The gang capitalizes on Sheldon’s organizational skills in “The Closet Reconfiguration” on The Big Bang Theory. When Sheldon comes across a letter from Howard’s father during his cleaning, Howard must confront his past. They switch up their takeout dinner routine by throwing some dinner parties.
- Director: Mark Cendrowski
- Writer: Chuck Lorre, Jim Reynolds, Maria Ferrari
- Cast: Johnny Galecki, JimParsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik, Melissa Rauch, Kate Micucci
Episode Title: “The Closet Reconfiguration”
Howard and Bernadette allow Sheldon to clean their dirty closet, but aren’t prepared for what he’ll find. It’s a letter from Howard’s father who left when he was a child. When Bernadette becomes curious about the letter’s contents, they get Sheldon to blab the details. When everyone knows what it says except Howard, he’s understandably upset. Meanwhile, at their dinner party, Penny decides she’d like to throw one of her own.
- Sheldon as the Child: He kicks the back of Leonard’s seat until he stops to get him take-out. He begs for five more minutes of closet-cleaning time, and complains that his dress clothes are itchy. Sheldon’s childish behavior works really well in contrast to his genius, particularly in this episode.
- Mail Morals: There’s a moral issue at hand and all we can do is laugh. There’s a great balance between natural curiosity and doing the right thing. It’s good that we’re kept in the same state of knowledge (or ignorance) as Howard on the contents of his father’s letter. We can only speculate on which story is the truth, and the issue is resolved in a caring and unique way. We’re glad Howard, being a scientist who seeks out the truth in his career, is happy not knowing the truth about everything.
- One-Liners: We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again, the quotability of this show is one of the best aspects of Big Bang. Why? Because they’ve got one-liners down to a science. It takes talent to make quotes that can be pulled from a script and be just as funny out of context. We applaud this week’s collection of humorous lines.
- Penny’s Intelligence: There’s always been the stigma that Penny has less book learning than others on the show. But the scene about Howard’s dad’s letter highlighted that divide in an unusual way. They had Penny interrupt every “smart” comment with a “stupid” one. We much prefer the laundry room scene where Sheldon’s nearly-incomprehensible logic leaves her speechless because we can relate. Interruptions become irritating whereas playing dumb or pretending to be smart is an entertaining juxtaposition of the truth.
- Howard: “You can tell me what to do or you can tell me how to do it, but you can’t do both. This isn’t sex.”
- Bernadette: “Sheldon, I’ve been cooking all day.” Sheldon: “Welllll, don’t you feel silly?”
- Bernadette: “Show him the closet!”
- Raj: “These spring rolls are amazing. Good job, Bernadette.” Bernadette: “That’s the takeout that Sheldon brought.” Raj: “Oh. Well. I’m sure they wouldn’t have tasted nearly as good if I hadn’t tried your food first.” [Silence].
- Sheldon: “Some thanks I got. The assistant manager chased me out with artisanal salami.”
- Amy: “Doesn’t his quirks just make you love him more?…Someone please agree with me.”
- Sheldon: “I found three bowling pins. Now, do you juggle these or are you missing seven?”
- Penny: “You couldn’t just say that? You had to tell the scrotum story?”
- Penny: “When you say ‘dressed-up’ you mean nice clothes. Not like, tights and capes and crap, right?”
- Bernadette: “I told you you shouldn’t have had a spice roll after dinner. I know the little cups make you feel big, but it’s not worth it.”
- Amy: “You have something we want.” Sheldon: “Oh, dear. My mother warned me this is what happens to pretty boys in the big city.”
- Sheldon: “I can’t tell you that! I’m bound by closet organizer/organizee confidentiality.”
- Amy: “Sheldon, that’s not a real thing.” Sheldon: “Neither is the rule that you have to hold your girlfriend’s hand at the movies. But that doesn’t stop you from pawing at me like you’re a bear and I’m a trash can full of sweets.”
- Raj: “So your [dinner] theme is I saw a rerun of Mad Men and bought some crab puffs from Trader Joe’s? I’d hate to miss that.”
- Sheldon: “If I was prone to sarcasm, I’d say I was pulling off a major heist at the museum of laundry baskets.
- Sheldon: “If I say ‘yes,’ can we turn off that Latin orgy music?”
- Sheldon: “Surprisingly, the letter from your dad wasn’t the most interesting thing I read in the closet. Bernadette’s diary has some saucy passages.”
After a string of so-so episodes, The Big Bang Theory is back on its game with “The Closet Reconfiguration.” The humor is spot-on. We’re impressed by the handling of morality and are looking forward to what next week brings.
The Rating: 9/10
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.
What would you trick Sheldon into cleaning? Let us know in the comments below!