This post will mostly feature descriptions of important parts of each episode. As much as I like this show it is very hard to actually review. Which is why I actually stopped trying to review the episodes as they aired. All the episodes are funny and entertaining but there really aren’t any stand out amazing episodes. There aren’t any bad episodes either. They’re all generally equally entertaining. It is a very consistent show. Which makes it hard to review. So, episode summaries to work as a refresher is the best I can for for this show.
Obviously there will be spoilers.
801 The Locomotion Interruption
Sheldon is stranded at a train station in Arizona without pants after his things were stolen from his train car while he was asleep.
Howard is worried about his mother since Stuart moved out but happy that Stuart is no longer living there. Until he finds out that Stuart actually didn’t move out.
Bernadette got Penny a job interview to be a drug rep with her pharmaceutical sales company.
Also, Penny got a haircut.
When this episode first aired Penny’s haircut was the main topic being spoken about. Which is sad because there are other things going on in this episode including development in the ongoing storyline of Sheldon admitting to and working on his issues dealing with change. The haircut is very cute, though.
Of course, Sheldon doesn’t like it. Because it is different and he still doesn’t like change.
802 The Junior Professor Solution
Bernadette is upset with Penny for not studying for her job more. This leads Penny to want to spend more time with Amy alone and not Bernadette. Amy takes advantage of this to get more bonding time with both Penny and Bernadette.
Sheldon is offered a new job at the institute. He would be a junior professor. He would make more money and could pursue whatever field he wants but would be required to teach a class.
When no one takes Sheldon’s class Howard decides to take it since he is considering getting his Doctorate. Sheldon makes the class extremely difficult with the assumption that Howard, as an engineer and not a Doctor, will fail. It goes about as well as one would expect.
803 The First Pitch Insufficiency
Sheldon and Amy are making up all the date nights they missed while he was on his train trip. Sheldon asks Leonard and Penny to go on a double date believing it will count as two dates. When Amy informs him it will not he still agrees to it but isn’t as excited about the idea anymore.
While on the date Sheldon informs everyone that Amy and himself have a better relationship than Leonard and Penny. He is judging this by a ranking system established by Burshide Snyder and Emoto (look up spelling because that isn’t correct at all).
The conversation about relationships brings up both Penny and Leonard’s fears about their impending marriage and the fact that they have nothing in common. They come to the conclusion that the result of a test or having things in common isn’t important as long as they’re happy together.
Howard is asked by NASA to throw the first ball at a baseball game. He can’t really throw. So, Bernadette offers to help him practice. It doesn’t go well. Howard is reeeeeaaaaally bad at sport type things. He ends up using a prototype mars rover robot to deliver the ball…a very slow robot. It’s a good idea in theory but the execution doesn’t work so well. “A” for effort, though.
804 The Hook-up Reverberation
Howard is still upset about Stuart and his mother living together.
Sheldon wants the old comic book shop back. Which leads him, Raj, Howard and Leonard to discuss investing in Stuart’s shop to help him open the shop. They talk about all their ideas (some of which are not so good….like luring kids into a van and driving them to the shop) but when they go to talk to Stuart they find out that Howard’s mother has already given him the money to reopen.
Everyone meets Raj’s girlfriend Emily for the first time. Penny doesn’t think Emily likes her but asks if she can practice on her for her job since Emily is a Doctor. Emily says “sure” and during this Penny finds out that Raj told her that they had hooked up before. Which is kind of true but….was so not really a thing that I think Penny forgets it happened (as had I and probably all of the audience) and someone else making a big deal out of it is weird. Penny and Raj explain things to Emily and they seem to work things out. It doesn’t seem like she is going to be part of the girl’s group just yet but they are okay for now…..ish. Technically they express disdain for each other still but…..they seem better than they were at least.
On this topic, do people actually exchange lists of all the people they have hooked up or fooled around with? I know people talk about numbers but actual lists? I’ve never done this. I have no intention of ever doing this. Who really wants that kind of information in that kind of detail? I don’t.
