After a disappointing Thanksgiving special, the question for “The Big Bang Theory” was going to be if the show found a way to redeem itself in time for Christmas. Luckily, this entire episode delivered on being very entertaining, and a nice example of a good “what if?”-themed episode that we have seen time and time again on other shows.
The entire premise of this episode at first seemed to be all about the characters imagining their lives without Sheldon, but this eventually evolved to focus on all of the characters imagining their lives without each other … and there were some great moments along the way.
1. The entire scene of Penny trying to hook up with Sheldon in a world without Leonard should satisfy people who ship those two together for many years to come. Plus, it was pretty hilariously accurate.
2. Leonard and Raj imagined themselves as fat if they were living together.
3. Seeing Bernadette meet Howard for the first time without help.
4. Stuart randomly inserting himself into almost every single fantasy, like he was basically photo-bombing them. Stuart is the best recurring character on the show in our eyes, mostly because he is the one guy who is somehow more miserable than even Raj. It’s all about degrees of misery, people!
These “what if” scenarios were sparked by Sheldon seeing his sister give birth in Texas, which produced a number of funny moments in its own right … including Amy finding out that she was a part of his screen-saver along with Swamp Thing and Madame Curie. Not a bad day for Ms. Farrah Fowler.
While you can argue that there really was not actual long-term story in this episode, it was one of the best bits of fan service that the show has ever offered up. Some of it was a little too silly (namely the fat suits and people wetting themselves), but it was still probably the strongest episode of the season, and a great way to take a bow until the show returns on January 2. Grade: A-.
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