After last week’s incredibly disappointing episode, I wasn’t really looking forward to watching this week’s episode of Big Bang Theory. In fact, I all but forgot about it and actually missed the first minute or so. While I was hoping for something of a Christmas episode, instead we were treated to a New Year’s one which turned out to be one of my favorites of the season. We start off with the guys hanging out and Penny and Zack, her big dumb on-again off-again boyfriend who’s currently on. Penny apparently asked Leonard to try and include him into the gang. Instead, they’re not very nice to him when he says he wants to talk about science and the wind up making fun of him. Penny’s pissed, especially because the guys say they were bullied and yet now they were being bullies. Later, they discuss that Zack wasn’t bullied because he didn’t leave with a wedgie, swirly or with a penis drawn on his face in Sharpie. Leonard thinks they need to apologize, but the others don’t see the need. They only go after he offers to buy them comic books AND points out that he might get punched.
Leonard knocks on the door and Sheldon can’t help but say his traditional “Penny.” Zack comes to the door and they apologize, which he doesn’t accept right away until Sheldon offers him a Milk Dud, which he says are the most apologetic of candies, not Junior Mints as Raj suggests. That smooths things over and he asks if they want to come in for a beer, but Leonard says they can’t because they’re going to the comic shop. Zack says he wants to go even though Penny doesn’t. Once at the shop, Zack reveals his love of Archie comics, which the others make fun of a bit, but he says they’re surprisingly sophisticated with two separate universes. I have no idea if that’s true or not. Shop owner Stewart asks if the guys finally pitched in to rent a bodyguard and then asks if they’re coming to his New Year’s Eve costume party. They then start discussing their annual Justice League costumes with Sheldon noting that Zack might make a better Superman than the diminutive Leonard. This argument continues back at the apartment building. Leonard says that if he can’t be Superman he wants to be Green Lantern, but that’s Raj’s costume. Leonard says he can just be Aquaman, but Raj hates Aquaman. I would recommend he read Peter David’s run on the book. Just saying, that shiz is rad. Anyway, Zack tells Penny about the plan for the party and that she gets to be Wonder Woman, but she’s not super excited about the idea. Raj whispers to Howard that he’ll go as WW if Penny dresses as Aquaman. The day of the party Sheldon’s jogging back and forth in his Flash costume, but says he’s anxiously pacing, it just looks different because he’s the Flash. They’re waiting on Raj and Howard. Howard shows up next with his Batman costume and Christian Bale voice, then Raj comes in in what can only be considered the lamest super hero costume of all time. Then Zack and Penny pop in and Penny looks amazing, but she’s not wearing the wig. Sheldon gives her some trouble for this and she goes back to her place. Zack and Sheldon both try talking to her to no avail, but then Leonard goes over and the reveal to each other that it’s not easy for them to be around one another. If they don’t get together and stay together soon, I’m gonna lose it. Finally, they go the party and it’s time to reveal who won the group costume contest. Stewart–dressed as the Tom Baker version of Doctor Who–announces the JLA won, but then we’re shown that there are actually three versions. Of course, our heroes win because they really do have the best costumes. Sheldon tries to run up and give a speech, but is interrupted by the countdown to the New Year. Zack lays a big kiss on Penny while Leonard awkwardly looks on. At the very end, we get a great little moment of Sheldon pretending to be the Flash so he can run to the Grand Canyon and yell because Leonard wants to turn the heat down a bit. This absolutely proves that Flash movie will work.
I was really refreshed by how good and funny this episode was, plus how much hope it gave me for Leonard and Penny getting back together. Last week I noted that it seems like the writing staff wasn’t able to handle the number of characters they’ve been playing with. I think that, instead of the multiple characters being a problem, though, that it’s the multiple storylines. Having Raj and Howard wrestle like chuckleheads didn’t really add anything to the story, but them being around to toss jokes around this episode worked.
* Penny in the Wonder Woman costume.
* Penny and Leonard revealing they still have feelings for each other (I’m just a hopeless romantic, I guess).
* “Junior mints are pretty apologetic. ” – Raj, “You’re embarrassing yourself.” – Sheldon
* Howard and Sheldon telling Leonard that they can replace him with Zack, just like Penny did. Bazinga!
* “Penny there’s no “I” in Justice League.” – Zack.
* The fact that their back-up group costume is Muppet Babies with Sheldon as Kermit and Raj as Scooter.
* Penny not kissing Leonard at New Year’s.
* I realize that I kind of like big dumb Zack. He’s ignorant, but nice and seems like a good guy, but I don’t see him sticking around when Penny and Leonard hopefully get back together.