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NutMeg

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About NutMeg

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  1. I so agree with all of this. Amy has a history (especially seasons 5 & 6) of not being direct and actually communicating how she feels about something to Sheldon, and as frustrating as that was, it made sense because she was the girl who grew up with no friends...of course she wouldn't be great at communicating her feelings directly to someone. And with clueless Sheldon, it led to plenty of little clashes and misunderstandings. This season, for the most part, showed vast improvement in the way that they communicate. She has gotten more direct with him, which has been wonderful to see. Things have been moving along steadily with little obvious dysfunction. And then we get this. I understand the idea they're trying to sell us here. And I could even believe that Amy might secretly struggle day in-day out with not quite understanding how Sheldon feels about her and where things are going, and not being able to muster the courage to be direct and just ask, even after all this time. I could also believe that this insecurity coupled with Sheldon's complete oblivion to it could wear her down and bring her to a breaking point, especially when they are celebrating a big milestone. I can buy that. My issue is that since there was no indication all season that this is a struggle (quite the opposite, really), it makes Amy's reaction look like much ado about nothing. Like, I understand the idea, and I can appreciate it, but with all of the signs all season pointing to the fact that they are communicating better than ever, this just feels kind of cheap, you know? I can totally get behind a plot of Amy struggling with the progress and wondering how Sheldon really feels, and even wanting to take some time to figure it all out, but when we have no real narrative indication of this all year, it makes it seem like an overreaction by Amy, which I don't think is totally fair to her character. Exactly. I actually really love this plot. But I don't think it belongs here. It belongs last season, or maybe next season after some indication that Amy's struggling. I can rationalize Amy sort of hitting a breaking point and it coming out of left field to Sheldon, because again, she has a history of not directly communicating what she feels. Sheldon's surprise at the situation makes it effectively heartbreaking, and now we, as the audience, are postured to rally around Sheldon and truly understand what he wants (which is a wonderful change of pace). BUT, again, the cost of that drama is that logically, all of it is coming out of left field to us, too, and it sort of feels cheap. I feel like Sheldon with my hat in hands (or ring, I guess)...going "What now, Gollum?" I do want to say that I'm not unhappy (just feeling a little whiplash). While I agree that Sheldon deciding he's ready for marriage is sort of out of nowhere, I am really intrigued by the idea of him deciding that this is what he wants possibly without understanding or being ready for the consequences. And I'm interested to see how this is going to get resolved. I suspect quickly, because Sheldon isn't the kind to suffer (or do anything) in silence. Though, he's apparently been silently contemplating marriage for who knows how long, so I guess anything is possible. If I take off my critical hat, I am pretty happy with all of this overall. Even if it seems a bit unbelievable (damn, how did my critical hat get back on?!), I love how we get to unambiguously see what Sheldon actually wants and are poised to see this relationship through Sheldon's feelings. For the first time, he's vulnerable and the ball is really in Amy's court, which (while I'm a little annoyed at how it got there) I think is for the best.
  2. I'm so with you here, Koops. While it could be something on the soap-opera-end-of-the-scale dramatic (AKA bad), I just can't stretch my imagination enough to make a "dramatic" negative outcome make sense at this point. I think the real question here, like you said, is how sudden or huge is this thing is going to go. I mean, I was quite moved by the Fort episode and in my mind, I was like "Yep, this is cohabitation practice for Sheldon's anxiety-ridden mind." These are two kids testing the waters, which often leads to big, even dramatic things happening. So I've been priming myself for cohabitation for weeks, but I'm not necessarily convinced that this is it. Could be. I'm just too afraid to lean in that direction, because that's just really huge and....dramatic. (Also, I struggle, because "dramatic" is not the formula that we've all become comfortable with for Shamy. I mean...we all expect sweet and unique and slow, meaningful, gradual changes, but dramatic? Dramatic enough that Sheldon has to deal with them in this episode? It just makes me all squirmy and skeptical, yet painfully intrigued.) What I am convinced of, is that this is going to be a long-term/commitment-related change. I feel like that's been quietly building. All season, they've been super happy and really connecting with each other. The only real kerfuffle we get in the Mars episode is all about Amy's thinking long-term and her desire to build a life with him, and even that ultimately ends with Sheldon pretty easily jumping right on board with the idea. So prediction wise, I'm at a loss. But I do think that this is going to be something that will have long-term consequences. Unless this is some sort of rehashed "Oh wow, we had a sleepover a few weeks ago and things are changing so dramatically, I can't handle it." sort of breakdown, to which I will roll my eyes and mentally order Sheldon to pop a dramamine and head back to fort where everything is mood-lit and dreamy.
  3. I just needed to come here and make a quick comment about Sheldon and Amy in the episode. The fort is wonderful (all hail the fort). It seems like an incredibly innocent way to tackle the traditionally not-at-all-innocent relationship milestone of sleeping over, which is perfect for Shamy. There are emotional facets to this, where they both get to relive and rewrite some of their painful childhood memories, so in a way, it goes in line very well with the idea that Sheldon and Amy are growing up together emotionally, and writing their own rules for how an adult relationship should be developed along the way. It’s enough to make your heart melt. But the main reason I came out of the shadows for a moment is that I have to talk about what a big deal I think this actually is. All of the big future milestones with them (moving in, sex, marriage, etc.) depend on Sheldon’s fear (or him getting over fear, rather). It’s difficult to imagine sex happening anytime soon when the expectation of sex (triggered by seeing Amy in a pretty dress) sends him into a panic attack. I’m guessing that same fear is why he is so reluctant to move in with her (I know that he loves Leonard and doesn’t want him to leave, but I’ve often wondered if his clinginess to Leonard about moving in with Penny, is at least in part motivated by the fear that the next logical step would then be to live with Amy, which is scary). The reason why I think the fort was so important was because it provided a fun, innocent, and safe way of him finding out that spending the night together is not going to make the world end. They probably had breakfast together, and she might have even showered there…and Sheldon is going to learn that none of that is really scary at all. In fact, anything that happened as a result is likely to be remembered by him as a positive experience. So the fort is a way to help diminish his fear of progressing the relationship in a big way. Other milestones like kissing did the same thing, but I think the fort is more significant. Not just for the fact that sleeping together worked out fine, but for the fact that taking a big step in the relationship was nothing to be afraid of. Learning that taking another big step could have a positive outcome might encourage (or at least lessen resistance) to big steps that we know are inevitable on down the line, especially the possibility of moving in together sometime. So yes, while it might seem juvenile, I think it’s the absolute best way for their first sleepover to happen, and I think it can only lead to them both growing up and tackling these big adult relationship issues at the pace that is natural and comfortable to them. Also, I couldn’t stop thinking of the Romance Resonance, when Sheldon told Amy that she “made the fort”. Now, they’ve both literally made the fort. (Aww!)
