Both Sheldon and Raj have something to learn on The Big Bang Theory Season 10 Episode 16.
While Raj tries to figure out how he can support himself financially without the help of his father, Sheldon's relationship with Amy pushes him to continue to understand social situations.
The Big Bang Theory always does best when it doesn't try to do too much. Rather than having us follow multiple plotlines, this episode focuses on only two. That allows us to see character growth in both places, and it allows for a much more solid episode.
I'm glad to FINALLY see a storyline of more substance for Raj. We're taking a step beyond his problems with women to see him become more aware of why those problems exist.
The reason is pretty simple. Raj is spoiled. And his father pointing that out leads Raj to want to make a change.
Dr. Koothrappali: You're an adult who can't get by without an allowance from his parents. Women don't want that.
Raj: What are you saying? That you're giving up on me? What kind of father gives up on his son?
Dr. Koothrappali: I have six children, five of whom are married and self sufficient. I don't think I'm the problem.
It's not that Raj isn't successful. He is. He's just able to spend money on things like baby capes (baby capes?!) and whatever else because he doesn't have to worry about where that money comes from.
I do find it hard to believe he wouldn't be able to handle rent and a car on his own, so it seems a stretch for his friends to help him brainstorm new places he could live.
Maybe he has to fire the dog walker and the housekeeper, and maybe he has to stop buying baby capes, but I imagine he could handle the most basic of living expenses while having a nice apartment.
That's not the point, though.
The point is that this is a chance to see character growth for Raj – someone who has been sidelined too much and made to be insufferable when he's on screen. Raj hasn't always been that way; this is just about the stories his character has been given recently.
Meanwhile, it isn't just Raj who gets the chance to grow.
Sheldon's relationship with Amy has caused him to continue to work on understanding other people. It is genuinely difficult for Sheldon to read emotions and social cues that are obvious for most people.
He's not only getting better at understanding these things thanks to Amy (and really, all of his friends, especially Penny and Leonard), but he's making an effort to put those skills into practice.
We see that with Bert. While Sheldon and Amy are on their date, they run into their colleague, who is there to meet a woman. When he gets stood up, Sheldon invites Bert to join them.
He may not understand it fully, but he tells Amy he was able to recognize Bert's facial expression to tell that he was sad. Of course, Sheldon still has some things to learn.
Amy: Our first date was at a coffee shop.
Sheldon: Although unlike you're date, she actually showed up. [pause] Oh, he looks sad again.
The big lesson for Sheldon isn't about that, though. It's about keeping secrets.
For Sheldon, sharing the intimate details of his relationship with Amy (and lack thereof) with Leonard is no different than telling them to the lunch lady. He simply doesn't understand the difference.
Amy is rightfully upset, but Sheldon takes a step toward understanding by creating a chart for topics of conversation.
I'm mapping basic topics of conversation and with whom they can be discussed. I've called these circles zones of privacy. Don't google that unless you want to see pictures of people's genitals.Sheldon
- Penny equates the guys watching that disk spin on the table to them watching sports, which is, quite frankly, pretty accurate.
- I would have loved to hear the lunch lady's reaction to hearing about Sheldon's sex life.
- Bert is delightful. I'm glad we've been seeing him more and more.
- I almost wanted to Raj to move in with Leonard and Penny. Almost.
- You know what defunct search engine I miss the most? Ask Jeeves. What's yours?
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