The Big Bang Theory: Howard the Schmuck?

The Big Bang Theory S05E22: “The Stag Convergence”

Well, Howard adhered to Bernadette’s wishes and didn't have any strippers at his bachelor party, but that didn’t stop things from taking a turn into call-the-whole-thing-off territory when Wil Wheaton taped the Roast of Howard Wolowitz and posted it online, where Bernadette learned, among other things, that her fiancé once had a threesome with Raj and a chick dressed like Sailor Moon and lost his virginity to his second cousin.

Finally, Bernadette saw the creeper we all know Howard to be.

And yet, I was horrified when she threatened to call the whole thing off. Oh, she certainly had reason to. The new information at her disposal painted a picture of a man who was very different from the one she thought she was marrying and that’s kind of a big deal when you’re that close to saying “I do.” But at the same time, the Howard Wolowitz who hits on anything that moves, including semi-distant relatives, has been very much a face from the past on The Big Bang Theory lately. If Bernadette were to shoot him down once and for all, I can only imagine a sad descent into his old ways...which would be horrible, because frankly, new Howard is one of my favorite characters on the show.

I know that the whole shtick of The Big Bang Theory is that the characters are nerds, but as a nerd lady who regularly socializes with other nerd ladies and gents, much of the push to maintain that facet of Leonard, Sheldon, Raj, and Howard’s characterizations has felt like a disservice, a stagnation to their development. More than once, I’ve rolled my eyes at the television and reminded it, “Yes, I get it. They’re nerds. Haha.”

Nerd doesn’t have to mean socially inept. It doesn’t have to mean creepy. It doesn’t have to mean that the guy can’t get the girl or vice versa, and the evolution of Howard Wolowitz (and all of the guys on The Big Bang Theory, really) is a shiny television example of this.

But I understood Bernadette’s hesitation. Scarier than the revelation about who her fiancé used to be was that he didn’t let her in on the secret and she had to learn via ye olden interwebs. That’s never a good thing. Even learning deep dark secrets through close friends is iffy.

Wonderfully, Howard rose to the challenge. When Bernadette barricaded herself in her bedroom, refusing to talk to even Penny (because Penny set Bernadette and Howard up knowing full well what a skeez Howard used to be), Howard asked Penny to pass a message along to Bernadette when she eventually came out of the room. He told her that he didn’t like the man he used to be, that he wouldn’t go back to being that man, even if Bernadette decided not to marry him, because she makes him a better man.

C’mon, say it with me now, “Awwwww.”

The Big Bang Theory doesn’t tend to elicit a lot of “awws” from me. I take them where I get them.

Bernadette slipped out of her hideaway with an “Oh Howie,” and voila, the big fat geek wedding is still on.



The Stray Observation Addendum


1. Sheldon Cooper on booze, “Jeepers! That’s yucky!” Priceless.

2. Bernadette: “For a while in Poland, [Howard’s] family and mine lived next door to each other!”
Penny: “Oh, cool!”
Amy: “No, it’s not...I’ll tell you later.”

3. Leonard’s attempted seduction of Penny in the laundry room. Poor guy, he just wants to be spontaneous.


What are your thoughts on “The Stag Convergence” and the evolution of the gang in general?

Comments (47)
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"Yes, I get it. They're nerds. Haha."



There is something I don't understand. This show started out being about nerds, but so many people now seem to want it to evolve into something else.



Why even watch the show if you are tired of nerdy behaviour and story lines? Why not let the show remain as a show for and about nerds (like me) so that the real nerds in the audience have something to watch? There are lots of shows out there about drama and relationships and growth and conflict and all of that stuff. Why not watch those shows instead of asking that this show change into something that it isn't (or at least wasn't)?



"Nerd doesn't have to mean socially inept.", "It doesn't have to mean that the guy can't get the girl or vice versa". Well good for you that you seem call yourself a nerd and you are not "socially inept" and can "get a girl or visa versa". There are those of us out here who aren't as socially competent as you and we also want to have a show about life as we know and experience it.



