Episode 20 - The Spaghetti Catalyst
4 May 2010
Synopsis: Sheldon and Penny have dinner plans but Sheldon feels very awkward about betraying Leonard. He confesses to Leonard who assures him it's ok. Leonard and Penny begin to discuss Sheldon as if they are a divorced couple and through that find a way to be friends.
The Good: At least the issue of Penny and Leonard hanging out is fully addressed here. You can imagine a scenario where they would use Sheldon as an excuse to cover the awkward moments in conversation. So now the path is clear for Penny to hang out with the group again without it seeming too weird that Leonard wants her back.
The Bad: This episode encapsulated the big problem with the structure of the show. Ask yourself how exactly an episode about Penny and Leonard's relationship could be so utterly dominated by Sheldon? Again the writers just have no interest in characterisation and would rather have Sheldon camp his way through silly lie after silly lie. It's no more than should have been expected though, Penny and Leonard's relationship received no attention when they were together so why should it once they break up?
The 'Sheldon is a child of divorce' idea was clumsily inserted at the end of the episode. I don't mind the principal behind it but it could have been built up all episode instead of being as blatantly signposted as it was. In general the humour in the episode lent far too heavily on Sheldon behaving like a child. There comes a point where his socially disinterested manner becomes confused for mere childishness and that would be a mistake. He is a far more interesting character than that.
Comic Highlight: Raj and Leonard are watching TV. Raj says "Hey Leonard, I haven't had sex in a year" to which Leonard replies "Where are you going with this Raj?"
In Conclusion: A one-dimensional episode from a show in danger of becoming one-dimensional.
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