Coming off quite possibly one of the worst episodes of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ in quite some time, CBS’ marquee comedy takes a step forward, and then just kind of has the other foot slowly drag along. As we’ve come to expect more and more from the show, it struggles to have two separate, entertaining storylines continues, as ‘The 2003 Approximation’ is only half of an episode and half a bad joke.
Things begin this week with Penny and Leonard buttering Sheldon up with trips to the Container Store and to get an Icee, only to try and soften the news that Leonard is moving out of the apartment. Sheldon of course does not take this well. He goes to Bernadette as his seventh option for female comfort, and she offers the advice that this is a new opportunity for him.
Sheldon takes that advice and begins to interview new roommates. He sees a number of potential candidates and asks them questions only Sheldon would come up with, until he finds someone who he believes would be the perfect match, Amy. Amy, however, is not having it, still firmly set in her position that they need space. So, with the outlook of roommates bleak, Sheldon decides that the problem is not his need of a roommate, but the fact that since he met Leonard, Penny and Amy he has started to care too much. So he decides to revert back to the 2003 version of himself.
Of course, this is more a desperate cry for help than anything, and Penny and Leonard recognize that. Sheldon reveals that he is scared that he is losing the people he cares the most about, so Penny suggests that she and Leonard split time living in both apartments. It would be a sensible compromise and a nice kind of moment, if the show hadn’t already done it.
Unless I’m mistaken, when Leonard and Penny we’re getting serious again Leonard decided that he would spend a couple of nights at Penny’s to try and ease Sheldon into him not living there anymore. Sheldon’s arc for this episode was going so well, and while his emotional confession is still great, the resolution was a convenient rehash.
As for the other half, Howard and Raj try to make a band and write a song called “Thor and Dr. Jones.” That’s it, there is really nothing else to say about this plot line as it provided almost no laughs.
So, here are some of the best jokes from the rest of the episode:
- Sheldon: You know what they don’t sell at the Container Store, a container large enough to hold my disappointment.
- Bernadette: Maybe Stuart would be happy to get us out of his hair. Stuart: Nope, couldn’t be happier.
- Leonard (signing Sheldon’s roommate termination contract): It’s harder than I though. Sheldon: Let me help you, L-E-O… Leonard: Got it.
- Sheldon: I’m like the Tin Man in ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ he was perfectly content until that evil wizard gave him a heart. Amy: I don’t think that was the point of that movie. Sheldon: Fine, then I’m like Pinocchio, until that creep Geppetto turned him into a real boy.
- Leonard can’t make a decision on what to have for dinner now that he has the freedom to choose.
- Penny: Don’t you want to live with your wife; and set the thermostat at whatever temperature you want; or have control when you need to go the bathroom instead of having a schedule slipped under your door every morning.
- Sheldon (on the likely less time he would see Leonard and Penny): And then it will only be for special occasions, like when Bernadette divorces Wolowitz. Or when Raj’s weird girlfriend reveals where she buried his body.