“The Big Bang Theory” is always best when it pushes characters slightly out of their comfort zone since geeks are all about their routine, and tonight’s episode did that as it introduced something that really amped up the awkward factor: Sheldon and Amy working at the same university.
At first, Dr. Cooper tried to make it very clear that he wanted to work alongside her, and then Howard had to go in here and make things all complicated with his “real world” perspective. All this really did for Howard was get Bernadette totally pissed off with him, to the point where Howard had to sleep somewhere else. Sheldon also acted extremely rude to Amy after this, and not only that, but he embarrassed her thoroughly on her first day at the job by telling some very awkward jokes to one of her new colleagues from Sweden. (Yes, an Ikea joke. How original.)
The first half of this episode may be the funniest thing that “The Big Bang Theory” has done all season, whereas the second half may be one of the most frustrating. We don’t have a problem necessarily with the fact that the episode ended with Howard and Sheldon continuing to be jerks and digging the hole for themselves ever deeper. Instead, it is that the show rarely ever starts the next episode with any sort of clue at all that there was ever a problem in the first place. It basically just gives the guys license to be awful, and the women have to constantly put up with it with no real resolution. The show’s already asking a lot of us that we are supposed to believe that anyone wants to be in a relationship with Sheldon in the first place and then taking it a step further where he doesn’t have to apologize or be responsible for anything is a bridge too far.
So in the end, this episode feels very much like many others this season: At times funny, but inconsistent. There has yet to be one that we would label a “classic” by any measure. Grade: B-.
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