This review contains spoilers.
6.8 The 43 Peculiarity
I’ve never been a big fan of Leonard and Penny’s relationship. I find the idea of it wonderful, and I love both of the actors and the work they do in it, but I’ve had a problem with much of the execution of the story by the writers. I fully intended to sit down at my computer tonight and tell you how much Leonard’s whole jealousy storyline bothered me, and how healthy relationships should be built on trust, and a dozen other things about the way this relationship has been written that I find problematic from a variety of viewpoints.
And then Penny finally — finally — told him that she loves him.
And even then, I was still ready to come on here and talk about how we never see this from Penny’s POV and so we don’t know how long she’s known she loves him or why she’s never said it before (other than vague ideas about commitment phobia).
Then they both almost start crying and he walks alone into his apartment and breathes out, “She loves me,” with so much relief in his voice that it just sort of cripples my ability to criticize because, if you’ll allow me to borrow a bit of internet slang…”I know that feel, bro.”
Human insecurity is nearly universal — no matter who we are and no matter who we’re with, or even no matter what we do, we always wonder if we’re not good enough. That feeling is not specific to this story of the “pretty girl” and the “geek.” Nearly everyone feels that at some point in their lives, and when Leonard exhales his relief, I exhaled mine, too. He’s good enough. So am I. You, whoever you are, reading this right now, you are good enough, too.
Elsewhere in the episode, Howard and Raj spend most of their time trying to discover what Sheldon does alone in a room in the basement for twenty minutes every day, going so far as to spend hours upon hours trying to figure out what the figure “43” (written on the chalkboard in the room) means. And for possibly the first time in The Big Bang Theory history, I had an “I know that feel, bro” moment twice in one episode as Sheldon yells at the two of them about how things that they take for granted in daily interactions are actually very hard for him, and he needs that time to be alone and recharge. As someone who locks her office door and sits by herself in the dark every day during her lunch break for exactly the same reasons? I found myself nodding pretty hard during that scene. (Turns out 43 is the number of times he’s been able to bounce a hacky sack without dropping it. Pretty impressive for a guy as uncoordinated as Sheldon.)
This episode started out as a pretty big down for me because as I said, I had a lot to complain about with regards to the Leonard and Penny storyline. However, it took a sharp twist to the positive by the end and I really enjoyed it.