Sheldon panics when Leonard goes into surgery for a deviated septum.

Credit: Michael Yarish/CBS

When The Big Bang Theory began back in 2007, it began as a show about two nerdy roommates, their two other nerdy friends, and a pretty girl next door. Much has changed since then. Leonard dated then proposed to that pretty girl next door. Howard got married. Raj is dating a woman who he can actually speak to. Sheldon kissed a girl—and even told her “I love you, too,” last week. Yes, things have changed… some for the worse and some for the better. But tonight’s episode brought it back to the core relationship: those two roommates.

I wasn’t completely sold on last week’s “The Prom Equivalency” because while it had heart, it lacked the humor that’s possible from this show. “The Septum Deviation” had both. And best of all, the women who have been added to the equation worked with the show—I’m not saying that the women can’t have their own story lines, but too often lately their time on screen hasn’t added to the greater narrative (except for Drunk Bernadette, which will always be the best).

And all it took was a deviated septum. Leonard goes to the doctor and decides to get surgery; Sheldon does not approve—he says it’s elective surgery that Leonard shouldn’t get. At first he masks it as his desire for Leonard to keep snoring (it’s his mucus-powered sleep machine), but then the truth comes out: He’s worried. He knows that 1 in 700,000 people die under anesthesia. But then he does some research and narrows down Leonard’s odds to a “sphincter-tightening” 1 in 300.

Leonard understands that Sheldon is upset, so he tells him that he’ll think about it in the next week before his surgery. But just like my mother did to me with my wisdom teeth surgery in the ninth grade, Leonard lies about the date (well, a new date opens up, but it’s lies all the same!). However, Sheldon susses out the lie quickly… because Leonard would never go swimming in public without his swim shirt.

Sheldon insists on going to the hospital because he cares—and because he wants to be at his bedside to say “I told you so” if Leonard dies. Shortly after he arrives, there is a small earthquake and the power goes out. He insists on going to check on Leonard, and runs straight into a glass door.

With Leonard and Sheldon both with recovering septums, they talk out their feelings with hilariously stuffed up noses. And without saying it, they basically say how much they love each other. It wasn’t “aww” inducing like last week’s scene between Sheldon and Amy, but it was still pretty sweet.

Now for those other two guys: Raj’s parents’ 40th anniversary is coming up. He is worried about what to get them as a gift, but what he should really be worrying about is their marriage: His dad tells him that he’s moved out, and Raj is desperate. Bernadette and Howard try to lighten the mood with muffins and bad puns; and while they’re “cheering him up,” he explains how his parents’ marriage broke up because they resented one another slowly over time. This description hits a chord with Howard and Bernadette.

To avoid ending up like Raj’s parents, Bernadette and Howard decide to talk about the things they are frustrated with in their own marriage. When that doesn’t work, they tell each other what they love about the other. Granted, these “compliments” take a turn for the sarcastic, but it was nice to see Howard and Bernie interacting in a healthier way than we’ve seen lately.

It seems that all of these relationships—including ours with the show, for now—is back on track. (Well, except for Raj’s parents, but expect that to come up again in future episodes.)

The Laughter Surplus

“There’s a car named after him.” —Amy

“Of course there is—the Mini Cooper cause it’s me.” —Sheldon

“I’m not sure if that’s a person or a typo.” —Sheldon, referring to Jay-Z

“I’m not going to die.” —Leonard

“You don’t know that.” —Sheldon

“I do know that it won’t be from an asteroid strike.” —Leonard

“You know who else said that? Every cocky T-Rex currently swimming around in the gas tank of your car.” —Sheldon

“I found this fencing school in Burbank that has a Jedi class. If you’re cool being the only adults there, they said they are.” —Howard

“I can’t have syrupy fingers, but he can do the backstroke in a toilet bowl.” —Sheldon

“I assume this medical center has already treated the burns on your bottom from the recent pants fire.” —Sheldon

Episode Recaps

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The Big Bang Theory

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