  4. @Phanta, I definitely appreciate your perspective on the show in general. Honestly, there is a lot of value in taking what the show gives as it comes and enjoying the ride with the knowledge that everything is going to work out in the end. On one hand, I’m right there with ya, sister. I mean, I’m not one to get my panties in a bunch over every sideways glance or the connotations of every word of a given phrase. I’m well aware that we’re not dealing with Shakespeare here. I think, especially with episodes like this one, a broader perspective is a particularly wise one…it’ll certainly cut down on anxiety during the hiatus. Also, I definitely understand that the writers are not trying to craft characters with great psychological depth, nor are they trying to make bold statements about the motivations guiding their decisions. I’m well aware that this is broad comedy, and I do appreciate those that choose to appreciate it as such and leave it there. I don’t apologize but I do sympathize with those that find overanalyzing of the characters (however one might subjectively define it) tedious or fruitless, even. I do understand where you’re coming from. On the other hand, I personally have been trained to spend my life analyzing (and yes overanalyzing) everything that comes at me, so I guess you can say that it’s how I get my kicks, and sure enough, forums are great places for finding those that also get their kicks from the same thing, and this happens to be a show that is pretty easy to analyze to death because despite its broad humor, I’m sure most people here can agree that these characters are written with a remarkable amount of complexity, so it’s easy for me to dip into psychological ideas when discussing them. Please know I’m not trying to diagnose anyone with any kind of “dysfunction” or “ailment”. Who the hell would I have to think I am to do that? I do, however, make observations on behaviors exhibited by the characters and relate that to what I know about working relationships in order to try to reach an understanding about what might have been behind that behavior, which is something I think we all do to a degree. As for the immovable/irresistible metaphor, I do hope that you’re right and it was never meant to be taken too literally. I never liked it, and I never thought it was a great way to frame the writing of a relationship. Perhaps that metaphor was just an answer to people asking questions? Perhaps it was more. It’s a matter of interpretation, again. Like you, I much prefer the turtle and snail metaphor, which is much less harsh and potentially destructive as the other one. But again, do the writers really have the implications of these things in mind when they say them, and more importantly, write with these ideas in mind? I think they do, but we can’t really know. Just like we can’t really know their intentions. Obviously, intention number one is to get laughs. That’s not really an issue. Past that, the individual dynamics of each relationship and the intentions behind each move is anyone’s guess. Again, I like to interpret things pretty deeply, and the characters do accommodate such deep interpretations pretty well, which is a huge compliment to the writers (despite their intentions ). Let me also say that I agree that I don’t think the writers are trying to create melodrama here and show a relationship in turmoil *cue trashy daytime tv music*. Again, these are broad-brush writers, but just like analyzing the issues with Leonard and Penny’s relationship, like her commitment issues and indecision, insecurities on both sides (which are pretty deep issues that while written broadly and humorously, the writers still managed to address in a realistic way) led to fans speculating about their progress up to the point where they are now, the same is certainly true for the other characters. I do think that there is manipulation happening from both sides. Does that mean that they don’t need to be together? Of course not! Manipulation is incredibly common in relationships. It doesn’t mean that anyone is viciously mistreating anyone. This is how these two know how to operate. Someone (I think it was LMD…something…who was later to be named Frank) mentioned that Sheldon and Amy were both used to being “puppet masters” in their environments and manipulating others using their intelligence, and I agree with that. I would be surprised if there wasn’t an element of manipulation in their relationship as things start going into more uncharted territory. It’s what they know. This doesn’t make them mean-spirited…just the opposite…it shows them being naïve and struggling through an intimate relationship. Things are certainly not at all well in the relationship, and I think that they both obviously display some unhealthy patterns of behavior. This isn't an indictment on their fitness to be in a relationship, per se. It’s just an observation based on what these same behaviors can mean outside of TV land. Frankly, to me, it’s not about whether or not the writers are thinking this deeply. Who knows what the writers are thinking? It’s about making sense of some behaviors that seem nonsensical and understanding a fictional dynamic in a deeper way. Again, no worries if it’s not your bag. Different strokes for different folks and all. For the record, I am ultimately on the same page with you fundamentally on most of this, Phanta, even if I travel around the world three times to get there. Speaking of intentions! I really didn’t mean for that come off harshly. Anyone who knows me I’m not a basher of Amy…or anything, really. Honestly, I don’t like the character Amy has become, and it pains me to say it. So much of how she handled things this season annoyed me as much as Sheldon typically does, and that’s not a standard I thought she’d ever reach! That doesn’t mean she’s ruined or awful or even bad. I still love her and all of the characters. I just wish that she made better choices and would communicate more openly and cut the manipulation. That can all be achieved pretty easily, since her character was originally much stronger and simply wonderful. There’s no reason she can’t be that again. And her reaction to everything in the finale could lead to that. Or not. At this point no one can really be sure of their intentions with any of it (likely including them). So we can spend our summer playing out our speculations in fan fics, (over)analysis, conclusion jumping, angst, gif-making, or good old fashioned drinking games. Do we have drinking games? If not, someone should get on that.
