From jokes about Edison stealing the idea for light bulbs to Penny talking about throwing feces to an appearance by maybe-Nathan Fillion to a death in the family, The Big Bang Theory Season 8 Episode 15 covered a wide range of stories, jokes and even fit in the reopening of Stuart's comic book store.
Instead of the usual two or three different stories being told, "The Comic Book Store Regeneration" had a unique tone and structure for the series.
It followed several different spats between characters that by the end of the day didn't really mean much at all when Howard got the phone call that his mother died in her sleep.
While watching the episode, it felt a bit all over the place with stories that never quite came to a conclusion. It started with Sheldon being upset that Amy helped Barry with his String Theory research. Sheldon turned to Penny, but she wasn't able to help him "let it go." And then, Sheldon did what Sheldon does, he fixed his problem by turning it on someone else.
While Sheldon's irritation with Amy didn't lend itself to much humor in itself, his means of transitioning the anger onto Penny was hilarious. Amy tested Penny's intelligence and ability to solve puzzles against chimpanzees for a study and didn't disclose the true purpose. What? Penny had every reason to be upset.
Penny may have played a chimpanzee in a low-budget film, but that was no reason to experiment on her like one. Penny made her displeasure with Amy known with one of the funniest one-liners we've heard from her.
Oh, hey! Did you see that? I figured out how to open my door all by myself. Maybe I'll fling some feces around my cage to celebrate.Penny
Ouch! It turned out, Penny wasn't the only one being tested. Sheldon was doing the same thing to Leonard!
Arguments were happening everywhere. When they went to Stuart's new comic book store for the reopening, the arguments didn't stop. Howard was furious that Stuart had taken furniture from his mother's house for the store. Howard never appreciated the relationship between Stuart and Mrs. Wolowitz and it was only heightened due to the comic book store.
Mrs. Wolowitz gave Stuart money to reopen it and then he had the nerve to take furniture from Howard's family home to use in the store. With Howard's mother on a trip to Florida, he had no one to get angry at other than Stuart.
In a break from the arguing, Leonard and Raj headed to pick up food for the comic book store party. At the deli, they ran into a guy they believed to be Nathan Fillion. The exchanges at the deli between the guys and the maybe-Nathan Fillion were a nice nod to the nerd culture of the show.
Given the overall theme and tone of the episode, this bit probably would have been better suited to a different episode. It didn't really fit in and stood out from the other happenings. Despite that, there were some funny moments.
Nathan Fillion: Oh, umm. I think you made a mistake. I'm not an actor.
Raj: Don't say that. You're not Dame Judi Dench but you're pretty great.
In the end, it was all came down to one moment. At the comic book store, Howard got a phone call that changed all of their lives in an instant. His mother died in her sleep. Even though I knew it was coming, it hit me in the heart and instead of the normal smiles, chuckles and laughs that I experience while watching The Big Bang Theory, I cried.
The voice of Mrs. Wolowitz, Carol Ann Susi, died last fall and the writers decided it was time to say goodbye to Howard's mother too. Despite Sheldon's usual social awkwardness, he said the perfect thing to Howard.
Sheldon: When I lost my father, I didn't have any friends to help me through it. You do.
Penny: I really thought he was going to say, "Let it go."
She was a mother to them all! The toast at the end was lovely and a fitting tribute to both Mrs. Wolowitz and Carol Ann Susi. For more funny and emotional lines from the episode, check out our The Big Bang Theory quotes section.