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7.24 'the Status Quo Combustion' (May 15)

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Lionne, I bow down to your post...to paraphrase the immortal words of Wayne and Garth..."I am not worthy, I am not worthy!!"

 

(I will also heed your warning and keep an eye out for those bad azz, jail-bait, mofo cliffs the next time I seek a Slurpee!)

 

To add some topical content...I did quite enjoy the finale, the train station scene in particular was so well done on all fronts, writing, acting, location.  I had a few things I wasn't too thrilled with, but did not take away from the overall enjoyment of the episode.

 

Fingers are well and truly crossed that "The Show" will follow through with the changes that seem to have been set up at the end of this season.  If not, I fear tables will be flipped, mobs will become angry, and lots of sad-face emoticons :-( will appear on the forums.

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[snip]

Quite a pair, aren't they?

The metaphor of the scientific principle even plays out. A universe in which there exists such a thing as an irresistible force is, by definition, a universe which cannot also contain an immovable object. And a universe which contains an immovable object cannot, by definition, also contain an irresistible force. They both cannot co-exist, the two would appear as if they are resting, but are actually transferring their infinite energies from one to the other. Equilibrium or a relation would never be establieshed since we're dealing in the infinite regarding energy, and it is an endless burning fire, of sorts, that these two are playing which which really could only end by going supernova, imploding into an endless black hole. Or, basically, a status quo combustion. Now only one is left, for they cannot exist together. Heavens, but please tell me writing Amy and Sheldon along the lines of this stupid metaphor is over.

[snip]

 

So your first point here (they can't both exist as a matter of definition) is a point of logic not science.

 

Looking at this from a physics point of view to have one or the other (actually both) of these properties an object would need infinite mass. The entire observable universe (including super massive black holes) has less than infinite mass. .

 

Back to TBBT. I can see how Sheldon night be considered Immovable but  I don't get how you think  Amy is irresistible. Actually even Sheldon has changed so he is not immovable.

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@Lionne

I don't know what to say..

if I were more fluent in English, I would've say something more nice and neat,

but OMG is all I can say. Shame on me!

Thank you so much for your profound reply.

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Did anyone notice that in this episode when Raj told everyone that he had sex with Emily that EVERYONE, INCLUDING SHELDON was happy for him. Usually, Sheldon would have made some snide comment about coitus being off-putting and unnecessary, or even roll his eyes but NOOOOOOO... he was happy for his friend. HMMMMMM... i wonder what is going through that bulbous  head of his!    :yahoo:

 

 

 

(i'm just putting this in here to lighten the mood a little.... we all know that Shamy will pull through in the end unless Mayim's contract ends and she doesn't sign on again or the writers decide this plot line was too heavy and complicated and write Amy off the show)

Edited by Kelli
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The second half of the season  I compare it to opening  of Pandora's box because opening pandora's box refers to getting into a situation over which one has very little control over and this is the situation where Sheldon find himself at the and of the season .When Pandora's box open the only thing that is left is hope   ie Penny's words. I know this is  analytical and maybe  doesn't make sense  but i wanted to share my thought and what reminds me this second half of season

Edited by alexaasweet

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Did anyone notice that in this episode when Raj told everyone that he had sex with Emily that EVERYONE, INCLUDING SHELDON was happy for him. Usually, Sheldon would have made some snide comment about coitus being off-putting and unnecessary, or even roll his eyes but NOOOOOOO... he was happy for his friend. HMMMMMM... i wonder what is going through that bulbous  head of his!    :yahoo:

 

I think he

 

a ) was actually kinda happy for him, he knows the importance of sex, especially for someone like Raj.

b ) used this news as to distract the group even further of the Lenny news, knowing what it would result in (changing living conditions).

Edited by Chiany

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Back to TBBT. I can see how Sheldon night be considered Immovable but  I don't get how you think  Amy is irresistible. Actually even Sheldon has changed so he is not immovable.

 

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. 