  5. Persistent is a much more accurate description. I've said this before to someone, but despite being so proud of this metaphor for that relationship, they've done a pretty poor job of incorporating the characters into it accurately. It seems they were really just going for that uncomfortable conflict. But I guess "immovable-ish object and persistent force" doesn't have quite the same ring to it. And you are right, persistence and stubbornness is a dynamic that exists and can be functional in lots of real relationships. And indeed, actions made by stubborn people have greater psychological impact on both parties and persistence is seen as "paying off", which feeds motivation to continue driving the persistence. I believe that Sheldon will never not be stubborn, and (I know that lots of people disagree with this, but) I don't think Amy will ever not be persistent. Those are some fundamental traits (like ones that you mentioned in your Leonard and Penny comparison...I don't think those traits are going anywhere with them despite their recent maturity, but it's all about a healthy and balanced level of expression of those traits). I would like to see the outcome of all of this show that there is some motivation for Amy to remain persistent, as there was always motivation for Leonard to persist. It was clear that Penny cared for Leonard. Without motivation, then persistence is fruitless and seems pathetic. Unlike Penny, with Sheldon, nothing is clear...not even to himself at times...and that (I think) could be the outcome of his running away. Maybe he can gain some clarity about how he really feels about Leonard and Penny/work/Amy and let that at least be a starting point when he returns. It doesn't even have to be super mature or developed or even particularly rational...I would just like to see him try deal with these things instead of deflecting. Otherwise, there's no way to reach a real resolution with any of it without Sheldon acting like a brat and loop-holing his way out of his problems somehow or gaming the system ("sometimes the baby wins"...no one wants to see that crap again).
  6. Bingo. This is why I think this metaphor from the writers is clever in theory (ooooh it's a paradox. How interesting! Does everyone get how clever and interesting this is?!?!) , but it just crumbles underneath itself when put into practice. How interesting to base a relationship off of a principle like this, except there's a reason why no functional relationships work this way. These are people. No one is truly immovable. They'd have no business with another person. As you said, you can see why they figured Sheldon would fit that role, but I have a feeling there is some level of disconnect about what kind of character Sheldon really is and how movable he can be in the writers' room. Amy is only "irresistible" in the sense that she draws Sheldon back either through his own feelings for her, or her manipulation of those feelings. You can tell that Sheldon goes back and forth about whether he wants to continue the relationship at all. It creates a conflict and a situation that shouldn't work. It creates what we have now...one party collapsing under the pressure and the other desperately clinging for anything they can get. It can't work. Perhaps that's the point. I would like to think that's the point, anyway. Awesome post, Lio. You captured perfectly how I feel about the finale, and I think a lot of what you said gets down to reasons why many are divided over this one. I didn’t vote in the rating for this episode, because I couldn’t come close to deciding whether this was good or bad. I think it was both, neither, everything, nothing. I don’t know. Like you, I’m torn. Objectively, I think the finale was awesome. As everyone has mentioned already, the train station scene was beautifully done and important for all of those characters. I really don’t think I could be happier with it. The episode set up a ton of obstacles and possibilities that can be mulled over and written about and speculated on over the summer for every single character. That’s what you want from a finale, so in that respect, it was top notch. The conflict comes solely from what you mentioned later in your post. In order for the best scenarios to happen for all of the characters involved, things are going to have to be shaken up big time. Do I trust that the writers have a path of change in mind, or do I worry that they are going to cop out? Sheldon is going to have to change in a way that gets him the hell out of Leonard and Penny’s hair so that they can have a damn happy dinner together every once in a while without worrying about his problems. You know, looking back, I think it was really important that they told Amy to scram during their dinner, even if they tracked Sheldon down later. They are healthily moving on to this new level of a relationship and behaving as a cohesive unit and it’s about time. The way that Leonard and Penny behaved together in the finale gives me hope that there will be some serious changes made. I know that some of my Shamy-shipping friends will disagree and understandably object to how Amy was treated, but for me, this finale was so much more about Leonard and Penny and Sheldon than Amy. And honestly, that’s the way it needed to be. Everyone, regardless of their shipping preferences or lack thereof, complains about the L/P/S dynamic. Sheldon can’t be a grown man with Leonard and Penny parenting him. Leonard and Penny can’t have the relationship that they deserve with Sheldon’s insane level of dependence on their backs. It needed to end. For everyone (including Amy). This episode is polarizing because it’s a huge step in the right direction for Leonard and Penny (hooray for Leonard and Penny fans) and an ultimate crossroads for Sheldon (yay for fans of Sheldon) that seems to come at the cost of Amy’s happiness (WTF for Amy fans). But really, if I take a step back, I can’t be upset over Amy’s situation, because just like Sheldon was too close to it to see how much Amy has changed him, she’s too close to see how much Sheldon has changed her. And she may not care, or have an issue with that change like Sheldon did, but I agree with Lio …I almost can’t stand Amy now. So in my mind, she can’t possibly see it now, but all of this could be the best damn thing for her. What would the alternative be? Sheldon letting her in on his decision to run away from her and everything? She gets to be the mopey supportive girlfriend while her boyfriend literally runs away from the support she’s trying to give. I would much rather her not be in on this decision. In my mind, it might be painful, but at least it gives her a chance to get some dignity back (if the writers chose to grant her some with their fairy wands, as Lio mentioned). Still though, my conflict comes from whether or not I think the writers can follow through on this. This finale offered some exciting possibilities, but can they write Sheldon in a way that grants him some comfortable independence without losing his character completely? Can they successfully write Lenny without Sheldon in the center of their universe? Can they get Amy back to a place where she’s more than a desperate doormat? What would that show look like? Or are we completely off base and will Sheldon completely crumble without his support systems and come back more defiant and childlike than ever? I suppose when I consider these questions, then I have to conclude that the finale was probably everything that it set out to be, because I will most assuredly be waiting for September to see how they plan to resolve this. Sooo, excellent? Damn you writers and your sneaky ways.
