On The Big Bang Theory season 11 episode 4 we saw Howard Wolowitz in one of the biggest funks we’ve seen him in. Early on in the episode he learned that he and Bernadette are having a baby boy, and this caused him to question pretty much everything.
To be specific, he wondered if he could be a good dad to a boy because he didn’t have that fatherly influence as a child. He started to look towards a childhood hobby as a way to channel some of his pain: Building a rocket. This also happened to be a childhood passion of Sheldon’s, and the two parties bonded over having crummy fathers to the point where they went out to the desert together in order to launch the fruit of their efforts: A new toy. We give them a tremendous amount of credit for going out there and trying to have a great experience with each other; it’s too bad that the rocket failed to launch and this really kicked the two parties back down into an emotional ravine, really to the point where they didn’t even want to talk to each other for much of the way home.
Then, something crazy happened: Sheldon admitted to Howard that he got a driver’s license years ago, and Howard teaching Sheldon how to properly drive better, while out in the middle of the desert, made him feel like more of a proper father figure. It’s a moment that Howard needed, and even though Sheldon eventually screwed it up by driving like a madman, it was still a meaningful part of the show and one that we hope many viewers carry with them for a while. Howard can be a great dad no matter what sort of doubts he may have!
As far as a great character-building story goes for these characters, we do have to say that this is one of the best ones that the CBS show has provided in a while.
Christine Baranski is back
She is always tremendous as Beverly, and tonight we had one of her best appearances yet as she and Penny forged a unique bond. This made Leonard feel inadequate, which in turn led to a confrontation in which he asked her why she wasn’t proud of him. Eventually, this in turn did lead to Beverly comforting herself in the strange way in which she often does — it did make him feel better, though we once again wonder why looking towards Beverly as comfort is something Leonard wants. We suppose that it’s just because of the inherent value that she holds as a parent more so than anything else.
The one scene of the night even better than the ones with Baranski was the one where Leonard went over to Amy ranting about his mom getting close to Penny — which led in turn to Amy also being jealous and screaming, fearing that she was losing her best friend.
We like The Big Bang Theory when it does have an emotional undercurrent, and over the course of tonight’s episode you had that. Every story tonight dealt with insecurity on some level, and because the writers wrapped much of it in humor it never felt too weighty.