One of the most interesting parts of the episode is when Sheldon mentions that if he had a wife or a fiance then he would talk to them about it before investing in a comic book shop. An idea that hadn’t occurred to Howard or Leonard. It’s always interesting when Sheldon thinks of relationship things that make sense that the more experienced guys hadn’t thought of. It’s an up side to being very logical. He sees the practical things that the more emotional people may overlook.
805 The Focus Attenuation
Sheldon thinks the girls are distracting them from having break throughs and good ideas. So, they plan a weekend brainstorming. Which turns into watching movies instead. And then discussing time travel and then……lots of other stuff. They’re very easily distracted…regardless of who is around.
The girls go to Vegas for the weekend. But when Penny finds out she only has two days to study for her pharmaceutical job she ends up stuck in the hotel room with her books. Meanwhile, Amy and Bernadette get drunk.
This is a highlight of the season. Despite the simple premise, or maybe because of it, the episode is actually really funny and entertaining. While there really aren’t any super stand out episodes if I were to pick then this one is my favorite of the season.
806 The Expedition Approximation
Sheldon and Raj hear about experiments on dark matter being done in salt mines and consider applying to be involved. The rest of gang don’t think they can handle it. They aren’t wrong. When Raj and Sheldon try staying in the steam tunnels at Caltech Sheldon abandons Raj when rats show up. It’s left unsaid but assumed that they won’t be applying to be involved in the dark matter tests.
Penny now has a company car from her new job. So, she sells the car Leonard gave her and tries to pay him back. He doesn’t like this since it was meant as a gift and not a loan. Penny is excited about having money for the first time, though, and she wants Leonard to be happy for her. They end up going to Howard and Bernadette to find out how they handle money as a couple. Which doesn’t go well.
Howard and Bernadette have an odd arrangement when it comes to money. Bernadette is the one making the most money. So, she insists on having all the control over it. Howard gets an allowance. They get in an argument in front of Leonard and Penny about money and chores (Howard has a chore chart….). Leonard and Penny decide that whatever they do they definitely don’t want an arrangement like Bernadette and Howard have.
807 The Misinterpretation Agitation
Bernadette is asked to be in a magazine that is doing a feature about the 20 Hottest Women in Science. Amy says it’s degrading and writes an email to the magazine that then decides to not print the article. Which upsets Bernadette causing her
Penny has a Doctor from her job trying to court her…in creepy stalker-y ways. He shows up at her apartment with flowers. He’s a pretty harmless guy but odd. Sheldon invites him in for a hot beverage after he is hurt by learning that Penny was only flirting to make a sale. It turns out he is a urologist with lots of celebrity clients and has gained a collection a movie and TV memorabilia from his clients. The guys go to his house to see his collection and end up locked in his basement (with said collection) while he goes back to hit on Penny again. And then hit on Amy.
Penny talks to him and they go back to get the guys only to have them not want to leave.
It’s a cute episode with Billy Bob Thornton guest starring as the geeky Doctor with the crush on Penny.
808 The Prom Equivalency
The girl’s discuss Prom. Then they all decide to throw their own do-over prom.
Howard is still annoyed by Stuart and his Mother’s weird relationship…that isn’t exactly a relationship…but kind of is. He’s upset Bernadette invited Stuart to their prom because he thinks he will bring Howard’s mother as his date.
However, Stuart brings Howard’s second cousin, Genie, instead. Which isn’t really less weird since it’s the cousin Howard lost his virginity to. The date gets interrupted, anyway, when Howard’s mother calls wanting Stuart to come home and he leaves.
Sheldon freaks out over things moving to fast with Amy but then when Amy starts to tell him that she loves him he beats her to the punch and says it first.
That’s pretty much the highlights. It’s a super cute episode and the sentiments shared by Amy and Sheldon at the end make a landmark moment. So as far as stand out episodes go, along with the other one I mentioned this also counts as one.
