The Big Bang Theory "The Locomotive Manipulation" Review: It's in His Kiss

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Feb 07, 2014

The Big Bang Theory S07E15: "The Locomotive Manipulation"


At the annual Sheldon and Amy Relationship Summit, where the terms of their relationship agreement would be renegotiated for the sake of their odd (and awesome) coupledom, Amy pulled a fast one and got Sheldon to accompany her on a boozy, romantic Valentine's Day date thing with the Wolowitzes. It could have easily backfired—and maybe it did, technically, for a little bit—but in the end, everyone won because trains are awesome. 

OH, AND THEN THEY KISSED. 

ON THE LIPS

Is this the new form of passive-aggressive sitcom warfare? Are all the shows currently trying to one-up each other with intense rounds of tonsil hockey? Sheldon and Amy's kiss invoked thoughts of Jess and Nick's legendary face-sucking on New Girl's last season and was every bit as heavily anticipated and well-executed as TBBT's quirky counterpart over on Fox. 


Over the past seven seasons, The Big Bang Theory's characters have developed at the pace of under-stimulated snails. The progress is certainly there, and in recent years, the show has put in some extra effort to transform its characters into more than just goofy, live-action cartoons. At the center of this experiment was Sheldon and Amy's relationship. 

So let me find my big biblical voiceover intro—okay, ready—IN THE BEGINNING it was easy to broadly define Amy as "female Sheldon" and declare that their relationship was fine because they were both so socially awkward that whatever stunted displays of affection they managed to share with other were more than they'd ever be able to tolerate with anyone else. That was fine for a couple of seasons and their unconventional relationship was a nice addition to a TV landscape that tends to get a little obsessed with overtly romantic storylines. That Sheldon and Amy often managed to stay together even while the relationships around them struggled was a testament to how special they were/are, and not because Amy is a female Sheldon who simply accepts Sheldon as is, but because she's AMY and she accepts Sheldon mostly as is, while also helping him grow. What's more, Amy herself has evolved from "lady Sheldon," with a trajectory that spanning both "slightly creepy, slightly repressed horndog" and "genuinely thoughtful and invested girlfriend." While on one hand, Amy's inclusion of trains was a calculated play on one of Sheldon's obsessions so that he'd give Amy the sort of Valentine's Day she wanted, on the other hand, it was also a thoughtful gesture to acknowledge that Sheldon wouldn't enjoy certain aspects of their date with Howard and Bernadette, and to reciprocate with something he would enjoy.

And now kissing. Can we add kissing to the list?


Back home, Leonard and Penny babysat Cinnamon for Raj and were introduced to the wonderful world of What Happens When Your Dog Eats Something Stupid and You Have to Go to the Vet and Endure an Hour or Two of Intense Judgement from Everyone in a Lab Coat. Been there. Sucks. Don't leave raisin cookies sitting on your dashboard when you pop into a rest stop on the turnpike to take a tinkle, kids. Also, don't leave your free truck stop V-Day candy sitting out where Raj's princess can crush them like a can of whatever the hell it is the fancy dogs eat. 

Luckily, Cinnamon was fine after some fluids and Raj got Yvette the Vet's phone number because TBBT loves to pair weirdos with weirdos. Whatever, it works for them. So, best V-Day ever or best V-Day ever? What say you?



THE STRAY OBSERVATION ADDENDUM

– As a fellow train dork, I wasn't mad at Sheldon at all for ditching Amy to hang out with Creepy Train Dude, who kind of reminded me of a grown-up Glen from Mad Men. Also: Amtrak Wolverine line yessssss. 

– "We bust on each other! I wear dorky glasses. You might have a problem." 

– Lol @ "grape juice that burns." 

– That was a hell of a vanity card this week.


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  • CynthiaBell1 Feb 14, 2014

    the whole kissing scene was so well done by Jim Parsons...loved it!

  • alejandrocabr1 Feb 11, 2014

    about sheldon and amy, I think that the writers needed a reason to make sheldon kiss her, and realize he likes it..
    I'm not sure it was the best way, but apparently it worked, and from there you can only expect things to improve at a rather fast pace.

  • stylecutter Feb 13, 2014

    his love for trains is a valid reason

  • Guitarman59 Feb 10, 2014

    not a bad episode, but after last week when they jumped the shark with J.E,J anything would seem better...

  • mnementh01 Feb 11, 2014

    In what universe did they jump the shark with James Earl Jones?

    The man obviously had a ball doing the show and it was hilarious throughout.

