The Big Bang Theory Season-Premiere Recap: He Put a Ring on It

The Big Bang Theory

The Proposal Proposal
Season 11 Episode 1
Editor’s Rating 4 stars

The Big Bang Theory

The Proposal Proposal
Season 11 Episode 1
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
Photo: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros/CBS

“Is this thing still on?” you’re probably asking yourself right now. So as not to draw out your rhetorical query: Yes, The Big Bang Theory is still on. It has begun its 11th (!) go-round on CBS, and before this season has ended, the series will have aired its 250th episode.

This is all to say that despite the haters, TBBT is still beloved by millions of fans, and those fans were handsomely rewarded tonight with the much-anticipated engagement of the series’ supercouple, Sheldon and Amy. It’s a good way to start off the season, as it promises not only a Shamy wedding, but a planning period that should be rife with instances of Sheldon Cooper, Groomzilla.

Already, Sheldon tells his mother there will be no church wedding, and objects to her assertion that if God lives in her heart and will therefore be in attendance at his nuptials, his mother has to attend the ceremony solo. “He’s your plus-one … you don’t get to bring anyone else,” he insists.

Sheldon also almost immediately inspires second thoughts in his fiancée, as he and Amy go to dinner with a pair of her Princeton fellowship colleagues. Her co-workers want to gush about Amy’s work and her accomplishments, and Sheldon, unaccustomed to not being the center of attention in any science-related scenario, reacts rudely. “They just kept talking about you, and how great you are, no matter how many times I brought me up,” Sheldon complained to Amy after dinner.  “It’s like having Optimus Prime to dinner and not asking him to turn into a truck.”

After Amy storms out, Sheldon, stuck in her small Princeton rental apartment with no bedroom of his own to retreat to, does the next best thing. He locks himself in the bathroom, and then goes to the smartest man he knows for advice: Stephen Hawking, who’s probably real sorry he ever let Sheldon get his Skype info.

“Those people were in the presence of a world-class mind, and all they wanted to talk about was their own nonsense,” Sheldon tells his hero.

“Can you see the irony in that statement?” Hawking asks a clueless Sheldon. “How about now? … How about now? … I’ll wait.”

In what would have taken days, weeks, or maybe never happened at all in the past, Sheldon summons up a dollop of self-awareness and realizes he’d been a bonehead. He makes up with Amy via an Avengers-themed apology (which comes as no surprise from the man who supplemented his vacation wardrobe with a trip to the local comic-book store). As he explains, his presence should have been the “delightful cameo” in her movie. “I’m proud of you, and I’m going to try to do a better job of sharing the spotlight, because we’re a team,” Sheldon said. “Much like … the Dodgers. If they had superpowers. And fought crime. And Thor was in them.”

Amy appreciates Sheldon’s maturity and growth, and tells him he’d now have a whole lifetime with her to continue putting his new attitude into action.

“It could take that long, ” he admits. “I’m really bad at this.”

In the episode’s other big moment, Bernadette and Howard are not at all happy to learn they’re having another baby. Pure panic sets in for the two, who seem pretty surprised they’ve managed to do as well as they have with their first baby, Halley.

Their reaction is understandable, because the fact that live-in friend Stuart and perpetually unattached friend Raj have been so available to them as babysitters and child-care pitcher-inners is a big reason they’ve maneuvered new parenthood reasonably well. Luckily for the Wolowitzes, Raj still has no girlfriend, though Stuart does have a date (and at one point, apparently, a tapeworm).

Meanwhile in Hofstadterland, Leonard suggests he and Penny would only get pregnant if he thought she was going to leave him, and then he bakes her a cake, which makes her think she had forgotten it is their anniversary. He assures her it isn’t. Until he checks his calendar and realizes it is. So, that marriage continues to be more than a tick or two away from happy/healthy/likely to last?


• “I think you should make like Saturn, and put a ring on it.” —Stephen Hawking’s advice to Sheldon regarding proposing to Amy.

• “So, how are you guys doing with all the new events in your … womb?” — Leonard, trying to subtly (and unsuccessfully) bring up Bernie’s unplanned pregnancy.

• “If I hear a flush, this conversation is over.” — Hawking, while talking online to a bathroom-dwelling Sheldon. Hawking, obviously, had most of the best lines.

• “Bernadette has to grow a baby inside of her, and Amy has to marry one … my life is great!” — Penny, assuring Leonard she doesn’t feel left out that she has no big news to share like their friends do.

The Big Bang Theory Season-Premiere Recap: Put a Ring on It