  7. @Cecilia I agree that some hesitance from Amy, or cold feet as you said, would be excellent. At the very least, it would be different and give her character a bit more depth. When talking about Shamy, obviously everyone (myself included) tends to be all "Where's Sheldon's head at?!" It makes sense because Sheldon has so much baggage that gets thrown in our face every week and his actions are often the driving ones in his relationships. While Amy clearly isn't as featured or fleshed out as Sheldon, I think there are a few things about her character that can be highlighted with just small movements from the writers that would give her some much-needed depth and rid Shamy of this stupid dynamic where Sheldon is the asshole boyfriend to Amy who just loves him too much to ask for more or leave. I think most of us here agree that she is better than that, and so is Sheldon for that matter, but as it stands I can find little justification for why they stay with each other at all aside from each of their own unhealthy attitudes about what a relationship should be. And look, that's fine...they have issues...and being with each other is not going to make all of those issues magically disappear. In fact, the main reason I ship Shamy is because I'm fascinated by their issues. And this is why this season was frustrating to me a bit. They have this dysfunctional thing going on with intimacy and they clearly aren't on the same page with what they want for the future, and the only hashing out of that is really in Sheldon's remarks to her in the last episode. Other than that, intimacy hasn't been addressed since D&D sex, and that's the biggest issue on their plate. So I'm supposed to believe that Sheldon and Amy are just knocking around and having tea and purchasing video game consoles and having dates this whole season while skirting the single biggest issue in their relationship. I mean, he kissed her, and there must have been a discussion to prompt the kiss that followed a couple weeks later, but the fact that that kiss needed to be governed by some sort of guideline tells me that these two are still fumbling terribly with the concept of intimacy, so why not address that more openly? Maybe they will next season as Sheldon has to come home sometime and face the grown-up realities of his life. Anyway, I don't think we need a whole case study of Amy's emotional history and psyche like they've given us for Sheldon, but with simple actions (like your suggestion of hesitation, or perhaps her just rediscovering what life is like without Sheldon and dealing with that in a positive way), she would be in a place to create some real friction and new elements to the relationship that make sense. I guess the question is whether or not that's where the writers are going, or if they even know where they're going. We could be in for more skirting around the issue, though I have to admit that this situation at the end of the season places them both in a place where the skirting can easily stop if they want it to. As for Amy being overlooked, I can see the writers doing that, but I can also see where so much of Sheldon's growth can depend on how Amy receives him when he returns, which is why we've all been going crazy coming up with ideal scenarios! I think a much more interesting story can be told if Amy's not just...well what she was this season. *waiting impatiently for September*
  8. This brings up something that I’ve been thinking about for a while. Amy’s working to be the “perfect” girlfriend and be ridiculously supportive, and that’s wonderful for Sheldon…he eases into that like it’s a freshly turned bed. We see Amy feed his ego (“they don’t appreciate you”) and play by his rules to get a spot in the coveted fort. And clearly, she idealizes him...and more importantly, she idealizes the whole relationship. I don’t doubt that she loves him, but her version of love doesn’t seem to be mature or healthy...and clearly Sheldon doesn’t need or want the kind of love that she’s offering him. Her loving him this way is a problem for him (after all, Sheldon cannot handle the pressure of being king of the universe when there’s actually someone to acknowledge him as such…it’s having his delusion thrown repeatedly into his own face). But the thing is…we know that she doesn’t completely idealize him, or at least not anymore. The more time she spends with him, the more we see her frowning at his ridiculous remarks and sighing at his exasperating behavior. So, in my mind, we’re seeing that the 100% supportive super-girlfriend is not a genuine representation of her feelings. She shows her dutiful support to Sheldon when he’s on the phone after buzzing off, and then she has an emotional outburst to Leonard immediately afterward. It’s not like she’s Sheldon and not in touch or in denial of her feelings…she’s totally capable of expressing them…just not with Sheldon. Why is that? We've seen her (just this season) be his mother, counselor, enabler, and girlfriend…pretty much whatever he needs when he needs it. That’s certainly a testament of love and devotion, but not the kind of love that is good for Sheldon (or anyone, including herself). It’s realistic for her to act this way, knowing what we know about her. She’s a pleaser…trained to please her mother’s ridiculous demands from an early age and desperate for social interaction, she’ll do or be whatever she needs to do or be to make people happy, which ensures her a working social connection. The cost of that, of course, is her dignity, her own desires (which she doesn’t know how to express in a healthy way). I mean, looking back, it seems obvious that she would fall so easily for someone like Sheldon. Sheldon requires her to continue that pattern of working for approval. Why doesn’t she leave? I think it’s because she needs approval from Sheldon as much as he needs support and ego-stroking from her. It was cute and easy when they were just “friends” playing games and being adorable, but as a relationship naturally matures and evolves, intimacy grows and baggage is revealed…it just so happens that Sheldon and Amy complement each other’s baggage in the worst possible ways, and he enables her just as much as she’s enabling him. It’s interesting how they began as a perfect match for each other, and the writers have committed to that idea, showing that even that can be deceptively idealistic. In reality, a “perfect match” is not nearly as important as someone who is willing to work for themselves and the other person through compromise, open communication, and altruism to make sure needs and desires are met, or at least acknowledged. I’m wondering (with what we know about Amy’s behavior at the end of the finale) if she’s starting to struggle with some conflict here. As she has her friends, an active social life, attention from other men, she’s able to come into her own…find herself, and that’s amazing…but if anything that I said above is true, then finding herself is incompatible with her relationship with Sheldon, as she signed on from the beginning with Sheldon into a one-sided relationship. We’ve seen moments where she’s playing his game, but using her own skills to trick the system and manipulate him to fulfill her desires, and those are moments that we cheer for because we want to see her getting what she wants out of the relationship, but I think those moments only act as a disservice to her, because the only way any relationship is going to really go her way is when she opens herself up to it by communicating openly and demanding that her needs be met (or at least freaking acknowledged). I think this is where the moving in debacle comes into play. Why does she want to move in with Sheldon? It means intimacy and a new step towards progress in the relationship that she craves. But instead of communicating her need for more intimacy, she’s