The Big Bang Theory is a CBS sitcom about a group of geeky adults that has run for 12 staggeringly long years. In that time period, it has attracted critical ire, many Emmys, and earned its stars million-dollar salaries. But now this show is dying and I, a pop culture critic with a heart made of onyx who has never even seen a single episode, have decided to watch the program weekly to pay my respects—and also roast it to death one last time.
Season 12, Episode 23/24: The Change Constant/The Stockholm Syndrome
Summary: It was almost nine months ago that I messaged culture editor Clover Hope on Slack with a novel idea.
Since then, I’ve opened my heart and mind to the infinite wisdom of The Big Bang Theory, a little CBS show that I recapped for months. I made mistakes (like doing this at all) and some enemies.
I think that last emailer and I have a different definition of “pet my kitty,” but alas. There’s a lot to recap this week because it’s the hour-long, double-episode finale (which I’m combining here), and as much as I’d love to tearily reflect on my weekly journey into the depths of network sitcom hell that was this show, I think we’ve all paid our respects long enough.
The last episodes began with a montage of every big moment on the show and I was like, wow, god that’s helpful. I could have used this at the beginning. Amy and Sheldon win the Nobel Prize! Amy and Sheldon are superstars at work now, and the press hounds them for comment and interviews, but Sheldon is interview-shy (over-eager Howard and Bernadette jump right in to give quotes, though, including going on CNN); and Amy hates every photo of her on the Internet. Raj is like “get a makeover!” which is extremely rude, but also I’m clutching the sides of my couch for a makeover-montage. Beauty comes from within... and from good makeover montages, just admit it.
Sheldon likes Amy the way she was before, he says, even though Amy loves it. He hates change. But Penny reminds him that he’s changed a lot, like now he’s “had sex as many times as I have fingers.” Meanwhile, Amy, Leonard, and Raj have what sounds like a necessary conversation about enabling Sheldon and how they’re not going to “tip-toe around him” anymore. Thank god, where have you all been, I’ve only been here one season and I know this.
Penny is pregnant, which is a shock, given viewers and myself went through an emotional rollercoaster when she said she didn’t want children and everyone around her acted like she was a selfish witch. Speaking of kids, we finally see Bernadette and Howard’s children. I sincerely regret previously speculating that they’re figments of their imagination, or tree-stumps bundled up in blankets to give the depressing illusion of swaddled children.
The whole gang flies to Sweden for the Nobel ceremony, and Penny and Leonard are trying to keep their baby a secret, which is hard because Penny drinks like a college freshman and isn’t drinking this trip. Eventually, she has to tell Sheldon because he’s freaking out like a child about how she’s vomiting so much, and he doesn’t even so much as say, “Congrats!” Leonard is a good husband and tells Sheldon he’s a selfish jerk and “to hell with you and your Nobel Prize.” Wow, suddenly I love Leonard.
Bernadette and Howard left their very real, totally human children with Stuart, who accidentally let them roll down the stairs and one of them lost some teeth. Sheldon weakly apologizes to Penny about being so cold about her pregnancy, but when Howard tells Sheldon he might need to go back to Los Angeles to be with the kids, Sheldon rudely tells him to get it together. Howard says he’s heading home because of this, and so does Leonard. Amy tells Sheldon he’s being selfish and that people just tolerate his behavior because they know he doesn’t mean to hurt people. Holy shit, is this an episode where everyone finally dumps Sheldon as a friend?
Ugh, it’s not. Everyone stays, Amy and Sheldon give their speeches, and thanks the crew especially, asking them to stand. Everyone is friends again. The show is dead.
Worst joke: “You’re no longer dressed like you’re trying to attract sailors by the wharf,” Sheldon says to Penny. Penny is precious to me don’t you dare hurt her.
Nerdiest moment: Sheldon says he loves his friends. Actually, that’s kind of sweet. Maybe the real nerds were the friends we made along the... okay this doesn’t make sense.
What I learned this week: Sheldon can’t handle his wife getting a haircut.
Did I laugh?: No.
How dead is this show?: IT’S DEAD. IT’S DEAD. IT’S DEAAAD. What are you during with your inheritance? I’m blowing it on Rihanna’s forthcoming clothing line and assorted Haribo products.