The Big Bang Theory “The Maternal Conclusion” Review

*Spoiler warning for The Big Bang Theory season 12, episode 22.

Christine Baranski as Beverly Hofstadter on The Big Bang Theory
Christine Baranski as Beverly Hofstadter on The Big Bang Theory. Photo courtesy of CBS, screenshot by Linda Maleh.

Well, it’s finally almost here. This week, The Big Bang Theory will end for good, with a double episode series finale. It’s hard to believe that we won’t have this show around anymore, but before it’s all over, we need to talk about last week’s episode. Christine Baranski (The Good Fight) guest starred once again as Leonard’s mother, Beverly, and she was immaculate as always. We also get some relationship updates on Raj and Anu.

Beverly decides to come up and visit Leonard and Penny, and hear about Leonard’s new project that he’s co-leading (remember the episode where he decided to be decisive and got himself on this project). It’s surprising, because Beverly doesn’t usually take an interest in Leonard’s life. However, this time things seem different. She decides to stay with Leonard and Penny instead of a hotel like she normally does. She turns down spending time with Sheldon so that she can spend the day with Leonard – remember she and Sheldon are BFFS. As Leonard takes her around his lab, she says that she’s impressed – something she’s literally never said. Leonard, while high achieving, has always been the runt of the over-achieving Hofstadter clan, consistently outshone by his other siblings.

It seems like things are going really well, and Leonard has never been more pleased, until Beverly says that she’s only here to do research for her book on how her parenting styles led to her children’s successes. Leonard is pissed that it was all just research, when he thought she actually wanted to spend time with him for once. Leonard storms off to Sheldon and Amy’s for a while, and then comes back fully ready to tell his mother all the ways that she’s failed him, but at the last minute decides not to. He realizes that maybe he just needs to accept his mother for the way that she is. He tells her that he forgives her, and she responds that it is actually good to hear him say that, and the two spend a tender moment together, finally at peace in their relationship.

Meanwhile, Stuart and Denise start to overstay their welcome at Howard and Bernadette’s. Denise is practically living there by this point, and it’s starting to piss them off. She and Stuart try to spend more time at her place to give Howard and Bernadette a break, but Denise’s super creepy roommate is always around. Denise is extra-upset since she only had to take in the roommate because Stuart said he wasn’t ready to move in with her. He realizes now that his fear was silly, and wants nothing more than to live with Denise. The two decide to ask her roommate if he wouldn’t mind moving out so that they can finally live together. He responds to their request, of course, in the creepiest way possible.

Finally, there’s a big development in Raj and Anu’s relationship. Since they decided not to do their arranged marriage, and just date for a while, we haven’t seen Anu much, which is too bad because she’s a great character. She video chats Raj from a conference she’s at in London, and tells him that she’s been offered her dream job there, and she has to take it. This leaves Raj with a dilemma. He either has to decide to commit to Anu, ask her to marry him, and join her in London. Or, they have to break up. Raj decides to fly to London and surprise propose to Anu.

Howard, however, isn’t so sure this is a great idea. He can’t stand the idea of Raj leaving his home and his friends just to settle, especially after Raj says he’s mostly doing this because he thinks it might be his last shot at marriage. Howard races to the airport, and stops Raj from getting on the plane, telling him that if he’s not 100% sure he wants to be with Anu for the rest of his life, then he should stay. Raj decides not to go to London, and hold out hope for the perfect woman for him. I find it a shame though, since I really liked Anu, and I think she and Raj make a sweet couple.

With just the series finale left, this was a solid episode, full of both humor and touching moments. The series finale will finally tell us whether Amy and Sheldon will win their Nobel prize. Stay tuned.

 

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Author: Linda Maleh

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

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