Edited by NutMeg
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I think he

 

a ) was actually kinda happy for him, he knows the importance of sex, especially for someone like Raj.

b ) used this news as to distract the group even further of the Lenny news, knowing what it would result in (changing living conditions).

perhaps the first reason... but still, it's not like Sheldon to be happy about "sex" whether it concerns him or not

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perhaps the first reason... but still, it's not like Sheldon to be happy about "sex" whether it concerns him or not

 

But in the context it made sense.

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My 13 year old son had an insight.  I think he was trying to get me out of the fetal position after I watched the show with him.

 

"Mom, the writers had to break him to make him better.  Look, he doesn't even react or even flinch when Penny kisses him.  They broke him and they are sending him away to be fixed.   He'll be the modern day, physicist Steve Austin."

 

Thank you METV and the retro reruns m' boy likes.   He can rebuild him, we have the technology....

 

http://youtu.be/i5zn-mF2-_8

Edited by Such a Hag
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Kelli, Mayim, as is Melissa, are signed through the end of season ten. Actually, they've been signed to the end of season 10 since they became regulars. They recently renegotiated their contracts, so Amy will be on the show in some form until the currently planned end at the end of season 10.

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I hope that Mayim gets an increase in enthusiasm for shamy, she's very much "I like the slowness" where as captain Jim is "yes, let's make some"

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I hope the producers and writers do whatever they think is best for the show, and not bend to the fevered desires of the Shamys.

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Well hopefully the writers and Shamys have the same desires so everybody wins ;) Although I kinda think that the Shamys don't have one unified desire. Well I tried :p

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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. 

 

With Amy I was meaning to say she is persistent rather than irresistible. Leonard was also incredibly persistent. Actually many real people are.

 

Penny, unlike Sheldon, was indecisive. Sheldon is suborn and fearful of moving out of his comfort zone. Like a mouse on occasion he scurries out but he never stays out in the open for long. I think with Amy and Sheldon we are seeing a repeat of Leonard/Penny but with twists and reversals.  Just like in Narnia

1069006.jpg

“Things never happen the same way twice.”

C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian

 

. When movement occurs it is all the more effective because the journey was not so easy.

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Well hopefully the writers and Shamys have the same desires so everybody wins ;)

 

Perhaps they do, but I think I can guarantee that there will always be certain factions of The Shamys that won't be happy no matter what the writers do. Comes with the territory, not just here but in any fandom.

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With Amy I was meaning to say she is persistent rather than irresistible. Leonard was also incredibly persistent. Actually many real people are.

 

Penny, unlike Sheldon, was indecisive. Sheldon is suborn and fearful of moving out of his comfort zone. Like a mouse on occasion he scurries out but he never stays out in the open for long. I think with Amy and Sheldon we are seeing a repeat of Leonard/Penny but with twists and reversals.  Just like in Narnia

1069006.jpg

“Things never happen the same way twice.”

C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian

 

. When movement occurs it is all the more effective because the journey was not so easy.

 

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). 

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Perhaps they do, but I think I can guarantee that there will always be certain factions of The Shamys that won't be happy no matter what the writers do. Comes with the territory, not just here but in any fandom.

I will definitely not argue with that. I think you have a point but I doubt that these people are that many as to have an actual impact in what direction the writers want to take. Something big as the views on the first SIK on youtube in such a short time is enough to indicate that a considerable number of people like that relationship. Otherwise I cannot see a fan initiated movement by a subcategory of a shipping that big to have an actual impact on the writers.

Same goes with other fandoms and other shippings of course tho in this case admittedly Shamy is the hot topic.

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After finally having time to read the walls of posting, I guess I have some additional thoughts.

 

It's hard sometimes, I think, to separate what seems to be the narrative or psychology of the characters that the writers may be trying to communicate from what the fans begin to read into the scenes and dialog, from the everyday workman writing that goes on in a sitcom where they are trying to tell a story, but also hit the joke timing and, with this show, surely, not to get too bogged down in sentiment.  I think Lorre has mentioned in some of his vanity cards his inability to sustain a truly sentimental/emotional scene without popping the bubble with a joke.