809 The Septum Deviation
Leonard is getting corrective surgery on his sinuses. Sheldon is convinced he is going to die if he has the surgery. They have to lie to Sheldon for Leonard to go to the hospital to have the surgery but Amy tells him and they end up there anyway. Sheldon flips out when the power goes out and runs into a glass door breaking his own nose.
Meanwhile, Raj finds out that his parents are divorcing. Howard and Bernadette attempt to comfort him. Which leads to them venting to each other the things that bother them about each other.
Sheldon’s concern for Leonard is sweet….albeit ridiculous and overreacting but still sweet. Howard and Bernadette’s relationship is troubling….
810 The Champagne Reflection
Sheldon and Amy work on the final episode of his web show Fun With Flags.
Raj, Howard and Leonard clean out the office of a professor at Caltech who died. They go through all his disproven and outdated research and writing. They find a 50 year old bottle of champagne given to him by his mother to open on the day he makes a big discovery. He never got to open it. The guys talk about the depressing fact that not everyone makes a big discovery. They keep the champagne to open when they have an exciting breakthrough but Sheldon opens it when they get home because he wants to hear the “pop”.
Penny and Bernadette go to a work party. Bernadette finds out people think she is mean and that everyone is afraid of her.
This would have been better if Bernadette had actually changed after the revelation. Instead it does the usual sitcom thing where something happens that should things but nothing changes. This show actually doesn’t usually do that – most newer sitcoms don’t but this episode that is exactly what happens.
811 The Clean Room Infiltration
Raj’s father is going to be in town so he can’t host Christmas dinner. Amy volunteers.
Amy wants to do a traditional Victorian Christmas party. Sheldon isn’t happy and Raj is upset that everyone (except Sheldon) is all for this theme party but always hates his theme parties.
Leonard and Howard work in the clean room and accidentally let a bird in because they left the loading door open. They then spend a lot of time trying to get it out only to let another one in. They end up, at Penny’s suggestion, just taking their names off the sign in sheet and leaving to avoid blame.
Raj leaves to help Leonard and Howard and leave his Dad with Penny and Amy at Amy’s apartment. Amy tells them about her Victorian games they can play, like ball of wool, where two people sit on opposite sides of a table and try to blow the ball of wool off the table. Penny isn’t thrilled with the idea but Amy and Raj’s Dad play the game. He doesn’t look thrilled with it, either.
Bernadette drives Sheldon to Amy’s singing Christmas music the whole way driving Sheldon crazy. When he shuts off he music and starts talking we find out that Sheldon and Amy had decided to not exchange gifts. Since Sheldon is angry that Amy is making him attempt her Victorian Christmas Sheldon decided to buy her a gift to make her feel bad for not getting him anything…..It is a flawed plan…but he has Bernadette take him to get her a present. He has a photo taken of him sitting on Santa’s lap.
His plan backfires. Amy loves her gift of the photo of him on Santa’s lap and she had gotten him a gift as well. So she doesn’t feel bad. She called his mother and got his Meemaw’s christmas cookie recipe and made him a box of them. They both end up happy.
Sheldon says some really sweet things about Amy when talking to Bernadette about what gift to get Amy. He follows it up by saying he wants to buy a gift that makes her feel small and worthless….but it is sweet for a moment.
It’s an odd Christmas episode but it is funny and it is different than the usual sitcom Christmas episodes. Although, the guys reaction to accidentally killing the bird is kind of ridiculous. It’s nice that they care so much about a pigeon but still…they’re scientists. I just find it hard to believe they would be bothered that much by killing a bird.
812 The Space Probe Disintegration
Amy and Penny don’t want to spend all day playing Lord of the Rings Risk and instead insist that they get to make the plans for the day. Sheldon ends up helping them come up with an idea that results in them going shopping. Leonard and Sheldon end up discussing how they compromise to live together. Which results in a compromise of Leonard living part time at Penny’s.
Raj is worried about the space probe that he worked on the team for 9 years ago that is just now supposed to be getting to it’s goal and turning on. He paces and rants nervously around Bernadette and Howard’s apartment. The probe turns on fine, though.
Nothing landmark or stand out in this episode. Just a normal solid episode.
