The Big Bang Theory – The Escape Hatch Identification
By: Jennifer Vintzileos
As Raj (Kunal Nayyar) continues with the tightening of his financials, what happens now when he can no longer afford his current accommodations? And how does the group respond to Raj in his time of need? This week proved that while the group was disgusted by Raj’s wealth and complete disregard of how to manage his money in the past, they are begrudgingly willing to assist Raj in his time of need. Everyone except Sheldon (Jim Parsons), who is grappling with his own issues of home and security.
When Raj lists that he can no longer afford his apartment, both Penny (Kaley Cuoco) & Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) & Howard (Simon Helberg) begin to discuss ways they can help out their friend. Penny and Leonard talk about potentially allowing Raj to stay in Sheldon’s old room, whereas Bernadette and Howard discuss having Raj move into their garage. The only ones not discussing Raj’s plight are Sheldon and Amy (Mayim Bialik), who are arguing over Sheldon’s insistence of having a life-size Spiderman in their apartment.
With his apartment in boxes Raj continues to pack up his life when the phone rings. At first Howard calls Raj with the prospect of living in his garage, which Raj is grateful for. Leonard then calls in and him and Penny convince Raj to come live with them instead and take Sheldon’s old room in the apartment. When Sheldon hears of this news he tries to remain calm and understanding but it is clear he is upset and feeling replaced. Even when he brings Raj a black notebook as a house-warming gift as Sheldon hopes Raj gets great ideas like Sheldon did in that room, he then starts acting like a jerk and making Raj feel even more depressed about being reliant on his friends.
Back at Shamy’s (Sheldon & Amy) apartment Sheldon decides to contact Dr. Beverly Hofstadter (Christine Baranski) for advice on why he is so rattled by Raj living in his old room. Beverly takes the opportunity to explain to Sheldon how when that room was vacant it was like his escape hatch, a place that Sheldon has known as his own. And without that place Sheldon feels displaced and replaced. But of course a conversation with Beverly wouldn’t be complete without dissecting not only Sheldon’s relationship with Amy, but also Penny and Leonard’s need to have a roommate so that they don’t address their own marital issues.
Sheldon goes over to apologize to Raj and in turn shares Beverly’s observations about Penny and Leonard’s marriage with them, resulting in a rather large argument that causes Raj to leave. In an effort to not cause anymore waves Raj heads over to the Wolowitz residence in the middle of the night, startling Bernadette and Howard when they find Raj in their bedroom. Stuart (Kevin Sussman) comes running in with a bat but the situation is diffused as Bernadette has Stuart make up the couch for Raj that night. Raj and Stuart talk about their current living situations when Raj suggests that maybe the two men stop being so dependent on their friends and move in together. Stuart declines the offer but both take the time to talk about finding their lives to be turning out not as they wanted to.
Amy is the one who finally explains to Sheldon that he is upset because he is always a man in need of a contingency plan, and Raj taking over his old room takes away that contingency plan. Meanwhile Penny and Leonard wake up to Raj’s letter telling them he went to stay with Bernadette and Howard. When they go over to meet with Raj it is Penny and Leonard who convince him to come back and stay with them, because they want him there. Raj decides to return to the apartment for now hoping that eventually he can stand on his own again.
At the end of the episode Sheldon and Amy are enjoying time in their apartment. Sheldon is okay now with Raj staying in his old room and even notes how him and Amy are the only couple of their friends that doesn’t need to fill any holes in their relationship with a 3rd party. Amy mumbles a response as we see a life-size Batman now occupying Shamy’s apartment.