Review: Big Bang Theory – The Decoupling Fluctuation

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by Kevin Rigdon

The newest episode of Big Bang Theory begins with Bernadette, Amy, and Penny going through Bernadette’s wedding presents, which naturally spawns questions about whether or not the other two-thirds of the trio think they will be married to Sheldon and Leonard, respectively.  Amy is certain that she and Sheldon will be married in exactly four years.  But Penny?  Not so much.

It seems that Penny is bored with Leonard.  It’s not that she’s unhappy, necessarily.  It’s a “new, better, boring kind of love.”  Let’s face it: Leonard is boring, but it’s not a lack of activity type of boring.  A better word would be “tedious.”  Good God in heaven!  I want to kick his needy, co-dependent, incessantly whining, gluteus minimus to the curb!

After confiding in her friends that she’s not sure how she feels about Leonard, Amy promptly shares the details with Sheldon, who we all know is not fond of keeping secrets.  In an effort to protect Leonard from the possibility of a coming dumping, Sheldon embarks on a Transformers allegorical chat with Leonard, and sneaks into Penny’s apartment to talk her out of it.  In the first place, he’s attempting to maintain the status quo (homeostasis, as he calls it), but there is a heart in there that really wants to protect Leonard.

As all of the above is going on, Wolowitz is still in space, and gets the short end of the hazing stick.  Not only does he have to scrub the space toilet (we can only hope this one works better than his original design), the other astronauts have been playing tricks on him, including drawing cat nose and whiskers on his face.

While Howard is facing space bullies, and Sheldon is attempting to prevent gallons of Leonard-tears, there’s a new trial member of the cadre: Stuart.  After Raj and Stuart’s uncomfortable moment last week, the comics peddler has taken the next step into being incorporated into the group, in spite of Sheldon’s continual reference to him as “fake Wolowitz.”

This episode shines brighter than the season premiere.  The characters seemed much more themselves, particularly Sheldon.  He’s still wonderfully childlike in his narcissism and worldview.  He’s still uncomfortable with his relationship with Amy, still loves trains, and hates change.

So, will Penny end it with Leonard?  Will Stuart replace Wolowitz, particularly in Raj’s eyes?  Will Sheldon still love trains?  We’ll have to stay tuned.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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