The problem is that people seem to want the show to evolve and change, but it has evolved and changed so much that some of us early fans don't enjoy it as much any more.
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Because a show that doesn't grow and evolve soon becomes old and stale, and eventually dies. "The Simpsons" hasn't suffered this fate because animated shows tend to be immune from this (though I'll argue that "The Simpsons" grew old and stale and died a long time ago, and is only a zombified corpse that Fox won't let lie down and rest, but that's an argument for another day), but a live action sitcom can't do that, mainly because it isn't realistic. I don't know of many sitcoms where the characters don't change and evolve as the years pass. The guys and girls on TBBT wouldn't be at at realistic if they didn't do so. Sure, if the guys had never met the girls, they could conceivably have stayed exactly the same as they were during season one, but that's not the case. Just by interacting with each other, they're going to change. (Heck, it's the entire premise of the show, really, just by the fact that they met Penny in the pilot episode, and in fact, much of the advertising for the show touted the fact that Penny was going to shake up their geek world.) Whether that's good or bad is ultimately up to the viewer to decide for him/herself, but I'd argue that TBBT's continued reign on top of the sitcom ratings heap means that more people like the direction the show is going than those who wish it would have remain unchanged.
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Dispite the fact that "a zombified corpse that Fox won't let lie down and rest" sounds like an excellent plot for a Simpsons episode, I dispute everything else about your post.



I would say that very few shows change as much as TBBT has. Sienfeld didn't, 2 and a half men didn't.
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two and a half men is an example of why a show should change..it just sucks..seinfeld on the other hand was just so funny that it didnt need the whole relationships storylines... .if you want a real nerd show just watch the it crown
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"Heck, it's the entire premise of the show, really, just by the fact that they met Penny in the pilot episode, and in fact, much of the advertising for the show touted the fact that Penny was going to shake up their geek world."



^SO TRUE. It was clear all the time that there would be lots of relationship plots and character development, but apparently some people didn't saw that coming and now they feel betrayed.



And BTW... Two and a half men??? REALLY?? HAHAHA. Oh please. I agree about Seinfeld though, but that must be one of the few shows that didn't change and still got a sucessful long run. The stale ones do tend to die soon.
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Still like it, I've seen better and worse episodes... I keep wondering though, where the show's gonna go in the next seasons?? Feels like they're stagnating at the moment... it's not going anywhere. Any1 agree?



Bye
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As for the episode as a whole, it was okay. I didn't laugh much. The idea behind Howie's speech was simple and cliched -- "You make me a better man" -- but the way it was done was cute.



I didn't have much of a problem with the Howard-Bernadette storyline; they may have done something in the past that suggests she knew Howard was a bit of a freak, but you could also write her blowup off as pre-wedding jitters of sorts. Plus, I think it's reasonable that just because she knew he was a bit of a sex-freak before doesn't mean she'd be okay with finding out he also had a bunch of other freaky experiences she didn't know about.



I figure I can know about one or two "dirty" things my (hypothetical) fiancee has done in her past, and believe that was all there was, but if I then find out she had a three-way with her BFF and a hooker... actually, bad example, I'd find that really hot. ;)
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i hate will wheaton!!!!!
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I know I'm probably being really dense but i don't really understand what Amy meant when she said "no it's not i'll tell you later" What was the joke there?
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Howard's family is Jewish and Amy is implying that when his and Bernadette's family were "neighbors in Poland" it was during the Holocaust.
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Holocaust jokes are pretty weak, I swear i watch over 20 shows and every single one of them has to mention it like it's obligation, i mean sure it was awful but the writers should stop acting like they went through it and make jokes about it (i swear i have nothing against jews btw) just Jewish writers that make a big deal about everything
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totally true

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Thing is, it's kinda hard to avoid it when one of the main characters is Jewish. I think the trick is to not go to that well too many times, and really, they haven't on TBBT. I only remember one joke from a past episode that would qualify (Howard referring to Bernadette's parents as "Adolf and Eva"). This episode had two of them (the aforementioned one, and Sheldon's idea of a German bachelor ceremony being quickly shot down by Howard). As long as they don't go there every other episode, I can live with it.
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MJ Pollard ,dude isn t that offensive whether you are a german or not? I mean that thing was done by a political group a government, why do all these screwed up shows put all the blame to german culture and people!!! at that people didn t support this there was also ones not supporting nazis or have no clue about their agenda, voters are simple folks , you can t insult german people or culture for crime of a political group

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wait she didnt know howard was a total creep before she married him?
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"I get it, they're nerds, ha ha."



