‘The Big Bang Theory’ season 8, episode 4 review: Penny vs. Emily, Howard vs. Stuart

Laura Spencer -Tonight’s episode of “The Big Bang Theory” is one that we can see many engaging in some heated discussions about, mostly because of one key question: What do we think about Emily and Penny not liking each other?

We feel like there is a certain contingent out there who are going to put the “sexism” label on it, given that they are two women who are not painted with the same “geeky” brush as most of the other characters on the show are, and because they are two women who don’t like each other seemingly because they both share a past with the same guy in Raj.

To a certain extent, we do see it as somewhat stereotypical, but this show and all entertainment is about context. The context of this situation makes it perfectly believable that Emily and Penny would not like each other, given that Penny seemed to be obviously playing nice almost on a fake level, and she was doing it back. This typically drives anyone, male or female, nuts. The fact that Penny and Raj had some drunken sort-of-hook-up years ago is just icing on the cake.

It is realistic that there would be two characters on the show, though, who actually do not care for each other, especially since all of the seven regulars seemed to become fast friends relatively quickly. While there may be occasionally tension, most of it is lighthearted.

You could actually say there is a parallel between the Raj storyline and Howard’s mother, who has both Howard and Stuart competing for her affection. They are basically the same story, just told in a very different way. That’s what makes this episode to us so fascinating. This one is non-sexual, but it does involve a different sort of love. This one also ties into the B-story for the episode, as the guys tried to get money together for a comic-book store for Stuart, only to realize that Howard’s mother invested instead.

We found this episode to be funny, though not necessarily laugh-out-loud hilarious. What we really enjoyed here was the sharpness and the cleverness of the writing. While sometimes the dialogue may be silly, the themes this week were actually fare more mature than first meets the eye. Grade: B+.

What did you think about this episode of the show? Let us know in the comments! Also, click here to preview what lies ahead on “The Big Bang Theory,” or here to sign up for some further TV updates via our CarterMatt Newsletter.

Photo: CBS

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