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Worldly Distractions: The Big Bang Theory 7.17 - The Friendship Turbulence


crazyforkate

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blog-friendshipturbulence.jpgfriendshipturbulence

 

Back with The Big Bang, and a juicy title reels us in. Whose friendship is on the line? Let's find out.

Raj complains about his love life, Sheldon insults Penny. Par for the course. Her previous magnum opus Serial Apist is apparently getting a sequel, but Penny turned it down. More insults from Sheldon. Opening credits.

Leonard is disappointed in Penny for turning down the movie, even though it was crap. They get into an argument about her management of her finances. Sheldon uses this as an excuse to insult both Penny and Howard, which raises Bernadette's ire. Penny also decides to point out Leonard's douchebaggery. Leonard says some more unforgivable things. Sheldon claims that Howard started this rivalry by claiming that he looked like "C3PO and Pee Wee Herman". A more accurate description of Sheldon has never been said. Bernadette points out that it was ten years ago, but Sheldon is not swayed.

Raj walks Amy to her car, citing the dangers of West Side Story. They discuss his sad lack of a love life, and her physical dissatisfaction. In conclusion, neither of them is too happy. Howard comes to Sheldon trying to bury the hatchet. Naturally, Sheldon rudely dismisses the idea, but they agree not to insult each other. (Sheldon's not very good at this.) Howard winds up inviting him to Texas, where he's giving a talk about space. There's also talk of visiting Sheldon's mom. Surprise Laurie Metcalfe appearance to follow? Please?

Raj asks Amy to look at a dating profile he found online, makes a couple of transphobic remarks, and decides together with Amy that the woman seems like a good match. (Hey, whatever happened to Yvette the vet?) Amy helps him write out his response, and corrects him whenever he gets too flowery. She winds up writing the whole thing, and assumes the role of "online wingman".

Amy drives Sheldon to the pharmacy so he can pick up some medication (in case his trip accidentally takes him to South America). Her car dies on the way. Aaand wouldn't you know it, she's completely broke.

In the spirit of renewed friendship, Howard and Sheldon decide to play Risk on the same team, which makes Raj extremely jealous. He even asks to go to Houston with Sheldon and Howard. Penny tells Leonard that she's lost her car, can't get a new one, and is unable to drive to auditions. Furthermore, the Serial Apist part has long since been filled. Leonard offers to drive her everywhere. Penny continues to sob. Sheldon tries to get Leonard back in the game and gets a vicious rebuke from Penny.

Raj goes to visit Amy again. She tells him that his latest online contact is not interested. Raj gets unnecessarily outraged. Amy, in fact, has managed to secure a coffee date with her. They just "clicked". Here Raj gets super annoyed.

Howard waits with bated breath for his horrible weekend to start. Sheldon promptly drives him crazy throughout the flight. I would like to know in what universe does an LA-Houston flight serve two juices. That seems the most far-fetched to me. They argue, and Howard admits he feels constantly belittled by Sheldon. In turn, Sheldon admits that he always dreamed of being an astronaut and just might be a little jealous. Just as they start to reconcile, the plane hits some wretched turbulence. Will the show abruptly kill off two of its stars?

Penny decides to go back to the Cheesecake Factory, and is not happy about it. Leonard tries to be supportive but ends up making an ass of himself. They get to the curb, where Penny realizes that they're not taking Leonard's car. Leonard replies that no, they are taking hers. That's right, he bought her a car just so she could pursue her dreams. Cue a chorus of "Awwws". She's overcome with gratitude. Looks like everything's on track there.

Amy's "date" continues, and though she's no longer his wingman, she's still campaigning for Raj. He unexpectedly shows up, confusing both women, and tries to hit on Emily. She's weirded out and leaves both of them.

The plane continues to shake as Sheldon and Howard apologize for all their bad moments. Sheldon admits that "without you, there'd be a hole in my life." Second "Awww" in as many minutes. Everything's okay in the end, of course. Nothing like a brush with death to secure a friend for life! Closing credits.

Apart from some adorable moments, Penny and Leonard were boring (and the car thing was rather poorly built up - I swear, their relationship is so unhealthy). Raj's storyline was also fairly run-of-the-mill, though I enjoyed his unexpected pairing with Amy. What was most interesting was Howard and Sheldon's sincere attempts at friendship. We wouldn't have seen that from Sheldon three seasons ago, and I don't mean that as a dig at the show, but as an indication that his character has really developed quite nicely - while still leaving him very Sheldonish. The Big Bang Theory's main strength has always been its protagonist, and tonight was an excellent showcase for Season 7 Sheldon. For that reason alone, it's worth checking out.

 

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