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Everything posted by Chiara

  1. "Submissiveness" is such a strong word. Maybe "masochism" would be more appropriate. No matter what he does, Leonard always ends up around difficult people. We can see that as either a weakness or a partiality. I would be tempted to go for the latter for I believe he, ultimately, likes a good challenge. He enjoys tough, slightly unattainable, alpha-type people : Sheldon, Leslie, Priya, Penny, etc. That, to me, is a show of strength on his part. He likes harsh personalities for, deep down, he is every bit as strong willed and minded as them, just in a different way. His main "power" (if he were a superhero) is resilience for he never gives up and does whatever it takes to achieve his aim : he chose to live with Sheldon (after having seen the writing on the wall... Literally) so he does everything he can to make it go well; he chose Penny as the future mother of his children (after seeing her across the hall and understanding she was not one of his peers), so he gives the relationship his whole; etc. He goes for the toughest of the tough missions and never crumbles. That is pretty impressive. In a way, it is reminiscent of Edison's quote : "Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration". Leonard has the spark of inspiration ("I will live with Sheldon", "I will have children with Penny") after which he is not afraid to put in the hours to make it happen. So I do not think he became more assertive as the show has gone on. In my opinion, he has always been perfectly able to put his foot down when need be (The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis and The Staircase Implementation being prime examples). What has changed is the way in which the people around him react to his shows of strength. Penny has definitely developed the ability to handle Leonard's emotions and behave accordingly (instead of hiding behind tears and/or anger) while, to a much lesser degree, Sheldon has managed to evolve enough to give his friend more room to exist. They cracked. And Leonard was all over it like white on rice ! And now for something different : Yeah ! Penny and Leonard cuddling under a blanket. We have come a long way baby ! There is something moving and ironic about these two giving relationship advice. In the kingdom of the blind...
  2. Thank you so much Monique for the hard work (and nature-defying memory). Both are greatly appreciated. The fight between Bernadette and Howard is a good one in that, to me, Howard is completely in the right. I would be tempted to believe that many of us would rather not spend every waking hour with our S.O.s. Not because there is something we dislike about them but simply because trying to be on one's best behaviour all the time would be exhausting. Bernadette's reaction, though understandable, is clearly over-the-top and I like that she realises it, goes to apologise... Only to do it all over again. It fits the character to a T : she is a firecracker. How sweet of Penny and Leonard to feature as Sheldon's mommy and daddy. They are always there to attempt to guide him through the maze of his relationship and this episode is no exception. Also, I am delighted by Leonard's "love declaration" to his best friend. In spite of everything, Bert and Ernie are so very fond of each other, it warms my heart. I also love that Leonard does not scold his friends at all at the end but rather organises a laser game : boys will be boys. Bonus point for Penny and Leonard cuddling on the couch ! Such a lovely show of domesticity from these two. Amy and Sheldon... Sweet as sugar. There is something fundamentally touching in Sheldon's every attempt at "normalcy", for lack of a less normative word. Here, he tries to behave like he thinks a good boyfriend should but, handicapped by both his impaired ability to read social signals and his very healthy ego, he does not quite nail it. After all, he is a child at heart and, like most children, he is clumsy (the kicking under the table may go down in history as a delightfully perturbed and childlike version of playing footsie). Kuddos to Amy for dealing with her boyfriend in as healthy a way as can possibly be achieved given the circumstances. There is no way this woman is not a zen master of something. Bonus point for Sheldon's attempt at humour : we know he is not great at it, über literal creature that he is. So him doing a little joke (about Sweden, of all places) is something to be treasured. Extra bonus point for Sheldon's trip to Little Sri Lanka : only Dr Cooper could take a simple bus trip home and come back with mutton and coconut milk, by accident ! Mega bonus point for Sheldon's lack of self-awareness or second attempt at humour : "I did not mean me" could be a joke or it could be further proof that Sheldon is not always as aware as could be. Either way, it is superb. (So is Amy's answering smirk) Bonus point of death for Sheldon and the monkey : I want to see those two pulling the same faces. Can only be great. All in all, it sounds like a sweet, fun episode. I cannot wait.
  3. Change the name to Berdon (option B : Shernadette) and I am in !
  4. There is no questioning that he looks and sounds like a fantastically kind, gracious and thoughtful man. I could not be happier about his win. More than deserved. Well done Mr. Parsons.
