overnights

The Big Bang Theory Recap: Look Who’s Not Talking

The Big Bang Theory

The Consummation Deviation
Season 12 Episode 8
Editor’s Rating *****

The Big Bang Theory

The Consummation Deviation
Season 12 Episode 8
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

This whole arranged marriage plan has been going very smoothly for Raj and Anu so far. Of course, Raj is going to throw a wrench into that.

R. Kooth shares with his friends that he and Anu are about to have sex for the first time, and the more he talks about it, the more nervous he gets. He builds up such a headful of angst that he can’t talk at all, in fact. Yes, the selective mutism makes a return.

Anu reserves a beautiful room at the hotel where she works, and Raj arrives first to prepare for their night of romance. He makes a quick call to Penny so she can try to talk him down from the performance anxiety ledge, but when Anu texts about her imminent arrival, Raj really loses his cool. When Anu enters the room, he can’t speak to her, and instead grabs a bottle of champagne and heads to the bathroom.

The situation, thankfully, is not played off in typical sitcom form; Anu does not pretend she doesn’t notice that something is very wrong. When Raj finally exits the bathroom several minutes later — and with that champagne bottle at least half empty — she demands to know what’s going on with her suddenly babbling, frisky fiancé.

Raj wisely ‘fesses up about his history of nervousness with the ladies. Well, he didn’t really have a choice … Anu’s first guess was that he had a drinking problem.

“No, I have a talking problem, and a drinking solution,” Raj clarifies.

She asks why he hasn’t told her about this, and when he admits he was too embarrassed, she offers up something uncomfortable about herself: she doesn’t like music. Not just certain music, but any music. Not even Beyoncé?! Raj wonders. Not even “Single Ladies”!

Sharing their quirky embarrassments leads to a kiss, and when the two wake up in bed together the next morning, we learn the sex was … nonexistent. They spent the whole night talking. Sharing their vulnerabilities with each other has allowed them to bond in a way that suggests, for the first time, that they may really be a good love match. Just to be sure about that other thing, though, Anu announces her intentions to take a shower, and tells a still sometimes clueless Raj he should join her.

Lest we think the groom-to-be is the only one focusing on building a good relationship, newlywed Sheldon takes note when Raj mentions to his friends that he’s already friendly with Anu’s parents. This leads Sheldon to decide he’s going to spend the day with Amy’s dad, taking Mr. Fowler to his favorite haunts and allowing him the pleasure of a day spent listening to Sheldon’s many (many) theories and factoids about … everything.

Ol’ Larry is a good sport, but when he and Sheldon hit the comic book shop, Howard woos Larry’s attention away with a magic trick. Amy’s papa is fascinated with Howard’s amateur skills (cute, given that Larry is played by magician Teller, of Penn & fame), annoying Sheldon and sending him to the Fowler homestead to click with Mrs. Fowler instead.

Amy’s mom is more visibly annoyed than her husband with Sheldon’s single-minded focus on his particular interests, but when the mother and son-in-law figure out they’re irritated by the same things — like the fact that both Amy and Mr. Fowler put ketchup on their eggs — they warm up to each other. When this new connection leads to the discovery that Amy has been using Sheldon as an excuse to avoid spending time with her mommy dearest, their new link strengthens: Sheldon defends Amy, even though she threw him under the bus with her mom, which finally convinces Mrs. Fowler that Sheldon loves her daughter and is loyal to her. Sheldon simply finds his new in-law delightful (in no small part thanks to the chemistry between Jim Parsons and deadpan guest star Kathy Bates).

Oh, they also both dislike magic, and have a similar opinion about Howard — or, “that odd little friend you have with the haircut,” as Mrs. F. describes him.

“I may have married the wrong Fowler,” Sheldon remarks about his new BFF.

Theor-ems

• Raj also reveals big wedding news: He and Anu will be getting married on Valentine’s Day, in India.

• Raj assures Anu he’s had no complaints from his past sexual partners. “I’ve had questions, comments, some constructive criticism, but no complaints,” he says.

• Sheldon is fascinated that Amy’s dad calls her “Pumpkin.” He’s been calling Amy “Spaghetti Squash,” and so concludes that everyone in the Fowler-Cooper family should be given vegetable nicknames. Larry becomes “Turnip,” and Mrs. Fowler is “Old Lady Green Beans.”

• Howard informs Stuart that all the candy at the checkout counter in the comic book store is expired. Stuart’s unconcerned: “You buy candy in a comic book store, you get what you get.”

• Raj’s go-to sexual move is the “Screaming Locust.” It’s a fake Kama Sutra move, something he says is really a cover for when he gets leg cramps while getting his swerve on.

• Okay, but back to Anu’s hatred of music … does that seem like a pretty big issue to anyone else? Presumably, if she hates music, she isn’t going to want to have it playing in her house or in her car … unless you’re also someone who hates music, isn’t that going to be a constant source of tension, maybe even fights? Or it’s going to demand what I’d consider a pretty big sacrifice, for someone to give up listening to music. Thoughts?

The Big Bang Theory Recap: Look Who’s Not Talking