owner is they decide to fix it up and play with it. Bernadette poops on the party when she suggests, sensibly, that the video footage would probably tell them who was missing an expensive drone.
The episode shifts when Raj, who still can’t land a girlfriend for more than an episode despite his dashing new hairstyle and confidence, sees that the owner is actually a hot comic book nerd. The lads ask Stuart about her, and he says she doesn’t come in anymore after all the sexual harassment, and then Raj goes over to her house (because it’s great that information like that is just given out willy nilly) to exchange the drone for her phone number.
The fact that she finds this charming is odd, but then she does some investigative work of her own and discovers that Raj is, in fact, gross.
Meanwhile, the aforementioned hallway dispute involves Sheldon complaining to the tenant’s association that the food truck was distracting him from work with its smell of salt and fat, and a distraught Penny and Leonard find out that the tenant’s association is actually just Sheldon holding meetings in the shower. To overthrow him, they propose a fair election, and this allows the set dressers to have fun with changing the one location to look like an entire apartment building.
It’s been a while since Leonard and Penny got to come together as a team on something like this, and it’s honestly nice to see. The show clearly doesn’t know what to do with them now that their storyline has come to a natural stopping point (please, please no babies), and having them just exist like this is a fun alternative to the bigger plot developments elsewhere.
Also, the line of the episode goes to Leonard with: ”Sometimes you don’t see it because she’s next to Sheldon, but Amy’s pretty weird.”
So another hit and miss episode, but one that manages to entertain just by playing with the season’s existing parts.