The Big Bang Theory "The Spoiler Alert Segmentation" Review: How to Live With Sheldon Cooper (for the Rest of Your Life)
I’m not sure how Leonard managed to get through 2005 without learning that Dumbledore died at the end of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, but maybe he’s just really phobic about spoilers. Given his response to Sheldon ruining the ending of the novel for him, maybe that’s the case or maybe—probably—Leonard’s apparent overreaction was just a logical response to years of pent up frustration concerning life with Sheldon. I can’t imagine Sheldon’s easy to live with, but as a difficult roommate myself (my college roommate was a saint, I tell you, a SAINT) I found myself in the weird position of sympathizing with Dr. Sheldon Cooper. Whaaaaaat?
A quality roommate is hard to find. There’s so much more to it than, “You’re a nerd. I’m a nerd. Let’s shack up in glorious nerd-vana.” You have to make sure your new roommate won’t hawk your textbooks for beer money or run your laptop through the dishwasher out of spite. Showering is a plus. An understanding of the things that lead to an ant infestation is also good. It’s not enough just to be friends. A lot of times, friends who share a lease are no longer friends by the time that lease is up. Sheldon and Leonard have worked out for years because they get each other, or at the very least, Leonard gets Sheldon and is willing to make allowances for the sake of peace.
It’s perfectly understandable that years of catering to Sheldon’s quirks would eventually catch up to Leonard, even over something as silly as a spoiler for a book that came out eight years ago. EIGHT YEARS AGO, LEONARD. There was a movie, too. It was kind of a big deal. Also understandable? Sheldon’s sheer panic once he realized what taking on a new roommate would entail. And once that new roommate appeared to be Amy Farrah Fowler herself, his roommate panic combined with relationship panic to create a volatile reaction.
Leonard didn’t fare much better with his escape plan. Even though the initial conflict that set “The Spoiler Alert Segmentation” in motion was specific to Leonard and Sheldon, the episode came to say more about Leonard and Sheldon’s relationships with the women in their lives than it did about their relationship with each other. We’ve had six seasons to understand that relationship. I think we’ve got it down. But in many ways, Amy/Sheldon and Leonard/Penny are still mysteries. Both couples have been rather stagnant for so long that it can be frustrating to watch, but The Big Bang Theory eased that frustration by pointing out the disastrous effects of moving forward before everyone is ready.
You don’t shack up with your girlfriend just because your regular roommate pisses you off, LEONARD. Also, you do not manipulate your still-has-issues-with-hugging boyfriend into inviting you to cohabitate, AMY. (Though she gets bonus points for having enough common sense to stick herself in Leonard’s old room, rather than jumping on the opportunity to awkwardly cuddle every night away.)
Amy is a perfect girlfriend for Sheldon in many ways. She’s very perceptive to his needs and for the longest time, she's been overwhelmingly willing to do things his way with little “payoff” for herself. But she’s getting frustrated. I’d have been right there with her during her outburst when Sheldon finally admitted that she just can’t live with him (and sure, I still cheered a little bit), but given what we learned about Sheldon’s feelings toward Amy last week, it was also kind of sad. He really does care about her. He’s admitted to seeing, sort of, the intimate future that Amy so desperately wants. But he’s just not ready for it yet. You can’t rush that.
Leonard, well, I just don’t know what he was thinking. His behavior could have been right up there with that random marriage proposal last season on the list of “things that make Penny consider dumping him.” But perhaps as a testament to Penny’s own growth lately, she just humored Leonard’s intentions until everything resolved itself. Thanks for not being a drama queen, Penny. Fo real.
Elsewhere, Howard and Bernadette went to a retreat with Bernadette’s company as a reward for her brilliance in rebranding a dandruff shampoo with unfortunate side effects as a great constipation medication. Howard asked Raj to visit his mom because she was depressed about her dentist boyfriend dumping her. We actually got our first ever Mrs. Wolowitz sighting which, though intentionally blurry, like a snapshot of bigfoot in the wild, was actually everything I imagined she would be because yay stereotypes. Loved the muumuu. After getting drunk on cream sherry, Raj woke up in Howard’s bed and tried to escape. He was unsuccessful. What are the odds he’s tied to a bed with two broken legs next week?
The Stray Observation Addendum
– One-liner of the night: “Feelings? What do I look like, a hippie at a love-in?” —Sheldon
– “Good buddy Leonard! Good buddy Leonard!” I love all the variations on Sheldon’s knocks.
– Howard’s entire rant about clubbing in Hollywood was amazing. His anecdote about how Bernadette got invited to a fancy corporate thing in Vegas was scary. Bernadette is scary. Raj asked, “Is there a GOOD anal leakage?” and I would really love to know Bernie’s take on that because again, she is terrifying.
– Poll time yay! We seem to be inching closer and closer to outright showing Howard’s mother on screen. What do you say? Should we see her face or should she always remain a mystery? Was this glimpse just enough?
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