The Big Bang Theory Blasts Off In Its Season 5 Finale

The Big Bang Theory S05E24: “The Countdown Reflection”

I love a season finale that manages to bring an entire cast together. 2 Broke Girls and New Girl both managed to do so in their respective finales this week, and I’m thrilled to add The Big Bang Theory to that list. There’s something about getting the whole gang together to say goodbye that adds a sense of completeness to the story. And there SHOULD be completeness, even if we’re just talking season finale and not the dreaded (and sometimes not-so-dreaded) series finale. You can’t just end a chapter anywhere you feel like it.

Well, you could, technically, but then you’d be a crappy writer. So don’t do it.

In the end, Howard’s rocket lifted off and he went into space a married man. At first glance, “The Countdown Reflection” looked like a story about Howard and Bernadette, but even though they took up most of the spotlight, everyone had their important roles to play and everybody headed into the hiatus having learned something important about themselves, or someone close to them.

Howard’s life flashed before his eyes as his Soyuz rocket worked through a few snafus prior to lift-off. Oh, nothing big, just a possible fuel leak. “Nine times out of ten it’s not a problem,” his fellow astronaut assured him.

“What happens at ten?” Howard asked.

“A problem.”

So, please excuse Howard for his crying and whining. At least he got on the rocket to begin with, right? Right.

Through Howard’s flashbacks we learned that he and Bernadette got married after all. Huzzah! But the union almost had to wait until he returned from the International Space Station. The couple-to-be kicked a few possibilities around, from City Hall to Vegas, but it’s hard enough to change dinner plans at the last minute, let alone coordinate a last-minute wedding ceremony that doesn’t end in total disaster.

Raj pointed out that the Google Earth satellite would pass over the apartment on Sunday morning, and wouldn’t it be lovely to have their ceremony immortalized in such a dorktastic way? Howard and Bernadette thought it was an awesome idea and Raj beamed, “If I wasn’t an astrophysicist, I’d be a party planner.”

The wedding, surprisingly, went off without a hitch. Amy got to wear her maid of honor dress and rocked it. No, really. I don’t if the bridesmaid dresses were meant to be a sort of joke on their own because they were VERY pink and Amy Farrah Fowler’s gown was... a bit much, but I honestly liked them. However, I have a long history of adoring things that everyone else finds repulsive, to the point that my old roommate once told me that when she goes birthday or Christmas shopping for me, she just looks for ugly things. So, everyone with actual fashion sense: Did we like the dresses?

I liked the dresses. Whatever.

Then there were the little messages from everyone to the bride and groom, well-meaning tributes that in Penny and Leonard’s case were passive-aggressive digs at one another and in Sheldon’s case celebrated his aversion to any romantic relationships. In Klingon. Well, until Bernadette yelled at him. I love when Bernadette yells at people. There’s something about a geeky, squeaky-voiced little blonde chick exploding into a rage monster that is just plain wonderful.

But I guess Amy’s mind games wore off, huh? Bummer. Lovesick Sheldon was oddly endearing.

As far as Penny and Leonard’s sniping went, I was confused, because I thought we were cool last week. I was especially put-off by Leonard’s comment, “Kindness, patience, respect—qualities that are hard to find in people these days.” I just don’t see where Penny wasn’t kind, patient, or respectful last week, if it is, in fact, last week that he was referring to. He proposed to her out of the blue while they were getting it on and she (understandably) freaked out. They talked about it like adults and their relationship survived intact. Was he grumpy because she didn’t say yes? Really?

Well, it’s cool. In the end, Bernadette and Howard were married by their friends, all of them at the same time—they'd apparently all got themselves ordained online and when we returned to the present time, the issues that plagued Howard’s rocket were solved and he blasted into space while his pals and his wife watched on television, overcome with emotion and quietly taking the hands of their significant others—even Amy and Sheldon. Sort’ve.

The Stray Observation Addendum

– Sheldon didn’t want to go to the Howard-Bernadette wedding. Leonard tried to change his mind by arguing that it would be fun. That made Sheldon even less enthusiastic about attending. He argued, “That’s what you said about the Green Lantern movie.” Yeah. Gonna have to side with Sheldon there. I was SO EXCITED. And then I was SO DISAPPOINTED.

“Aloe vera? Because you just got BURNED.” That was some good smack talk, Sheldon. High five.

– Howard finally stood up to his mother: “From now on, [Bernadette] is the only woman who can yell at me!” I wonder how long that sentiment will last?

– As Howard’s rocket launched, Penny admitted that a small part of her always thought Howard was lying about being an astronaut. Everyone in the room agreed. Can’t blame them at all.

Did you enjoy the Big Fat Geek Wedding? What do you want to see when The Big Bang Theory returns for Season 6?

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