  5. OMG ! That's exactly how we look and sound like when nobody's watching ! Nous avons été trahis !
  6. I do agree with you wholeheartedly about Leonard already having learnt to appreciate Penny as a whole person. I would even argue that he learnt that a very long time ago, basically since the first time when he noticed that, on top of being a "cheesecake-scented goddess", she was also something of a messy, contradictory, infuriating, maddening woman. This is why I wrote that he would have to "remind himself" that she is important to him as a whole person; not that he would have to "realise" it. He knows, I am sure. Yet, the trend that appears to emerge from this first batch of spoilers is that he might have forgotten, or lost sight of, it. Perhaps he is too busy being dazzled by his own success, in which he never truly believed : he has Penny (in every way now that she has said she loves him), he has professional success, he has amazing friends (he has always had them but still, it is good to know), etc. He pretty much has it all, for now. And he cannot believe his luck. So it would not be inconceivable for him to get a bit too content with the big picture, to the point of forgetting the little (yet essential) things. I could not agree with you more : everything in TBBT is about laughs and mixing things up... Until it is not. The whole ILY debacle in The Wheaton Recurrence was about laughs, until Penny broke down and broke up. Leonard's daydream in The Recombination Hypothesis was a long series of really joke-y scenes, until the experimental physicist put himself out there and asked Penny out. Penny' s reluctance to say ILY was played for laughs in The Date Night Variable and Leonard's jealousy (as well as his girlfriend's exasperation) in The 43 Peculiarity was very funny, until Penny finally said the words. Even Penny's half-baked intention to break up with Leonard in The Decoupling Fluctuation had lots of funny moments, until Sheldon broke into his neighbour's apartment to plead "Please don't hurt my friend". Laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh, oh. Such is the rhythm of TBBT So I have no doubt that Leonard's showing of the tape, refusing to have Penny on his team or cranking up the pathos to get extra sympathy will be funny as hell. Until something else happens... I am merely wondering what the "something else" might be this time.
  7. I think it might be interesting to try to separate what the writers intend to put into their stories and the way we interpret them. Not because our interpretations are worthless or uninteresting (if they are, what in the name of Cthulu have I been doing with my life ?!?), but because it may help us get a clearer view of where things are heading. I believe it was Bill Prady who said, in an interview he gave at Comic Con 2013, that while TBBT writers do not prepare story archs too far ahead, they already had the first seven or eight episodes planned out by then (late August). I found the number interesting for it was roughly a third of a season. It got me thinking that perhaps this is how the writers organise their work year : they divide it into three thirds (give or take a couple of episodes) each representing one story arch, from the formulation of a "problem" to its resolution. The system appears to work, for the most part, for season six : - from The Date Night Variable to The 43 Peculiarity : from Penny refusing to say ILY to her letting it out inadvertently - from The Fish Guts Displacement* to The Tangible Affection Proof : from Sheldon being tricked into giving Amy affection to him doing it willingly and fittingly (I know "something else" happened in The Tangible Affection Proof but be indulgent) - from The Monster Isolation to The Bon Voyage Reaction : from Raj convincing Lucy to give their relationship a chance to her dumping him, seemingly for good. * I believe The Parking Spot Escalation was mostly filler, of the best kind. So we probably should not look at 7.04 as a standalone piece but as part of an arch (the first third of season 7)... within an arch (the whole of season 7) within an arch (the whole show). Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel. Sorry, I am getting lyrical. The seventh season's first third opens on Penny missing Leonard while he is having fun on his trip and is showing his crewmates a video his girlfriend is ashamed of. Please, before any blunt ones and zeroes come flying my way, give me time to say that I know Leonard is innocent in that he is blissfully unaware of Penny's shame. However, allow me to point out that the audience is not. We are told, by the woman herself (i.e. the writers) that the tape is something she wishes to forget and for nobody to know about or watch, immediately after which we are shown Leonard proudly passing it around... Then comes 7.03 and Leonard recoiling at the prospect of Penny being on his scavenger hunt team for fear of her being a hindrance to his victory. And now 7.04 in which he uses Penny's affection to get what he