Sounds like you really don't need to watch another episode; it's not like you won't get more of the same. Switch to Community along with the rest of us brainy types.
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Not one of the best for me. I barely laughed, except during the three scenes described in the addendum. Can I just say, the whole Amy Farrah-Fowler girl-crush with Penny thing is just old, annoying and kinda offensive to lesbians and geeks. I know her character is new but if you wanna talk about lack of evolution, that's your point right there.
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yeah, i've had more than enough with amy hitting on penny, it's uncomfortable/ annoying
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why is it uncomfortable? Howard hit on Penny in a creepy way constantly and no one had a problem with that.
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I laughed. It was a fun enough episode for me. One thing that bothers me is the way Bernadette reacts. Like everyone else points out, you have the internet WoW troll sex from before. That in itself would say tons. Then there is the episode where Howard meets Bernadette s huge ex boyfriend/professor. Howard was upset and he meet him in person. He never considered breaking up and Bernadette was angry that he was both shock and feeling inadequate. So her reaction to knowing about past events and never meeting these women means a possible revaluation of the whole relationship. Very weak in real life and would never make sense to anyone. But great for television.
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Very true, re: weak in real life but great for television. But, it's true to Bernadette's character, a person who was deliberately written to be sweet and naive... which makes it all the more enjoyable when she occasionally gives us glimpses of her dark side. :-)
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I really liked the maturity of Howard in this episode. Very well done.
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1. Sheldon's insistence on adhering to social conventions despite an absolute lack of understanding of any of them is one of my favourite aspects of his character.

2. Ah, Penny, still needs to learn a few things.

3. Leonard is kind of like Eric on "That '70s show". An ideal dream hunk he may not be, but you cannot say that he does not try exceptionally hard and does everything he can.



I did find this to be one of the better episodes of this show as of late. It did have, as you mention, a few moments I didn't think were great, but I like it when this show acknowledges from where it comes.
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I love how no one mentions the fact that this whole season has been about Howard, first the whole flying into space/Bernadette getting mad about it (which took a few episodes) and now we have the bachelor party and the season is gonna end with the wedding... so to summarize,



I MISS THE OLD BIG BANG THEORY when the show wasn't revolving around pathetically played out love stories..
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Then go watch the first two seasons on DVD and leave the rest of us to enjoy a show where the characters actually grow and evolve. Better yet, go watch "The Simpsons," where no one has grown up or changed one iota in over 20 years.
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Im sorry, i didn't know i have to ask for permission before i share my view and apparently alot of other peoples' view... im gonna talk to you like you didn't reply to my comment like a douch...



im all up for character development when there's room for it and in this case everyone seems to be happy with the characters' personalities, which begs the question why change them? it looks like you're new to sitcoms so ill let you off easy... this time
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"...in this case everyone seems to be happy with the characters' personalities..."



Excuse me, but... "everyone" who? There's some guys nagging about the show here and there (mostly TV forums guys), but what I notice is that both in the internet and real life most people are enjoying the plot development. Just asking :/
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A couple of issues with the writers over continuity:

1. This wasn't the first time Sheldon has tasted whiskey. At the Cheesecake Factory bar, he tried to do a shot. He spit it back into the glass- 3 times.



2. Bernadette dated Howard before and broke up with him when she caught him having virtual sex in a fantasy role-playing game.



A couple of factual issues:

1. Franklin D Roosevelt married his second cousin. That whole thing has been blown out proportion, to me.



2. Amy referred to Sailor Moon as a children's cartoon character. Not so. Japanese anime is not for children. What we see on tv is edited. The stuff on dvds is rather R-rated. Example: On the dvd, when Sailor Moon is transforming, she is momentarily naked. Japanese pop culture can be kind of skeevy.



