By Josh Axelrod
Before launching into the recap of a pretty standard “Big Bang Theory” episode, I want to pay my respects to Carol Ann Susi. The woman who voiced “Mrs. Wolowitz” passed away this week, and we should all take a minute to acknowledge her contributions to this show. RIP Debbie.
Death was a big theme in “The Septum Deviation.” The main conflict centered on Leonard’s decision to get surgery to correct his deviated septum and Sheldon’s inability to deal with the prospect of losing Leonard if something went wrong on the operating table. There was also the death of Raj’s parents’ marriage, which seemed to cause more problems for Howard and Bernadette than him.
This was probably the strongest cold open the show has had in the while. Amy and Sheldon played a game of celebrity, and every time Amy tried to describe Nikola Tesla, Sheldon thought she was talking about him. He only got it when Amy called Tesla “a poor man’s Sheldon Cooper.” And when it was Amy’s turn, he had no idea who Jay-Z was. Classic Sheldon.
When Sheldon learned that Leonard was going to get surgery, he did everything in his power to get Leonard to change his mind. That included coming up with every worst-case scenario possible that could lead to Leonard’s death. That included a latex allergy that Leonard didn’t have, falling down the stairs on the way to the car, and an asteroid strike.
Leonard went in for surgery without telling Sheldon, and once he got the information out of Amy, Sheldon rushed to the hospital. An earthquake during the surgery freaked Sheldon out, prompting him to run into a glass door trying to make sure Leonard was okay. This came after he had already stubbed his toe on a revolving door. For a really smart guy, Sheldon has a lot of trouble with doors.
This storyline wrapped up with Leonard and Penny trying to get Sheldon to admit he loves Leonard. He won’t, but we know Sheldon loooooooooooves his roommate. That bit with the urn at the end was really morbid though. Like, almost too morbid. No more death talk on this show please.
While Sheldon made a fool of himself, Raj had a mini meltdown over his parents getting divorced. The idea of “double the Diwali” wasn’t of much comfort to him. Howard and Bernadette tried to make him feel better, including bringing in a basket of muffins to Raj’s office. Bernadette’s muffin puns were ill-timed but hilarious. “Well, there’s muffin you can do about it!”
Raj’s parents’ decision to end their 45-year marriage planted some seeds of doubt in Bernadette’s head about the stability of her own marriage with Howard. Since Raj said his parents got divorced because of little things being bottled up, Bernadette urged Howard to clear the air about the things that annoyed him about her. Sensing this was a trap, Howard tried to make it a more positive exercise. Unfortunately for him, the compliments quickly gave way to passive aggressive jabs and then straight up insults.
Is it just me, or is there something up with the Wolowitzes? Their relationship seems more toxic this season than it’s been in the past. Bernadette seems scarier than usual, and Howard has a shorter fuse. The show wouldn’t separate them, would they? Keep an eye on these two going forward.
All that said, the reveal that Howard’s couple therapy was with Raj and not his mother was amazing. #TeamKoothrapolowitz