trying to use Sheldon’s situation with Leonard as an opportunity to jump. Now, look, I’m not saying I blame her for not wanting to have the “I want more” talk with Sheldon and for thinking that Sheldon will just see how great it all is once it happens (and I totally agree with everyone who said how wrong she is in her idealization of that big step). Though, the thing is…whenever Amy is honest with him about her feelings, Sheldon does have the capability of being tender, loving, and adaptive to her needs. We saw that with D&D. The man can be moved…and he responds best to honesty and straight-fowardness. So why doesn’t she just talk to him, then? Because, again, I think she really struggles with voicing her true feeling with him for fear that she’ll lose his approval and her relationship will be over. What would have happened if she told her mother she didn’t want to go on stupid dates with random men? It would have disappointed her, and disappointment is a knife in the heart for a pleaser. It’s a case of always walking on eggshells, and it seems pathetic and depressing, but I really think she’s actively put herself in this situation because it’s what she knows. That being said, I wonder whether that’s changing…or whether this move from Sheldon will change her way of thinking about her role in relationships. Now, I’m well aware that I’ve put waaay more thought into this than I’m sure the writers have. Unfortunately, Amy’s not a super fleshed-out character and my interpretation is just based on the very little we get from the writers about her. In the end, it may just simply be that the writers have her as the perpetually doting and affection-craving girlfriend who is little more than an ultimate support system for Sheldon so that Leonard can move on with his life. I hope and pray that this isn’t the case (mostly because it’s far less interesting than my interpretation ). These are things that we’ll see next season if and when Sheldon gets his happy ass off that train. As for drama, I agree with Lio that this is a super-dramatic sendoff for the season for a show like this. I mean…totally breaking Sheldon down is serious stuff. And I can get behind that, since if you look at Shamy, we have a case of a cute, quirky couple with no romantic experiences struggling with the realities of an adult relationship that’s naturally occurred as a result of their feelings for one another, which neither one is willing or able to effectively deal with…this is gripping stuff. So I am hopeful that the writers intend to carry on understanding the weight of the situation that they’ve created. Despite their habit of sweeping big things under the rug, I think some of the big things they’ve written this season with Sheldon (Proton’s death and Ms. Cooper’s dalliances specifically) have been handled in a way that showed that the writers understand the dramatic impact that this would have on him. So with that in mind, I’m hopeful that this won’t be wrapped up quickly. A big question now is really how much of this is going to involve Amy? Amy certainly threw fuel on the fire with her mention of moving in, but is that really just the last straw, and is Amy going to just be an afterthought in this? Of course, it’s all about Sheldon (as it should be…all of these issues that he’s faced with have a far greater effect on his life than hers), but just how relevant are the psychic’s words going to be, if at all? I think it was Lio that mentioned the words from the psychic being more of a tool for us to see where Sheldon’s head was instead of a prediction, and I can certainly see that. I have to be honest, I take issue with the idea that committing to Amy will be the key to Sheldon’s happiness *hiding face from tomatoes*. Really, committing to Amy is more like the effect of Sheldon figuring his life out. The key to his happiness will be learning to adapt to change. I certainly don’t want to see Sheldon take those words to heart somehow and think that if he just gave in to Amy, then his life will work out. That’s just another selfish motivation for progressing the relationship, and that’s not what either of them needs. In my perfect scenario, we get to see Sheldon working through and processing all of this stuff in a comical and satisfying way, and we also get to see SOMETHING (at this point, I don’t care what) from Amy that isn’t doting and 100% support, because honestly…even if the writers are only concerned about using Amy to tell Sheldon’s story, Sheldon’s story can be much more interesting if he’s dating someone who has her own self-interests as a priority as well. Otherwise, how is Sheldon ever going to learn how to be in a relationship that’s not one-sided? He won’t. If Amy meets Sheldon with some resistance (and doesn’t act like a wet noodle or mama bear or support group or whatever role she thinks he needs this week), then Sheldon will have to demonstrate his ability to be flexible. If that doesn’t happy (in whatever capacity), then I’m concerned that this trip on the tracks for Sheldon will have very little to do with his relationship with Amy at all.
  9. So this is...interesting (that's a word for it). This is my thinking: I'm not surprised or disturbed by the fact that Sheldon has this in the RA. He's obviously not ready (and definitely feeling pressured) to have sex, and he's expressed his concern in the past about Amy finding someone that would treat her better and isn't a callous egomaniac. So he's insecure...and the pressure doesn't help that insecurity...so I get him writing some sort of security in the RA...that's Sheldon 101. I figured this was the case anyway, but really, that RA has about as much administrative authority over their behavior in the relationship as a list of New Year's resolutions, and I think that's probably terrifying to Sheldon, as the one who has so often broken his own rules. It's all about security, which is code for control...and this part of the RA is very much about control, and it won't work (just like none of it has worked when emotions become involved). The RA has always been (as Sheldon has stated) a way to control Amy...it's a security blanket, and it was sort of cute and acceptable at first, but now that Sheldon has stepped up and shown some behaviors more in line with a grown man, the idea of him carrying around a security blanket is disturbing (in my opinion). Alas, I don't think the RA is going anywhere, but I was hoping that it would fall by the wayside as mostly a joke, much like Roommate Agreement has. But to the matter at hand, the issue for me isn't that this method of control is in place, it is his smugness about it. He's positively proud of himself that he has this power over her. It's very reminiscent of 6.01 and Sheldon being so proud of "loophole-ing" his way out of a romantic anniversary dinner. He had her trapped, and he was proud...he won...everyone clap for the genius. It was understandable then because he was still getting a grip on the whole relationship thing...their intimacy and emotional growth hadn't really happened yet. There's no good excuse for him having this attitude now that doesn't portray him as a callous egomaniac.I think where many of us might be getting REALLY disgusted is the implication that perhaps Sheldon is just stringing her along with little intention of changing more for her...I mean, why else would he think it's so great? He gets to enjoy the benefits of the relationship without worrying about her running away due to his lack of effort. So, while it makes me want to roll my eyes back in head so hard that it gives me some sort of ocular whiplash, the bigger question in my mind is why would he be acting this way? He's obviously thinking singularly during this episode (and exclusively singularly at that). No one else matters. That's not surprising, since he's going through this big career crisis. He's bound