The Big Bang Theory, Season 8 Episode 23 Review: “The Maternal Combustion”

(Beware, spoilers below!)

In one corner, the Hofstader Mama, in the other the Cooper Matriarch! It’s a maternal showdown indeed this episode of The Big Bang Theory as Leonard and Sheldon’s mothers both fly into town when the boys get an award for their paper. Meanwhile Bernadette and Howard deal with Stewart still living in the house. In the flat the mothers exchange stories about Sheldon and Leonard is a little put out.

Bernadette forces all the boys to get to work cleaning the house and Howard realises that he’s been babied in his marriage. When Mary mentions God in a conversation the two mothers start to argue… just as their sons do. Afterwards Sheldon and Beverly talk about different parenting strategies, whilst Mary and Leonard talk together too.

Beverly ends up saying that she wants to institute a new protocol where she showers Leonard with unconditional love. After Howard made a mess taking the trash the boys end up cleaning late into the night – which winds ends up with a rendition of ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life”.

This week’s episode of The Big Bang Theory was wonderful in that it explored an interesting relationship in the meeting of the polar opposite mums. In fact, the whole clashing of the two women underscores a broader point in the episode about the evolving nature of relationships and what’s so nice about it is that the two mother’s don’t actually bust up. There’s no drama for the sake of drama here as the two women come to blows over their beliefs but actually end up taking away from their encounter instead of wielding the sword for their prospective parties. Whilst the B plot was overshadowed by the momentous mum meeting we did manage to get some brilliant comedy from Simon Helberg and crew which even managed to develop the characters of the guys a tad. Once of the subtler episodes this season I still found it enjoyable, even if it wasn’t as exuberantly funny as it could have been.

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