*Spoiler warning for The Big Bang Theory season 12, episode 7.

Bernadette on The Big Bang Theory

Bernadette hides out in Hallie’s playhouse on The Big Bang Theory. Photo courtesy of CBS, screenshot by Linda Maleh.

Leonard has the worst job on The Big Bang Theory this episode. At first he’s honored when President Seabert gives him the job of allocating the university’s superfluous funds, but things go downhill quickly when he finds himself drowning in petty requests, and his coworkers nagging him to give their projects the money. One person, though, gets a kick out of watching Leonard deny people’s requests. In a particularly amusing storyline, Penny is turned on by Leonard’s decisiveness. That decisiveness quickly comes to an end when Leonard narrows it down to three requests and can’t choose which one deserves the money the most. Terrified of letting people down, he makes himself crazy trying to figure it out, but after a talk with Sheldon, who has the market cornered on being selfish, Leonard realizes that he can give the money to himself.

Leonard as the poor sap who Seabert managed to convince to do this job is amusing, and the show has a lot of fun imagining the different ways in which his coworkers could drive him crazy, and just how petty the grant requests could get – requests for a standing desk, espresso machine, frozen yogurt machine, and a koi pond among them. By far the most amusing request however, is a scientist who asks for the security on the cages of her crows to be updated. She’s conducting a study on how crows hold grudges, and she fears they’re planning a revolt. Well Leonard may have bought himself a super cool laser, but the crows landing on his car at the end of the episode have him rethinking his choice.

Meanwhile, Bernadette is overwhelmed by balancing her work life and her home life. To get away from it all, she starts secretly hanging out after work in Hallie’s newly built playhouse in the backyard. Soon enough, Penny joins her and they drink wine, which prompts Amy to insist on joining in. When one night Howard and Raj go out to spend time in the hot tub, the girls are worried they’re going to get caught, but it turns out Howard already knows and has been letting Bernadette have some time to herself because he knows she needs it (awwww). It gets less cute when he reveals that he’s only letting her get away with it so that he’ll have something to hold over her when she busts him on not getting the life insurance he promised her he’d get. Still, the fact that he noticed she was upset, realized what she needed, and made sure to stay out of her way so she could have it is a nice and welcome change in Howard and Bernadette’s relationship.

The show has made much over the seasons of Bernadette doing everything, and Howard being selfish and lazy. To see the dynamic of their relationship shift is refreshing. It’s actually something I noticed has been a continuing theme this season. As much as the show loves to make fun of the ways in which the marriages of their characters don’t work, this season they’ve been putting in effort to show they ways in which they do. In a lot of ways, the show is all the more hilarious for it.

This episode was a blast start to finish, proving that even its final season, The Big Bang Theory has still got it.