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October 4, 2015

'The Big Bang Theory' Season 4, Episode 24 (Season Finale) Recap

by Mike Moody, posted May 20th 2011 9:45AM
the big bang theoru s04e24['The Big Bang Theory' – 'The Roommate Transmogrification']

'The Big Bang Theory' ended its fourth season by indulging in a bit of bedroom scandal, relationship drama, and 'Star Trek'-themed sex jokes. The show played it safe and sleazy, and it left us laughing and scratching our heads with a strange and shocking cliffhanger ending. And it worked! The finale, despite its flaws and severe "WTF?"-ery, was a funny and compelling nugget of nerd fluff. And it was all over way too soon.

Like most of the good episodes this season, this one wasn't particularly innovative or clever -- actually, the jokes and situations were mostly pure stock -- but it was still enormously entertaining. There was a lot of out-of-the-blue insanity here that mostly rang false, but who cares? This is one of the silliest sitcoms on the planet. What matters are the jokes, the delivery and the performances. And, as usual, all of that stuff -- the important stuff -- was on-point here.

The big shocking developments of the night didn't really make any sense, and they all felt unearned and tacked on to raise the stakes and to throw everything into season finale cliffhanger mode. Priya is moving back to India and she didn't tell Leonard! Bernadette is making Howard feel more insecure than ever! Raj hooked up with Penny! Wha? Drama! Awesome, ridiculous, manufactured sitcom drama. Love it or leave it. Me? Love. It.

'TBBT' has felt funnier, sharper and more vivid than ever this season. It's a nice surprise, since season four was largely an experiment, as the cast almost doubled in size with the addition of Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch as regulars (not to mention Aarti Mann as a recurring player). I was expecting 'The Roommate Transmogrification' to showcase every member of this talented ensemble in a satisfying way, as the show has done in the recent months, but that didn't really happen.

Amy Farrah Fowler only showed up on Sheldon's laptop and was completely separated from the main action (though that scene was great fun). And Penny, who had some memorable lines even before waking up in the sack with Raj, didn't get to hang with her gal pals this time, which was a little disappointing. I missed watching our new girlie trio do their thing, especially after the winning gal pal power half-hour that was 'The Wildebeest Implementation.'

The finale's opening bit -- which was pretty much one long fart joke, by the way -- got things rolling quite nicely by contrasting Bernadette's academic accomplishments with Howard's shining mediocrity. But what really made this scene so much fun was watching Sheldon discover that his scientific observations were making people laugh. There's just something about that catty cackle of his that I love, and seeing it delayed and forced here only made it seem funnier.

Pairing Sheldon with Raj worked surprisingly well, and their comedic chemistry had me hoping that Raj would move in with Sheldon for good. (He should be forced to stay, he did sign that contract, after all.) Raj's scene with Penny -- with all the boozing and talk of love and sex and things -- felt like it was leading to a kiss. I breathed a sigh of relief when the scene ended on a laugh instead of a smooch. But then morning came, and Penny and Raj woke up in bed together. But, we still don't really know if they had sex. All we really know is that Raj still can't talk to women, even after he's been intimate with them.

So, everyone -- including Leonard -- witnessed Penny's walk of shame, which can only mean bad things for Penny. I don't foresee a Raj-Penny romance happening next season, so this set-up was probably all about making poor little Leonard feel jealous and confused. And it was also about delaying Leonard and Penny's eventual romantic reunion again. I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to seeing these two find their way back to each other next season.

Season 5 of 'TBBT' is gonna be big. There's the fallout from this episode to deal with, plus Howard and Bernadette's eventual wedding, Sheldon and Amy's blossoming relationship, and Raj's evolution from nervous nerd to unlikely stud. Okay, so Raj isn't quite there yet, but it would be fun to see that happen. I'm also looking forward to a full season of the show with this great big new cast. Come on writers, you've got a few months to figure out how to best showcase all of these fine performers' talents, so don't let us down.

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Penny's character will always be likeable. If you put your perspective on the world of the other characters Penny is the ambassador to the world they only wish they new, except for Sheldon of course. She is one of the cool kids while they only grew up as the nerds. This only gives Penny a platform of expressing realistic occurrences in their otherwise organized lives. Let us not be haste towards anyone. The show ended on a surprising cliff hanger. Let us wait and see what the writers and cast have saved for the last season. By the way I would really like to see Jim Parsons host SNL!

July 19 2011 at 2:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am so glad to see so much bad feeling about that last episode. I hope the writers read these comments. There was a lot of weak writing and it really felt as though they were scraping the barrel, but the Raj-Penny thing took the bisquit. I really loved this show and most of the time liked Penny. The relationship with Leonard worked because there was a hint that she had depth and a solid core, but the writers are turning her into a shallow slut. I finished this episode asking myself, is there anyone Peny wouldn't hit the sack with? I think if they are not going to lose a big chunk of fan base they need to do some rethinking and rescue the Penny character, because she is becoming very unlikable and the show is losing appeal as a consequence.