 

So, for me, I find it a bit easier to stand back a little and look at the story and the characters from a little distance, I guess.

 

For me, the whole "irresistable force/immovable object" description was never meant to be taken too literally or too far, but was rather a handy metaphor for what they envisioned in the sense of the difference in Sheldon and Amy's perspective on the relationship.  Sheldon is all about the status quo--as we are so unmistakenly reminded in the finale--and Amy is into growth and progress.

The writers did point out that once Amy got a taste of having a solid social circle, she began seeking out those things she had missed out on growing up--girlfriends, boyfriends, hanging out at the mall or going out drinking, even playing around with make up, etc.--while Sheldon had apparently done his best all his life to limit any changes to the things he liked while growing up--science, trains, comic books, video games, etc.--while only begrudgingly allowing changes in other aspects, like having friends.  He would accept new relationships, but only stubbornly and only within tight parameters (primary, secondary, tertiary friends, roommate agreements, etc.)

 

So once they met and discovered an affinity for each other, their relationship was purely their own--though the others teased them about being bf/gf, Amy was still on the outside with only Sheldon as her connection to the group.  But once Penny and Bernie began to include her (or Amy began to include herself--"I'm a girl"), Amy's perspective on her relationship with Sheldon began to change and she was obviously smitten with him in a more open or self-aware way than he was with her.  I think he was smitten, but he just didn't recognize it consciously.

I think this led to the inequality in their approach to their relationship, with Amy flirting more with Sheldon, the drunken kiss, etc., while Sheldon was still trying to operate under their original paradigm (see there, musician used a science term!)

 

So, to me, this is as far as the original metaphor of "irresistible force/immovable object" figures.  And besides, if you're familiar with the old song, the chorus is, "Something's gotta give, something's gotta give, something's gotta give".

 

I think the more apt description is the turtle/snail thing, and I think that's more where we've been.  What seems like an eternity for Amy seems barely a moment for Sheldon, though they're both moving incredibly slowly compared to everyone around them.

 

And again, I think that the only reason we hear these metaphors for their relationship is that everyone's constantly asking them to talk about what's going on with the two of them.  They have to try to explain, so a handy little soundbite seems to suffice.

Though I do think that they've used these images when it comes to trying to put Sheldon and Amy in specifically romantic or "couple-y" situations, like Valentine's Day or whatever.  If Amy is the turtle and Sheldon is the snail, how would that affect how they each see a situation like a trip to Napa on the train?  And so forth.

 

As for Amy or Sheldon manipulating each other or whatever you want to call it, I don't know whether the writers are really thinking that way, or if in their efforts to achieve certain developments--good, bad, or indifferent--they find it easier to fall back on certain tropes--Amy seeking one thing, Sheldon seeking another, or ignoring what she's seeking, or being oblivious.

 

I don't really think their intention is to make either of them bad for each other or mean to each other, but I do think that they seem to have been trying to show that Sheldon is happy with the equilibrium he had achieved with Amy, or what he felt was equilibrium, while Amy is seeking the next step.

And I also think that they are beginning to show that Sheldon isn't as averse as he seems to think he is.

 

I don't know that they planned this ending as far back as the beginning of the season--I tend to believe them when they say they don't plan big arcs, but in working their way toward the finale, I think it's fair to say that they may look back and assess the themes they've worked through over the season and can then extrapolate that into where they imagine they must go next season--that is, what and who needs to change and to what degree and in what direction.

 

That was obvious in finally resolving the L/P engagement issue, which then leads to the living arrangement issue, which then leads to a possible Shamy issue.  And I think that there was some happy coincidence in the string theory stuff happening in the real world.  Perhaps that gave them the seed of the idea of everything beginning to change around him, leading to this ultimate fallout.

 

But I don't know that they have consciously intended to portray Amy as having lost her spine.  Or to turn her into a manipulative conniver bent only on somehow tricking her boyfriend into doing her will.

