Every episode of The Big Bang Theory features a different scientific theory, principle or experiment. This week’s entry, “The Date Night Variable,” casts Raj as the constant invader of everyone else’s date night. Find out more in our review below!

The Players:

  • Director: Mark Cendrowski
  • Writer: Chuck Lorre, Eric Kaplan, Steve Holland
  • Cast: Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bailik, Melissa Rauch, Kevin Sussman

Episode Title: “The Date Night Variable”

Howard still fights with his mother about Bernadette from space. Following the requirements of the Relationship Agreement, Sheldon and Amy plan to go to dinner for their second anniversary, but Sheldon invites Raj to tag along. Leonard attempts to address his relationship with Penny during an informal date until Raj interrupts them.

The Good:

  • One-liners: From Penny quipping “Can I just be the girl tonight?” to Sheldon explaining his reason for wanting to be devoured by a mythological Kraken, there was a joke around every corner. And we hope it stays that way!
  • Gender Roles Questioned: Leonard plays “the girl” in his relationship with Penny, who just wants to drink beer and watch the game without talking about their love for one another. It’s the best way to address the quintessential heterosexual relationship during football season with a unique twist.
  • Referencing the Past: Raj is kicked out of everyone’s “date night” in a similar fashion to Sheldon being kicked out of everyone’s workspace back in the season one episode “The Jerusalem.” Only Raj and Stuart can enjoy some time together, and we’re intrigued to see what happens when they hang out.

The So-So:

  • Howard in Space: No, we’re not upset that he’s now lied to both Bernadette and his mother (we love that plotline!). We’re referring to the very strange, hunched-over look of Howard floating around in the space station. It felt real at some times and very awkward at others.
  • Amy and Sheldon: We’re disappointed Sheldon would find a loophole in the Relationship Agreement. However, quoting Spider-Man to make up for it was undeniably great. We’re mainly concerned that Amy increasingly likes Sheldon more while Sheldon is still repulsed by human contact and emotions. We miss the old relationship between Amy Farrah Fowler and Dr. Sheldon Cooper that was a mutual hoax and friendship.


The Date Night Variablewas a good premiere full of the usual humor and awkwardness we all love. We are introduced to the new major plotline (Howard in space) with ease that creates added depth. But we hope Amy’s ever-morphing characterization is not a detriment to the overall tone of the show.

Rating: 9/10

The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.

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What did you think of the season premiere?