Episode 15 - The Spoiler Alert Segmentation
9 February 2013
Synopsis: Sheldon spoils Leonard on the Harry Potter books and in anger Leonard announces he will be moving in with Penny. She is not thrilled and Sheldon is equally unhappy when Amy offers to move in. Meanwhile Howard asks Raj to look in on his mother while he is away and she won't let him leave.
The Good: The Amy-Sheldon part of this I could see. She desperately wants to move things forward and of course he isn't ready to have her living with him.
The Bad: However she was so distraught when he pulled away that it felt like a cop out when she merely heads to Penny's to complain. There's only so many times she can question how long she has to wait before she needs to pull the plug.
Obviously Leonard looked foolish and inconsiderate when he informed Penny that he would be moving in with her. But worse than that was his lack of excitement or emotion at that development. The focus shifted entirely to Penny's horror rather than stopping to think how much this commitment would actually mean to Leonard. She rightly fears that he will be hurt and the fact that they didn't discuss this big step at any point made it clear that the story was simply a gag and not a real event.
This plot also felt out of sync with Sheldon and Leonard's relationship. In the last year or so Leonard seemed to have become a little more assertive (only last episode he told him off) with Sheldon and so it felt odd to have him finally snap the way he did here. Again it felt like the writers following a template for comedy rather than thinking hard about the characters' state of mind.
I didn't mind the idea of Howard's mother trapping Raj but as always with The Big Bang Theory we just heard about it. The comedy was all meant to be from Raj on the phone telling Howard what was going on rather than actual jokes we could see. It was a forgettable C plot as a result.
In an episode which referenced spoiler alerts I thought the writers were a bit daring with The Walking Dead audience. They revealed a plot detail which only took place last Autumn and in an era when people often watch shows at their leisure that could have really spoilt a lot of people.
Comic Highlight: I couldn't find a comic highlight in this episode. If I worked hard I'm sure I could pick one that came closest to making me smile but it's a rarity for an episode to be this lacking in humour. The dialogue between Raj and Howard was especially poor and functional. Sheldon couldn't save it either, he received none of the colourful analogies that can usually be relied on.
In Conclusion: I thought this was a major disappointment. The character dynamics felt flippant in a way which ran counter to the gentle progress that's been made in the last couple of seasons.
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