wants. Again, I feel I have to point out I am not saying that Leonard is a villain or that the writers intend to portray him as such. To turn Dr Hofstadter into a bad guy, they would have to dismantle him and rebuild him from gene one, which I am sure they have no intention or desire to do (let us not forget that he is their guy, their homeboy, their and the show's hero). Nevertheless, a pattern is definitely emerging from the first handful of spoilers we have at our disposal and its theme does not seem to be "Penny has to learn to respect Leonard and his boundaries". If anything, it appears to be the other way around. This season's first of three arches may very well be "Leonard has to remind himself (and Penny) that she is important to him as a whole person and not just as a remarkably well wrapped provider of satisfaction". It is certainly not a bad arch and it, to me at least, does not shine a bad light on Leonard at all. It carries the possibility of deepening the relationship to a hitherto uncharted extent by forcing Dr Hofstadter to investigate and analyse his feelings for his girlfriend. Basically, imagine The Recombination Hypothesis but with Leonard having to describe what is going on in his gigantic brain. That could be cool. (Sidenote : the October return of Pr "what do the two of you talk about ?" Proton may help catalyse the reaction.) Given this context, Penny calling Beverly is probably not, in what I believe to be the writers' eyes, such a transgression; it is a (very) tough but fair retaliation for, to TPTB, Beverly is not abusive; she is emotionally retentive and comically clueless. Now, I will grant you that they certainly push the envelope as far as they can with references to the trauma she appears to have caused her son but at no point is she painted as vicious or mean-spirited. It is tempting to draw a parallel between her and the other mothers on the show, especially Mrs. Wolowitz. One could easily say that the latter has been as gormlessly detrimental to her son's emotional welfare as Dr. B. Hofstadter has been to her progeny's yet nobody, I believe, would think of calling the legendarily rotund yiddishe mame "abusive" or "destructive". If Bev is not meant to be a villain, then there is no real downside to Penny calling her to the rescue to punish Leonard for his accidentally (and somewhat unwillingly) manipulative ways.
  8. I do apologise for being annoying here but, since I do agree with you about visual clues being very important on television, I have to say that Beverly is not a brunette. Leslie and Priya are, undoubtedly. Penny is definitely blond. Beverly is somewhere in the middle. My initial post probably lacked subtlety. I am sorry. There is no doubt in my mind that Penny is a warm, affectionate person. She would go to war for her friends and is always there for them when they need her. However, she also has 1) a remarkable sense of self-preservation which gives her very sharp edges and 2) a certain detachment which makes it difficult for peope and/or events to get to her significantly, in any way including positively. While those aspects of her personality became more apparent in the third, fourth and fifth seasons, they were already there in the first couple of years. She crushed Howard's very soul in The Killer Robot Instability (yes, Howard was being a douchebag and deserved to be called out but she went straight for the jugular, no mercy); she obliterated and humiliated Leonard in The Nerdvana Annihilation (I know she was rightfully tired and frustrated but wow !); she physically threw Leonard out of her apartment in The Maternal Capacitance (he just said she had daddy issues...); she said she was devastated over her breakup with Kurt in the pilot but was kissing another guy two episodes later in The Fuzzy Boots Corollary (could be rebound, could be proof that she was already over her "soul crushing" heartbreak); etc. So, in spite of her undeniable loyalty and mama bear qualities, she has always displayed the ability to be pretty volatile, aggressive and/or cold when need be. Once paired with Leonard (season 3), those characteristics, especially the last one, became more visible due to the contrast with Dr Hofstadter's extreme emotionality. But they were always there. Lurking Penny is one hell of a tough nut to crack. Just the fact that it took Leonard two years of relentless efforts to get her to be with him puts her in the same "unattainable/tough to please" category as Beverly. I realise that her reasons for resisting Leonard had nothing to do with indifference, for she was far from insensitive to the gorgeous homunculus's charm. But by vertue of her denying his wishes of togetherness for so long, she is symbolically closer to Mommy Dearest than Alex will ever be. Which leaves us with the conundrum of all conundrums : Why are Penny and Leonard so right for each other ? Leonard has to get on that one, stat. I want to see him try to wrap his mind around it and realise that string theory is child's play compared to that equation.
