Absence had better make the heart grow fonder.

The Long Distance Dissonance
Credit: Michael Yarish/CBS

There’s one word that pops into my head when I think about this season 10 finale of The Big Bang Theory. That word is proud. In more than one instance, I cheered our little group of scientists (and Penny) as they navigated an unfamiliar set of waters. I believe we were all rewarded at the end!

Let me set the scene for you: Amy is participating in a fellowship in Princeton. She and Sheldon video chat multiple times a day, offering updates, encouragement, and even a little G-rated flirting. Whoever said split infinitives aren’t sexy is highly mistaken. Just ask Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler.

While Amy works in New Jersey, the guys are back on the Caltech campus. I’m glad to see them all around the cafeteria table. What I didn’t expect was a blast from the past in the form of Dr. Ramona Nowitzki. You remember her, right? She’s the grad student who had a major crush on Sheldon in season 2.

And therein lies the problem. Should that sentence be past tense? Or are we dealing with the slow burn of old flames? Luring Sheldon away with a Toblerone bar is the first clue. Ramona’s giggling certainly doesn’t help matters. When she touches Sheldon on the hand and he doesn’t swat her away or use Purell, Leonard knows something is amiss. Howard assumes Sheldon’s body has been taken over by his alien overlords.

After learning about this awkward exchange, Penny and Bernadette grapple with their own emotions. Has Amy stirred up Sheldon’s sexual appetite? Cue Bernadette dry heaving at the thought and scolding Penny for even putting those words together. Both agree that they should not jump to conclusions, but should remain on alert.

Across the hall, Sheldon fills Amy in on his day. He discusses his visit to Home Depot to look at (again, look at) ladders. He also mentions that he had lunch with Dr. Nowitzki. When Amy asks who HE is, Sheldon is quick to correct her. Dr. Nowitzki is doing research at Caltech. SHE is extremely intelligent, just like Amy! Unlike Amy, she’s tall, skinny, blond, and a former Olympic swimmer.

Amy immediately calls Penny and Bernadette to verbally scold them. THEY HAD ONE JOB TO DO! Keep an eye on Sheldon! Amy’s friends confide that they didn’t want to worry her. This news, of course, makes Amy worry. Has she inadvertently primed Sheldon up to be pumped by another woman? Where’s the bazinga?

Over at the comic book store, Howard and Leonard agree that something should be done about Ramona. Raj suggests they try and pair her with someone else. Stuart pitifully volunteers, but it’s Raj who gets the go-ahead to try to seduce Ramona. He pulls out all the charms the next day in the cafeteria. He also fails miserably. Dr. Cooper, on the other hand, lands a seat at Ramona’s table.

This is when I began to get a little nervous.

That night, the gang decides that even though Ramona hasn’t technically made a move, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Especially when Sheldon escorts Ramona into the apartment to share a meal with everyone. Immediately Bernadette wiggles her tiny body between Sheldon and Ramona on the couch. The moment is both humorous and touching.

Oblivious to what’s going on, Sheldon blabs on about how Ramona took him swimming and how she’s always asking how long Amy will be gone. Red flags begin flying all around. Sheldon casually mentions to Ramona that he has some letters from renowned physicist Peter Higgs. Tensions really rise when he invites her over to his apartment to peruse the collection.

Thank goodness Amy video chats once they settle in on the couch. Sheldon takes great pride in introducing Amy to the yellow-haired goddess sitting on her couch. Then Amy takes a phone call from Leonard, chastising him for a “too little, too late” head’s up. Ironically, Sheldon and Ramona think it’s really inappropriate for Leonard to be calling Amy.

Back at dinner, the others debate on what to do. Should they intervene? Perhaps shake a can of nickels at Sheldon to distract him? All plans are thwarted when Sheldon and Ramona walk through the door. Amy told Sheldon he has to go to bed, so Ramona is leaving. Crisis averted! Then Ramona asks Sheldon to walk her to her car. DEFCON FIVE!

In a brilliantly hilarious move, Penny suggests they all walk Ramona to her car. Once again, I was so proud and moved to see Bernadette stealthily maneuver herself into a position beside Sheldon. Penny blocks Ramona out from being behind Sheldon and the boys provide a protective wall around the perimeter. It’s clear that these friends love Amy and Sheldon.

Ramona leaves, and Penny marches Sheldon up to his apartment to have a serious talk. She tells Sheldon that Ramona has romantic feelings for him. Sheldon doesn’t get it. His defense? Ramona knows he has a girlfriend. Penny explains that some girls don’t really care. Sheldon does not concede. Ramona is just a friendly colleague.

Sidebar: Why did that shot of the horrific oil painting picture of Penny and Amy make me so happy? I’ve missed it.

The next day, Ramona stops into Sheldon’s office to eat lunch. Having no filter, he asks her if her intentions are in any way romantic. She answers by kissing him. Kissing him good.

This is when I began to get A LOT nervous.

Sheldon excuses himself, steps outside into the hallway, and gets into a cab that takes him to LAX. He buys a ticket and watches a few episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants to pass the time before landing in New Jersey. He executes his signature three knock on Amy’s Princeton door, and when she opens it, she finds Dr. Sheldon Lee Cooper on one knee with an engagement ring in his hand.

Sheldon asks Amy Farrah Fowler to marry him, and the crowd goes wild.

Sadly, we’ll have to wait until season 11 to hear Amy’s answer. In the meantime, we can dream about the details of their wedding. Ten bucks she wears a tiara and he insists the invitations be printed in Klingon.

Theoretical Laughter

AMY: I’ve been smacking that ketchup bottle for a long time. All she has to do is tip it over and point it to her fries.

PENNY: You like those limited edition toys.
SHELDON: Because there’s only one of me, I’m more valuable.
PENNY: Right!
SHELDON: Although, Amy has already taken me out of my package and played with me.

SHELDON: Will you marry me?

Episode Recaps

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