Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Launch Acceleration Recap

With the season finale of The Big Bang Theory only hours away, it's about time I get my thoughts posted on last week's episode!

"The Launch Acceleration" was the first Big Bang episode in over two years that I watched at home, as it aired, for the first time with no knowledge of what was going to happen. (Well, almost. I'd gotten spoiled and knew that Leonard proposed. But I didn't know how, or any of the specifics.) I was hoping for a strong episode to mark the occasion, and it didn't disappoint!

Leonard and Penny have been one of my OTPs since I started watching. Howard and Bernadette have been known to give me warm fuzzies this season, and I'm still digging the Shamy. So on the couple front, I was happy to see the developments for all three.

Two years ago, Leonard told Penny he loved her, and it sent her running. Now, he proposes (albeit, not intentionally), and while she initially, understandably, freaks out, in the end we see them working together to move past it. (Not to mention the adorable parallels with Penny quoting Star Wars before each "incident.") Through the second half of this season we have seen Leonard and Penny 2.0 working to correct what went wrong the first time around, and last week is just more evidence of how far they've come.


On the Howard/Bernadette front - I was surprised to see Howard's sudden relief at the possibility of not going into space, but it was played so perfectly it just fit. His dancing with Bernadette has made me smile every time (and I've watched the episode a number of times within this past week), and I still can't help but marvel at how far Howard has come through the years.

I was slightly let down with Bernadette's father, though. Maybe it's because he was only in one scene, whereas when meeting the other parents they've been around for much more of the episode, but it fell a little flat. Simon's acting saved the scene for me (seriously, he deserves some recognition for his comedic timing), but it's still my least favorite parent encounter yet.

And then the Shamy. I loved the continuity of spaghetti with little hotdogs, and the Strawberry Quik made me laugh because it is my favorite pink fluid. (If you haven't had it, try it.) But even more than watching Amy attempt to seduce Sheldon, I loved watching Sheldon and Leonard bemoan their girlfriend problems together. Scenes with just the two of them have felt far and few between recently, and then bringing back the 3D chess was icing on the cake.

But back to Shamy momentarily - the final "doctor" scene would have been even better had CBS not ruined the surprise by releasing pictures of Amy in the costume. And did Amy's voice sound different to anyone else in her lines there? I can't decide if there is a difference (something in the tone?), or if I'm hearing things.

It's a sad fact that I could basically end the recap here, and yet there is no above mention of Raj. With only one scene last week, Raj is more and more often being pushed into the background. And while I do enjoy all three canon couples, focusing on them shouldn't come so often at Raj's expense. Find something to do with Raj, please!

What did you guys think of The Launch Acceleration? And are you ready for the finale tonight?

5 comments:

  1. I agree, poor Raj is being pushed into the background more and more in favor of Lenny, Shamy, and Howadette. Don't get me wrong, I love the couples stories, but Raj has quickly become the proverbial fifth wheel; his character merits better, because he's a lot of fun to watch when he's used properly.

    I also think they're relying far too much on finding some kind of excuse for him to drink so that he can talk with the group. When it's done right, it's funny, but it's become a lazy storytelling crutch (kinda like on "Star Trek" when aliens always have to klonk Kirk on the head and take away his communicator so he can't be beamed out of trouble). If they want Raj to keep talking to the ladies in the group (and let's face it, we all want that), they need to find a permanent solution to his selective mutism. Hell, if they can fire Wolowitz into space on a Russian rocket, surely they can do *that*. :-)

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  2. Excuse me?
    Raj was front and centre or a key part of 7 episodes.
    Why was Penny a skank in 501?
    Who dated the deaf chick in 504?
    Who was infatuated with Siri in 510?
    who was a whiner for the weekend on 519?
    Who was diappointed in Laksmi's "home team " in 520?
    Who organized the stag and admitted to Sailor Moon in 522?

    He ended the season admitting to his friendhip love of Howard while Bernie reached to his as a friend.

    If only there was a neurocientist, psychiatrist, behaviourist to help him overcome his selective mutism. To be safe lets through in a fundamentalist with faith healers and some generally "really smart " people. Know anyone like that Amy, Beverly, Mary...

    The real guy getting the hard time is Stuart Bloom. No money, no home, lonely, and looks like Linguini from Ratatouille movie.

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    1. Raj gets the occasional episode, but then otherwise he's lucky if he gets a few lines. There needs to be more of a balance. And all of his episodes end up focusing on basically the same thing - it gets old. Out of everyone, Raj has gotten the least development when you compare to where they were when the show started, and I just wish they would do more with his character.

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  3. For greater clarity.
    Situation commedies have regulars who are the basis of the series .
    Inner circle quirky characters that interact with the regulars to create situations. They are often regulars.
    Outer circle quirky characters who are there for comic releif

    The inner circle remain 1-2 dimensional and dont flesh out over the life of the series. Frank Burns of MASH, Buddy Sorrell of Dick Van Dyke (with never seen wife Pickles, Norm Peterson of MASH (with never seen wife Vera). Other inner circle but not include the Cunningham parents (Happy Days), Murray Slaughter, Cosmo Kramer, The Chief on Get Smart, Most of Hogans Heroes, Ralph Malph. Every series has inner circle. Occasionaly an inner circle gets promoted. Consider Fonzie as the best example.

    Comic relief recurring are the real .5 dimensioanl people like Lenny and Squiggy.

    So where sits RAJ? Will he evolve like a core regular?
    IS he quirky insider, like MAry Cooper, Beverly Hofstader, or his parents,,,,,,,,,just there as a measure by which the real stars are measured and to create situations for the core.

    Stuart, Zack, Will Weaton, Kurt, Althea Nurse, are there as "unchanging characters by which the core are measured , or for comic releif only. Zack competing on a IQ test with dolphins, and Stuart looking to overcome poverty.

    So what of Raj. Is he the measuring stick for lonely, geek with ACTUAL ,albeit internet, interaction with BOTH parents. IS he there to create situations to see how Sheldon, Leonard, Penny and Howard react.

    Howard appears to have been promoted to core. Amy and Bernadette are higher up the inner circle than Raj.

    Did they put too much bagage in his background? Indian, metrosexual, pathologica mutism with very very rich parents and dad whos a gynocologist and at least one sister is a hottie. ......

    People care abour Raj , but he is a character in a story.
    Based on how many other series have treated inner circle (not core) he may just be Barney Fife as a lonely metrosexual astrophysicist for the whole series.

    Kunal will need to play James Bond to get out otf that typecasting!

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  4. One of the funniest lines in the show is in Season 5, Episode 12, The Launch Acceleration (2012)
    Howard is worried, what if he doesn't come back from space, and Bernadette's father says this:
    MR. ROSTENKOWSKI: "It's gonna be OK, son. A pretty girl like Bernadette, she'll find a new guy."

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