CBS ratings-puller, The Big Bang Theory returned to our TV screens tonight with its season seven premiere ‘The Hofstadter Insufficiency’. However, we weren’t just treated to one episode featuring Sheldon Cooper & co., but TWO episodes!
Last time we saw the gang was the season six finale when Leonard traded Pasadena for a once in a lifetime opportunity working away at sea for the infamous Stephen Hawking. Raj seemed to be getting on well with new (girlfriend?) Lucy…until Raj’s socially awkward lady texts him saying she thinks it’s better they part ways. Something that may not surprise channel flickers, but did surprise loyal fans, was seeing Raj finally being able to talk to women without needing an ‘alcoholic beverage’ as Sheldon would say. It took six seasons but he got there in the end!
Picking up where we left off…
Episode 1: The Hofstadter Insufficiency
The Progression of Sheldon & Penny’s Friendship
We start off with Sheldon in the apartment, phoning Leonard who is away at sea. Sheldon being Sheldon, he’s phoning a very preoccupied Leonard who is battling a storm…about a DVD. Whilst complaining about Leonard putting a Back To The Future disc in a Back To The Future 2, Leonard gets snatched up by a sea monster!
…only for Sheldon to wake up.
This whole episode centres on the budding friendship between Sheldon and Penny, in Leonard’s absence. They both miss him; Penny being vocal about this and Sheldon shying away from the fact he does indeed miss Leonard. So instead of admitting he misses his bud, he gets Penny to participate in all the activities he and Leonard would usually do. 3D Chess, shopping together, take-away night – it’s very sweet to watch. Meanwhile, Leonard is partying it up whilst away.
Penny and Sheldon decide to phone their beloved Leonard, who appears to not be missing his home back in Pasadena. Penny and Sheldon are seemingly upset at Leonard’s lack of compassion for them. Penny decides she and Sheldon should just talk. Penny says they should each reveal something the other doesn’t know about them. Penny tells Sheldon that she did a topless scene in a film before she moved to LA, Sheldon says that he’s already seen the film (umm, Sheldon, what are you doing watching these types of films?)…And then we have it, Howard loaded the film up as soon Penny left the apartment after the first time they met her.
Sheldon’s reveal isn’t shocking and Penny just laughs it off. He says something he thought he would ‘take to the grave with him’ was the fact YouTube changed their system from starring items to doing a thumbs up. Sheldon tells Penny she hurt his feelings, because although it didn’t seem like it, he opened up to her about something he’d never told anyone else.
I like that they’re showing Sheldon in this light. Before, he was almost robotic, not allowing anyone in, let alone anyone to hurt his feelings. Sheldon is such a versatile character as is Jim Parsons a versatile actor (Yes, he most definitely did deserve that Emmy!). He always finds a way to breathe fresh air, to let just say, not the easiest character to play. Kaley Cuoco and Jim Parson’s stole this episode and I think I speak for most fans when I say I hope to see their friendship progress further as the season goes on!
Amy and Bernadette’s Night Away
A rare scene without Penny; Amy and Bernadette are staying in a hotel room together. Despite not featuring much in the episode, the pair’s scenes together were hilarious as always. They go to a bar, where two guys buy them drinks – seeing Amy this excited was comedy gold!
The two seem to be enjoying the perks of being women, getting drinks bought for you whilst not having to ‘give up the goods’. However, Bernadette then insults Sheldon, making a remark that maybe Amy should go over a lap up the attention. Amy is hurt that Bernadette doesn’t think Sheldon is good enough for her.
Later on, at the hotel room the two seem to be at loggerheads as they go to bed. Bernie finally breaks the ice talking about the men; the two proceed to discuss about which one they would’ve gone for if they were single…to their alarm, they work out that the description of the guy Amy liked, sounded like Howard and the one Bernadette liked was similar to Sheldon, they both take that in and then awkwardly turn off the light.
Raj’s Mission For Love
Since being dumped by Lucy, Raj is on the lookout for love!
There’s a work event at the University, so Howard agrees to help Raj on his mission for love. Even though he can now talk to women without booze; Raj still isn’t have any luck with the ladies.
Yay! Regina King makes another appearance as Janine Davis who works in HR… yet again she’s insulted, this time by Raj. Howard tells Raj that she’s recently split from her husband as he cheated on her. He tries to hit on her but ends up talking about how ‘penguins get cheated on and they’re adorable’ – not doing yourself any favours, Raj.