813 The Anxiety Optimization
Sheldon tries to figure out how to optimize his brain for working on his research on proton decay in dark matter. He first tries a perfectly comfortable environment and then after talking Penny and having her explain why she exercises he switches to seeing how different kinds of stress stimulate his mind. He doesn’t sleep and ends up hallucinating.
Howard invents a game called “Emily or Cinnamon” in which Howard gives a quote and everyone has to guess if Raj said it talking to his girlfriend or his dog. Raj is less than fond of the game.
Cute episode. I’d like to see “emily or cinnamon” make another appearance.
814 The Troll Manifestation
Sheldon has an idea that he presents to Sheldon who then turns it into a complete theory and writes a paper on it. Once the paper is published live online a science blog makes a post about it. A troll starts a comment war with them insulting their idea and paper.
Penny, Amy and Bernadette watch the killer Ape movie that Penny made. Bernadette and Amy make fun of Penny provoking Penny to looking for embarrassing things online about them. She finds an old beauty pageant video about Bernadette. Then Bernadette tells Penny about Amy’s Little House on the Prairie fan fiction.
Another really good episode. This makes my top 5 list.
815 The Comic Book Store Regeneration
Amy helps Kripke make an advancement in string theory. This upsets Sheldon who stopped researching string theory because he believed it to be no longer a field with the possibility of more advancement.
Stuart reopens the comic book shop. Howard is upset that his mother gave Stuart the furniture from their den to put in the shop.
Howard and Leonard meet Nathan Fillion at a deli.
The episode ends on a sad note with Howard finding out that his mother has died while on her trip to Florida.
The death of Howard’s mother and appearance of Nathan Fillion make this a landmark episode.
816 The Intimacy Acceleration
Amy tells the gang about a theory that two people can be made to fall in love in 2 hours. It’s based on an experiment done by scientists (or sociologists…or both…I can’t remember the details although I did actually read the article they are talking about). They decide to try the experiment with Sheldon and Amy as the test subjects.
The airline lost Howard’s Mom’s ashes and him and Bernadette argue trying to find them.
Emily, Raj, Amy and Leonard go to an Escape Room, an interactive theater experience where you get locked in a room with a zombie and have to find clues and solve puzzles to escape. They forget that they’re all Doctors and much more intelligent than the average person. They solve the puzzles and find the key within 6 minutes.
This is a pretty cute episode. I wouldn’t call it a favorite but it’s a cute premise that as people with advanced degrees they can’t do every activity and get the same thing out of it as average people. Howard’s storyline is kind of sad but has it’s funny moments and Sheldon and Penny exchanging personal information is sweet and opens up both characters a little bit.
817 The Colonization Application
Sheldon and Amy decide to get a pet together, a turtle. Their plans are side-railed when Amy finds out that Sheldon applied to be a colonist on a one way mission to Mars.
Emily and Raj have her apartment alone since her roommate is out of town. Emily gets called in to work and leaves Raj alone. He snoops and breaks her nightstand drawer.
Leonard bought Penny a Valentine’s gift that he never gave her. He admits to being to embarrassed to give it to her then but shows it to her now. It’s a sheet sized canvas with body paints. You paint each other and have sex on the canvas and create art…theoretically. They are disappointed by their first attempt but happier with their second. Not wanting to throw away the canvas they decide to give it to Sheldon lying about it’s origin and saying William Shatner painted it.
Bernadette does their taxes and questions Howard’s Lego purchases that Howard claim are business expenses. Raj calls Howard for help with fixing Emily’s night stands and they get side tracked with that.
Amy and Sheldon agree to apply to be Mars colonists together.
Raj comes clean to Emily and she forgives him but gets him back by freaking him out by insinuating there is something bad in the closet.
Everyone kind of has their own thing going on in this episode. Which is unusual but bound to happen at times with a cast this large. Probably good for the cast. They get a shorter work week and since they’re paid per episode they make the same amount of money.