  9. I do not know how feasible that truly is. Beverly, for all her shortcomings, is a mother. And writers usually find it hard to go after mothers because of the mystique, for lack of a better word, surrounding them. So in fiction nothing truly bad usually ever happens to them, may it be an accident or a comeuppance, without it looking a bit tragic. However, I could see some strong "negociation" occurring between her and Penny (not so much Leonard for he shall forever remain pure). These two, in spite of their differences, have some weird mutual respect thing going on which could be used by Leonard's girlfriend to have Beverly behave in a more acceptable manner. I do not think Penny is afraid to confront Leonard per se. She did it in The 43 Peculiarity and The Egg Salad Equivalency without too much trouble. The 7.04 is different in that, in Penny's eyes, Leonard uses her love for him against her : he takes advantage of her affection to get what he wants from her. Now, we know that he does not really do it on purpose; he serendipitously discovers that Penny's compassion makes her particularly compliant and cannot help himself because he does not want to watch the game... There is no evil plan at work. But to Penny, it may look quite different. Perhaps, from where she stands, it appears premeditated. And even, oddly familiar. Remember how Kurt used to ask stuff (usually money) from Penny because he knew she would not say no ? In The Tangerine Factor, Penny wondered whether she was only attracted to jerks or turned the guys she was attracted to into jerks. In her mind, it had to be the one or the other because all her boyfriends revealed themselves to be morons at some point or another. Then came Leonard, the non-jerky (actually adorable) boyfriend. Curse broken, problem solved, right ? Except that in 7.04, he behaves a tiny little bit like a jerk. Not a real jerk, of course, but something vaguely similar to one, at least from her viewpoint. So she nips it in the bud, once and for all. Hulk style. Does she go overboard, considering what we know (lack of premeditation on Leonard's part) ? A resounding yes. Does she go overboard, considering what she knows/assumes (possible premeditation on Leonard's part) ? Well... As Zhalen565 pointed out, this reference to Leonard being attracted to Penny because she is, unlike his mother, a "good-natured simpleton" is quite contentious for it took place in Leonard's daydream (The Recombination Hypothesis). Did Beverly really write that or did Leonard imagine it ? If Beverly wrote it, how can we be sure she is right, considering she only spent a grand total of what ? Six hours with Penny ? If Leonard imagined it, was it because he believes it to be true or because he was subconsciously trying to talk himself out of asking Penny out ? Whatever the answers to those questions are, the "good-natured simpleton" hardly computes for Penny is neither a simpleton (the definition of that word would have to be stretched beyong recognition for it to fit her) nor particularly good-natured (she can be pretty inconsiderate when she feels like it). As for Leonard being attracted to women who are polar opposites to his mother, well... Leslie Winkle and Priya Koothrappalli shoot this theory down. Even Penny, while not academically accomplished, is not that different from her future mother-in-law : emotionally constipated, tough, a bit aloof, forthcoming when drunk, etc. Alex is much more of a polar opposite to Beverly than Penny is yet Leonard shows no interest in her. So why is Leonard so madly in love with Penny ? And vice versa ? So far, the writers have provided us with no real explanation. They have, time and time again, shown us that there is nobody for Leonard but Penny (she is the only one who can accept him for all that he is) and nobody for Penny but Leonard (who can take her as a whole). But why that is ? Mystery. I have to confess I would love to see the characters try to "riddle me this" onscreen. I think it would be entertaining. Especially in Leonard's case since he is a scientist, a man used to making sense out of things. To witness his efforts (and possible failure) at understanding why, out of three and a half billion women, "the one" for him is a Nebraska cowgirl with a 'tude should be hilarious.
  10. I am delighted Howard is not the one who messes up this time. Let us see how Mrs Bossypants manages her apology ! I have a tupsy turvy feeling for this beginning of season. The ones who usually screw things up in their relationships (Howard, Sheldon, Penny) become the "good", "responsible", "devoted" ones and their partners (Bernadette, Amy, Leonard), used to being mature and making everything better, give less than stellar performances. Interesting.
