Big Bang Theory – The Habitation Configuration
By Kevin Rigdon (@pralix1138)
The title of the newest episode of The Big Bang Theory, “The Habitation Configuration,” would suggest that the episode is primarily concerned with Howard and Bernadette finally beginning to live together—he still has all of his stuff at his mom’s house. But the real, and truly wonderful, focus of the episode is Sheldon Lee Cooper and the quandary of “allegiance to male comrades before women who sell their bodies for money.”
We start out with another “fun”-filled webisode of “Sheldon Cooper presents Fun with Flags” with special guest star Wil Wheaton. Sheldon and Wil attempt to produce an episode of the aforementioned webisode focusing on the various flags of the Star Trek universe. They make it through the introduction and things start to go a bit sideways. Amy, as the “new” director, immediately starts criticizing everything Wil does and every way he does it. The situation becomes quite tense, and Sheldon begins to look and act as though he’s scared of the new dictatorial Amy. Of course, things come to a head, and Wil decides that he can’t put up with Amy’s “direction,” and Amy gets a bit passive-aggressive and she’s that she’ll just leave and Sheldon can even go to dinner with Wil. Amy’s mistake? Sheldon doesn’t pick up on irony, sarcasm, or passive-aggressive threats. How does she not remember that if you tell Sheldon something, he will take it at face value?
After Leonard shows Sheldon that Amy is actually angry, Dr. Cooper heads off to get her to watch the entire series run of Star Trek: the Next Generation, so Amy can experience the “national treasure that is Wil Wheaton.” Needless to say, but that doesn’t go well at all. Sheldon seeks advice from Penny who sneakily loads him up with a couple of Long Island Iced Teas, which he (not knowing they contain copious amounts of alcohol) sucks down in a manner of seconds.
Emboldened with liquid courage, Sheldon travels to Wil Wheaton’s house to confront him about his treatment of Amy. Drunk Sheldon is one of the funniest sequences of the season so far. As he gets his trunk Texan on, Wil shows a great deal of patience, even in the face of Sheldon’s raised fists–but “not because he’s milking a giant, invisible cow.” Wil apologizes and Sheldon quickly calms down, and ends with my favorite line of the night: “As a matter of idle curiosity, which of your shrubberies do you feel would benefit from a thorough vomiting?”
Meanwhile, Bernadette has to talk Howard into moving his stuff from his room at his mother’s to her apartment because, you know, he hasn’t moved out yet even though they’re married. He agrees to move out on the weekend, and quickly tries to backtrack by claiming it’s the Sabbath so he can’t do anything. He plays the religion card as he’s scarfing down a bacon-cheeseburger. Hmmm, bacon…where was I? Oh yeah, Howard’s mother issues.
He finally cuts the cord, so-to-speak, and gets Raj and Leonard to help him move out. He goes through some memories, much as we all do when implementing change in our lives, but he finally does it. Except, not really. After moving all of his stuff into Bernadette’s apartment he gives her a sob story about how he’s the only thing in the world his mom has–of course, this isn’t counting Dr. Schneider, the dentist who had to climb out of the window when Howard unexpectedly turned up in “The Re-Entry Minimization”–and how he used to make her smile and forget how lonely she was. Again, she doesn’t seem to be lonely these days. At the conclusion of his sad story, Bernadette decides to move his stuff back to his mom’s and they’ll stay there. She’s not happy about it, but that’s part and parcel of the guilt and shame that is Howard Wolowitz.
This was a good episode with some really funny moments with Sheldon, Wil, and Amy. I like the inclusion of Wil Wheaton as a “normal” character, the lone island in a sea of neurosis and pathology. But, for me, half the focus of the show being on Howard and Bernadette just doesn’t work that well. Upon a second viewing, I fast-forwarded through all of their stuff to get to the good parts with Sheldon. It’s not that I don’t like the characters necessarily, I mean “The Re-Entry Minimization” was fantastic with a sick Bernadette and a newly returned Howard, but this one just fell flat. Leave off that storyline and the episode gets 5 out 5.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars