9.10 The Platonic Permutation
Alas, I think I've just been exposed to the episode formula for the next one and a half seasons: boring Shamy, boring Lenny and the other guys, an A, B, and C plot that has everything but original humour.
In reverse order, we have Howard, Bernadette, Raj and Emily help out at a soup kitchen for Thanksgiving. Howard is there only because he didn't want to spend Thanksgiving with Sheldon. While this might come across with Howard as the ass in a morality play where he gets to learn the true meaning of Thanksgiving, in reality this is only a vehicle for Elon Musk to appear, another person in a long line of Geek Heroes to come on the show and give it Geek Cred.
As for Leonard and Penny, we have a puzzling moment where I don't understand why Penny hasn't kicked Leonard to the curb. In this instance, Leonard has read Penny's private journal. Does she go Junior Rodeo on him? No, she follows the new plan—the silent treatment and pouty look. She takes it and moves on. Leonard offers another lame apology, it was a long time ago and it was an accident that he read it. Penny calls him out on this, wondering why he didn't stop reading it once he realized it was her journal. He had no excuse. There is no excuse for this violation of trust. But then again he did kiss another woman while they were going out and that had no repercussions. It's all a big joke. And nothing could make this plainer than by having Leonard try to make amends for his transgression by wearing Penny's nightie and wanting to be shamed on FB. Penny is absolutely appalled. "No one wants to see this!" she says. "I don't want to see this!" And yet the way he goes on with his dancing and that incredibly huge grin says that he actually thinks this is a fair compromise for betraying her trust. They say men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Penny and Leonard are so out of synch with each other that I doubt they're in the same galaxy much less solar system.
The Shamy plotline continues the tragedy of the death of Sheldon Cooper, the first part being his renunciation of Spock. In this instance, we have Sheldon and Amy spend a morning together as friends. It's interesting that we have them playing intellectual games with each other, rekindling the spirit of their having a relationship of the mind. The only problem with this is that I can't remember the last time they had one of these moments on-air so I found it rather confusing when Amy says that she "missed this". I guess I missed it, too.
At the end of the episode, Amy asks to be Sheldon's girlfriend but he declines, not because he isn't good at being her boyfriend but because he had difficulties getting over her. This, of course, leaves it to interpretation that he still isn't over her. His refusal to resume their relationship is meant to be the last hurdle that he has to hop himself. In this way, it is his decision to reclaim his woman, not Amy's pursuit or badgering. I might have bought this if Shamy was actually portrayed the way this episode implied it actually was. What we got instead was a battle between a selfish ass and a demanding, sex-obsessed lump of sadness. Love has never looked more pathetic. And if Lenny and Shamy are examples of 'true love' then I've never been more thankful that I'm single.