June 04 2011 at 4:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

wayelrob51.......You make many valid points. I never considered keeping the writers consistent with individual character developments. But, we should not consider being bitter or upset with the show and its writers. Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady, and all the writers have done an excellent job in keeping the show interesting by introducing new characters and intriguing story lines. It is important to consider the show was supposed to end by season four. It was given two more seasons if I'm not mistaken. I’m sure the writers waned to continue a transition of the show in order to keep the storyline going. This is an amazing group of talent and the real sad day will be when the show must end.

May 31 2011 at 1:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The problems with this episode run deeper than Raj and Penny hooking up. The writing was so obviously contrived to produce a cliff hanger, soap opera style. This wasn't necessary. They have a loyal fan base. I have difficulty with a couple of points. Bernadette's use of a 1950's style chauvinistic expression, "Don't you worry about the money, let me worry about it. I just want my baby to have pretty things." If Howard had said that to her the female population would have been mortified. Bernadette has on several occasions made it plain that she is protective of Howard's masculinity. Her character would never have said that to Howard. Never. Penny tells Raj she made a mistake ditching Leonard. So, Raj gets her in the sack? Nice friend. Penny also out of the blue tells Raj, "If we weren't friends I would be all over you." This is also a character making a ridiculous left turn. Such an obvious setup for what is to come. I don't believe that Penny would express such a thing to one of the guys. Penny, an experienced drinker, gets into Leonard's bed with one of his best friends after sharing one bottle of wine. I don't believe the character of Penny, as has been written to date, could get drunk enough to do such a despicable thing and still be sober enough to do it. I also don't believe she could be unaware of how that spike in the heart would effect Leonard. I am upset over a TV show. I can't believe this. I am not the only one. All of my friends who watch the show are appalled at what was done with this episode. Turning Penny into a drunken slut? Raj has now hound dogged his best friend's girl and now had sex with Penny in Leonard's bed. Nice character for a daytime soap opera but not for a prime time comedy. None of us can figure out how they are going to write their way out of this mess. Use some stupid dream sequence perhaps? If they leave to plot line as it is I think I loose my favorite TV show. Left as it is, it makes me sick. I have trouble revisiting previous shows, which I used to do all the time. The taint of that final episode is so pervasive. I wonder do Chuck Lorre and company even know how upset people are over this? Do they care? Is it another, any publicity is good, scenario? If you are listening Mr. Lorre, it isn't good. People are actually considering leaving off watching if the plot remains as is. What you did with the show is disturbing and just wrong.

May 28 2011 at 2:39 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I disliked the end of season 4. Penny already has a hard time not coming off as a "easy", now you gonna make her mess up and be in bed with Raj???? Especially after toasting to "Friendship"? Come on people...Please Please dont let Penny look like a slut. If she and Raj had sex it would be impossible for Leonard and her to ever get back together. Like Wickizer said: This makes me almost not want to watch the show anymore.

May 22 2011 at 10:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I really enjoyed how they approached the season finale. I agree that Penny's affair will be justified by creating a jealously factor for Leonard. But, it is interesting how a character like Leonard may still want to be involved with a "slut" like Penny. Imagine the stigma that Raj and Leonard will have next season. Leonard and Penny will eventually be together by the end of season six. But, what will be more interesting is if the writers decide otherwise.

May 20 2011 at 9:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Anthony Wickizer

The raj/penny thing was sop stupid. Almost makes me want to stop watching the show. I am fine for manufactured sitcom drama, but this is moronic and juvenile. Oh they got drunk together so of course that means they will sleep together.

May 20 2011 at 5:26 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Flash Back

I was a bit shockedf at the Raj-Penny hookup but then I shouldn't have been since both have been shown to have had casual 'sleepovers' before. And I too want Priya to disappear. Unlike Bernadette and Amy F-F, she's never fitted in with the group.
As to engineers: They not only have my utmost respect but, as an engineer once told me, going beyond the Masters degree means leaving the hands-on design and construction that gives them so much joy. Or, put another way, a Ph.D. in Engineering is as useless as a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics.

May 20 2011 at 5:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Zervas

Why is Penny such a slut? Ah.... this is going to be tough for the team....especially Leonard who is right back where he started now that Pria is leaving him.... I persnonally like L. because we are sooo much alike!

This finale kinda sucked... but lets look on the bright side..... only a few more months to ComicCon!

Sheldon as always rocked!

May 20 2011 at 12:19 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Howard is one of my least-favorite characters in the history of television, but, it is a bit unfair that the writers treat his education the way they do.

There are many different disciplines of engineers, many of them taking about a year longer to get a master's degree (5 years for bachelor's of science, another 4 for graduate studies) than it takes to get a PhD.

May 20 2011 at 10:09 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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