The Big Bang Theory Review: Penny and Leonard 2.0

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"The Recombination Hypothesis" was the 100th episode of The Big Bang Theory, so I was initially surprised that the focus was on Leonard and Penny's relationship. But actually it makes a lot of sense. When the show first premiered, it was a comedy about a nerd who had a thing for his hot neighbor. I'm not sure there was a better way to honor its history than to go back to that relationship.

A Romantic Evening

Where you surprised by the "day dream?" Unfortunately, I saw on Twitter that there was a "fantasy" aspect to the episode just as I was starting to watch it. I'll never know if I would have been fooled or not. But I think I would have been... even with that long, transitional glance across the hall between Leonard and Penny.

The telling of the story through Leonard's eyes worked for me. Do Leonard and Penny have a shipper name? I'm not sure, but I'm on that team. Whatever it's called. I know plenty of you out there hated when they were dating, but I enjoyed it. And now that Howard and Sheldon have paired up, I want Peonard! Or Lenny!

Getting the two of them back together on a comedy is a tricky thing. Instead of actually going through that horrid date and secret sex, Leonard "foresaw" what to avoid this time. I'm guessing he won't be questioning Penny's use of "always" anytime soon! I hope that when the sitcom returns, they are just back together and sharing the humor of their relationship.

While there were both serious and funny moments between Penny and Leonard in the day dream, the best lines were with the boys. Sheldon was absolutely clueless about why Raj and Howard were laughing at him.

The "wood" jokes were over the top, but they worked for the centennial episode. And once we learned that this was all in Leonard's head, it was even better. The game conversation was at the most basic level what makes Sheldon funny. He is very smart, but so clueless! They were jokes that 12-year old boys laugh at, but count these nerds in that group, too (not sure what that says about me, though).

While Bernadette and Amy were around, this anniversary episode brought us back to the origins of the comedy and what made us fall in love with these nerds and their gorgeous neighbor.

Are you glad that Penny and Leonard seem to be getting back together? Or do you hope that after their real dinner date they decide it's not going to work? And, did you laugh at the "wood" jokes. I did. It's okay. You can admit that you laughed too!

Relive the episode's jokes (wood references included) in our section of The Big Bang Theory quotes.


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (144 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


Part 2 of 3: 4. I suggest that the writers keep Amy-Sheldon. Amy has libido, and the writers should have her successfully seduce Sheldon. And, yes, pregnancy should follow, along with many visits from Laurie Metcalf playing Sheldon's mom. 5. Despite what I said in no. 2, Bernadette-Howard may become a shaky relationship as Howard realizes even more that he is engaged to his mom.


Part 1:
1. See my earlier comment about how both the writers and Kelly Cuoco rise way above even their otherwise typically really great work when they have Penny and Leonard as girlfriend-boyfriend. 2. I hope the producers/writers do NOT follow the Friends pattern of on-and-off again boyfriend-girlfriend relationships between main characters. 3. Penny is not stupid, and she clearly intuitively knows that her odds of finding a soul-mate who is more compatible with her, while being very grateful to be with her, than Leonard are much below 50%. So, in my opinion, the writers would be having Penny, with her personal history, behave very unnaturally if they did not have her trying very hard to make it work with Leonard. Leonard, of course, is already irresistibly drawn to Penny. Penny-Leonard opens up more comic opportunities than Dharma-Greg.


I could not stop laughing the whole time! I enjoyed the "wood" scene, mostly because of Sheldon's genuine befuddlement at what the other guys were laughing at. I wonder how many takes they had to do for Jim Parsons to get through that scene with a straight face. My favorite line of the whole night, though, was at the beginning, when Sheldon discovers he got the "wrong" Spock. "Live long & suck it, Zachary Quinto!" I almost fell off the couch! Then I hoped Zachary Quinto wasn't watching the show. I like Leonard & Penny together, and I hope it works out for them. I think they bring out the best in each other.


i thought it was great show. i laugh through the whole thing. boy was i shock to find out that it was only an day dream. and love how we hardly saw amy. boy i boy we keep seeing less and less of her


Well, people, they called this one "The Recombination Hypothesis" for a reason - from the title on it was clear that it would be a fantasy. Question is, where do they go from here? Will Leonard learn anything from his daydream? Will Penny think about protection? What does it say about Leonard when he thinks about Sheldon as one gigantic penis joke? (Hi-la-ri-ous! I'm 36 and I laughed myself to tears - kid at heart I guess...) All in all a really great episode, nice that they put the original premise, including their wardrobe, into the focus of the episode. Final comments: 1) Their ship name is Lenny, as opposed to the never-will-happen-but-very-popular-in-fanfiction-and-fanvideos Shenny.
2) Here's to 100 more! At the moment we are guaranteed 153 episodes, so the series would need a prolongation of two seasons á 24 episodes to reach that milestone.


"surprised that the focus was on Leonard and Penny's relationship"? Well like you said, that's how the show started - cool girl moves in across the hall, geeks don't know how to deal with that, and one of them falls in love with her, which makes the whole thing even more interesting. I wish they'd remember more often what made the show so great in the beginning, instead of forcing creepy Amy on us more and more and more... Anyhow, I'm so happy they finally got back to the Penny-Leonard relationship, I love them together, can't wait for next week to see how the date REALLY turned out! As to the daydream: Yep, very confused, I had to go back and watch it again after I read the reviews... And the wood jokes? Well maybe it was a little funny the first time, but the same joke about 20 times in a row? Really?


Loved that they went back to their roots
Loved that Leonard was the centre for a change
Loved that Amy was used sparingly and well done
loved that it was a fantasy and he went through with it anyway. The wood jokes seemed way to obvious and cheap but I laughed so the writers win. And I agree about Loving s3 with them together, but now that Sheldon and Howard are in relationships I doubt it would really work as well.


Carla, As someone who owns the Settlers of Catan game, I can tell you the funniest part of the wood jokes was that it *really* is the dialog you will hear while playing the game. And just as Howard and Raj did, other players will bait the unsuspecting one into the gutter farther. I do agree it went on a little longer than was needed but, having my wife once say "you know I need your wood" during a game I could help but love every minute of it Oh, and I didn't know it was a fantasy and totally fell for it!

Uncle jackass

"Live long and prosper... Hoftnny"


What an episode? I'm really confused! They were real great toghether! why are the writer doing this to us! XD So now are they back together or not? Hate the writers! the sheldon scenes were hilarious as always, and Ami and Bernadette were great as well! Can't wait for next weeks episode!

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The Big Bang Theory Season 5 Episode 13 Quotes

Oh, no. They sent the wrong Spock. Live long and suck it, Zachary Quinto.


Penny: You mean, like a date?
Leonard: Not like a date, a date.