to be more focused on himself than usual. What's interesting is that as Koops has been correctly preaching, the great theme of this season in regard to Sheldon has been him learning to appreciate everyone. And it's not just some interpreted suggestion. Sheldon has shown in previous episodes and in just the previous episode before this one that he's capable of that. He's able to care about Howard and rely on his friends for help and not be a complete ass. This is quite the contradiction. Perhaps his "very on the nose" advice from the psychic has frightened him into a bit of a regression? Maybe? What else might cause him to regress to the point of showing a complete lack of consideration for Amy (besides crap writing)? I mean, an argument can be made that Sheldon still doesn't truly understand the mutually beneficial nature of a healthy romantic relationship. I think many of us have noticed that he's been consistently acting out of his own self-interest most of the time with Amy. Even the kiss...that happened solely because Sheldon wanted it, and the kiss afterwards was (I'm guessing) written into the RA as a way to govern future kisses (because Sheldon needs control). So, maybe this is just more of the same. Has Sheldon still not grasped the concept of altruism in a relationship? We know he's capable of it...he's been selfless with Amy (and others) before...but maybe the idea of acting that way full time is too much? Maybe sex is just too much to negotiate or consider now that he's dealing with a personal crisis? Is he taking a break from "working on it"? Or again, does he really not see the the problem with controlling Amy this way, because he's just patching his insecurity until he can get there and the end will justify the means? I'm not really sure...I mean all of those explanations seem plausible to me (and there are probably others), and I think that we'll know more next week. Something that bothers me even more (and has all damn season) is the intense focus on sex...and I know I'm echoing so many of you here. That seems to be their singular issue...Sheldon won't give it up and Amy's not getting any. And that's annoying, but I have been willing to overlook that in the past as long as there is some attention given to where they both are emotionally, because that is the foundation of any future of their relationship. It's been very difficult to gauge where Sheldon's head is this season with the relationship...and it's even more difficult with Amy. I mean, is she happy? Annoyed? Content? Is she fine with Sheldon writing this into the agreement? Does she have plans of manipulating him as well? Hell if I know. She may be cool with this because she's one step ahead of Sheldon (like we've seen her before). Or again, maybe this from Sheldon is coming from more of a place of fear and reaction to his personal life than general assholery. But we don't know that because we've seen so little of their emotional/intellectual connection this season. As for the finale, I'll again echo many of you in saying that I have no idea what to expect. I can't imagine a declaration of love after this, though. Someone who says something like that cannot really understand love. Having said that, Sheldon is capable of all sorts of things when he's emotionally driven to them, and we have to wonder if Sheldon in this episode is a reflection of some reactionary regression...is he afraid and clinging to the security blanket and remnants of the callous egomaniac he once was, or is he actually this callous and truly fighting against the change that Amy has induced within him? And where the hell is Amy standing emotionally in all of this? I have my own theory, but I think the finale will give us some answers. Sending out vibes of cautious optimism.
  10. Done! HELLO NEW BFF! Nutmeg and Caffeine. We can solve crimes! KOOPS!!! Hello again! I completely agree with what you've said here, and I think you've really highlighted an important point about all of this. Yes, I think all of this is going to have an impact on Sheldon's relationship with Amy, but that impact is really just a result of the bigger change happening...and that's limited to Sheldon alone...and yes, most importantly, Sheldon as a scientist. I would be INCREDIBLY disappointed if this was used as a simple way to get Sheldon to be more empathetic or to get closer to Amy because his career is no longer in the way. Sheldon's career was never in the way, as you said, it's been one of the best things about Shamy...their love for science and interest in their careers. What has been in the way is this delusion idea that Sheldon has about himself through the frame of his career...and I think that this delusion has held him back, not just in his relationship but also in his professional life. He's never going to progress in science thinking he's the golden boy who doesn't make mistakes. Science is all about making mistakes and trying again. This, I think, is what Sheldon is learning now, and I'm really excited to see how they continue this in his professional life. Also, I want to clarify that I think that Sheldon's "humanization" is probably not something he's even aware of, or actively thinking about. This is a big change, but real change and acceptance of that change doesn't happen so fast. I think right now, he's in crisis mode and clinging to whatever help he can get, but in the process, that's making him much more human. It makes him no less of a genius, and I don't for a second want to see Sheldon lose all of his ego and consider himself a "joe six-pack", but he's very obviously socially placing himself on equal levels with Howard and Penny in this episode (whether he realizes it or not), but that doesn't mean he's on their intellectual level, or would ever consider himself that way. It's perfectly reasonable for him to include his genius in his self-concept, and even be cocky and insufferable about it...the problem is that he related that genius to his social standing in the world, which held him back both professionally and personally. I don't think he is accepting his humanity (and he may never...he JUST recently accepted that Amy has changed him, and that took years), I think he's just clinging to it now because his prior self concept is rattled now...again. He'll recover from this, but when he does, he'll have already exhibited these behaviors of empathizing and being more receptive with his friends, and that could be what's going to get him through this, so if and when he climbs his way back up from this, he won't be able to hold the attitude that he had before. I also really like your point about control. This is a chance for Sheldon to take some ACTUAL healthy control over his own life, while learning to roll with the punches...that's part of being an adult (especially in science). It's a good thing that he's not curled in the fetal position, or spiraling out because his ordered life is now disrupted. We know that he's going to struggle with this over the next episode (to the point of not shutting up about it), but that's reflective of that struggle...he's trying to regain control...but that's a much healthier way to work through it than Sheldon of the past would have done. I agree that this would be a good chance to see Amy's support, and to see him accept it and move forward. I still think next episode is showing Sheldon going through this emotionally, and I think that once the chaos has died down a bit, and he's at a place where he can take some suggestions seriously, that we'll see some interaction with Amy, because anything that she does do to try to help, I want to see him take it seriously. And I'm with you...I would LOVE to see some neuroscience SOMEHOW..just for the sake of seeing some more damn neuroscience on the show, but a definite plus if we can see Sheldon involved and not being a smug jerk about it.
