Christmastime is here, and Christmas specials have arrived along with it! Let's see what Sheldon and Co. have to tell us about the meaning of the season.
Amy and Penny compete on some sort of Wii Ski game, and look ridiculous doing it, but hey - they're having fun. In fact, Amy is pretty good at it, much to her delight. Leonard, however, is grumpy because he's been benched with yet another video game injury. Sheldon, meanwhile, is headed out to Texas for Christmas. His sister is having a baby, and he's more than happy to assume the role of "Uncle Dr. Cooper". Oh, and he's apparently taking on the role of delivery coach, too. Admit it - you'd pay to see that.
Amy's hurt that Sheldon never tells her anything about his family - this is the first she's heard of the impending unclehood - and further hurt when he doesn't want her to go to the airport. Instead, he brings his faithful lapdog, the injured Leonard. Opening credits.
Everyone lets their hair down during the Sheldon-free Christmas. For one thing, they can decorate the tree however they want. Star TrekÂ andÂ Star Wars on the same branch. Howard enthusiastically decorates, while Bernadette takes photos in the hopes of killing her mother-in-law. (No, really.)
Penny wants to give Leonard sex for Christmas, and despite his mild protests that she got him that before, he's game. Stuart is also invited - for Christmas, not sex - and everyone happily greets him. They get a Skype from Sheldon, who is relieved to miss out on the festivities. His sister is in the midst of a home birth and, well, you can just imagine what Sheldon thinks of such notions. But it's still better than social interaction, of course. Laurie Metcalfe makes a brief voice cameo, telling Sheldon that his sister's fully dilated and wants a "nice family photo". Shudder.
This starts a conversation about what would happen if Sheldon and Amy had a baby, and if Amy would want him in the room. Penny points out that it would be practically impossible to get Sheldon in the same room toÂ makeÂ the baby. Since Amy's looking pretty annoyed by now, Bernadette changes the subject by mentioning that she's brought overÂ It's a Wonderful Life. Stuart has never seen it, and when he hears what it's about, he figures he's already lived it. Penny wonders what it would be like never to have existed. Leonard takes this as an opportunity for a Sheldon joke. This ruffles Amy's feathers, and she tells them that if Sheldon hadn't been part of their lives, they wouldn't be in this room right now.
They're skeptical, but Amy points out how it would have affected them. Howard and Bernadette wouldn't be together. Neither would Leonard and Penny. And Amy herself wouldn't know any of them. Leonard protests that he totally would have asked Penny out. Everyone laughs. Cue a fantasy sequence (no, not that kind).
Raj, Leonard and Howard are at the Cheesecake Factory, where Leonard swears he'll finally ask the pretty waitress out and the other two mock him. When Penny gets to their table, all Leonard can do is stammer. After she leaves, he decides to get her alone. Haltingly, he manages to ask her where the bathroom is, though it doesn't matter, because he's already peed his pants.
In reality, Leonard protests that it would never have gone down like that, though Raj and Howard think it was reasonably accurate. Amy contends that Leonard needed to get to know Penny, like living across the hall from her. Furthermore, Penny set Howard and Bernadette up, so that relationship owes everything to Sheldon. Howard protests that he would have totally asked Bernie out, but she has a sequence of her own to prove him wrong.
Bernadette asks Penny if she can have Howard and Raj's table, because she thinks Howard's cute. However, Raj and Howard are being their usual creepy pre-Bernadette selves, so Bernie backs off. Marriage is CANCELED.
For the record, Howard and Raj aren't remotely offended. It's just so them.
Leonard imagines what Penny's life would be like without him - which culminates in her dating (or possibly still being married to) douchey dumbfuck Zack, who also pees himself. And so does Penny. No one said education makes youÂ mature.Â
Sheldon Skypes, utterly traumatized by all the "lady things" he has been forced to witness. Amy assures him that they don't always look that way. Still, Sheldon is convinced that this form of reproduction is notÂ the way to go.Â Mrs Cooper yells at Sheldon to bring a mop over. The horror on his face cannot be described in the words we currently have.