  11. The taping report does not provide us with much information in relation to the tone of the scenes (nor should it. That is what the actual episodes are for ). But I have the feeling that Penny does not really tease Leonard with the information she gets from the book; she merely asks for extra details. Why does she do that, when Leonard very obviously wants her to drop the topic altogether ? It could be because she wishes to do well in her class (Leonard knows everything there is to know about the book so, in her mind, he can explain all the confusing parts... Thereby forgetting that Leonard's childhood was just a long series of confusing parts) or it could be because she endeavours to know her boyfriend better and sees this as a perfect opportunity. It could even be a blend of both. As far as we know, she teases him twice, and both times about information he volunteers. The first is when he tells her the book focuses on everything that came out of his body when growing up (and she asks whether there are photographs); the second is when he indicates he used to favour the left breast when nursing as an infant (to which she replies that he still does). Now, considering that he offers those details, it would not be unreasonable of Penny to take that as a tacit authorisation to defuse the situation with jokes. As for Leonard's "retaliation", I believe it is important to note that he does not come up with the idea. In a way, Penny gives it to him. At first, Leonard does not want to go to a bar to watch the game and tells his girlfriend. She assumes his reluctance to go out is due to his book-related embarrassment and suggets they stay at her place. That is Leonard's a-ha moment : he then realises that a compassionate Penny means a cooperative Penny so he tries his luck. And it works. It works once, twice, thrice... Leonard becomes dizzy wih power and cannot stop himself ! At no point does he set out to punish Penny for having mocked him. He simply (and accidently) stumbles upon an "open sesame" that makes his girlfriend super duper nice and cannot help himself. Until, of course, the proverbial cat is let out of the idiomatic bag and Penny goes thermonuclear on his cute little tushie. While I definitely agree with you on Penny's need to develop better, more sensistive, "tools" to handle Leonard, I feel like this plot is more about Dr. Hofstadter discovering the perks of requited loved and going a teeny bit mental with them. For the first time in his life, he is with a woman who loves him as much as he loves her and the consequences of that (e.g. Penny offering compassion without him having to beg for it) surprise and thrill him... A tad too much. It is a learning curve; he will get there. On a more general note, what could possibly be the mistake Amy spots in Raiders of the Lost Ark ? I doubt it could be the submarine thing (that was mentioned before) so what is it ? Amy is a neuroscientist who works a lot with monkeys... Could it have something to do with the Monkey Man's trained capuchin ?
  12. I see what you mean but had Penny involved the police after the little "breaking/entering/cleaning" incident, there would be no Lenny today. My lips are sealed... However, I will say this : fun times ! PS The "like this" quota has been driving me a tad nuts since yesterday...
  13. The opposite of "the square of suspicion" ? I do apologise for being so profoundly immature. But I swear it was funny in my head.
  14. Alex Schmalex ! She would never last with Leonard : whoever his girlfriend is, she has to be able to handle Sheldon. I give Alex five minutes before she calls the cops and tries to have Dr Cooper arrested for something or other. Penny is the only woman who has shown she can take Leonard as a whole : successful scientist, geeky goofball, damaged puppy, passive-aggressive imp, devoted father figure, big baby, etc. Which is good because Leonard is the only guy who has proven capable of accepting Penny as the beautiful bundle of issues that she is : emotionally constipated, compassionate, academically illiterate, smart, fiercely defensive, funny, etc.
  15. There is a part of my brain dying to be flippant and say : because the writers love drama. But I shall ignore this pernicious lobe and answer : because Penny loves drama. She is an actress to the core and there is nothing she likes more than making a scene. Her previous relationships were a series of breakups and reconciliations, of hookups and screaming matches. That is what she knows and has grown to define as a "proper relationship" : meet, hook up, fight, reconcile, have sex, repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 ad nauseam until one of the participants gives up, move on with your life, back to step 1, etc. The couple she forms with Leonard does not follow that pattern. Leonard is high-maintenance, an "until death do us part" sort of guy and Penny knew it in 6.02. She knew it all the better because he had pretty much told her so by proposing. This ill-timed offer forced her to imagine their relationship in the long run. She could not simply wonder whether Leonard was the man she wanted to be with this week, this month or even this year. She had to ask herself whether she truly wished to spend the rest of her natural existence with him. So for a while she wobbled. She was no longer certain she wanted to commit to Leonard for the next 40 to 50 years. Then she realised that : - even if she was not sure she wanted to spend the rest of her life with Leonard, she was sure as hell she did not want anybody else to do it either (6.03); - living with Leonard for the next handful of decades meant getting to listen to him talk about the universe and that was definitely something to look forward to (6.05). Then all was well in the land... Basically what I am trying to say is that she got pre-wedding jitters. While I know that she answered "no" to Leonard's proposal, thereby technically putting marriage "off the table", I also know this : with these two, marriage (very much like sex and "smart and beautiful" babies) is never really "off the table". The table may be big and there may be lots of plates and glasses in the way, but it is on there.
