The Big Bang Theory Review: "The Engagement Reaction"

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After mostly relegated to the B story as a supporting character for the past four years, Howard Wolowitz finally found himself front and center this week, as "The Engagement Reaction" followed his mother ending up in the hospital.

Howard has certainly become much more likable of a character this season; Bernadette has helped give his character an excuse to grow from a one-note horndog into a slightly more rounded individual.

Mistake by Sheldon

Now he has all sorts of new jokes they can beat like a dead horse. Like that he's Jewish and marrying a Catholic woman. Speaking of dead horses, I was previously getting very sick of the always off-camera voice that's been Mrs. Wolowitz since season one.

The generic, obnoxious yenta voice that is Wolowitz's mother finally grew on me. Why? Because of the "twist" that she was concerned for her new daughter-in-law getting food poisoning, and not having a heart attack because her son was marrying a shixa. How's that for acceptance, Glee? But Bernadette doing the voice and it turning Howard on?  All kinds of creepy.

Speaking of characters that are growing on me, where was Amy? I know, I know. I spent how many weeks of reviewing bashing her character. But I realized something during last week's adventures with her bestie: I like Amy now.

Was she needed in the hospital story line? Not at all. Would she have gotten in the way of Priya and Penny bonding? Probably. But that was a risk I was willing to take.

Priya continues to do the opposite of grow on me and even irritate me more with each episode. I don't care if she bonds with Penny, they have set up her character as just too unlikable.

Since TBBT is still the Sheldon show, even when Wolowitz is given the A story, everyone's favorite preying mantis had to do his thing here. This week's episode focused on one of my least favorite quirks of his: germaphobia.

Sheldon always manages to walk that very thin line between unaware of social norms and being a jerk. Unfortunately, I just felt his obsession over getting out of the hospital while his friend's mother's life was in danger leaned too heavily on the jerk side.

That's okay, because the payoff of Sheldon wandering into a quarantined patient's room was almost worth it. I hate to say it, but it's the Sheldon show for a reason. It got the most laughs of any of The Big Bang Theory quotes for me.


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (68 Votes)

Eric Hochberger is the programmer of TV Fanatic, so please forgive his mediocre writing. His programming is far better. Follow him on Twitter and/or email him. Just don't request threaded comments. They're coming.




Sheldon was too calm in the end. Knowing him, he should be crying about his oncoming death :D. Also, how could he be so distracted in the begining?
Not to mention that fear of hospitals came from nowhere, and that's not cool... Liked Raj making fun from Leonard :D


I missed the Penny-Sheldon laundry room scenes. Glad this episode has that scene. I love Bernadette and Howard. :) Sheldon's germaphobia does not come as funny but as annoying and blah.


Meh. Average. Obvious move with Bernadette being like Mom. A Wolowicz show? I consider it more of a a Raj show. The Sheldon story was obvious and dumb, too. The character need to take a back seat for a while. His comedy is based on altered observations. If that's all you get, it's gonna suck fast. I agree that AFF has become a decent and cool character. I'm pretty surprised because I HATED that character at first.


The Priya character is what got me started watching this show. I love the sound of her voice, but she doesn't get enough screen time. Amy and Howard have the best comic bits followed by Raj. The rest are just so-so.


I thought this episode was a good one, but lazy when it comes to continuity. Back when Leonard was dating that doctor lady, Sheldon had no problem going to the hospital, and he also took Penny to the hospital when she broke her arm or something. I forgot who Amy was in this episode. I don't think it's a bad thing. If a character is not needed, it's better to leave them out than to force them into a storyline in which they don't belong. I like Priya, especially with Raj, but with Leonard too (her convo with Leonard in the bathroom an episode or two back was hilarious). I didn't like the fact that she started to change Leonard, though. Overall though I enjoy her presence. I also think she's really pretty :) I hope Priya/Leonard continues and Sheldon and Penny spend more time together, because those brief moments are usually the most memorable of the series. To get back to this episode, I thought Howard's line about his ancestors depicted in a French cave painting clutching their chest in the midst of a heart attack was priceless. Overall it was a very heartwarming episode for Howard, his mother and Bernadette, even though Howard ruined it in the end by commenting on the hotness-level of Bernadette's voice (how talented is the actress, btw? Seriously). Leonard had some nice expressions in this episode and while I've found him to be one of the funniest characters on the show, I haven't really cared for him because he hates himself and the fact that he's a nerd, but this episode rather put him back to the awww-category for me. Raj is kind of evil :D I kind of hope he gets together with Bernadette, because Howard doesn't really respect Bernadette (as we saw in that road trip episode). I'm not sure if Raj would be a better choice, though.. Sheldon&Penny moment was brief but heartwarming :) A very good episode, overall.


The Sheldon show ?? You must be nuts. His character is a bit too played out and is really getting boring. I wish they would develop the other characters and stop wasting so much time on his stupid jibber jabber.


@Laura - to label the reviewer as racist because he does not like Priya is ridiculous. He obviously likes Raj and he too is Indian. I cannot stand Priya. My dislike of her began when she started changing Leonard - his hairstyle, clothing, etc. If she loved him, she would accept him as he is. I think she is a snob and a hypocritic. And of course I want Leonard to be with Penny, so that doesn't help her standing with me. I cannot wait for Leonard to stand up for himself and throw her to the side.


I give this show a five. I got more real laughs out of this episode than any I can remember. Even the Wolowitz mother's voice joke was really on. It is obvious he has a love hate relationship with his Mom. If Sheldon had not been so resistant to coming to the hospital the joke of his getting caught in the room with the guys in the suits would not have been nearly as funny. It was a masterful setup for the joke.


@Laura, seriously???? Nothin gmore needs to be said. Priya is a B! I don't care what race you are you don't interfere with friendships the way she has. The writers know exactly what they are doing. I thought the last episode was very funny. The best part was Raj and the water and the mouthwash. I did not even expect that out of him.

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The Big Bang Theory Season 4 Episode 23 Quotes

Sheldon: Do you know where the phrase jibber jabber comes from?
Penny: Oh my god, you're about to jibber jabber about "jibber jabber?"

Have you told your parents you're dating this short glass of skim milk?