The Big Bang Theory Leonard and Penny

The Big Bang Theory Review: The Romance Recalibration (Season 10 Episode 12)

Reviews, The Big Bang Theory

The relationship between Penny and Leonard has been one of the main storylines on The Big Bang Theory since its very beginning, and it is nice to notice that despite ten seasons of relationship antics, the writers have been able to introduce something new to the Leonard-Penny pairing on The Big Bang Theory Season 10 Episode 13 “The Romance Recalibration.”

That “something new” is marital problems.

Since the beginning, The Big Bang Theory has played around with the idea that Penny is “too good” for Leonard.

I have never been a fan of this kind of speculation, but in a way, it is brought up again as a result of Penny feeling like Leonard is taking her for granted.

I am not married, so I cannot comment on whether the struggle Penny and Leonard go through is realistic or not, but I can say that within the context of their narrative, it feels real.

For so long, Leonard kept working his butt off to impress Penny and to show her that while their pairing might not seem like the most logical one, it could really work. Now, they are running out of after-wedding bliss and Leonard is ready to settle for comfortable married life.

Penny, who is used to grand romantic gestures — I will never get over Leonard giving that preserved snowflake from his expedition for Penny on Season 3 — is not happy with the new reality of Leonard playing video games in his underwear.

Essentially, the episode is all about the struggle of finding the kind of balance that makes them both happy. 

What makes finding the solution especially funny is the fact that Sheldon ends up being a solicitor of romantic advice.

It has been nice to notice the subtle changes the writers have made into the relationship between Sheldon of Amy, gradually making it closer and more comfortable as a result of the two spending more time together.

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While I love Sheldon’s no-nonsense attitude towards a lot of things, having a chance to see him try out something new, like asking people about their days, has been a refreshing character development that definitely manages to bring in some laughs on this episode.

Sheldon: When you take an interest in people you really uncork a geyser of nonsense.

One of the main strengths of “The Romance Recalibration” is the fact that the writers have been able to construct two clear storylines — one involving Penny, Leonard, Amy and Sheldon and the other Howard, Raj, and Bernadette.

While it is nice to see the whole ensemble interacting together, dividing them into two independent storylines like this makes it easier to actually focus on all of the characters.

Howard: Got to get her hooked on TV or one day she will want me to play outside.

The storyline involving Raj, Howard, and Bernadette is all about the struggle of finding a way to get to the baby’s crib without the floor of the room making a squeaky sound.

A simple premise, yet the way it is transformed to the screen turns out to be the funniest segments of the episode. 

The use of physical comedy and prop comedy in solving the problem is done extremely well and Simon Helberg definitely deserves an A+ from the scene in which he goes through the non-squeaky road to the crib.

Since it has been decided that Halley won’t be shown, it will be interesting to see in which different ways the writers are able to insert Howard and Bernadette’s struggles and joys of parenthood into the narrative.

If this week’s episode is any indication of how it will be done, fans of The Big Bang Theory have nothing to worry about. 

After the fragmented previous episode that relied heavily on flashbacks, “The Romance Recalibration” is a refreshing return back to simpler, yet funnier, storylines that rely on the strengths of the characters and the actors who portray them.

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Stray thoughts:

  • Sheldon getting excited about the prospect of putting together a relationship contract for Leonard and Penny is hilarious!
  • Chuck Lorre’s vanity card includes a “secret” anti-Trump message. While Trump’s name is not mentioned, the card features lyrics for George Harrison’s “Beware of Darkness” as well as a Monty Python quote “Run away! Run away!”

What did you think of this episode of The Big Bang Theory? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS.

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Milka Väinämö

Milka holds a BA in film studies and is currently working on her master's thesis, writing about what she truly loves: American sitcoms. When she's not watching Netflix and adding names to her never-ending list of kickass lady heroes and fictional boyfriends, Milka's probably obsessing over ice hockey, hanging out with her dog or blogging about books. Her favorite shows include Parks and Recreation, The Office, Gilmore Girls, Community and Arrested Development. Milka also writes for The Leaky Cauldron, a Harry Potter fansite.

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