  16. I guess it was part of the launching pad for the ILY. The writers needed to show how fragile the relationship was, how uncertain Penny felt intially, for her subsequent epiphany (first her jealousy towards Alex, then her interest in Leonard's work and finally her love declaration) to pack some punch. I suppose there might have been a slightly less utilitarian aspect to it as well. It is after all easy to become dissatisfied with one's life, imagining that the grass will be greener somewhere else. Penny, in 6.02, was shown to have lost sight of the reasons why she got involved with Leonard in the first place and the next three episodes served as reminders.
  17. It sometimes may look a bit like that. My understanding of it is that many viewers really want Leonard's quest to be successful; they wish him to be happy. Mostly because he is the hero but also because he has all the adorability of a basketful of kittens. So when Penny fails to cooperate and/or does not contribute to his happiness, which happens on a semi-regular basis because she is about as headstrong as a mule with a remarkably stubborn streak and will not have anyone tell her what to do, some fans get a little frustrated with her. I like both characters equally so it is sometimes a bit tough to pick a side when their stances are mutually exclusive. All we have to do is remember that TPTB decided, in the pilot no less, that these two characters would end together. That is their narrative destiny. Furthermore, and in spite of all the roadbumps and downright bloodbaths the Lenny has gone through, let us not forget that the writers have their creatures' best interests at heart. So, in the immortal words of wisdom of the woman of the hour, "buck up, sissy pants". We have not been through two years of courtship, countless fights, a breakup in a bowling alley, a relationship with Priya, a drunken hookup with Raj, a "I don't want to get back together with Penny", a catastrophically ill-timed proposal, an almost breakup, a disastrous Valentine's Day dinner and four months in the North bloody Sea to lose faith over a pesky little lie and an intervention by Mommy Dearest !
  18. I definitely see what you mean. It is always a delight to see the Bonnie and Clyde of Pasadena close ranks and go on a rampage together. Luckily, we will get a tiny taste of that in 7.02 when it is just them, trying to hide from Sheldon. But in 7.04, Beverly is at the very centre of the Lenny interaction. Unlike in The Panty Pinata Polarization, where Penny called Mary to the rescue "just" to obliterate Sheldon (regardless of the reasons behind the feud between her and her neighbour), here she calls Mommy Dearest to the rescue because the Dragon Lady is, in a way, an interested party. Without her, no book. Without the book, no trauma. No trauma, no compassion. No compassion, no deception. If Penny had mobilised Mamma Hofstadter to settle any other score between her and Leonard, I would agree with you wholeheartedly and find Penny's action decidedly unjustified. Worse even, profoundly disloyal. In this particular case however... It is sort of fitting. Also, and this is a small detail, we do not know exactely what Beverly tells her son when she sees him on Skype. TPTB went through the trouble of having Ms. Baranski film something for them from NYC so her character must say something. Does she chastise her son ? Does she start analysing why he did what he did ? Does she, gasp, attempt to help him, in her own weird, pathologically traumatising way ?
  19. Well he is a grown homunculus Leonard is indeed very much a grownup yet he still has many childlike and adolescent personality traits. In fact, his whole geeky side has the innocence and cluelessness usually associated with childhood. This aspect of him is highlighted in 7.04 where his attitude is, more than anything else, childish. Definitely not evil, absolutely not mean, not really manipulative, certainly not ill-intended. Just childish. He finds a way to get his favourite "baby sitter" (in this case Penny) to do his bidding and give him more "toys" so... He goes for brokes and milks the situation for all that it is worth until he gets caught. In a way, it makes She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named's appearance all the more fitting (though still Kraken-releasing over-the-top) : mommy comes back to lay down the law. On a more general note, I believe we are going to have to brace ourselves for Penny and Leonard still have a lot to learn. Last season was very much focused on Penny's need for improvement. She started the year in an appalling fashion : she refused to say ILY, tried to break up with Leonard and declared their relationship "boring". Nevertheless, she woke up in the nick of time and went on to achieve tremendous progress : saying ILY, going back to college, admitting she has commitment issues, finding her true passion, proving her worth as an actress, developping an interest for Leonard's line of work, standing by her man during the tenure confrontation, selflessly encouraging him to go on the North Sea trip, etc. This year, it seems it is Leonard's turn to fall, pick himself up, dust himself off and keep going. For all his greatness, he is still very much a man who has no experience of durable happiness or long-term relationships so he is bound to mess up : get a little cocky, a little too confident, etc. The tension between him and Penny is probably going to build up until it reaches its first climax during November Sweeps (like last year, when The 43 Peculiarity aired on 15th November). There will be some ugliness along the way; the ride will be bumpy but they will get there. Better and improved (and just a little bruised).
