‘The Big Bang Theory’ season 8, episode 16 review: Sheldon and Penny ‘experiment’

Big Bang -There was quite a bit going on with Thursday night’s new episode of “The Big Bang Theory,” and it was certainly a mixture of silly, poignant, and in a sense pointless.

Let’s start here with what was the major story of the week: Seeing Sheldon and Penny conduct an experiment that was all about whether or not the two had the capacity to fall in love with one another. If they followed the entire list of exercises laid before then, then this is something that was meant to happen. The two did share many sweet moments as a result of this, and we’re sure that there were some ‘shippers out of it hoping, at least before they compared each other to family members, that something more would happen in the end.

Ultimately, the two made it through, but not before Sheldon revealed his birthday to Penny, and she sneakily told the others about his long-kept secret. Sure, it could be interpreted as mean for her to do this since he hates surprises; still, it was out of love, and a funny way to end a story.

A similar technique was used in a very serious discussion that Howard and Bernadette had at the airport, when his mother’s ashes went missing. While it ended with him finding the ashes and embracing the urn (while Bernadette lamented their closeness), we saw some of his own regret before that. Specifically, we are talking in terms of him not wanting to drive her to the airport.

We like that the show decided to tell Mrs. Wolowitz’s passing in this way. It was definitely important, but the spirit of this show is for the most part laughter. They tribute Carol Ann Susi in many ways by keeping that going.

As for what did not keep the laughter going, how worthless was that other storyline with the zombie and the escape game? While it was cool to see Max Adler on the show, this really didn’t go anywhere, and seemed mostly to be a time-filler for everything else. Still, it only took away slightly from a solid episode. Episode Grade: B.

Have an opinion on tonight’s episode? Share with a comment, and head over here to preview what lies ahead on the series. Also, you can sign up now to score some other TV updates on everything we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: CBS.)

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!