8.16 The Intimacy Acceleration
So this was the 'nail in the coffin' for Shenny. Penny said that she viewed Sheldon like a 'little brother' and he replied that she was 'like a sister' (he did go overboard with 'mother' but even Penny ruled that one out). TPTB couldn't have made it clearer to the audience as to how they want us to view and interpret the Shenny relationship. That should be all she wrote. And yet.... What had been missing the entire series had come to pass tonight; we've witnessed true intimacy. Sheldon admitted to feeling uncomfortable and not as confident as he seems because he doesn't know if people are laughing with him or at him or if people are mad at what he did or if they are just having a bad day. Penny wished that she could take that discomfort away. Similarly, when Penny wished that she was smart like the others, Sheldon agreed she wasn't academically inclined but that she had social smarts he wished he possessed. A yin and yang. That's what Shennys have been touting from the beginning—how opposite and yet complimentary Sheldon and Penny are. Having Sheldon tell Penny that her social smarts are appreciated—and envied—shows more respect for her than is given by her 'bestie' who compares her to a chimpanzee and even her own fiancé who constantly shows photographs of her to anyone he can just to prove that someone as hot as her was his girlfriend. Penny's been 'kind and beautiful and perfect'. Sheldon's Penny is real—no bullshit between them as he called Penny out for using humour to deflect uncomfortable topics. He opened the dialogue and, more importantly, really listened to Penny. No agenda to get into her pants. And that was really refreshing. Then there was the connection between Kaley and Jim. TPTB can only wish that the Lenny or Shamy had that much chemistry. Even Sheldon coming straight out and telling Amy that he loved her lacked the impact of his telling Penny that he could look her in the eyes because he's close with her. Gone tonight was Sheldon's later seasons' manic behavior and childishness. Away from Amy we got to see and hear from Dr. Sheldon Cooper. He took off his Clark Kent glasses and took Penny on a flight through his thoughts and feelings that Amy only wishes she could have. But then again, she thinks comic books are 'lame-o' so probably wouldn't understand the significance of Sheldon's Superman t-shirt—but I do. Remember Panty Piñata anyone? Because that's the real punch line of this episode—since s5 when Sheldon and Amy became the Shamy we've seen how mean they are to each other what with his selfishness and her screechy sexual obsession. And yet we're to believe that what Sheldon and she have is 'intimate'. But let's call a spade a spade, whatever passes for intimacy takes place off-camera. We're to believe that Amy and Sheldon have a strong relationship because that's what TPTB say they have when we don't see them. Well tonight we got to see Shenny intimacy in all its power—and it is breathtaking in its intensity. Ever wonder what a Shenny relationship would be like? If tonight was any example it would be just as wonderful as I imagined: the sarcasm, the intimacy, truthfulness, passion, compassion. Each allowing the other to be who they are. This is another Shenny point: Penny and Sheldon appreciate each other for their abilities not their comeliness. When he watched her act, Sheldon realized that Penny was remarkable. She absolutely dazzled him for what she could do, not for how she looked. And Penny knew that with Sheldon on her side during the scavenger hunt they would kick everyone's asses. No sexy toddler bullshit here. So for me, there was no 'nail in the coffin' that ended Shenny. If anything, tonight's episode managed to hammer home that all the connection and chemistry and intimacy Sheldon and Penny share are not figments of my imagination. I got to see what a Shenny-centric show would be like and I was not disappointed—it was funny and poignant. Deep and satisfying. It confirmed my feelings that the canon relationships are just shells and that this hollowness has permeated the later years of the series as they lack the power of the early seasons. Thank you, Prady, Lorre, and Molaro for showing me that I'm not 'delusional'. Your attempt at sibling-ating showed that even you were aware of Shenny's power. That you admitted that Shenny was a viable option, not only for 'delusional' Dreamers, because of how listless your canon creations are. Some may think you've stated your case quite clearly—Sheldon and Penny are siblings. Too bad you can't control the Shenny chemistry because every time Sheldon and Penny share a scene they prove you wrong.