  20. It is a perfectly justified wish which I share. However, and just in this instance, the comparison between Leonard's and Penny's reactions to each other's offense may not be entirely valid. Penny screwed up baaaadly in The Tangible Affection Proof. But she did it over the span of a couple of hours. She messed up completely and uncontrolably without any opportunity to stop, think, calm down and recalibrate. From Leonard's viewpoint, it looked like a momentary loss of control, symptomatic of a larger issue. In 7.04, Leonard makes a pig's breakfast of the whole thing for a couple of days. Over those 48-72 hours, he has more than enough time to rethink his course of action and give up on it yet he keeps going. From Penny's standpoint, it may look like premeditation. Now, we know for a fact that the whole series of events is not the result of Leonard's master plan. He simply spots a chink in Penny's armour so to speak, goes for it once (to see if it works and to avoid watching sports which he hates) and then gets carried away. That is hardly evil. But does Penny know that ? To her, it may seem like a concerted effort to exploit her "weakness", to take advantage of her love/sympathy/affection for him. So the resentment and desire for revenge increase.
  21. While I understand the disappointment it causes, I believe the call to Beverly is mostly due to a concern for symmetry : he uses his mother (and the trauma associated with her) to get what he wants; Penny uses his mother to deny him what he wants. It is over-the-top but not completely out of left field. Penny wronged him before and he, too, went a bit crazy with his retaliation. Remember how he called her "stupid", or something to that effect, in The Ornithophobia Diffusion ? It was a "that escalated quickly" moment. I know Penny was not being his greatest supporter in that scene but his jab took it to a completely different level. The Lenny is no stranger to death matches. As for Leonard's behaviour in the episode, well... It is understandable. Leonard has always defined himself as the guy who cannot catch a break. That is his default setting and identity, both in his own eyes and in the writers'. Now, for the first time in his life, he has caught a break. Everything is going his way, both on the professional and the personal fronts : he was chosen by Hawking to go on a scientific mission; the data he helped bring back look promising; he is dating a beautiful, fun, smart young woman who, after many years of to-and-fro, finally said ILY; she missed him for four months and, after his return, overcame one of her fears and let him stay at her place for two full days; etc. I believe he has no bloody idea what to do with himself. Sure, he may be struttin' his stuff like he is 5'6'' but aside from that, he is completely ill-equipped to handle his current situation. So he goes overboard and mismanages his newly found leverage. Let's consider ourselves lucky he has not wet himself just yet ! I have said it before, I shall say it again : "Careful Icarus" seems to be the theme the writers have chosen to explore through Leonard in this season's early days. It looks like they are setting up the stage for a comeuppance, a teachable moment. TBBT is in its seventh season and, as much as I would love for it to, it is not going to go on forever. A ten/eleven-season run is highly probable which means that we are entering the end of the second act. And the hero always fails and makes the situation worse at this juncture of a three-act structure (I am truly sorry for boring you all again with that sort of talk but I believe it is relevant) : at that point in the story, the protagonist lacks the skills to achieve his/her goal (and the self-awareness to use those skills properly) so s/he buggers everything up. I think this is what we are seeing right now. It is a learning curve for Leonard but, let us not fear, he will get there (and so will Penny). I seriously doubt the writers can break them up now without messing up their whole story and attention rationing (a breakup needs time allotted to it to be done properly but between the Shamy, the Hernadette, Raj's quest for love, the geeky moments and the jokes... There simply is not enough of it for a separation to happen). I foresee a big fight in the Lenny's nearish future. It may be ugly but it will be useful. It will set things straight, allow Leonard to develop the tools to handle success and happiness in a healthy fashion and give Penny the reassurance she may start needing.
