S4E21: Here’s something that may surprise you: last night’s The Big Bang Theory was not only pretty good, but for one of the first times there was some actual character development. Amy showed a different side (that I actually really, really enjoyed). Priya added another layer of wit and at the same time, actually justified some of the other characters’ dislike of her with the way she treated Leonard. And hey, Leonard actually started to stand up for himself. So, yeah, good stuff all around! It was nice to see one of the shows I enjoy find its groove again, especially since the rest of the season had been so below average.
“Could I see the roommate agreement?” – Priya
“Um. It’s fairly technical.” – Sheldon
We open with Sheldon in a panic. He needs to use the restroom but Leonard is showering, unknowingly, with Priya. Sheldon busts into the bathroom and once he finds out she’s in there with him, Sheldon kind of loses it. This breaks the infamous roommate agreement that Leonard signed once upon a time, and, well, Sheldon does his whole Sheldon thing and tries to punish Leonard. However, there’s a new factor in the equation this time around: Priya. Being a graduate of Cambridge Law, she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to contracts. She finds a few loopholes and realizes that the boys don’t have to abide by all of Sheldon’s dumb little rules. Sheldon doesn’t like this and seeks comfort in Penny, who brings Sheldon out for a girls night as an attempt to make him feel better.
“You’re like a sexy toddler.” – Amy
“I don’t know how to process that.” – Sheldon
Once Sheldon is out with the girls, he seems to approach the situation like a scientist. He watches the girls, amazed at how they interact with each other. But he’s, surprisingly, not a jerk about things. He watches, yes, but he doesn’t seem to be judging (well, not any more than you would expect). But he genuinely seems to be having a good time. They talk about Priya and how horrible she is, then they head over to do some dancing (the waltz, specifically). Sheldon and Amy close out the night with Amy giving Sheldon some pointers on how to deal with the Priya situation and that’s basically just to fight fire with fire. Then, she kisses him. And surprisingly, Sheldon didn’t seem to resist and, dare I say it, enjoyed it.
It was fun to see the girls interact with Sheldon because it was a grouping that doesn’t seem to happen very often in the show. And because of that, the grouping was able to offer some new depth to each character. Amy, for the first time all season, was actually funny. Her line calling Sheldon a “sexy toddler” made me laugh harder at this show than I have in quite some time. But beyond that, I think another reason this grouping felt so great was because the girls have developed some terrific chemistry with one another. And Sheldon seemed to fit right into their dynamic. Honestly, what’s felt missing most of this season (and parts of season three) was how well the group hung out together in the earlier episodes. They did funny things to one another, yeah, but they all carried such energy and when they were able to feed that to one another — whether it was through physical humor or quick, snappy responses — it made the show so much more enjoyable. Most of this season, though, has been focused on making Sheldon the funny guy with the rest of the cast just kind of doing stuff to try and make him the funny guy, nothing more than that. In short: it lost the ensemble. But with the girls, Big Bang has seemed to regain some of that charm.
“You may have gone to Cambridge, but I am an honorary graduate of Star Fleet Academy.” – Sheldon
So how does Sheldon fight fire with fire? Well, he drafts up a new and improved roommate agreement that will “benefit him greatly” and threatens that if Leonard doesn’t sign it, he’ll send an email to Priya’s parents that they’re dating. And, well, after they realize he’s serious, Leonard caves and decides to sign.
Although simple and short, this was a nice closing moment because it seemed very telling of how exactly Priya felt about Leonard. There are numerous factors that play into why she didn’t want to tell her parents, but none of those really matter because, nonetheless, Leonard was hurt. She doesn’t seem to like Leonard as much as he likes her. I enjoyed this moment, as well as the tag, because although we all probably assumed Leonard and Priya wouldn’t end up together, the way that they seem to be foreshadowing their break-up is realistic and at the same time allows room for Leonard to grow as a character. When he dated Penny, he was such a pushover but hearing him fight Priya on how “she was embarrassed” showed us that Leonard is, maybe, not the insecure little nerd that he’s been.