*Spoiler warning for The Big Bang Theory season 12, episode 8.

Sheldon, Larry, and Howard on The Big Bang Theory

Howard shows Larry and Sheldon a magic trick on The Big Bang Theory. Photo courtesy of CBS, screenshot by Linda Maleh.

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day? Raj knows what he’s doing; this episode on The Big Bang Theory, he announces that he’s going to get married in India on that date to Anu. Since it’s an arranged marriage, he and Anu are still getting to know each other, and that includes sexually, so this episode, Anu proposes that they have sex to make sure they’re compatible. The problem is, Raj gets so nervous, that when she walks into the hotel room – long time Big Bang fans will appreciate this – he loses his ability to speak to her. As we all know, for several seasons of Big Bang Raj was unable to talk to, or in front of, women, because they made him so nervous. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen this old tick of Raj’s, but bringing it back was genius.

To counteract the speechlessness, Raj immediately runs into the bathroom to drink half a bottle of champagne, leaving Anu with a lot of questions. This leads to them having a long night of learning the less-flattering things about each other (apparently, Anu doesn’t like music). They do eventually end up having sex the next morning. As strange as the idea of an arranged marriage is, the show is actually pulling it off. It’s been really cute to watch Raj and Anu’s relationship grow, even if it’s in a bit of a strange order. They learned a lot more about each other this episode, and are closer for it.

Meanwhile, after hearing about how close Raj is becoming with Anu’s family, Sheldon attempts to bond with his in-laws. His outing with his father-in-law, Larry – or, as Sheldon calls him, Turnip – goes awry when Howard captivates Larry with his magic tricks. After that, Larry doesn’t pay much attention to Sheldon, so Sheldon goes to see Amy’s mom instead. At first Mrs. Fowler is cold and angry towards Sheldon, which Amy reveals is because she has been using Sheldon as an excuse to not see her family. Once Amy confesses to her mother, Mrs. Fowler opens up to Sheldon, and it turns out the two have a lot in common. They’re both selfish, overbearing, stubborn, pragmatic people, and they find they really enjoy each other’s company. So I guess you could Sheldon’s mission this episode a success, though Amy is too happy about spending more time with her family as a result. A man who gets along with his mother-in-law, I guess Amy never could’ve predicted that.