  22. I am not sure if sprinkles visits this website but if so, thank you so very much for your effort and great work. It must be a real pain in the bottom to try to remember all that and the summary is great. Thank you again. Now, let's go from the easiest to the most contentious, shall we ? Raj and Stuart : bless their hearts, they are trying. Both are good guys but have absolutely no idea how to address women. Those bits of profiles they describe onscreen are... unfortunate to say the least. They still have a lot to learn in the way of romance, poor souls. But I admire their determination. They are willing to put themselves out there and see what happens; that is kind of brave. Amy and Sheldon : a Sheldon on the warpath is a Sheldon I always like. There is something delightfully childlike about his pettiness that makes me laugh. However, this storyline seems to go further than a classic example of him seeking revenge. The writers appear to have used this plot to compare the respective preferences of the girls and the boys : it is Indiana Jones v. Jane Austen; Star Trek v. The Little House on the Prairie... And interestingly, especially for a show so heavily focused on geek culture, the girls' side of the argument sort of wins ! In a way, it is a callback to The Bakersfield Expedition in which the girls decided to investigate the boys' universe in person and found it much more fascinating than previously thought. In 7.04, Sheldon (for less than noble reasons) exposes himself to Amy's (the girls') cultural bakground and finds it not as flawed as he imagined he would. That is an interesting twist. Also, I have to say I like Sheldon's mini epiphany in re. his parents and his own compulsive need for revenge. First, he compares his couple with Amy to his parents (that is sort of a plus) and secondly, he realises that his attitude is not due to his genius (what is usually considered the root of pretty much everything as far as he is concerned) but to his upbringing. That is a teeny breakthrough. Finally, kuddos to Amy for being so unfazed by his attempts at ruining her most beloved cultural works. She is one strong and resilient woman. Leonard and Penny aka « this week's bone of contention » Leonard knows that what he is doing is not very nice; he says so to Howard. While I agree with him, I also have to say that it is not all that dreadful, surely ? He does not use his « power » just for sex. He also mobilises it to get Penny to watch TV programs that put even him to sleep. Basically, he lays it a tad thick in the victim department to be in the driver seat. There is no doubt that he is genuinely perturbed by his mother's book. Who would not be ? So he goes « lemons lemonade » and cranks up the trauma to get positive attention. He milks the situation for what it is worth... See what I did there ? About an episode in which his breastfeeding habits are discussed, I say he « milks »... This is a pathetic attempt at levity ! In my opinion, it is not character assassination but character continuation. For the first time in his life, Leonard is in a relationship with a woman who loves him as much as he loves her. It is unknown territory for him. He has no freaking clue what to do with all his newly found confidence. So he messes up. As he should. Penny's reaction is... as Hulk-like as I had imagined it would be. She goes for the kill, junior rodeo style, and releases the Kraken : live by the mother, perish by the mother. It may not be the healthiest of responses but it is perfectly in keeping with the character who does have a tendency to go thermonuclear when being played for a fool. We will see how it plays out but my guess is it will be fine.
  23. Amy told Sheldon about Penny's doubts, I think.
  24. Bernadette is one of Penny's closest friends. She knows and likes Leonard very much, for sure, but they are nowhere near as devoted to each other as Bernadette and Penny. The girls' allegiance is to one another; not to the guys. I for one do not see any discrepancy.
  25. Amy discovered that being sick (a negative) meant receiving more and better attention from Sheldon (a positive) so she artificially extended her illness to get some extra "positive". Perhaps Leonard will realise that Penny reading his mother's book (a negative) leads her to asking questions about his childhood and reacting with extra compassion whenever a particularly sad/strange anecdote comes up (a positive). So maybe he will up the ante a tad and lay it a bit thicker than necessary (or true) to get even more affection. It is just a hypothesis of course. And never did I think of Leonard as being manipulative or shady. I do apologise if my post made it look like that was my stance. I just believe he could show himself to be just a teeny bit (and adorably) devious in his quest for all the extra cuddles he can get.
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