Episode 21 - The Closure Alternative
2 May 2013
Synopsis: Sheldon is upset to learn that Alphas has been cancelled despite its final episode ending on a cliff hanger. Amy suggests that he has issues with closure and tries to help him overcome them. Leonard is excited to introduce Penny to Buffy but she isn't passionate about it. She does realise that she is happy in life though. Meanwhile Raj discovers Lucy's blog where she described him as feminine. He is determined to appear masculine on their next date.
The Good: The use of Alphas and Buffy within the stories felt entirely appropriate. Particularly Buffy which of course is dear to my heart but would certainly be the ideal show for Leonard to try and entice Penny into enjoying. And although I didn't think it was a very good joke it was deeply cathartic for me to hear Sheldon say that " 'Heroes' gradually lowered the quality season by season till we were grateful it ended." Amen brother.
However I wasn't sure of what to make of Penny's epiphany. She has never appeared passionate about Leonard. I can buy that after a the last year or two she is genuinely happy with him but passion felt like an adjective too far. Does this signal a genuine move toward contentment? It would be odd for any TV show to go there because how do you generate stories from happy domesticity?
Of course the show revels in the status quo so maybe it's not implausible. The Sheldon closure story was fun but never funny. Initially it seemed like Amy had uncovered something interesting but it was really an excuse for a series of simple sketches. It made me smile to see him undo all her work but it did little beyond that.
As for Raj, I can't complain about a plot that addresses his masculinity given how central it's been to his character.
The Bad: Although not a lot was done beyond bringing it up. Lucy likes it so that's it. We won't be uncovering any deep seated issues on this show. Raj is Raj, Sheldon is Sheldon and Penny is now a happier Penny. That's about it.
Comic Highlight: Sadly the thing I reacted most to was Raj saying "I always thought if I had a white name it would be Gavin." It was the most basic of racial comedy but it took me by surprise which nothing else did.
In Conclusion: Pleasant static from a static show.
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