The following recap of “The Big Bang Theory” season 8 finale from CBS last Thursday night, May 7, may contain spoilers about the wildly popular television show. “The Big Bang Theory” stars Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper, Simon Helberg as Howard Wolowitz, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting as Penny, Johnny Galecki as Leonard Hofstadter, Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler, Melissa Rauch as Bernadette Rostenkowski, Laura Spencer as Emily Sweeney, Kunal Nayyar as Rajesh Ramayan “Raj” Koothrappali, Ph.D. and Kevin Sussman as Stuart Bloom. This week the new episode was titled, “The Commitment Determination,” and there were four basic story lines that played out during the half hour show.
Sheldon and Amy are celebrating their 5th year together as a couple, but things are becoming too complicated for Amy who is frustrated with Sheldon for a variety of reasons, but mostly for his perceived lack of commitment to their relationship, despite the couple having previously signed a relationship agreement. At the start of the episode Sheldon and Amy are on the couch and they’re seen in the rare act of kissing. While Amy expects the attention to be on her, Sheldon stops to ask Amy if he should watch the new “Flash” television series. This infuriates Amy, who is frustrated with the glacial speed of their relationship, which has yet to result in sex. Amy faces a complicated decision about the future of their relationship.
Sheldon just doesn’t understand why Amy is angry with him, so Sheldon ends up discussing the matter with Penny and Leonard. Sheldon ends up hassling Leonard and Penny about their inability to set a wedding date, despite being engaged for over a year now. Leonard assures Sheldon they’re going to pick a date. Leonard and Penny soon get inspired to examine their own complicated relationship and it ends up being Penny who makes a move on Leonard that will cement their relationship forever. During the drive to Las Vegas to get married, things become uncomfortable for Leonard and Penny when he confesses to kissing a girl before they were engaged, wanting to begin the relationship with a clean slate and no secrets.
Meanwhile, Rajesh Ramayan “Raj” Koothrappali, Ph.D. is still in a very complicated relationship with Emily Sweeney who is fascinated with horror and macabre, which upsets and disturbs Raj. When Emily asks Raj to have sex with her at night in a graveyard, Raj thinks it’s time to call it quits on the relationship but he doesn’t have the guts to break up with anyone who is willing to have sex with him, no matter how damaged or broken they are inside compared to Raj, who has some definite quirks of his own. Raj decides to continue the relationship because it’s the easiest thing to do for right now.
When Raj seeks advice from Howard and Bernadette, it inspires them to plan to ask Stuart to move out, hoping to have the house to themselves and get Stuart moved on to the next phase of his life. Now that the comic book store has been rebuilt and it’s up and running, Stuart is starting to get back on his feet. When Howard and Bernadette are about to ask Stuart to leave, they find out it’s his birthday they simply don’t have the heart to ruin the day for him. Instead, they offer Stuart a cupcake with a candle and sing him, “Happy Birthday.” For now, Stuart still lives with Howard and Bernadette.
Howard Wolowitz and his wife Bernadette Rostenkowski are an interesting aspect of the show, with Bernadette currently holding most of the power in the relationship as Howard definitely submits to her and often expects her to do the dirty work, which she usually handles with ease. Stuart Bloom is still a lonely man who has only his comic book shop and his superficial relationships with the rest of the cast, but he’s lucked out in his current living arrangement since his old comic book shop burned to the ground. Stuart has a lot of potential, but he will need to step up his game if he wants to become a more regular friend of the core cast. We’ll see what he offers the group next season to deserve his airtime.
Meanwhile, Penny, still without a last name, takes one step closer to becoming Penny Hofstadter in Las Vegas after pretty much deciding with Leonard to elope on a whim. They drive down the road and agree that Leonard’s indiscretion on the boat is something Penny can get past and we’re left to assume they’re about to get married. Unless they don’t and decide last minute to either turn around and head back or just have a casual Vegas vacation, sans the marriage they had planned. Maybe it isn’t a casual vacation and things get completely out of control, which may be an interesting twist if done right.
Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler, however, have the most impacting storyline in the finale episode and we’re left with a tantalizing cliffhanger for the summer until we resume with season 9. Amy has some great lines in the short amount of screen time she had in the finale. Amy was having a genuine moment at the start of the episode when she tells Sheldon, “Can you believe it’s been five years since our first date?” Sheldon then asks Amy, “ Do you think I should start watching The Flash TV show?” This enrages Amy because she wants to be the only thing Sheldon is thinking about when they make out. Sheldon is a bit like Data from “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” in that his mind is very busy and he handles numerous trains of thought at any given moment.
Sheldon tells Amy, “Starting to watch a television show that might run for years isn’t a decision to take lightly. I’m wrestling with a big commitment issue here.” Amy can’t believe what she’s hearing and yells, “ Really? That’s the commitment issue you’re wrestling with? Sheldon, do you understand the irony of your fixation on a man with super speed, while after five years all I can get out of you is a distracted make-out session on a couch?” Sheldon admit that, ” Irony’s not really my strong suit. But I have been getting better with sarcasm, if you want to give that a try. ” Amy, sarcastically, spits out, “Oh, sure, I’d love to.”
Later, in a video chat, Amy interrupts Sheldon and gives him the news that she has decided to step away from the relationship. When Sheldon tells Amy that he’s been thinking about their relationship, Amy tells Sheldon, “I’ve been thinking about them, too, Sheldon. Being your girlfriend is so challenging. Emotionally, physically. I’ve been incredibly patient for years. ” Sheldon interrupts Amy and says, “Strongly disagree. ” Amy finally tells Sheldon, “Okay, well this isn’t easy to say, because I love you, but I need some time to take a step back and reevaluate our situation. I hope you understand.” Sheldon then pulls out a gold ring from his desk drawer and plays with his “Lord Of The Rings” statue and says, “Well, Gollum you’re an expert on rings. What do I do with this one?”