‘The Big Bang Theory’ Season Finale Recap: The Roommate Transmogrification

S4E24: The Big Bang Theory wrapped itself up last night — after a mostly disappointing season — in a solid, smart way: they abandoned pretty much everything. Well, not everything, but the writers left us with a cliffhanger that will allow Season Five to purge itself of all the crap that just wasn’t working this past season. So, yes! But at the same time, if Season Four is any indication, the writers will probably screw all of the possibilities up in Season Five. So, boo! But we won’t worry about that right now.

“You’re orbiting within the atmosphere? Moron.” -Raj

To start “The Roommate Transmogrification,” Leonard and Priya are fooling around in Raj’s apartment so he’s forced to listen to their Star Trek fantasies through the door. Disgusted — rightfully, I might add — he heads to Howard’s to look for a safe haven. When he’s turned away (by Howard’s still-annoying-as-shit mother), he knocks on Sheldon’s door and crashes there for the night (after signing some paperwork and release forms regarding Sheldon and Leonard’s infamous roommate agreement). This sets up the plot for the rest of the episode: Leonard moves in with Priya and Raj moves in with Sheldon.

Meanwhile, Bernadette announced that she’s getting her PhD — moreover, a pharmaceutical company is going to pay for it. This leads to inevitable bashing of Howard from the group. Now he’s pretty much the only one, other than Penny, who doesn’t have a PhD. At first, Howard is happy for his bride-to-be and emphasizes it over and over again, but after Bernadette showers him with some gifts, he stars to question his manhood. This causes a fight between the happy couple — and leaves us with a cliffhanger in their relationship heading into next season.

“If you prefer the human touch, I do a live web-chat called Apartment Talk on Tuesday Nights.” -Sheldon

Sheldon has Raj sign a bunch of paperwork for the roommate agreement and, hey, that was actually kind of enjoyable. The Sheldon-Raj relationship has been slowly budding all season, and last night, with the roommate situation, it all came out and it was a lot of fun. I wasn’t expecting Raj to embrace the roommate agreement, by any means, especially considering how much Raj talks about disliking Sheldon in the series. And on top of that, Raj is always the butt of the joke — especially because of the whole can’t-talk-to-women thing — and even more so, nothing ever seems to work out for him. So it was fun to see him try and get the approval of Sheldon — and then when he does, be so proud of it.

Penny shows up for “dining” not “eating” and after quite a bit of wine, the inevitable happens: Raj and Penny sleep together. This is something that was bound to happen because, well, as a sitcom gets older, the characters don’t really have a choice but to enter different types of relationships with the other characters (for example, how many different couples existed within the Friends circle?). Anyway, as Raj and Penny do their thing, Leonard gets in a fight with Priya and presumably breaks up with her because she’s moving back to India. Leonard comes home and sleeps on the couch, only to be waiting, with Sheldon and Howard, in the morning as Penny and Raj make their walk of shame.

This all was pretty predictable, yes, but it was a lot of fun, too. Aside from the Raj-Sheldon gags, Raj and Penny seemed to have a lot of chemistry (in fact, more chemistry than Penny and Leonard). But most importantly, as I stated in the introduction, this wipes the slate clean for Season Five. How will the rest of the gang react to Raj and Penny’s night together? Will they embrace it? Will it be shamed? Granted, this brings us back to the whole Leonard-Penny story arch that the writers really, really, really, really want to work — but whatever, I’m just happy that for the first time in a long time, Big Bang gave me a genuine surprise and more importantly, some genuine laughter.