The Big Bang Theory Recap: Failure to Launch

Johnny Galecki as Leonard, Jim Parsons as Sheldon, and Kunal Nayyar as Raj. Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS
The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory

The Allowance Evaporation Season 10 Episode 16
Editor's Rating 4 stars

Now this is what I’m talking about! After nine and a half seasons of failed Rajesh Koothrappali relationships, The Big Bang Theory finally serves up a Raj story line that gets at the root of his romantic woes.

It boils down to one simple fact: He’s a very, very spoiled man. Sure, we knew Raj’s wealthy parents paid for his pricey gadgets and other non-essential goodies, and we knew he’s never mentioned any money concerns, save that time his father threatened to cut him off in season eight’s “The Graduation Transmission.” But in this week’s episode, when Raj’s father tells him that he no longer even attempts to arrange a marriage for him because a grown man with a steady job who still expects his parents to pay for his life isn’t exactly the love connection the ladies are looking to make, well, even the un-self-aware Raj has an aha moment.

Just how spoiled is Raj? When his friends point out that he makes the same amount of money as they do, and could therefore pay his own expenses, they try to help him plot out a rough budget. First, they ask how much rent he pays. He doesn’t know, because his father pays for it. His car? Ditto. How about his groceries? How much does he spend on food? He doesn’t know … because his housekeeper does the shopping.

Raj feels even more hapless when both Howard’s house and Sheldon’s old room in Leonard’s apartment are offered up as alternatives to whatever the rent his current abode costs his father, as he acknowledges taking advantage of his friends is no better than continuing to suckle at the financial teat of his indulgent parents.

Raj calls his father and tells him he will no longer accept his cash, that he plans to live on his own dime going forward, and his dad is proud of him. While this new, independent Raj could lead to some great penny-pinching moments down the line — he’s already packing his lunch and has fired the dog walker — a less spoiled and indulged Raj might also become a better companion. Perhaps he’ll become a less needy and obsessive boyfriend, the kind of partner who might be taken more seriously. Fingers crossed for an uptick in the quality of Raj’s romantic pursuits, especially given those rumors about an imminent two-season renewal for TBBT. With potentially 50 episodes to come (or more!), there will be a need for many more stories, and there will only be so many more roadblocks to the inevitable Sheldon and Amy marriage. Let’s put some of the narrative heavy lifting on Raj’s shoulders. The character has always promised he has the potential to carry it.

As for the aforementioned Shamy, they deal with another of those aforementioned roadblocks in tonight’s episode, as Sheldon learns an important lesson about privacy and which intimate details of a couple’s life should and should not be shared with friends, acquaintances, or the lady who cuts the crust off your sandwiches in the work cafeteria. Sheldon had told several co-workers (and the lunch lady) about his sex life, namely that he and Amy engage in coitus just once a year. Amy finds out about his blabbing when their work friend Bert mentions he knows about it, and an evening of silent treatment later, Sheldon finally understands why his indiscretion upsets her. Sorta. The next day at lunch, he tells Leonard, Howard, and Raj that he knows she’s upset because of the widespread knowledge of their sex life … and not her tremendously painful menstrual cramps.

You were so close, Sheldon.


• Shocker: Sheldon tells Amy he got his driver’s license two years ago. She’s surprised, and not totally happy, because it makes her wonder why she had to wake up at 4 a.m. to drive him to train camp in last week’s “The Locomotion Reverberation.” Big-picture thinking, Amy: This means you’ll never have to do something like that again.

• Despite Howard’s belief that it’s Waiting to Exhale, Raj’s actual favorite movie is The Princess Bride.

• Yup, Euler’s Disk is a real thing.

• “I have six children, five of whom are married and self-sufficient. I don’t think I’m the problem.” —Raj’s dad, after Raj asks him what kind of a father gives up on his son.

• “You’re also too sensitive. Women don’t want that, either.” Raj’s dad, after Raj says the previous statement hurt his feelings.

• gHarmony: Bert’s dating website of choice, as it’s the matchmaker for geologists.

• Sheldon, after Amy tells him you should say hello to someone you know when you see them in a public place: “I have multiple restraining orders that say otherwise.”

• The answer: MSN Search, AltaVista, and Ask Jeeves. The question: What are Sheldon’s three favorite defunct search engines? Also acceptable: What is perhaps the worst date-night conversation topic Amy Farrah Fowler has ever experienced?

• On Sheldon’s “Zones of Privacy” board, the topics he determines are appropriate to discuss with strangers include traffic, the weather, and “smells.” Those included in his second level of privacy (he and Amy are first level) are Penny, Leonard, Howard, Bernadette, Raj, and Stephen Hawking. Stuart, sadly, is relegated to the third level, with Kripke and Bert. Oh, Dr. Fink is also first level, because he may need to be informed of certain rednesses and swellings.

The Big Bang Theory Recap: Failure to Launch