The Big Bang Theory kept the laughs going this week with “The Higgs Boson Observation.” It focused on Amy’s jealousy of a grad student that Sheldon hires as a personal assistant. Plus, we see what happens when Howard stays in space longer than expected.

The Players:

  • Director: Mark Cendrowski
  • WriterChuck Lorre, Bill Prady
  • Cast: Johnny Galecki, Jim ParsonsKaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik, Melissa Rauch, Margo Harshman

Episode Title: “The Higgs Boson Observation”

Howard is losing his mind in space, as is evident during his video chats with Bernadette. Sheldon hires a female grad student as his personal assistant. Her main task is searching through his old notebooks for potentially Noble Prize worthy work. She’s also faced with answering his calls and getting him lunch. Amy is jealous of the new assistant. Penny wants to hang on to Leonard because he seems desirable to others.

The Good:

  • Mute Raj: After six seasons, Raj still can’t talk to girls. You’d think this joke would have lost its luster after nearly 115 episodes. But somehow it’s only gotten funnier. We’ve seen the Raj-talking-to-girls joke evolve from a puzzling behavioral quality to a way for Leonard to manipulate him.
  • Penny and Leonard: The central couple is getting some grounding since “The Date Night Variable” and “The Decoupling Fluctuation” almost left the two parting ways again. Amy’s insight on Penny’s behavior (that she finds him more desirable if other girls are interested in him) is spot on. We’re not sure why Penny tells the new assistant she “works” with Leonard instead of just saying she’s his girlfriend, but it was a minor disarray.
  • Howard’s Disarray (Yes, Literally): Howard is acting irrational and crazed at the space station. It’s a great plot to introduce because NASA and the Russian Space Federation have to choose their astronauts very carefully. This means they pick that personality types that will make sure there are no incidents. It also means Howard has gone rogue with his overly dramatic behavior under pressure. Maybe Bernadette can convince him to keep his clothes on for a few more days?

The So-So:

  • Higgs Boson: We are presented with an entire episode dedicated to the God particle without one mention of “God.” Instead, we are given a quick description of Higgs’ experiment being proven recently. It makes sense that this launches Sheldon on the ho-hum journey of shuffling through his past journals, but we weren’t expecting the brilliant twist with Penny’s love for Leonard. Like the particle that develops out of nothing in Higgs’ studies, Penny’s desire for Leonard grows out of a dead, “boring” love.

The Quotes:

  • Amy: “Looks like something used by Tinker Bell’s gynecologist.” Penny: “Who I hope for her sake is not Captain Hook.”
  • Howard: “Attention people of Earth: Tonight, there will be two moons in the sky.”
  • Penny: “That’s it?” Leonard: “It had weaponized fruit and a puppet. What more do you want?”
  • Amy: “You were right. I had nothing to worry about. That skank’s your problem, not mine.”
  • Sheldon: “…her exact words were ‘What’s that guy’s problem?’” Raj: “I’m in her head. Let the dance begin.”
  • Howard: “They left dogs up here in the ’60s.”
  • Sheldon: “Flattery will not get you this job, Ms Jensen.” Ms. Jensen: “It’s not flattery if it’s the truth.” Sheldon: “Oh, well, thank you. Welcome aboard.”
  • Penny: “I’m just a blonde monkey to you, aren’t I?” Sheldon: “You said it, not me.”

Overall:

The Higgs Boson Observation” took a potentially controversial topic and molded it into a light-hearted commentary of relationships and emotions.

The Rating: 9/10

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

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Do you think Howard can hold on to his sanity long enough to make it back to Earth? Let us know in comments below!