The Big Bang Theory – The Conjugal Conjecture
By: Jennifer Vintzileos
Our favorite group of lovable, socially stunted scientists are back for a tenth season! Last season brought about the beginning of “Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny’s (Kaley Cuoco) Wedding: Take Two,” with some of our favorite guest stars. Aside from Beverly Hofstadter (Christine Baranski) and Mary Cooper (Laurie Metcalf) reprising their roles, we finally got to meet Leonard’s father, Alfred (Judd Hirsch). With tensions running high between Beverly and well, everyone but Sheldon (Jim Parsons), Mary and Alfred bonded and left the pre-wedding dinner together.
Meanwhile, Howard (Simon Helberg) and Raj (Kunal Nayyar) had their own issues to contend with, as they had received an e-mail from the U.S. Air Force about a newly completed guidance system. Worried that the Air Force is after them for negative media coverage, the guys become increasingly neurotic and paranoid, prompting Howard to be pulled over by a police officer for reckless driving as he believes he is being followed.
Which brings us to the start of the episode beginning with Leonard, Penny and Sheldon back at the apartment in their respective beds, unsure of what had happened during dinner. Through their late night “wall” discussion, Sheldon is convinced something has happened between his mom and Alfred, going so far as to wonder if Leonard will become his stepbrother.
The next morning, Penny asks the guys to keep their speculation to themselves about Mary and Alfred being M.I.A. and potentially spending the night together from Beverly. Unfortunately, Penny does not notice Beverly behind her at the opened apartment door, listening to every word. But Beverly is not in bright spirits, as she is aware that Alfred will do anything to goad and taunt her. Penny and Leonard work her magic and convinces Beverly to stay for the wedding, to not allow Alfred to win. With crisis averted, Penny then makes her escape to go collect her family from the airport.
In the Wolowitz residence, Howard, Raj, and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) are still talking about what the Air Force wants. When there’s a knock at the door, Raj is sent to answer it. On the other end is a Colonel Richard Williams (Dean Norris), looking to speak with Howard. Raj advises the Colonel that Howard is not there, prompting Williams to leave his information for Howard to call him and contact him to speak. This piques Howard’s curiosity as he later sets up an appointment to meet with Williams, wondering what the meeting is about.
During this time, Penny has also picked up her family and aside from meeting her dad Wyatt (Keith Carradine) in an earlier season, we now meet her mother Susan (Katey Sagal) and ex-convict brother Randall (Jack McBrayer). And we still do not learn Penny’s maiden name. Susan wants to make a good impression on Leonard’s family and not be considered white trash, even though Randall immediately quips back with asking what color would Leonard’s family believe they are.
As Penny and family get situated in her apartment, Sheldon, Leonard and Beverly greet Alfred and Mary. And lacking any tact or humility, Sheldon immediately grills them about whether or not they participated in “coitus.” Both Alfred and Mary deny intercourse, but rather talk about sharing a cab and having a drink back at their hotel. Sheldon doesn’t quite believe that scenario, continuing to prod Alfred for details. With Alfred/Beverly and Mary/Beverly being a volatile combination, Sheldon heads to his board to figure out how to keep everyone calm. Luckily, Amy (Mayim Bialik) comes to the rescue and tries to diffuse the situation, just a little.
When Leonard and Beverly go across the hall to meet with Penny’s parents, her family puts on the best front possible. But it is Randall who immediately derails the conversation, exclaiming proudly that they are not “white trash.” As Beverly makes conversation trying to learn more about Penny’s parents and what Randall does for a living, Susan tries to keep the conversation as light as possible – avoiding Randall’s recent release from jail. But no matter, as Beverly then advises Susan and Wyatt to “prepare for disappointment” when they meet Leonard’s father Alfred.
Later at the second wedding, everything is perfect. Even Stuart (Kevin Sussman) has come to the happy nuptials, only to end up unknowingly sitting between Alfred and Beverly. As the ceremony starts and the families start to bicker, it is Bernadette who immediately puts the kibosh on the fighting, reminding them that they are all there to celebrate in the love of Leonard and Penny. While reciting their vows, Alfred turns to Beverly, remarking how while they don’t bring out the best in one another, they raised a great son, to which Beverly agrees.
Before the ceremony is completed, Sheldon then takes the opportunity to interrupt. He lets Leonard know that he has always considered him family and that he and Penny mean so much to him. During the “kiss,” Leonard, Penny and Sheldon all hug, as Sheldon is now considered the “weird other husband that came with the apartment.”
Join me next week as we’ll finally find out about the mysterious Colonel Williams and why he wants to meet with Howard!