818 The Leftover Thermalization
The power goes out at Howard’s mother’s house and Howard gets upset because all the food in the freezer, the last food that his mother made (and will ever make), is defrosting and will spoil. They decide to have a big dinner with all their friends and eat all the food as a tribute to his mother. This seems to be helpful for Howard too. He is still grieving over his mother.
In contrast to the emotional, Scientific American posts an article about Sheldon and Leonard’s paper but excludes Leonard from the content. Which upsets Leonard. Especially when Sheldon doesn’t understand the big deal and thinks his part in the paper was more important than Leonard’s.
Incidentally, Sheldon DID do more of the work. I’m apt to agree with him but it still isn’t fair that he didn’t make sure Leonard didn’t get credit for the idea.
Howard finally realizes that Bernadette sometimes sounds like his mother. Which leads to a funny moment.
Emily’s exclusion from the dinner (although I think it is explained) is a sign that she isn’t really a part of the group (or the cast) the way the other girls are. She isn’t permanent yet.
819 The Skywalker Incursion
Leonard and Sheldon drive to give a speech about their paper. They’re passing near Skywalker Ranch on the way and they’re going to be early. So, they decide to drive to see it. Sheldon ends up trying to run past the gate to go meet George Lucas and gets tackled by security. They miss their speech and don’t get to meet George Lucas.
Howard and Bernadette, with the help of Amy, Penny and Raj, work on cleaning out Howard’s Mom’s house. They find both a ping pong table and a life size TARDIS. Howard wants to keep the TARDIS and Bernadette doesn’t. They end up playing ping pong, using the others as their champions, to fight for where it goes. Amy ends up with the TARDIS as her bedroom door to try to lure Sheldon into her room.
Her plan works…..sort of. Sheldon ends up dressed as the 4th Doctor playing in the doorway running in and out of the room.
I want a TARDIS as my bedroom door……..
820 The Fortification Implementation
Sheldon isn’t invited to a symposium for scientists that he wanted to attend (or at least wanted to be invited to) and decided to pout about it instead of getting over it the way the others suggest. He ends up discussing it with Amy on their date night. They end up making a blanket fort. Which is a nice moment between the two of them. Sheldon also actually for the first time wants date night to go on longer because he is having fun. He then agrees to a G rated sleep over.
Penny is a guest on Wil Wheaton’s podcast to talk about Serial Apeist 2: Monkey See Monkey Kill, the film they were both in. Kevin Smith calls in and asks Penny to audition for Clerks 3. Which prompts a semi-argument between Penny and Leonard about whether she should go back to acting or not. When Leonard finds out she makes more money than he does he decides it’s a great idea for her to skip work one day and audition. Contradicting something he said before about not having a problem with her making more money than him, by the way. Also, if she succeeds as an actress she would make even more money than she is now. So, the reasoning isn’t great but everyone ends up happy at the end. So….that’s cool.
A young man shows up at Howard’s house claiming to be Howard’s half-brother. Howard doesn’t deal with it very well until the guy is all impressed with Howard being an astronaut.
A pretty big episode. Things in this episode actually do and will carry on over in to other episodes.
Also, it IS nice to see how much Penny has grown. Her character has changed and matured a lot. She was younger than the others from the start. So, it makes sense for her character to show the most change and growth.
821 The Communication Deterioration
Sheldon rewrites songs to get kids excited in the hard sciences. The other make fun of him but honestly the songs are cute. He would probably love Brennan’s anatomically correct children’s song that she wrote for her daughter on Bones after she learns “the leg bone’s connected to the knew bone” which is full of incorrect information.
Raj is working on a project, creating a message for alien life forms that will be sent to space, and invites Leonard to work with him because the other two would take control instead of working with him. They quickly realize why two submissive’s don’t work well together on a project. Neither will take control and they don’t make much progress since they can’t decide how to start. They make some progress eventually but they do end up having Sheldon and Howard help when they come up with the exact same idea they already suggested.
Penny enlists Sheldon’s help in deciding if she should audition for the Kevin Smith movie, returning to acting or if she should stay with her current job as a drug rep which pays well and is steady work. Ultimately, at Sheldon’s advice, deciding to audition and worry about if she wants to change careers or not after she sees if she gets the part.