I think it's understandable that she would try to get him into a romantic setting, hoping, naively, that it would somehow make him become this idealized romantic boyfriend.  I think the Howie/Bernie bet on whether or not she could get SHeldon on the train was pretty valid.  Amy knew which items to check off, or which buttons to push, in some ways, to get him to agree, or to eliminate as many objections as she could, anyway.

But she, like many women before her, forgot to take into account that one cannot simply make another person feel what they are not inclined to feel.  I'm not saying that Sheldon doesn't have feelings for her--he obviously does--but he's not a typically romantic person by nature.

Mood lighting, flowers, fancy dinners, all the trappings of what is supposed to evoke "romance", have no real influence on him--just as the "naughty schoolgirl" outfit and the Sleeping Beauty makeover and any number of half-naked girls cavorting on TV have no romantic/sexual influence on him.

 

What he was excited about on that trip was the train itself--and I love that he kept trying to draw Amy into his enthusiasm.  He tried to share his excitement with her, only to have her roll her eyes or frown at him in disinterest.  She had her agenda and she wanted him to comply.  I don't know that I'd necessarily take her efforts as being selfish, as much as I'd say she was naive in thinking that a certain "romantic" setting would automatically engender romantic feelings in him.

 

At any rate, I did enjoy the finale and I agree that it was well-constructed in setting up the piling on of stress that Sheldon experienced at every turn, layered on top of all that had come before in the last few weeks.  And I do like that his decision to run away was both childish and probably correct.  He's got people all around him presenting him with new situations that he doesn't want to deal with, so he has not completely objective ear to hear him try to hash out his thoughts--Leonard wants this change, Amy wants that one, there is no solace and no simple escape available to him.

 

I'm not sure where they're going to go with all of these issues.  Not far, at first, I would think.  I don't think we're going to have a returning Sheldon who's "all grown up"--whatever the hell that's supposed to mean--who can just simply slip back into his life without a problem.

I don't know that he will have been able to resolve all of his issues, since most of it is not really in his control.  The only thing he can really decide that he needs to decide is whether or not he's going to stick to String Theory, leave the university, or continue to try to appeal to change his area of research, and whether or not he's going to move or make Leonard move.  And I kind of don't think L/P will be moving right away, necessarily.  I think there's a lot of fodder for that discussion to be ongoing.

 

As for Sheldon and Amy's relationship, as those who know me can guess, I'm not pulling my hair out or wailing or gnashing my teeth.  Because I firmly believe that Sheldon is going to "get there" and that he and Amy will be happy, I think it's simply a matter of the writers finding more situations where Sheldon can find a way to take those little steps he needs to take.  Kissing Amy on the train was impulsive and the result of some weird mix of anger and possibly some repressed desire.  But once he got there, as Jim said, Sheldon found that "this is not bad."  He just has to figure out what it is that keeps him from those physical steps--whether it's something deep-seated, some sense of impropriety, some aspect of his self-image, or maybe just plain fear of loss of control, or some big mixture of all of that.

 

Now, are the writers thinking that deeply about what it is that keep Sheldon from progressing, or do they simply use the surface aspect as a reason to keep Sheldon moving slowly?  Dunno.  I seriously doubt they psychoanalyze the characters to the degree that we're all doing here, so I don't know that they see all of these things as "ailments" they need to "cure".

 

Again, I find the need to consider that they're writing from a much more run-of-the-mill "comedy-writing" process than we might imagine, which means they will probably continue to play up certain issues for laughs rather than considering how they might come across.  Is Amy's manipulation of Sheldon in Table Polarization funny or unhealthy?  Is Sheldon's sexual reticence "Sheldonesque" or cruel?

 

I don't think they're meaning to make the characters out to be dysfunctional or mean-spirited.  But it's probably easier for them to get a punchline out of certain situations.

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Three things:

 

1. Lio, you totally rock, period.

 

2.

[...] …I almost can’t stand Amy now.

 

[...] 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?

 

[...] Sooo, excellent? Damn you writers and your sneaky ways. 

 

NutMeg, I can understand everything you said in your post, but "I can't stand Amy" sounds a bit too harsh to me, I don't know, I guess it was not your intention, but it sounds as if she were depicable per se.

