The Big Bang Theory is a CBS sitcom about a group of geeky adults that has run for 12 staggeringly long years. In that time period, it has attracted critical ire, many Emmys, and earned its stars million-dollar salaries. But now this show is dying and I, a pop culture critic with a heart made of onyx who has never even seen a single episode, have decided to watch the program weekly to pay my respects—and also roast it to death one last time.
Summary: I have to admit, I enjoyed this episode, probably because it was mostly about the show’s women who for once don’t seem to get fucked over. Quelle surprise! First, Amy and Sheldon have the thesis from their fancy paper I still don’t understand confirmed via an experiment by two other scientists in Chicago. The two scientists fly in but immediately seem sketchy; yes, they did confirm the hypothesis, but just by accident, and all they seem interested in is piggybacking on Sheldon and Amy to get the Nobel Prize. Not only that, they want to cut Amy out of the project entirely. I gasped. “She’s your wife and she’s a neuroscientist, what is she even doing on this paper!” one of them says in a gross, covert meeting with Sheldon.
The correct thing for Sheldon to do in this instance is probably physically threaten the scientists’ lives by grabbing them by the throats and making them promise to never, ever talk shit about his wife again, right? Or are the brutally violent prestige dramas I gorge on instead of this show leaking into my assessment of it? Instead, Sheldon sheepishly tells Amy about the plan but doesn’t support it. Amy, who clearly has no self-worth, says it’s okay for Sheldon to cut her out. Ugh. Eventually, Sheldon tells his supervisor that there’s no way Amy can and should be cut out of the Nobel recommendation. Good boy.
In the other storyline, Bernadette wants Penny to lead a project of hers but Penny seems struck with a good old case of imposter syndrome; she doesn’t think she can handle it and tries to brush off the bigger salary and role as unimportant. She tries to lie to Bernadette to get out of it, eventually admitting that the last project she managed was her high school yearbook... the year they didn’t have one. Bernadette pushes Penny to do it by reminding her how capable she is and the episode ends with a delightful Legally Blonde-style office meeting in which Penny bosses everyone around, including the employee who stole her yogurt that one time. *Chef’s kiss.*
Worst joke: Sheldon tries to be coy about his feelings at one point, but Amy recognizes he has something to say. “You see through me like one of Penny’s shirts,” he says. Good lord.
Nerdiest moment: When Amy and Sheldon discover their thesis has been proved, they scream, “We did it!” The gang overhears, confuses them as having sex, and Penny says, “Aw, remember when they only did it on her birthday?” Not sure whether that anecdote is supposed to be funny or terrifying.
What I learned this week: That Penny was, as she tells her new project team, Miss. Corn Husker 2011 and still fits in those jeans!
Did I laugh?: Yes, when Bernadette yells, “Did they not teach knocking at Stanford? Get out!” at a younger male employee who comes into her office.
How dead is this show?: Not as dead as those scientists, who wanted Amy off the project, should be. Oh my god, I can’t believe I care about these characters. What’s happening to me?