Howard creates alcoholic creative food blobs….an experiment he was supposed to do with Raj. He’s trying to get back at Raj for not enlisting his help with his project. Although, this little blurb ends up having very little to do with the show and honestly I feel like the scene should have been cut. It’s random and doesn’t fit in with the rest of the episode in my opinion.
Also as far as what rhymes with “nose of the aardvark”…..”cry of the lark” would be my suggestion. Or “ fin of the shark”……yeah that one. Sharks are cool. 🙂
822 The Graduation Transmission
Raj buys a flying camera drone that you control with your phone. He brings it to Sheldon and Howard because he can’t get it to work. Howard ends up taking it apart and voiding the warranty.
Meanwhile, Raj’s father cuts him off and he makes phone calls to his mom and dad manipulating them into giving him more money.
Penny and Leonard are supposed to go to his old high school in New Jersey so Leonard can give a speech to the graduating class but their flight is cancelled. So, Penny talks to the school and sets up a webcam so that Leonard can give his speech via the internet.
A light episode leading up to the finale.
823 The Maternal Combustion
Leonard and Sheldon’s Mothers are coming to town to see them receive an award for their paper. Sheldon’s very religious mother and Leonard’s atheist psychologist mother are very very different. Leonard’s Mother is also a very distant reward based parent that doesn’t really believe in unconditional love and support. Where as Sheldon’s Mom is an old fashioned Texas mother who showers her son with affection. Both mothers end up giving Sheldon attention triggering jealousy in Leonard.
Bernadette deals with living with Howard AND Stuart and Raj spending a lot of time at the house as well. She insists they all pitch in on chores. When Raj argues that he doesn’t live there she asks if he has clothes in the laundry right now. When he says yes and gives her washing directions she again insists he help clean the kitchen.
Highlights of this episode are Sheldon’s mom giving a pretty damn awesome answer to what did they feed the lions on Noah’s Ark (the only good answer I have ever heard to any question involving that particular story actually). Also, Stuart, Howard and Raj singing “Hard Knock Life” while cleaning the kitchen is adorable.
824 The Commitment Determination
Sheldon and Amy celebrate their 5 year anniversary. Sheldon upsets her by bringing up whether he should watch The Flash TV show or not, while they are making out.
Emily wants to buy a weird horror head from the comic book shop to turn in to a lamp for her bed. Raj is freaked out by it but offers to buy it for her.
Sheldon seeks advice from Penny and Leonard about why Amy is mad. Penny tries to explain but he doesn’t get it. Leonard understands why it’s a big deal for Sheldon to commit to a new TV show (I also understand).
Raj goes to Howard and Bernadette because Emily wants to have sex in a graveyard and he is freaked out by it. Howard and Bernadette basically don’t see the big deal in it but Raj says maybe she isn’t right for him and they should break up. Howard and Bernadette don’t believe he would ever break up with a girl. Raj points out that Howard isn’t any better than he since he keeps talking about kicking out Stuart but never does.
Sheldon and Leonard and Penny also talk about commitment. Leonard and Penny talking about Sheldon moving so slow with Amy and Sheldon pointing out that Leonard and Penny haven’t made any wedding plans at all. Then they end up deciding to go to Vegas to get married.
Everyone kind of fails at everything. Raj tells Emily he loves her instead of breaking up with her. Howard and Bernadette give Stuart a little birthday party instead of kicking him out. Leonard admits to cheating on Penny (he made out with another woman) when he was on the research trip a few years ago. Penny thinks he is trying to sabotage the marriage plans but they agree to continue with the plan. Amy breaks up with Sheldon (well she asks for a break at least) because there relationship isn’t going anywhere. Once they end their video chat it’s revealed that Sheldon had a ring and was going to propose to Amy. He looks really sad. It’s a pretty awesome ending actually.
And that is where we left off last season.
The Big Bang Theory Season 9 premieres on September 21st.