(Beware, spoilers below!)
The Big Bang Theory gives us a bittersweet episode this week as Howard’s mother goes to visit relatives in Florida. She asks him to check on Stuart as he keeps working on reopening the comic book store. Sheldon’s angry because Amy’s helped Barry Kripke make advancements in string theory.
As the guys visit the the new comic book Howard gets angry when he finds out Stuart is using his mother’s furniture. He refuses to leave the store because of the furniture as Leonard and Raj go to pick up an order from a cafe. They spot who they think is Nathan Fillion in the cafe but the man tells him they’ve got it wrong. Penny helps Sheldon try to let go of his anger for Amy when he tells Penny that Amy’s been giving her puzzles to compare her intelligence to chimps.
Penny gets mad at Amy and Sheldon whilst Leonard and Raj get a picture with the man – who actually was Nathan Fillion. In the store Howard suddenly gets a call from his Aunt, who tells him that his mother’s just died. The gang rally together to reminisce about Mrs Wolowitz as Bernadette and Howard leave to go to the airport.
As fans of the show will know, the actress playing Mrs Wolowitz [Carol Ann Susi] died last year, and this episode was a lovely tribute to her memory. It seems sad that we won’t been hearing the unique but hilarious voice of Howard’s overbearingly loving mother any more, and it also is a fitting sendoff to one of the mainstays of the show – even though we never saw her. Aside from this, the episode also touched on an interesting point: if you’re a scientist, at one point does testing your friends go too far and at what point is your work for the interests of science vs the interests of your own career. It was fitting that Sheldon and Amy were the ones to test these questions out and the lack of firm resolve suggests this is an idea that can be taken further. We all also know about Sheldon’s struggle to ‘Let It Go’, so the fact he managed to do it shows a tiny but significant portion of character growth which might be missed amongst the main drama surrounding Howard. What a sweet yet still funny episode which managed to jam pack a lot in.