As I had hoped, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ has continued on the momentum that begun in the first episode of the season, delivering a second episode last night that felt like another quality outing for the series, and felt like they were diving right into the meat of their final season, while still keeping up a lot of laughs.
In the main story of the night, Sheldon and Amy are opening gifts and find the one from Penny and Leonard, only they have absolutely no idea what the item is. It keeps them up at night trying to figure it out, and later Sheldon even asks Howard if he knows what it is, and Howard tricks him into thinking it is part of a scavenger hunt. In reality, it gift was something that Raj gave to Bernadette and Howard for their wedding, which Howard then re-gifted to Leonard and Penny, which drove them insane trying to figure out what it was. Which is why Penny and Leonard thought it would be funny to give it to Sheldon and Amy to watch them suffer trying to figure it out.
However, the scavenger hunt idea sets Amy and Sheldon on a path through Bert the geologist, who points out the item is Quartz, all the way back to the coffee shop where the newlyweds met, where they find a beautiful locket in the lost and found, and assume that is their actual gift from Leonard and Penny. To pay them back, Amy and Sheldon give Leonard and Penny a thank you card with a riddle of its own, which they will need to figure out because the answer is their new WIFI password, all of which makes Penny and Leonard very sad.
Meanwhile, Stewart is hitting it off with the girl from the comic-book store, who apparently everyone saw him making out with at the wedding, and everyone has noticed that Stewart keeps smiling, which is very unusual for him. He asks her out and while prepping for the date he inadvertently reminds Raj of how terrible he is at dating, spurring a very sad moment for Raj as he contemplates how all of his dating instincts are wrong. Stewart then proceeds to dye his hair and get a spray tan, none of which goes right, leaving him orange and with hair far too dark, none of which can come off in the shower, but does ruin some towels and a toilet seat in the Wolowitz house. Howard does not seem to care as he thinks Stewart looks like an Oompa Loompa and keeps making jokes about him. Bernadette advises Stewart to either cancel the date or just go through with it if he likes the girl enough, which he does, and he discovers she is immensely entertained (and somewhat flattered) by what happened to him while trying to prepare for their date, and she proceeds to make little jokes about him as they head off for their night out.
Lastly, Raj decides, after speaking with Stewart, to call his dad, and they speak about his romantic prospects. Raj asks his father to arrange a marriage for him, claiming to finally be ready to settle down, though his dad is not so sure, but makes a deal: if Raj agrees to stop posting pictures of him and Cinnamon the dog in matching sweaters on social media, he will find Raj a wife. Raj agrees, and soon enough finds himself hurrying into Leonard and Penny’s apartment to inform everyone that he is getting married, as long as he can make it through 6 or 7 dates with a woman without revealing how crazy he is. Penny does not see it happening, but it seems Raj might just be on his way to his romantic happiness now that we are in the final season.
QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:
HOWARD: What is wrong with Stewart’s face?
RAJ: I think he’s smiling.
STEWART: (after accidentally going too far with a spray tan) I’m picking her up in an hour, what am I going to do!?!
HOWARD: You mean what are you going to Oompa, Loompa, doompity, do?
As stated above, a pretty good episode, lots of laughs, and I think the show is aware that they have a lot of work to do now that they are in the final season, and they are adeptly going at it. Stewart is finally dating someone who seems to like him, Raj appears to be growing up and attempting to find a real partner, all necessary things because the two single guys are the last loose ends of the series. I really enjoyed the whole idea of the re-gifted wedding gift that no one understands, though I wish we could have seen more scavenger hunt as I liked seeing Amy and Sheldon make up clues and solutions together. And I am enjoying how this season seems hellbent on bringing back guest-stars for the final stretch, as this episode brought back both Bert and Raj’s dad, two of my favorites from previous seasons. Here’s hoping they can keep it going now that we are past the first week!