All in all, an okay episode. But, doesn't Bernadette have any other friends?
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I disagree with some of that.



1 - just because Sheldon tried booze before doesn't have anything to do with this episode. He says that in this specific situation type that this is the drink social convention. In other words even Sheldon knows that you drink when doing a bachelor party. There was nothing said to deny trying alcohol in the past just a surprise to taking it in for the sake of the party.



2 I agree with this part. In the same time I remember when she and the gang went for a speech/conference and Howard meet that huge guy that dated her before. By that example itself it shows that she doesn't go through details of her past. Why would Howard go on about past sexual experience unless he was asked directly. Why would anyone?



1 - the cousin thing is more a joke then gross type of thing. I don't think Bernadette was yelling incest and evil during this time.



2 - What ever sailor may be there is an image of it being a kids show. For Amy to refer it as such is to simply detail that she is using a stereotyped idea to what the show is. After all it became very popular in North America with kids when it played as a cartoon. So really we are seeing Amy being Amy and not Amy the sailor moon international expert.
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I'm glad they didn't overplay Sheldon + alcohol, that could have been an overwhelming wacky schtick all by itself, instead it showed him as someone who actually CAN do something in the real world even if he doesn't like it.



The episode was cute, but Howard's party seemed a little flat, like something bigger could have happened, or someone could have come out of their shell OTHER than Raj (this show has made Raj coming out of his shell with alcohol a staple). The overall sentiment was a strong save, but I think the middle of this episode could have been bigger.
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Agreed for the most part, except about Raj, at least with regards to this episode. I do think they're overdoing it with the "Raj drinks alcohol so he can talk to women" thing, as they're do it every chance they get in order for him to interact with the Three Amigas, but I don't think this is the case here, as there were no women at the stag party. No, I think this is just another example of the "best friend gets drunk and says a bunch of inappropriate things that comes back to bite someone in the behind" sitcom staple.
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I thought this was a stronger episode from season 5, but thats not a glowing compliment as I feel this season is the weakest to date. I still find the episodes with less Amy to be the better and I do miss the simple days of the original 5 characters.



However, I know it has to keep changing and growing so I'll stop moaning.
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I think the moaning's justified, but I don't understand why you think this is one of the stronger episodes of the season. There have been some quite funny episodes this season, with memorable jokes, and this one really didn't have any, and that's what I rate comedy episodes by.
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I think it depends what frame of mind I'm in and how much anticipation I have for each episode. I wasn't really thinking about it before it started so enjoyed it more.



Sheldons speech made me laugh
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How did Bernadette not know he was a douche considering she broke up with him once for having virtual sex with a Troll?
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was it really the finale?

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Nope. Two more episodes to go, "The Launch Acceleration" and "The Countdown Reflection" (season finale). The finale, as I predicted a while back, revolves around the actual wedding; will they or won't they? The taping report tells all :-), but I'll let you be surprised...
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I don't really remember a lot from this episode, wasn't that impressed with it, but I want to thank you for not mentioning your boyfriend in this article =)
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yea, I'm not a huge fan of this season as a whole and lol I was surprised she didn't mention him either -_-"
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Yeeeah, it didn't really pick up until near the end. And you're welcome. :)
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You know this show is a sitcom, right?
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I don't get your point? Do you mean she's making character development too big of a point? Because most people don't want the shows they watch (even if they are comedies) to be shallow, bland and boring, but interesting, smart & genuinely funny
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What is there to get? I think most people just watch it for the nerd jokes, not as a character study.
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I'm not saying that the Big Bang theory is anything like a character study, but in this episode there wasn't much else happening, so I just don't understand your first comment? How else are you supposed to review an episode that barely has any funny moments? Can't do much else than discussing the main plot line for the episode
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I dont understand why the Big Bang Theory needs reviewing.
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Fundamentally we disgree then I guess, I laughed through almost the whole thing.
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