I'm angry and dissapointed at the way they are handling her most of the times, yes, but I can't totally blame her for anything (except for letting Sheldon have his way almost all the time). I understand and agree both parts of Shamy have their share of guilt for the current state of their relationship, but I think anybody can see that Sheldon gets the upper hand at the end an unhealthy number of times. I mean, as Lio and Koops had pointed out in their past comments, she is reacting to a lot of agression, she takes bad decisions and had exchanged almost all of her dignity and strength for fear and passive aggresion, like a caged animal. Sheldon is overpowering her in an active and passive way, and she is letting him, her only way of reaction right now is, as I said before, passive aggression, whereas she was bold and energetic and brutally honest, she is now timid, fearful and sneaky, we could just say (as I said before myself) that the writers are neglecting her, but, ironically, it all makes sense in the reality of the show too!, since she is right now practically the victim in an abusive relationship, and to a great extent reacts as such.

 

I also agree that this time separated from her sucky boyfriend could be very good for her, I just hope the writers don't give all the focus (again and always) to the Sheldony part of the equation, and they take at least a bit of time to address her own need for healing too, if not, it would be a total wasted opportunity.

 

"What would that show look like?", you ask, my answer: As a totally great one! (or, at least, as an eight seasons old show experimenting a very refreshing and much needed change)

 

And at your "Damn you writers and your sneaky ways", my biggest hope is their ways are really "sneaky" and not "sloppy" ;)

 

 

3. 

 

I hope the producers and writers do whatever they think is best for the show, and not bend to the fevered desires of the Shamys.

 

 

Of course, I can't speak for all the others, but this humble Shamy's only fevered desire is: a bit of balance. Balance between sad!Amy and happy!Amy, between jerk!Sheldon and nice!Sheldon, between drama and happy times, that's it.

Edited by sarah7
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I think he

 

a ) was actually kinda happy for him, he knows the importance of sex, especially for someone like Raj.

b ) used this news as to distract the group even further of the Lenny news, knowing what it would result in (changing living conditions).

I didn't think of that, but upon consideration, point b kinda makes sense to me.

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Now, are the writers thinking that deeply about what it is that keep Sheldon from progressing, or do they simply use the surface aspect as a reason to keep Sheldon moving slowly? Dunno. I seriously doubt they psychoanalyze the characters to the degree that we're all doing here, so I don't know that they see all of these things as "ailments" they need to "cure".

Again, I find the need to consider that they're writing from a much more run-of-the-mill "comedy-writing" process than we might imagine, which means they will probably continue to play up certain issues for laughs rather than considering how they might come across. Is Amy's manipulation of Sheldon in Table Polarization funny or unhealthy? Is Sheldon's sexual reticence "Sheldonesque" or cruel?

I don't think they're meaning to make the characters out to be dysfunctional or mean-spirited. But it's probably easier for them to get a punchline out of certain situations.

Great post, phantagrae. Agree with a lot of what you say, particularly this final part. It's a sore spot for many on this forum - don't mention "it's a sitcom", "the writers are ruining Shamy" - but it is probably on the money that while we write Ph.D theses analyzing the characters and have 50 page arguments about how badly treated Amy, Leonard, Penny etcetera are by the writers' inconsistencies, TPTB are simply working out where to put the next joke in to break the tension of a dramatic scene.

But it wouldn't be a fan forum without the angst over this reality.

Edited by Itwasdestined
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I don't think they're meaning to make the characters out to be dysfunctional or mean-spirited.  But it's probably easier for them to get a punchline out of certain situations.

 

Really??

 

I thought Leonard for suggesting that Sheldon moving into Penny's apartment was a jerk and not a real friend to Sheldon according to you...

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@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. ;)

 

 

 

NutMeg, I can understand everything you said in your post, but "I can't stand Amy" sounds a bit too harsh to me, I don't know, I guess it was not your intention, but it sounds as if she were depicable per se.

 

 

 

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. 

Edited by NutMeg
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