Well, my friends, it's that time again - time to bid a fond summer farewell to our favorite shows. I'm definitely going to miss the Big Bang Theory every week, as I find it the smartest and best comedy out there right now. These are my people! And my people sure were hilarious and touching in "The Countdown Reflection," as Howard sat strapped into a Soyuz Rocket and reflected on the last few days before takeoff. The gang was gathered at Sheldon and Leonard's apartment, preparing to watch Howard blast off on NASA TV. Raj and Bernadette were especially nervous - Raj had been stress eating and was wearing his fat pants. Howard, aka "Fruit Loops," was busy looking terrified as he took flack from his fellow astronauts (I like how they asked about "Mrs. Fruit Loops") and allowed his life to flash before his eyes. Thus, we jumped back a few days to see the events leading up to the launch.
Back in Howard's room, he presented Bernadette with a necklace shaped like a star, which he was then going to take into space - so she could have a star from space! Coolest present ever, Howard. I love you. You really are a changed man! This made Bernadette realize she wanted to be married to Howard before he blasted off for the ISS, and the two decided to head down to city hall and do the justice of the peace thing. They assembled the gang and told them of their plans, with Sheldon and Amy being the only ones to initially refuse - Amy because she wanted to walk down the aisle in her maid of honor dress, and Sheldon because he felt he'd be bored. Leonard gave Sheldon the death stare and told him it would be fun (unlike The Green Lantern movie, apparently there was no love lost there), and Bernadette promised Amy she could wear her dress - which she did, with her tiara! I love her tiara just as much as she does!
Sadly, there was a line at city hall and the clerk cut them off, not believing Howard that he was going up in the rocket in two days' time. Raj came up with a pretty awesome solution - the Google Earth satellite was going to be flying over Pasadena, and their wedding could be photographed from space! Any of them could be ordained online and perform the ceremony. Howard and Bernadette loved this idea, and agreed to have the wedding on the roof of the guys' building.
Raj was in full decorator mode, arranging tulle over the satellites and straightening Howard's tie (I'm ignoring all silly gay references next season, just so you know. It's beneath my integrity as a reviewer, I've decided). Bernadette's grumpy dad walked her down the aisle and handed her off to Howard as the rest of the gang stood there in a row, having all been ordained so they could all act as officiants. As Bernadette said, it's adorable! And it was. Everyone stayed true to character - Raj cried a bit, Leonard made it about him, Penny was very sweet, Amy said she'd be a maid of honor again at the next wedding if this one didn't work out, and Sheldon tried to say his bit in Klingon, wishing them as much happiness together as he finds with himself (good luck there, Amy, I thought). The gang pronounced them husband and wife, and the camera pulled back to show them kissing in the midst of a tulle heart with an arrow shot through it - the perfect photo for Google Earth!
Back in the present, Howard's fellow astronauts bantered before takeoff while, I'm sure, he tried to contain the barf. Penny rushed in to the apartment in time for the launch, and they all looked on with pride at Howard, who really was doing something amazing. Bernadette said she loved him, and Raj did too, and they held hands. It was super cute! Then Penny and Leonard did the same, also adorable. But the best moment was Sheldon, who I wasn't sure would follow suit and take Amy's hand, but he did, saying "Boldly go, Howard Wolowitz". Howard seems to have his respect at last! Plus, voluntarily taking someone's hand is a big deal for Sheldon, and Amy could hardly believe it either. More character growth all around! this was a stellar (ha! ha! See what I did there) episode and I loved every second. With one final "Oy vey!!!!" Howard took off and the screen went to black. Well done, Chuck Lorre!
Episode Rating: 11 out of 10 soft kitties. There was no beating this one - best Big Bang finale ever.
Nerd notes: I love Sheldon, I love Klingons, it was all made of win. Was hoping Sheldon would wear something nerdy with his tux, though. He doesn't have any cool cufflinks? My geeky guys do!
Until next season, fair geek lovers! Hopefully we'll have some Big Bang scoop coming at ya from San Diego Comic Con - stay tuned!