The last time an episode of The Big Bang Theory centered on Amy Farrah Fowler, the neurobiologist utterly dominated the show practically from start to finish. I pretty much lapped up every minute of it, but the ep proved to be a bit more divisive with my fellow Big Bang theorists, and I can appreciate that — Big Bang is always at its best when it’s embracing its full ensemble. Well, this week’s episode was also Amy-centric, revolving around the friend-starved scientist’s emotional devastation after Penny and Bernadette went wedding and bridesmaid dress shopping without her. But it also managed to give every single member of the Big Bang family a moment to shine, with some top-notch Sheldon Cooper physical comedy to boot. The episode was a quintessential example of Big Bang at its best — if you didn’t like it, then you pretty much just don’t like this show. (Boom. I said it. What?)
We opened in Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment, as the gals discussed those aforementioned bridesmaid dresses and the guys all began wondering when their evenings became dominated by so much lady talk. But the next day Howard let slip that Penny and Bernadette were shopping without Amy, and the poor woman’s world crumbled around her. She turned to wailing R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” while strumming on her harp, and Sheldon, concerned she was not returning any of his various digital attempts to contact her, came sweeping in to her rescue. And by “sweeping in,” I mean “tentatively entering her apartment and asking about whether he should be getting her a beverage because she’s in distress, or she should get him one because he’s her guest.” Finally, Amy made clear what Sheldon could do for her: “At this moment, I find myself craving human intimacy and physical contact.”
And thus followed this fabulous exchange, one I suspect will feature prominently in a megafan’s Sheldon Cooper highlights supercut on YouTube in the not-too-distant future:
Amy: Proposal: one wild night of torrid lovemaking that soothes my soul and inflames my loins.
Sheldon: Counterproposal: I will gently stroke your head, and repeat “Aw, who’s a good Amy?”
Amy: How about this? French kissing — seven minutes in heaven culminating in second base.
Sheldon: Neck massage. Then you get me that beverage.
Amy: We cuddle, final offer.
Sheldon: [Pause] Very well.
Mayim Bialik and Jim Parsons played this scene — and their subsequent awkward attempt at snuggling — to perfection. And then separately, both actors took their characters to some surprising emotional places. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen Sheldon so angry as when he barged into the cafeteria and practically bellowed at Howard and Leonard, “The two of you need to get your women in line!” The righteous fire in his eyes made me bust out laughing, whereas I found the the stoic hurt in Amy’s eyes, after Penny and Bernadette came to her lab to apologize, to be surprisingly affecting. “It’s like elementary school, junior high, high school, undergrad, grad school, and that semester abroad in Norway all over again,” said Amy. Anyone who’s ever, say, had their supposed friends deny them a seat in the school cafeteria can instantly relate. C’mon, Amy haters. I know you’re not made of stone. That had to make at least some of you warm to her, right?
Amy further drowned her sorrows outside a local liquor store — and, by the way, drunk Amy is definitely going to have to make a repeat visit this season, especially if she keeps calling Leonard “lllil Lllenord.” But this time when she made a blunt pass at Sheldon — “What would it take for you to go into that liquor store, buy a bottle of hooch, take me across the street to that hotel, and have your way with me?!” — Leonard was there to witness it, and press the issue. The look of wholesale befuddlement on Sheldon’s face at this moment was priceless.
NEXT: Bernadette tries to make things better with Amy