Credit: Robert Voets/CBS

Last year’s The Big Bang Theory‘s season finale featured our favorite Pasadena nerds in some big moments: There was a wedding and one mission to outer space. So how are the creators of the CBS comedy going to top that with tonight’s season 6 finale?

By focusing on smaller, intimate moments, says executive producer Steve Molaro. Among the relationships that are tested and given some touching scenes in the finale is Penny and Leonard’s. Just when things are at their best for the on-again-off-again couple, Leonard is faced with the tough decision of whether to leave Penny for four months when he gets an enticing job offer overseas.

“Leonard and Penny are really in the best place that they’ve been in their relationship. They have just been magic this season. And he doesn’t want to do anything that will screw that up,” Molaro says.

Sheldon actually takes the news of Leonard’s possible departure harder than Penny does, Molaro teases. And that’s not surprising — Leonard is Sheldon’s ride to, well, everywhere, and that job offer is one that easily makes a fellow scientist jealous. That jealousy and worry about how he’ll get by without Leonard produces plenty of jokes in the episode but also some sweet moments for the roommates’ friendship.

“Sheldon relies on [Leonard],” Molaro explaines. “Sheldon doesn’t say it too often, but Leonard is Sheldon’s best friend, and Sheldon really does care about Leonard even if it doesn’t always appear that way on the surface.”

Even though the finale, called “The Bon Voyage Reaction,” is less momentous and cliffhanger-y than last year’s, Molaro says that “one of the characters does have a major breakthrough, and there is a watershed moment in the episode that we’re really excited about.”

The season 6 finale of The Big Bang Theory airs at 8 p.m. PT/ET tonight on CBS.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmilyNRome

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