The Big Bang Theory, Season 8 Episode 12 Review: “The Space Probe Disintegration”

(Beware, spoilers below!)

Both Amy and Penny try to get Leonard and Sheldon to take them to do stuff they would never do. Meanwhile, Raj is worried because a space probe that he helped create is landing soon and he doesn’t know if the probe will land in perfect condition or not.

When Amy and Penny decide to go shopping and try on on clothes whilst the boys wait, this leads to discussions over compromises and friendship on both sides. Whilst Penny decides to do what Amy wants to do for once, the boys have a deeper chat since there’s no WiFi. We find out the compromises both Sheldon and Leonard feel they have to make with one another which leads to hitting Leonard’s ultimate gripe: that he can’t move in with Penny. Sheldon confesses once more that he doesn’t want to lose his best friend and thanks Leonard for putting up with him. The two work out an agreement where Leonard moves out gradually, starting with one night a week and whistling the house when Sheldon isn’t in. Cue hilarious final scene of Leonard taking his first night away in Penny’s apartment… with Sheldon sleeping on the couch in the front room.

Caught up in worry, Raj tells Howard that he wants to go to a Hindu, leading to an argument between the two about wether or not he can believe in religion as a scientist. When they arrive, Raj explains that the temple makes him feel calmer, but when a guy hits his car he flips out – until Howard informs him that the space probe landed a-ok.

This episode of The Big Bang Theory was the kind I don’t think we see enough of: centered round the quirks of the characters, it explores beyond Sheldon’s way of being into those of the others too. A couple of lines or gestures is enough to enable us to see a little deeper and whilst the episode does retain some humour, it’s nice to see a different side of the show that doesn’t come out an awful lot. Ultimately The Big Bang Theory is a comedy, but instead of focusing on what makes the scientists and their crew different, this episode has got into what I think has made the show unceasingly popular: that actually we’re more similar to them than we might think.

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