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?

Comments (44)
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Easily the best and funniest sit-com on TV right now, a great season finale, a good mixture of touching moments and super laugh out loud moments. I especially like Chuck Lorre's vanity card at the end, see you in the fall! I can't wait!
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an Interesting idea could be, that there is an actual problem with the rocket, could this be a plot line to maybe killing off a main character?

I feel this could be why it was such an emotional end of series, for both the cast and writers.

just an idea???
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Lennards comment was meant to highlight his own positive aspects to further point out Penny's stupidity in turning him down opposed to being any negative digs at her.
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I just wanted to bring up one thing that I find odd, and kind of odd as whole in both the BBT world and the real world.



Howard built a space toilet that failed. In turn the people on the space station had the pleasure of having their own waste eject into the space station. That is a HUGE mistake. And to know that astronauts in space recycle/convert waste into drinking water to survive while in space. This would mean VERY bad things for the station.



So why would NASA send off a failed space plumber in space as a payload specialist well alone accept one of his designs after the fact for the space station. Just saying.
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Omg i just watched that episode where he has that problem with space toilet pmsl :)
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Oh god, I loved it! Who couldn't? It was so funny but also emotional. Sheldon grapped Amys hand!!
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Absolutely loved it!!!!!!!!!!
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Even Chuck Lorre said (in this week's vanity card) that he found himself surprisingly emotional at the closing scene.

http://www.chucklorre.com/index.php?p=389
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Great Finale!
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Although she usually looks great, Bernadette/Melissa Rauch looked spectacular in her wedding dress. Hubba hubba.



Cool episode overall. The end was a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, them all getting together and becoming shocked and awestruck at Howard actually going to space was great. But while Bernadette holding Raj's hand was cute, the others following suit and holding each others hand felt a little lame.
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disagree
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I'm not sure if this marriage is legal. But if it's okay with Obama...
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I couldn't believe I was actually touched by the ending of The Big Bang Theory - no big joke to go out on, no gross-out or geek-out humor, just a strong moment for even the most rigid of their characters yet it felt honest.



Having Mike Massimino guest the whole episode was great, although I've never got the sense that he's as much a jerk in real life as he was here - maybe Howard just brings it out of people.



Melissa Rauch looked stunning in that bridal gown. I took Amy's dress as closer to red than pink, so you're throwing me with the "pink" part; I thought AFF's dress was good at being a bridesmaid dress but the shrug kept it in the "comedy" realm, while Penny's shrug-less version of the dress was elegant.



Leonard as evidenced by his previous breakups doesn't let go of anything quickly, so I loved when he and Penny had to have their squabble broken up like 2 petulant children, that was cute. That said, you're entirely right that Leonard's behavior is expecting too much, I chalked it up to either hurt feelings and embarrassment or wanting to control something he can't the way a lot of geeks do.



I know someone that got married by a mail-order minister, legally only one of them can have married them on paper, so I wonder who got that honor (Raj, I'll bet).



Season 6 should have Raj and Leonard grow up a little or at least pretend to, a wedding that close often has that effect on these kinds of guys. Also, I'd like to see some cracks in the armor of Sheldon, if he's not going to grow or humanize at all then they need to make it a bigger flaw in his character than just letting it pass without greater impact. A little growth would be nice, Howard slowly got there this season, now it's Penny's turn and Leonard's turn and Raj's turn and Amy's turn and yes even Sheldon's turn to grow, for better or worse - that's what'll keep it from just being repetitive and mocking of its characters (both "nerds" and "girls").
More+
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I loved the last scene, particularly Sheldon sincerely gripping Amy's hand and wising Howard good luck. I wonder if scenes like that are influenced by Bill Prady, because I'd be hard-pressed to name a scene that nice in any episode of Two and a Half Men. I'd like to see season 6 focus a little more on Raj and Penny, butt I disagree on the characters' needing to develop "for better or worse." I think most viewers develop certain expectations of characters over, and when they aren't met, the viewers start griping about how the writers need to start looking at the old episodes. Sheldon giving Howard the $12 was hilarious partially because you could see it coming based Sheldon's established attitudes on gift-giving and reciprocity. It's a sit-com, not a novel.
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True, but after a few years it gets repetitive if there isn't some character growth and movement, even if it's trying to be more and falling back into who they were that's something.
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Great finale. Despite the hitches, the wedding and the launch still took place, which i doubted would happen. Bernadette yelling at Howard's Mom had me ROTFL!! My favorite part! Well done Big Bang Theory.
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I thought the episode was beautiful. Bernadette and Raj, the two people who love Howard the most, holding hands because they were afraid for him. Penny and Leonard holding hands because in reality they truly love each other, and that's their adventure. Sheldon and Amy holding hands because Sheldon is so heartless and the whole geekness of having a friend going to space was just too awesome for him to be cool.



