Valentine dates go awry with The Big Bang Theory‘s “The Tangible Affection Proof.” Sheldon and Amy organize a night out, while Howard and Bernadette join Leonard and Penny for dinner. Which laws of love will be broken and which will prove tried and true?

The Players:

  • Director: Mark Cendrowski
  • Writer: Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady and Steve Holland
  • Cast: Johnny Galecki, JimParsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik, Melissa Rauch, Margo Harshman, Kate Micucci

Episode Title: “The Tangible Affection Proof”

When Howard’s Valentine’s gift for Bernadette is ruined, he decides to go on a double date with Leonard and Penny. Penny is distracted by her ex-boyfriend’s engagement at the same restaurant. Sheldon has his assistant pick out potential gifts for Amy, and then selects another gift by himself. Amy changes their plans at the last minute. Raj looks for a date at Stuart’s comic book store, where he’s convinced Stuart to hold a gathering for lonely singles.

The Good:

  • Opposites Attract: Part of what made this episode successful was the forces of opposition at work. Howard and Bernadette fight while Leonard and Penny are happily enjoying dinner; then Leonard and Penny fight while Howard and Bernadette make up. Sheldon’s selfishness counters Amy’s selflessness, and Raj’s seemingly-heartfelt speech is undermined by his closing statement, “later, losers!”
  • The Unlikely Couple: Once again, Penny and Sheldon have some woes in common. Neither are looking forward to Valentine’s Day, and both nearly sabotage the night. Penny hates that there’s too much pressure to make the night “special.” Sheldon is afraid of relationships and intimacy. We’re glad Penny and Sheldon share this fear because it draws a comparison between the two that is unmatched in humor and irony.
  • Running Jokes: We appreciate the insults and gestures about characters that have remained true since the beginning. Sheldon talks about rectums rather than confront Valentine’s Day with Amy. Leonard throws out a short joke about Howard and casts Bernadette as a doppelganger of Howard’s mother.

The So-So:

  • Stuart: The lonely comic book store owner storyline is beginning to wear out its humor. Sure, Raj’s accidental come-ons are still smile-worthy, but the their standstill friendship that teeters on the romantic is lackluster by now. Let’s move on! We will acknowledge the fact that Raj left Stuart’s party with a girl, so maybe this is the beginning of something new.

The Quotes:

  • Penny: “I said, ‘Oh my God I think that old man’s choking. And one of the bus boys Heimlich’d him.” Leonard: “You’re a hero.”
  • Leonard: “I’m like a romance ninja.”
  • Raj: “I was going to spend the night with my special little lady, but she got worms and I had to take her to the vet.”
  • Raj: “The theme would be that the greatest love a man can have is the love he has with himself.” Stuart: “Or maybe something with a little less hand-in-the-pants.”
  • Sheldon: “I think she likes monkeys and the color gray.”
  • Sheldon: “Contribute to my work! Crazy kid.”
  • Howard: “A micro-valentine for a microbiologist.” Leonard: “From her micro-husband.”
  • Sheldon: “My socks are on. Let’s knock ‘em off.”
  • Alex: “What about your girlfriend?” Sheldon: “I saw it first. I call dibs!”
  • Leonard: “Don’t let them ruin our night.” Penny: “You’re totally right. She could be skinny because she’s dying.” Leonard: “That’s the spirit.”
  • Leonard: “Two can play this game [gets down on one knee] Penny…” Penny: “Get. Up.” Leonard: “Alright.”
  • Amy: “Happy Valentine’s Day.” Sheldon: “Mmkay.”
  • Amy: “Sheldon, I’m not driving over there again because I drove over there yesterday for a brain tumor that turned out to be an ice cream headache.”
  • Amy: “Brain tumor would explain a lot”.

Overall:

“The Tangible Affection Proofpairs the usual humor with real life relationship issues. As usual, the show tackles the issue we have with Valentine’s Day. It asserts that having a date doesn’t equate to a happy, fulfilling night.

The Rating: 9/10

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

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