However, he has enough wherewithal to make his friends share the misery, too, as he sends them all emails withÂ veryÂ graphic attachments. Raj even turns gay (again). To distract from the carnage before them, they turn back to a Sheldon-free friendship circle. Sheldon still lives across from Penny - wait, I thought he didn't exist anymore? - and she has a massive crush on him. Of course, this is Amy's imagination talking, so it's highly suspect. Penny tries to shut it down, but Amy's just starting into a striptease description, so the guys urge her to continue. Nearly naked, Penny asks Sheldon to have sex with her (though it takes a couple of attempts before the message gets across). Sheldon counters that he's saving himself for a "cute, bespectacled neuroscientist with hair the colour of mud".
The guys have had enough when Sheldon and Penny start getting physical. Besides, Sheldon has Skyped again to bring more horror into their lives. Having been tasked with getting more towels, he fled the premises to hide at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Something tells me that starting a family with Sheldon would be a really, really bad idea. Just a hint, Amy.
Amy is further attempting to justify Sheldon's existence, pointing out that Penny would never have met Stan Lee, though really, Penny's just fine with that. Leonard reminds everyone that he would still have been friends with Howard and Raj. Bernadette wonders why they never lived together. The guys considered it, apparently, but couldn't manage it due to the all-powerful Mrs Wolowitz. Howard thinks, in fact, that if he hadn't married Bernadette, he would have wound up livingÂ Psycho, complete with Mom's corpse.
Raj, meanwhile, didn't want to live with Leonard because he was sure his apartment would be crammed with ladies at all times. They imagine what it would have been like to live together. Leonard weighs a hundred pounds extra thanks to Raj's irresistible cooking. Leonard imagines the same thing, only Raj is fat too. Stuart crashes the fantasy by showing up at the apartment, also obese. In real life, Leonard and Raj snap at Stuart for horning in. He protests that he just wanted to be part of someone's story - anyone's.
Amy wonders what her life would be like - she honestly doesn't know if it would be better or worse. She pictures herself singing Happy Birthday, alone, with a solitary cupcake for her comfort. However, Stuart crashes the fantasy again, earning a Not Cool look from everyone in the room.
Sheldon Skypes to announce the birth of his nephew. Apparently, he couldn't have survived it without the support of his mother, his friends, and memories of the horrendous Green Lantern movie to strengthen his resolve. However, he finds the baby irritating, so he's eager to come home. Amy encourages him to be an intelligent role model for his nephew, and Sheldon reluctantly agrees. Everyone's amazed that she got him to change his mind. They all marvel about how good Amy has been for Sheldon. She says if that were true, she wouldn't be living alone. Leonard insists that Sheldon cares for Amy, but she doesn't believe him. He plays the trump card. Bringing out Sheldon's computer and swearing Amy to secrecy, he reveals that Sheldon keeps a photo of her as his screensaver. Which I guess is like getting a name tattoo in Sheldon-land. However, it rotates with superheroes and scientists, so the honour is a little muted. Also, Leonard has hella convenient timing.
Sheldon comes back from Texas, and Amy can't stop looking at him adoringly. He's glad to be back - he has TV to catch up on. Amy is undaunted. She asks pointed questions about babies. Sheldon views gazing at blank, uncomprehending eyes (like that of a newborn) as basically normal, so she might not get as many arguments against reproduction as she thinks.
Tag scene: Raj and Leonard are fat, and Leonard wants to ask Penny out. (Also, Amy is dining at the next table and is really hot.) He pulls it off, but Penny turns him down, saying she has a boyfriend - a tuxedoed and devilishly handsome Stuart. Va va VOOM!
Back in reality, a lonely Stuart looks around the Cheesecake Factory and sighs. A title card wishes us happy holidays.
This episode was really weird, which I kind of liked, and occasionally went a little too off the wall. TheÂ It's A Wonderful LifeÂ plot was cliched, but they handled it well. Overall, it gave us some very funny moments and Mayim Bialik pulled off a great performance once again. Sheldon's Skypes offered us some hilarious moments while making us wonder about the future. All in all, an excellent way to end the first half of the season. See you in January, nerds!