  • nunopires100 Feb 10, 2014

    it was a different valentine's day for everyone. Sheldon and amy & bernie and wolowitz going on a train ride, that was a good way to make them celebrate, shledon made a friend and evolved with amy, what will we see next? no need to hurry but we need to see more of that :P leonard and penny wasn't that much different, she told him she loves him and gave him flowers and chocolates, it does have to mean something... I hope the show continues making a change but don0t return to the bla bla stories, make new ones interesting :D

  • katelynsunday Feb 09, 2014

    I thought it was brilliant. The kiss was exactly what I would expect from those characters...and hopefully Raj finally gets himself a girl.

  • zampognaro Feb 09, 2014

    Amy needs to dump Sheldon asap.

  • mnementh01 Feb 11, 2014

    If for no other reason than to make him buck up his ideas, I totally agree.

  • nitehork Feb 09, 2014

    And so everybody is talking about the kiss. No-one else, or no-one else that I've seen yet, has spoken of the vet having an instant attraction for Raj. Have the writers finally decided to do something with Raj? About friggin time. Everybody else has grown emotionally, some minutely (Sheldon), others a lot more noticeably (Howard). Yes Raj broke through that psychological barrier of speaking to women, but he has grown to be a pathetic joke. Both he and Stuart have become bad characters. The writers have needed to turn that around for a while now, and it looks like they may just be doing that. Fingers crossed they won't screw it up. I am getting bored of one step forward two steps back.

  • borgsblueyes Feb 10, 2014

    Agreed, it was kind of a big deal that Raj pulled a normal girl on his own. Of course the lesson here could be that Raj was just being himself at the vet. I don't know why they turn him in to such a weirdo when he approaches a girl. Stuart seems to be purely there as comic relief, and not as an actual character. The other person I wish they would develop is Penny. Everyone else has careers, could they not even give her a bit part in sitcom/series? She doesn't have to become famous. At the start she was the hot, fun, unattainable girl. Now she is a washed up wannabe actress who is a borderline alcoholic.

  • ionee24 Feb 09, 2014

    To be fair, I would've fell for a guy that sings Katy Perry to his sick dog too.

    Raj had me at "Father, owner, soulmate". Add "And your wost nightmare if something happens to her!" and that poor vet never even had a chance.

  • sasalee Feb 09, 2014

    while i'm happy for amy and for their relationship to finally move forward a little bit... i'm upset for it to happen the way it did bc sheldon only did it to shut her up from (justifiably) complaining about him ignoring her all night.

    and was i the only one who felt like it was way more super awkward watching them kiss than it being this super sweet moment?

  • AndreaMcCooey Feb 10, 2014

    No, I cringed so hard. Although that might be because I hate the Amy character.

  • sasalee Feb 11, 2014

    i liked it better when she was robot amy... while i understand her character grew within 2, 3 season, i dislike that they made her this horn dog. if amy (as female sheldon) can grow and be more human, then the writers should at least move sheldon's character along. sometimes depending onwhat episode you're watching he's more robotic than s1 sheldon!.

  • mnementh01 Feb 09, 2014

    Yup!! It was just you.

  • ionee24 Feb 09, 2014

    What made this sweet wasn't reason why he did it, but that Sheldon enjoyed it all the while he did it:

    • His whole body moved towards Amy hips due to the pull of their kiss
    • Sheldon got flustered without any wine
    • And he couldn't stop staring into her eyes as he asked her to go with him
    The fact he had never kissed a woman is beyond the point, this was huge because of the sheer intimacy it involves which is something you don't see in TV that often.

  • sasalee Feb 10, 2014

    i understand why it was sweet... i'm just saying it felt more awkward than sweet when i was watching it bc it felt like watching two 12 year olds kissing -- which i understand bc they are technically two virgins kissing...
    my husband on the other hand said it felt like watching old people kissing. haha.

  • CynthiaBell1 Feb 14, 2014

    it felt awkward from Amy's half IMO. if you just watch Sheldon's body language it was perfectly suited for a first kiss of a man. his body language responded perfectly for a man engaging in physical contact with a woman

  • mnementh01 Feb 11, 2014

    Interesting term "technically a virgin".

    I've always thought you were a "virgin" or you were not.

    How does "technically" make a difference?

  • ionee24 Feb 10, 2014

    Then again, if all first kisses were supposed to be as sexy as the CW made them seem then we would all be real losers.

    Personally, I liked their kiss because it rang honest to Sheldon and his feelings for Amy. Bonus points because of the emotion involved (which is also something you don't get to see on TV couples that often).

  • DesertWolf Feb 09, 2014

    Finally this relationship between these two weardo going somewhere, really was a good episode, looking forward to see what will happen, I hope it want stop just with that kiss...... Ha ha ha ha

  • ionee24 Feb 09, 2014

    "Kissing is romantic" must be the best moment on TV since Jaime Lannister jumped into a bear pit for Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones!

    Why is that the nerd gals inspire all the best grand gestures?

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