By Margaret Lyons
Updated May 04, 2010 at 12:00 PM EDT

Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBSTeam Leonard? Or Team Penny? Or do mommy and daddy both love you very much, and nothing will ever change that, even if mommy and daddy can’t be together anymore? As Penny and Leonard moved squarely into the “they already did” part of the “will they/won’t they” matrix, Sheldon, maybe predictably, found himself unable to navigate bros before hoes — without offending the hoes.

The Sheldon Factor was the real part at play with the Leonard/Penny breakup: There’s no credible way for the show to keep Penny totally isolated from the guys, but how does she reintegrate on a just-friends basis with Leonard, and how does she stay friends with Sheldon, especially after all that work he did to “accommodate” her in his life? He wanted to have dinner with Leonard and Penny, and figured the best way to do it was through careful stealth and emotional subtly…or, as it worked out, terribly conspicuous covers and gratuitous lies. But what it boiled down to for the recent exes was a mommy/daddy fight — and that was a big choice for BBT about what kind of breakup these two have. How civil can they be — and how civil do they want to be? Who’s in the crossfire? Can they separate the good parts of their friendship from the bad parts of their relationship? “The Spaghetti Catalyst” insisted they could, but only with Sheldon as their infantilized pawn.

Elsewhere in the episode, Wolowitz complained about his mom (knock me over with a feather), and Raj sifted through unusual pornography and lamented his year-long dry spell. Dude is due for a real love interest.

Last week’s Wil Wheaton episode packed so much in that this week was inevitably going to feel like a let-down. But it laid some solid groundwork for what’s to come, without, er, coitus-ing around too much. Penny and Leonard are going to find their rhythm again, and Penny and Sheldon are still one of the funniest BFF pairs on TV. Everything is right in the universe.

What did you think, PopWatchers? Do you wish Raj were Aquaman? Do you want Penny and Leonard to get back together, or are you glad to see them segue back into friendship? And what was your favorite line from the episode?

Episode Recaps

In truth, just about everyone on The Big Bang Theory is an adorable geek — even comparative regular girl Penny (Kaley Cuoco). But Sheldon (Jim…

The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, Raj, and Wolowitz, Amy, Bernadette—the gang keeps growing. Bazinga!

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