The Big Bang Theory’s “The Planetarium Collision” Tests the Show’s Relationships

*Spoiler warning for The Big Bang Theory season 12, episode 5.

Amy on The Big Bang Theory
Amy on The Big Bang Theory. Photo courtesy of CBS, screenshot by Linda Maleh.

In last season’s finale, Sheldon and Amy got married. In this episode of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon has his first big misstep at how to be a supportive husband. Meanwhile, Howard and Raj’s friendship is tested when Raj is threatened by Howard’s status as an astronaut. Some of our Big Bang relationships are put through the ringer this episode, but they all come through in the end. Also it turns out Sheldon knows what the term “mansplaining” means. Who knew?

Sheldon and Amy aren’t just navigating life as newly weds, they’ve also just become work partners as they collaborate on Sheldon’s new theoretical physics experiment. The problem is Amy’s got her own work as a neuroscientist, and Sheldon’s never been very good at sharing. To get more time for her to work on their project, Sheldon goes to the president of the university to ask for Amy to be excused from her current project, so that she can work exclusively with him. This leads to Sheldon learning that making big decisions for your wife without consulting her is a big no-no, when she understandably flips out on him. (It also says something about President Seabert for just listening to Sheldon, Amy’s husband, about what Amy wants, instead of consulting Amy herself.) Sheldon ends up apologizing to Amy after he has a dream in which Professor Proton tells him to. So what else is new?

Meanwhile, Raj’s planetarium show is getting popular, but when he reveals that to his boss that his best friend Howard is an astronaut, she wants him on the show. Raj is less than thrilled about this, as he has enjoyed being the star, but after a talk with Penny and Leonard, decides that he has to let Howard come on the show so that he doesn’t realize how insecure Raj really is. Howard is not fooled though as he sees how reluctant Raj is to include him. He’s therefore taken aback when Raj gives him a beautiful introduction at the show, highlighting his many accomplishments. This leads to them both trying to out-compliment each other – in front of a live audience – and ending up in tears and a hug. Awww, in the audience, Leonard can’t help but start bawling as well. This storyline also gave the great opportunity for Bernadette to tell Penny about her and Howard’s roleplaying as a Russian scientist and the American astronaut. Bernadette’s Russian accent is on point.

This episode explored men making big decisions for women, friends finding it within themselves to not be jealous, but supportive of each other, and the strange kink of Bernadette and Howard’s sex life (she also likes to pretend that he’s Thor/Chris Hemsworth). Right on.

 

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Author: Linda Maleh

Entertainment writer, feminist, and New York City native. Personal blog is tvtotalkabout.com.

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