Finale Fever – The Big Bang Theory

Jun 19, 2014 | Posted by in Finale Fever, TV

Season 7 Episode 24 – “The Status Quo Combustion”

An apt title as the episode deals with change in the dynamic of the group following Leonard and Penny’s engagement. It’s a huge step forward for these characters who have been dancing around the notion of getting engaged for a couple of seasons now so it’s good to finally see this progress in some way. Let’s face it, it’s been long enough.

Much of the episode deals with the fallout of this news and the implications for the group. One major implication is for Sheldon who is faced with the prospect of losing his roommate in one way or another which makes him feel really upset and uncertain. Sheldon’s personality leaves him resistant to change in any form because he’s used to the way things are and can’t imagine what his life will be like once change comes.

I think the episode deals with it well enough, lots of future possibilities are discussed and the jokes hit the mark really well. I found myself feeling sorry for Sheldon’s situation and it was easy to understand that for all his intelligence he can’t see how this will end up for him. Normal life events are beyond his comprehension and always have been.

The other characters move forward in small ways. Howard and Bernadette are still struggling to find a carer for Howard’s mother since she is so impossible and drives them all away. Raj is elated at the progression of his relationship with Emily and Amy is trying to convince Sheldon to live with her. It’s very much a Sheldon, Leonard and Penny episode.

One thing I really hated in this episode was the treatment of Stuart, the poor guy has had such a raw deal over the past couple of seasons and this episode just takes it to new levels of cringe. After financial ruin, abandonment from all his customers and his declining mental health now his comic store has been victim of a massive fire. This is just beyond cruel and I fear what the writers might try to do to him next. When we first met Stuart way back he was a confident, intelligent and well adjusted character who was definitely at the top of his particular social circle but since then his life has descended into a living hell. There’s a joke in the episode where he narrowly misses being crushed by a piece of rubble and seems upset that it didn’t kill him, I’m wondering if they’ll actually go down the route of a suicide or attempted suicide in this show. I really hope they don’t go down that route. Him becoming a carer for Howard’s mother is perhaps a good move for him but I miss the knowledgeable comic store owner from days gone by.

I don’t have an awful lot more to say about the episode, it has set up the stories for next season and leaves us slightly unsure of what will become of Sheldon. As a comedy it remains as watchable as it ever was. The treatment of Stuart brings it down a lot though.

Season 7

It’s tough doing a roundup of a whole season of a comedy show since there’s very little in the way of continuing arcs or big gamechanging revelations that turn the show upside down so I’ll keep this brief.

As with most seasons this one keeps Sheldon and his antics at the forefront, it’s clear the show knows what the majority of the audience is tuning in to watch, this is something that I’m starting to find a little tiresome and lazy on the writers part since the rest of the characters are getting so much less time to feature in their own stories and develop. Very little happened to Raj this season other than meeting his new girlfriend Emily towards the end. Even that event was hugely underplayed in order to supply Sheldon with more screentime.

Howard and Bernadette suffer a similar fate this season, most of their stories are collective due to their marriage and thus each of them receives about half of the development of anyone else. There are movements at the end of the season towards them thinking about children but they feel like an afterthought.

Penny and Leonard’s relationship was finally allowed to progress with their engagement, something that probably should have happened long ago but I’m glad that it has finally happened. I wonder if the dynamic of the show will change for the worse once there are two married couples in the main cast.

The stuff that was done with Sheldon was very good though, I really liked the story surrounding his loss of faith in string theory and his desire to change field of study. They did a lot to add discord to his life and bring him out of his comfort zone. I really liked when his relationship with Amy progressed to the kissing stage which longtime viewers will know as a huge leap forward where Sheldon’s concerned. They have a great character in him, it’d just be nice of them to remember that the other characters should be serving as more than his supporting cast.

Overall, the season was very watchable. It’s quite rare for a comedy show to actually make me laugh consistently and this show certainly does that, hence why I’m still watching seven years later. I like the characters and I like the jokes so there’s plenty here for me to enjoy. I’m not sure what the changes in the status quo will mean for the quality of the show but hopefully it’ll just get better.

Whole Season Rating