The vanity card from Chuck Lorre was beautiful too. You can tell that he cried when he wrote the last scene.
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I didn't see Leonard's comment as suggesting that Penny was not kind, patient, and respectful. I saw it as he was trying to suggest that those are qualities HE has, and that she should realize that what she has in Leonard is something she hasn't really gotten from any of the many other guys she's been with. But, then maybe I'm just seeing things through hopeful eyes.
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That's exactly how I interpreted Leonard's comment.
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Me too
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And Sheldon holding Amy's hand was made of epic!
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Bernadette was looking fine. she is stacked for such a small package :-)
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The writing in the last few episodes has been epic! I actually LOL which is something I rarely do. Not since Sgt Bilko with the episode in which they trained a race horse at night donned with car headlights! I ROFL literally !!!
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Great season finale. What I foresee next season, baby maybe, but for who. Hmmmm........
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I thought it was one of their best season finales and one of the strongest of the season. Genuinely can't wait for season 6.



I'm curious / dubious about the Leonard and Penny relationship though. I hope they don't follow every other TV show by having them break up and get back together another 10 times. Keep them together, damn it
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Agreed! Will-They-Won't-They is one of my least favorite television tropes. I really hope they don't drag Penny and Leonard out either.
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Great season finale
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I really kind of felt that Leonard's comment about "kindness, patience, respect" was more of a hint to Penny that it was hard to find those qualities in other people, and that HE had them. Not that he was implying that SHE didn't have those qualities herself. That was my take on it, although I did feel like the sniping between them was overdone. That being said, it's been well over ten years since my friend didn't say "I love you" back to her then-boyfriend, now-husband when he first said it to her, and it STILL comes up, so it's not unrealistic that Leonard and Penny are going to dig this (the inappropriate proposal) up every once in a while.
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True, Leomard is a living incarnation of the problem of "What do you say after 'I love you'". He want things to work out with Penny but he lacks of the patience to wait, he hasn't learned to respect her wishes and, although he seems hopelessly in love with her, has not yet learn how be kind with her. They are different, that much is not going to change, what it could change is how they deal with those differences about each other
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That makes a lot of sense! I didn't consider that he was talking about himself. Thanks for pointing it out!



And true, many relationships have that ONE THING that you just can't entirely let go. Totally understand.
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i thought it was their worst finale yet.
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Best season finale of the night. Kudos to you all! In Klingon.
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Awesome season finale! Can't wait for season 6!
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I can't believe you left out the fact that Raj admitted he loved Howard. I thought it was about time. To quote Bernadette about Raj, "Metrosexual, my ass."
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Well, they did share that girl in the Sailor Moon costume at ComiCon...
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And that night in the North Pole when the heater went off that the 4 of them swore would never speak of again (season 3)
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I enjoyed this episode. It was sweet, I love television weddings and I have been a huge fan of Bernadette and Howard since they met in season 3.

Next season I want to see more of Bernadette's father because he is amazing and I would like some more of Raj. I felt like they kind of forgot about him this season and he generally gets great lines. His highlight reel on youtube is hilarious as hell.

I just can't get over that they call Howard Froot Loops. For some reason is just cracks me up and I love that the astronaut was Russian. They have one of the funniest accents.

Can't wait till September!
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I liked the dresses too... it was funny and sweet -- loved the look on Amy's face when Sheldon squeezed her hand.

I agree that the bickering between Penny & Leonard was kind of out of place....
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Who would've thought Amy & Sheldon would be the romantic couple of the year?



Long live the Shamy
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