Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Big Bang Theory - The Anxiety Optimization

Three stories are at play in "The Anxiety Optimization." Stuck at the airport with Bernadette (Melissa Rauch), Howard (Simon Helberg) freaks out after realizing the airline has lost his suitcase containing his mother's ashes. To disprove a psychological study suggesting it can make two people fall in love Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) spend the evening together answering a list of personal questions. With their friends busy Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Amy (Mayim Bialik), Raj (Kunal Nayyar), and Emily (Laura Spencer) spend the night at a puzzle room where the scientists pay big bucks for the opportunity to think their way out of a lab with a zombie (which proves far easier than they expected).

While the puzzle room is anticlimactic and Howard's story comes to the expected conclusion (think how much more crushing it would have been if the bag hadn't been recovered), the thread of the week that stands out is Penny and Sheldon spending time together. Always on of the show's most interesting friendships, the construct of the experiment offered the opportunity for Sheldon to be more honest than usual with Penny and allow both to discover things about the other they wouldn't have otherwise known.

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