Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Countdown Reflection Recap

Again this is on the late side for a recap, but better late than never?

I'm going to start with the end of the episode, because that's the scene that got the most build up before the episode aired. Steve Molaro (one of the executive producers) said he couldn't watch it without tearing up. Melissa Rauch said they had to keep fixing her makeup between takes because of her tears. And many early reviews said it was one of the most touching moments they'd seen recently on TV.

So I had high expectations. And I was a little disappointed.

Maybe I was expecting something more shocking, more overt, more of a cliffhanger. When they just held hands, a small part of me thought, "That was it?" And while I still think it was built up a tad too much, with rewatches and discussion I've come to appreciate the ending much more.


Bernadette reaches for Raj's hand after they both declare their love for Howard. Between Raj's once crush on Bernadette, and his and Howard's ongoing bromance, and Raj generally being plain lonely this season... It was a nice moment to see them bond over their concern for Howard.

Then Penny reaches for Leonard's hand, after they spent much of the episode still caught up in the aftermath of his proposal. (And for the record, I think their process of moving past it would have been smoother had Sheldon not constantly brought it up.) A friend of mine had wanted a "this is it" moment that would clarify they were out of the beta test and officially together, and we agreed that this was it. The moment just reinforces what we saw the previous week - they still have issues, but this time Penny is willing to stay and work through them, rather than run from them.

And finally, the moment I saw the most excitement over online, Sheldon reaches for Amy's hand. Right after he'd declared Howard should "boldly go," Sheldon took a giant leap forward himself by initiating physical contact.

Backing up for a quick look at the rest of the episode, I was surprised that they confirmed so early on that the wedding does happen ("Actually, Fruit Loops just got married. To a girl."), given how the writers had tried to tease it as a will-they-won't-they. But without that added uncertainty, it was fun to watch the gang work together to give them a wedding. The return of the tiara made me smile (as did Amy's painting to Penny - did you see it?), and I completely adored how they all got ordained.

My favorite episodes are always the group ones, where everyone gets involved, so in that regard this was another winner to end the season with. And now the long wait begins for September!

(But P.S. - did we really need a whole minute and sixteen seconds recapping last week's episode? It wasn't that complicated, or necessary. That's a whole minute we could have had of new material.)

9 comments:

  1. Found this after deciding to stalk your Twitter and remembering you had a link in your profile. I'm with you, when we saw it the first time I was like "okay, good, but not anything special" but the more I see it, and I have four times now, the more I like and appreciate the final scene.

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  2. Excellent season finale, and a wonderful analysis of the final scene, Roxanne. It really does seem low-key until you actually think about the subtleties behind it, and the past and present actions of the characters.

    Trivia: look to the right of the screenshot above, and you'll see someone who's never appeared in the flesh until now: Mrs. Wolowitz. We can't see her face, of course (and I hope we never do; I like a mystery character, ala Vera Peterson, Maris Crane, and Carlton the Doorman), but it's a milestone nonetheless. :-)

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    1. It's the scene where Howard is in the hallway talking to Amy just before the wedding. When the camera is focused on Amy, you can just make out the painting on the wall behind her head.

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    2. Looks like its a few feet behind her.

      Is there a wall opposite Penny's Door?

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    3. No, there's no wall where one would need to be for the painting to be hanging there. The more I think about it, the more I think that for some reason Penny's apartment wasn't camera ready, so they stuck the painting up to block the view.

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    4. But I don't believe we've ever seen into Penny's apartment from that particular camera angle before. Plus, the painting isn't directly behind Amy's head; it's angled, just like it would be if... wait for it... a wall was there. :-) Admittedly, the perspective looks a little off, but like I said, we've never seen this angle before, so it might be a case of them not getting it quite right this first time.

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    5. But look how far from the door Penny is when hanging the painting on the "fourth wall": http://i.imgur.com/jmAjl.png

      And we can see that there's no other wall between there and the door that the painting could be hanging on. The painting is just too close behind Amy to make sense.

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