  11. *Emerges from the shadows* Hello everyone! I know it’s been ages since I’ve been on, but after seeing this episode, I reeeeeeeally wanted to talk about it! I completely agree, Phanta. I ADORED this episode. I suppose I can see if the humor in it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea (although personally found it just as funny as usual). The reason why I loved it so much, though, was Sheldon’s reaction to this crisis and what that could mean for his character and, more broadly, his relationship with Amy. I LOVE that Sheldon is having this career crisis…I’ve been secretly hoping that this would happen since way back in season 5. If we’re talking about Shamy here, then I think most of us would probably agree that the biggest barrier to Sheldon and Amy’s relationship is Sheldon’s twisted ego. In the beginning, his ego prevented him from ever considering a relationship with anyone (he’s just too damned special for that nonsense). Amy broke through that quite easily, but that wasn’t enough to destroy his ego (the ego is really great at self-preservation through denial). Sheldon’s permanent throne upon his own pedestal is what prevents him from being a decent boyfriend to Amy. How can he logically justify empathizing with her or selflessly acting for her or on her behalf if his ego is still there reminding him how “above it all” he is? His ego keeps him from acting like a human being, which has served him quite well in his life until now, when he’s devoting much of his time to a romantic relationship. So what needs to happen? This delusional self-concept needs to be destroyed because it conflicts with the decisions that he’s made (building a relationship with Amy). In most normal cases, self-concepts in relationships are challenged by the partner, and that’s so natural that we are often calling for Amy to not take Sheldon’s crap. The writers have made it clear, though, that they don’t want Amy to be that. While she has her limits, she’s more supportive and patient than anything else (which we can see very well in this episode). She loves Sheldon too much to be the one that tears him down, even if it would be better for her (insert a “that’s love, bitch” gif here). So if Amy’s not going to be the one to do it, and he needs to be brought down to the human level, how’s it going to happen? By way of the very foundation of his ego in the first place…his work! It’s brilliant, really. Why has he always been special? Because he was going to be the only person smart enough to prove the existence of this insane theory and prove that he’s better than the human race. His whole career has been a fight to stay on top of that pedestal. This episode shows that pedestal (and the foundation for the ridiculous self-concept he’s built over the years) being pulled out from underneath him. Think about how long many of us Shamy shippers have begged for Sheldon to get slapped in the face with reality? I think this episode may be the beginning. I love this episode because how well (considering) he’s handling this, and this episode shows that the reason he’s handling it the way he is is because he’s relying on the support from his friends. How un-Sheldony! How human! I loved how he turned to Penny for help…he values her as a friend, and what she said resonated with him. He’s coming off of his high horse, and he needs someone to speak to his human side. Of course Penny’s comments about this being like a relationship resonated with him…this is a breakup…and a painful one…and Penny’s advice was terrific, and I think what he needed to hear. It took great maturity for Sheldon to listen and follow that advice, too. As for Sheldon listening to Penny about “chilling out” when he was searching for another field, again...I think that resonated with him because that’s what he needed to hear. Leonard and Amy’s suggestions were helpful, but Sheldon was not in the mental or emotional place to be able to process them. He was a wreck, flitting about the bookshelf in crisis-mode, looking for anything. With his brain in the middle of a personal crisis, the suggestion of relaxing and letting it come to him naturally is the most logical one for finding some relief from the stress going on in his mind. What would have happened if he took one of Leonard and Amy’s suggestions? He likely would have found a book and stayed up all night reading and obsessing, judging from the state he was in. So why not have Amy suggest it instead of Penny? Because Amy is his support…she’s going to give him whatever he asks for when he’s in trouble. But what he was asking for was not what he needed, and how could anyone know that? I’m sure Penny didn’t, but Penny is the one who understands how Sheldon is feeling because she’s been there, so it makes sense to me that the advice came from her, and again, it speaks great volumes to Sheldon’s maturity that he took that advice, considering his opinion of Penny on many things. I think Sheldon being more receptive to suggestions from everyone (Penny included) is the best thing for him right now. This is him being human. Because he’s having a career crisis, this is also a personal crisis (because so much of his personal identity was tied into his career), so he’s probably going to be a bit of a mess after this (as we know from the taping report for the last ep). He needs support from his friends, and he needs to be receptive to that support. I understand some frustration about the Penny relationship, but honestly, I love it as a fan of Shamy progress, I’m 100% supportive of him listening to Penny more, because she ships Shamy harder than any of us. Her suggestions to him (and his listening to those suggestions) have historically been and will always be good things for Sheldon and Amy due to the nature of Sheldon and Penny’s relationship. So I do empathize, but just don’t personally feel the anger or disappointment about the whole Sheldon/Penny thing. I’m digging it. I think (if they go the way I'm thinking they might) that this whole crisis with Sheldon will start to teach him how to be a better, more humble person. We're already seeing that in this episode. So his too high self-image will come down, all the while his concept of Amy is growing everyday (because...come on...she's amazing). Anyway…loved the episode…I can’t wait to see where they are taking this. I have high hopes. YES! I do not want to see this forgotten or neatly wrapped up. In reality, something this big will have lasting effects, both professionally and emotionally. (And the writers would be crazy not to fly with this plot just for all of the potential it can bring).
  12. I completely agree here, Koops. That scene just KILLS me, because they were *so close* to making that spanking scene have some real meaning. The three monkeys (in Western culture at least, I'm pretty sure it means something different in the East...must consult the monkey expert, Lio) means morally "looking away" or turning away from moral responsibility for something that you would consider inappropriate, feigning ignorance. Since these monkeys were specifically brought in (and made a big deal about) for this scene, then there would be no other conclusion to make than Sheldon is feigning ignorance about what he's actually doing. He's aware of what this means, but he's using the punishment excuse to allow himself to morally cover his eyes to the whole thing. That would have been huge. Instead, we have a scene that shows a disconnect between Sheldon and Amy's motivations, and it creates a situation showing very little actual intimacy (again, more intimacy was shown in the care that he gave to Amy in prior scenes). To me, that scene shows two people that aren't on the same page, and I don't like seeing that with Sheldon and Amy, who operate very much in sync. Even still, I would like to think that the writers had that intention with making Sheldon's motivations for the spank more than what they were, and in the last minute someone decided to go with shock over substance, so the intentions are still there? Maybe? It's difficult to spin that since removing the monkeys made Sheldon's motivation so unclear. (Lord knows I keep trying to spin it, though.) I do find it interesting that many people who really enjoyed that scene immediately picked up on the idea that Sheldon was more aware than he was letting on, without any clear indication from the writers...I wonder if it's Jim's acting (as he said he had prepared for the scene with the monkeys all week) that made some people instinctively pick up on this? Or maybe it's just a preconceived notion of where Sheldon is in his sexual development, which would also be valid...I mean, this was just a little while after he made a full blown (ha...pun not intended) chicken pecking joke, so some feigned innocence might not be uncharacteristic here, whether it was spelled out for us with the monkeys or not. Still though, just watching the scene alone, it's unclear to me, which drives me crazy because I can tell that the writers originally wanted to go a different way with it. All of that aside, the episode does point out their developing intimacy with everything that Sheldon did to help her, and the frank discussion about trust that happened towards the end. That was all beautiful, and was a good lead up to Love Spell where Sheldon explains that he feels extremely close to Amy...we can really see that in action way back in Fish Guts.
