Only one more Big Bang Theory episode this season, geek lovers! I confess that I am not looking forward to the long summer between episodes of my favorite comedy. This week's ep, "The Launch Acceleration" gave me little bits of everything I love about the Big Bang, and got me excited for next week's finale while making me wish we had more time with the gang (these episodes feel so brief lately!).
When "The Launch Acceleration" opened, Howard was taking a phone call from NASA telling him that his launch had been scrubbed. As someone who has tried three times to see a shuttle launch and failed due to technical delays, I thought this was very realistic. Howard make sad noises to the astronaut over the phone, but was secretly overjoyed at the prospect of not dying in space. Shuttle missions are fraught with peril, and he was quite right to be worried. Plus, this gave him the perfect opportunity to still have astronaut bragging rights over the guys with no scary accelerated descents through the Earth's fiery atmosphere.
We were treated to the guys' tux rental shopping, where Sheldon (clad in full, red thermal underwear) lectured them on the sweaty germs present in tux rentals. Despite his silly getup underneath, Sheldon definitely did cut an impressive figure in his tux ("like the Flash 'bout to get married!"). Jim Parsons is an excellent wearer of clothing, too bad he is rarely out of his double-shirt ensemble.
Amy Farrah Fowler certainly doesn't seem to mind Sheldon's fashion choices, as she sought to accelerate their relationship to the next level by associating herself with Sheldon's geekiest interests and favorite foods. She invited him over to her apartment for their once-monthly date, a dinner of Strawberry Quik and spaghetti with little hot dogs in it, with the Mario theme chirping merrily in the background. This delighted Sheldon, prompting him to declare – "we should do this more often!" Already points scored for Amy, as Sheldon is not one to suggest altering the parameters of his agreements.
The dinner, plus arranging for him to be a conductor for a day, was cause for Amy's occupation of his thoughts more and more often (character growth! I see it!), even while he was working and playing multidimensional Star Trek chess with Leonard. Sheldon and Leonard had quite the sweet guy talk about their respective women. Leonard had proposed to Penny during sex, their first time in the sack since their new relationship beta test. She was freaked out and yelled at him, but they were able to move past it – she gave him a kiss, told him no, and said they were still dating but she didn't want to discuss the proposal. Leonard, you are a weirdo. I don't know what to do with you, and clearly neither does Penny.
Howard got a phone call that NASA wanted to put him on an earlier mission – one leaving next Friday! He was due to marry Bernadette on Sunday, however, and she told him that she didn't want to stand in the way of his dreams. However, he did have to tell her father, who would be out of a lot of money if the wedding was postponed. We got to meet Mr. Rostenkowski for the first time, and he told Howard that the one thing that made him respect Howard was his astronaut gig. Howard decided to go ahead with the launch, despite his fears.
We wound up the episode with Leonard discovering Sheldon lying on the couch while Amy, clad in an Original Star Trek medical uniform, scanned him. She was positively gleeful as she told Leonard they were playing doctor – Star Trek style. Sheldon professed he was in hell, but then told Amy not to stop. Love it!!
Episode rating: 9 out of 10 soft kitties. Sheldon and Amy are brilliant; Howard is still hitting it out of the park, but Leonard baffles me.
Nerd Notes: I feel Sheldon's kinship with a tiny Lego Indiana Jones; Legos rule. Amy's Star Trek costume was super cute; where can I get one like that? What's next – dressing up at Leia? Wonder Woman? Pepper Potts? The winning formula has been discovered! Also, I'm waiting for some Avengers jokes, since the movie just came out and you KNOW the boys would have been first in line at the midnight showing.
Any guesses where Penny's tattoo of the Cookie Monster is? What an odd choice for a tattoo.
The finale, "The Countdown Reflection," approaches far too soon!