He apologises and the two end up having a normal chat, quite sweet actually. I do wonder if this was just a method to show that Raj does have it in him and he is a sweet guy OR if this is the start of a new relationship for him. Maybe they’ll get together and then Lucy will return…who knows?
Episode 2: The Deception Verification
Leonard’s Back (he wasn’t gone long, was he?)
The episode starts off with BFFs Penny and Sheldon walking up the stairs to their apartments after they’ve just been grocery shopping. After they part ways, Penny opens her door to find Leonard behind it, home three days early. He tells her to keep her voice down as he wants to spend these few days with her before Sheldon sees him…Sheldon is a ninja for these types of things, so I think it’s safe to say we all knew where this was going…
The couple have seemingly been hiding away, not venturing out the apartment, ordering in. Just as the Marijuana smelling pizza guy is about to leave Penny’s, Sheldon manages to swoop in saying he’s got Chinese and they could have it together. After many attempts to say she wants to be alone and he can’t go in the toilet because ‘something’s wrong’ with it *cough, cough* where Leonard is actually hiding; Penny manages to shoo Sheldon out.
Observing there were two wine glasses on the table, Sheldon jumps to the only conclusion in his mind, Penny is cheating on Leonard. He confides in Amy about his theory, which she doesn’t believe, until he says “Amy, there were Chinese containers…in the trash can” sounds like good enough evidence to support the theory to which Amy replies “Poor Leonard” referring Penny’s inability to keep things tidy. ‘Shamy’ (love that this is a thing) listen in to Penny’s apartment, hearing her voice and Leonard’s? Sheldon uses his key, opens the door and there he is, his best friend sat there, days early than he said he’d be home.
I wouldn’t feel so bad for Sheldon (the look on his face killed me) but he went out of his way to buy Leonard a welcome home gift, something that the Sheldon we knew from previous season’s might not have done. (Sidenote: Shame on you Stuart for conning Sheldon in to paying out all that money for those ‘rare’ items…although, shame on you Sheldon for being so gullible to spend $200 on a Batman watergun).
This becomes a bit of a feud between Sheldon + Leonard and Sheldon + Penny. Strangely, Howard is the one who brings everyone back together…read on to see how/why.
Raj and Howard’s Strange Friendship
We first see Howard in the comic book store talking to Raj about his weight, saying that he’s going on a diet. Despite the fact it’s probably in his genes (his mum’s on the slightly bigger side), I never saw Howard being the type that would worry about his weight; it was like he was extra sensitive…
When Howard gets home, Bernadette discovers the cream he’d been putting on his mum containing a high amount of Estrogen (female hormones, if you didn’t know) must’ve absorbed in to his skin, meaning that’s why he’s so ‘touchy’.
The charade continues when Howard invites Raj round to his house, he makes sandwiches of multiple fillings and then asks Raj if his boobs look big. He takes his top off and stands there whilst Raj stares, Raj says he can’t tell so Howard does an awkward belly dance/bird dance type thing which should’ve perhaps been PG-13 – that’s a joke, but it did follow both a disturbing and humorous nature. Things even progress further, when Raj wants to see if his boobs look big so they’re both in the front room with their tops off doing a strange dance. It couldn’t get worse, could it?
…It does. The duo then feel each other’s man boobs to see if they’re ‘big’, then painfully, Bernadette comes out and you see her just stood there watching the two.
Making good use of these females hormones; Howard has rare moment of clarity and gives a speech to Leonard and Sheldon about why they should just be happy they’re all together again. He was influenced by the Estrogen but it still came from the heart.
Join me again next week for episode number three of the show’s seventh season!
‘The Hofstadter Insufficiency’:
- Sheldon’s sea monster dream
- Howard had a haircut, I think I like it better than before (well, it couldn’t get much worse, could it?)
- Whilst eating lunch in the canteen at the University, Sheldon talks to Raj and Howard about faeces…he doesn’t really know food etiquette very well I don’t think.
- “OMG, BOYS BOUGHT US DRINKS!” – Amy Farrah Fowler
- Amy referring to Sheldon as her ‘sweet baboon’
- (To Penny) “Maybe I should sleep here since you’re being such a baby about it” – Sheldon
‘The Deception Verification’
- (Talking about the pizza guy) “That’s a rather earthly cologne, my uncle used to smell of that” – Sheldon
- Penny’s numerous attempts to get Sheldon out of her apartment
- The awkward to watch belly dance type thing with Raj and Howard
- The fact that Sheldon focuses on the Chinese containers being in the bin to determine Penny is cheating on Leonard.