  13. Ah yes, the Star Trek scene. Such good memories. I absolutely agree. Season 5 was a lot about things that were happening with Sheldon under the surface, and towards the end of the season, all of us knew that it was coming to a head somehow. Season six (and seven so far) has been much more in-your-face about the developments, while still trying to ride the fence with Sheldon. To me, the Star Trek scene at the end of season 5 told us more about Sheldon's sexuality than the end of season 6 did. It was extremely clever because the entire point of Sheldon and Amy's story in the episode was that Amy kept doing things that made him happy, which made him uncomfortable because he was feeling himself draw closer to her, and he couldn't do anything to stop it...uncharted territory (which is why the "boldly go" in the very next episode was so meaningful). So we know just from the rest of that episode that this is yet another thing that Amy did to make him happy, and it was working so well that no matter how much it pained him, he wanted it to keep going. That's a huge moment that I think clues us in to both Sheldon's sexuality and his feelings about the intimacy of the relationship at the time while not coming right out and saying much. With much of season 6, and the D&D sex, things were much more on the surface. Sheldon's fears about intimacy were out on the table during Spoiler Alert, and then addressed again, in an incredibly open way, during the D&D sex, which is good. However, the issue I have with it when I compare it to the Star Trek role-playing is that while the D&D sex let us know more about how Sheldon feels about the closeness he feels to Amy (and the fact that he isn't fighting it anymore like he did in Launch Acceleration), it didn't seem to give us any real information about where Sheldon is with sexual attraction, while Launch acceleration (AN ENTIRE YEAR PRIOR) gave us so much. And here we are in season 7 and we're just now getting a drunken ass slap and a statement of pressure, which still leaves wherever Sheldon's head is in regard to sexual attraction in question to me. I think that Launch Acceleration proved that there IS a way to write a Sheldon experiencing sexual attraction and not move him too much or destroy his character or commit to anything, or whatever else the writers might be worried about that's making them hold this card so close to their chests. ETA: OMG THE MONKEYS! THE MONKEYS! QUICK, SOMEBODY GET LIO! She has like...whole essays devoted to the meaning of those monkeys. Very interesting.
  14. I totally agree, and I think I should clarify. I don't believe for a second that Sheldon wants to be "a normal guy" in the majority of aspects that define him. I don't think he ever could be even if he wanted to, and that's good. After all, while drinking, he burped places of Pi...we love that about him, and I'm sure that he loves things like that about himself and has no desire to change. However, the things you mentioned, the attitude on intimacy is one that he's held and been defined by that I think he realizes must be laid to rest. As he's working on personal self improvement, he's changing things about himself that are directly related to intimacy...empathy, expression of feelings, issues of trust amd control. In those ways, I believe he is trying to "normalize", or perhaps the better term would be "de-Sheldonize". The things that he does in this episode deal with those issues, letting go, losing control a bit. I was struck by how very "normal" the whole line of behavior choices were. These were not the actions of "Sheldon Cooper with all of the letters behind his name Robot Homo Novus HEY EVERYONE COME SEE HOW SMART I AM" that man is an illusion. Who Sheldon is trying to be here is Sheldon, just him....without (most of) the crippling defense mechanisms. That's what I mean when I say "normal"...in reality, it's not even close. Sheldon has no intention of changing who he fundamentally is for himself or Amy or anyone, if anything, he's interested in strengthening and coming to terms with who he really is. Part of that does require some embrace of more "normal" behavior, ( and again "healthy" might be a better word here than normal, because for many of Sheldon's behaviors, he sits way outside the range of healthy or normal...some of these behaviors are fine and will likely never die, but others must change since his life priorities have changed) but as far as any sweeping personality changes, Sheldon trying to shift into average Joe would completely defeat the point.
  15. Ah yes! The can and the feelings it is making me feel! So to me, even bigger than the ass slap in 7.09 is what led to it--the decision that Sheldon makes to get drunk in the first place. It's Thanksgiving. He's in a situation he REALLY doesn't want to be in (he doesn't seem to enjoy Thanksgiving to begin with, likely because they trigger bad memories of his father/home life). All of the sudden Bernie's dad steps up and presents himself as a father figure and offers a beer. Sheldon could have very easily sat in the corner all day and acted like a brat (which was his original plan), but he accepted that beer and decided that he was going to make up for those horrible Thanksgivings and relive them more positively. He decides to get off of his high horse and do what "normal guys" do on Thanksgiving. He's going to drink beer and sit on the couch with his father/figure and watch the game. Moreover, he's going to get pissing drunk and enjoy himself. It's a conscious decision to get drunk and let himself go knowing full well what that means. It plays into the whole trying to be more normal kick he's been on for a while...the self improvement. This is a chance to be a "normal guy" in the biggest way, and he takes it. It also plays into the slap, because to Sheldon, it's very "normal guy" (modeled by his father) behavior to slap your girl on the ass and ask for a beer. It's part of the whole experience that he so obviously wants. That's a big deal, but to me, it's heartbreaking. Sheldon's been so "proud" of his not being normal his entire life, but as he's become more aware of his issues, he's realized that not being "normal" has it's price, especially when you're in a relationship that you are committed to and hope to see move forward. And THAT is what it comes down to...he's trying to be a normal guy, which is not easy for him, because that's what it's going to take to be with Amy (as she made it abundantly clear at the beginning of season six). And that's more important than his grand delusions (that were so easy and comfortable to maintain) ever were, thus the effort. That's why in the end, this whole episode is so awesome to me (and yes, even the stupid ass slap, which I cannot possibly be mad at Sheldon about because I know where it comes from in him. He wants to be "normal" because that's what Amy wants, and what he wants to make himself better and be with her, and that's what he perceives "normal guy" behavior to be, thanks to his dad). ...which brings me to the crushed can. There is no way that anyone can convince me that Sheldon Cooper would ever crush a beer can, even when drunk. That behavior is so uncharacteristically "normal" for Sheldon, that the beer can is the material representation of everything that I said above...and it just does things to me. ETA: Plus, what notchinc said.
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