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

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. 



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?


– 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.