The Big Bang Theory – The Romance Resonance


By Kevin Rigdon (@pralix1138)

I don’t really know what I’m most surprised about: Howard being romantic or Sheldon not being happy about his own game-changing scientific discovery. In the newest episode of The Big Bang Theory, “The Romance Resonance,” Sheldon makes a landmark contribution to science by discovering a new super element. After the initial excitement of the discovery, and a nifty little Sheldon-and-his-brain dance, Sheldon figures out that he’s made a terrible blunder. Scientists in China have tested his theory with positive results, but Sheldon read the tables wrong. In short, his discovery was a happy accident. Of course, this is Sheldon we’re talking about here, and the “happy accident” is not the way he wanted this to go. Rather than taking solace in the fact that many hugely significant scientific discoveries have been happy accidents, Sheldon fixates on the mistake he made in reading the table. I daresay most people would be thrilled that their goof-up wasn’t too bad. Indeed, most would be over the moon that it turned out to be a success, but not Sheldon. He can’t quite come to terms with the fact that the scientific discovery of his lifetime came not as a direct result of his massive brainpower, but from a mistake that he made.

I can sort of understand this, I guess. I mean, I understand not wanting to take credit for something you didn’t really do. On the other hand, he did do it. Even though he misread a table, the resonance in the numbers came out as a successful result. If he hadn’t put the numbers, and calculations, in the right places, there would be no discovery. But he just can’t stand the adulation. Amy’s the only one who manages to break through to him by telling him what he wants to hear: she’s embarrassed for him because she doesn’t think he deserves credit. Music to his ears.

Amy’s words turn out to be the most romantic thing anyone’s ever said to Sheldon, which is…odd, and also a little uncomfortable for Penny. In the wake of Howard wanting everyone to help him sing a song he’s written for Bernadette on the anniversary of their first date–which, we can all agree, is a very romantic thing to do, Penny discovers that she’s not romantic. At all. Especially if you don’t count sex as a romantic gesture. To be fair, she’s never really had to be romantic. She’s always been the object of romantic gestures rather than the initiator. With pustules of romance popping all over the place, she tries to prove how much she loves Leonard, but just can’t seem to pull it off. Even her big finish in the romance department, a 1st edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy falls short because Leonard bought it the day they both saw it in the used book store. She was actually with him when he bought it.

Then, pulling down a box filled with Leonard’s gifts and whatnot for her, we discover that she is quite romantic. Just like she could never bring herself to throw away Leonard’s inhaler, these things from Leonard mean something to her. They are dear to her not because of their material value, but because they’re from Leonard. So, she is romantic, but no one can touch Howard Wolowitz in this department.

The progression of Howard is staggering. More than Sheldon, Penny, Raj, and a hell of a lot more than Leonard, Howard seems like he has undergone the most development. He’s gone from the eyepatch method of picking up women to writing a song commemorating a first date. That’s some serious growth, people. It all goes haywire, though, when there’s an accident at the lab, and Bernadette winds up in quarantine because the pharmaceutical company she works for got a raccoon virus to jump species, and it can now infect humans. Thankfully, she’s not puking out of her eyes or anything. Just a little quarantine.

Undaunted, Howard brings the song to her. It’s a touching little number about how she’s changed his life, and how, without her, he’d still be living with his mother. And trying the eyepatch thing again, no doubt. It’s proof that the sit-com genre can be touching, mature, and funny all at the same time.

While I didn’t find it as funny as the previous episode, it was still quite good, though I don’t know why it aired the week before Halloween rather than a week before Valentine’s Day. It seemed a bit out of sequence with the time of year. Regardless, good writing and wonderful delivery continues to keep The Big Bang Theory at the top.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

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