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'The Big Bang Theory': A Penny/Leonard moment we didn't see coming

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Michael Yarish/Warner Bros.

Michael Yarish/Warner Bros.

“Words don’t always have to mean things.” — Leonard

Oh, but they do, Leonard. (Spoilers from here on out.)  And unfortunately for you, “uhmmm” in response to a girl’s marriage proposal has a LOT of meaning.

But let’s rewind here:

On Thursday’s episode of Big Bang Theory, Penny was excited about landing a three-line part on (BBT‘s network buddy) NCIS, on which her character had a diner flirtation with Mark Harmon’s Gibbs. But when it came time to view her big moment, it turned out to be a big letdown: Her scene had been cut. (Could have been worse, Penny, your character could have ended up like Joey’s on Law & Order — in a body bag.)

Disappointed, Penny drowned her sorrows with her favorite fermented friend, Chardonnay. And despite Leonard’s attempts to help the situation, he succeeded only in digging her a deeper hole of depression in which to delve. (It involved a scene where he told Penny that he didn’t believe she’d ever become a successful actress. Yes, it was as brutal as it sounds.) Credit goes to Leonard for attempting damage control a little later, but Penny was as pleased about his approach as she was with her primetime debut.

A few drinks later, though, she came around. She thanked Leonard for his attempt and admitted that her anger was misdirected.

Penny: I’ve been out here and I have nothing to show for it.

Leonard: You have me.

Penny: You’re right, I do have you….Let’s get married.

With that, she got down on one knee and proposed. Like, actually proposed.

Leonard was as stunned as the rest of us, and in the moment, only responded with a hesitant “uhmmm.” Leonard tried to explain that she was in no condition to ask such a question, but for Penny, that was enough of a response. She retracted and quickly stormed out.

In the moment, I immediately understood Leonard’s response — he was confused by Penny’s tone and questioned her state of mind. But after a bit, I found his rejection odd. He loves her, she loves him…Also, a few years ago, in the prime of his nerdy crush years, Leonard would have accepted in a heartbeat — drunk Penny or not. Does his hesitation mean he now has doubts about Penny as a life mate? Or is it simply because he envisions a proper proposal in the future?

I anticipate those questions being asked next week. One thing is true, though: He definitely still loves her. When Sheldon asked if the relationship was over, Leonard said he didn’t want to ask Penny “because I’m afraid to know the answer.”

Me, too, Leonard. Me too.


+ Bernadette’s laugh fit was pure awesomeness.

+ Sheldon’s pants-less attempt at eliciting a laugh from Amy was one of the best things I’ve ever seen.

+ I cheered when they included Howard’s Star Wars audition.