The Big Bang Theory Season 8 Episode 23 Review: The Maternal Combustion

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Ever wonder what might happen if you put Sheldon and Leonard's moms together in the same room?

Well, that's exactly what happens on The Big Bang Theory Season 8 Episode 23, and it's amazing.

Christine Baranski and Laurie Metcalf guest star as the mothers, whose personalities clash immediately. Both of them are over the top in their respective stereotypes. One is an overly academic professor who is a little too logical, the other a fanatical Christian from Texas who, well, isn't rational at all.

The Mothers Visit - The Big Bang Theory

Both Christine Baranski and Laurie Metcalf play their opposing characters incredibly well. Both are obnoxious in their own ways, and both are completely hilarious. Having them in the same room together is a recipe for a fun episode, and it also offers a new perspective on our main characters.

I always find it interesting to get some insight into who Leonard and Sheldon became who they are.

Notice that Sheldon is the one who is overly confident, while Leonard is the one who has always had some insecurity issues. Sheldon's mother isn't academic at all, but she's always been supportive and loving. That's how Sheldon became successful, and while he has his share of issues, his self-esteem isn't one of them.

He's also consistently happier than Leonard, which makes sense coming from a home where he was loved unconditionally.

On the other hand, Leonard grew up being pushed to be the best and having to earn love and affection from his mother. No wonder he's so insecure! Thankfully, he has Penny to balance him out, now.

Sheldon has coffee with Leonard's mother, and he ends up being the one to change her perspective. By telling how his mother loved him no matter what and gave him spaghetti and hotdogs any time he wanted it, he makes her realize that different parenting techniques can still have good results. Even, perhaps, better ones.

So she gives being an unconditional mother a shot, in the most awkward mother/son hugging scene I've ever watched on television. Well, at least she tries.

The other major story line in this episode focuses on Bernadette and Howard. It's less significant than the other, but still funny and important in the big picture. Howard is often the worst husband ever when it comes to helping out around the house, and Bernadette finally lays down the law and makes him clean the entire kitchen (with Raj and Stewart helping).

Good for her! I have a hard time believing her character would have taken that much longer, so I'm glad she pushes him the rest of the guys to help out.

What did you think of this episode of The Big Bang Theory? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

There's only one more episode left this season, and from the previews, it looks like it's going to be a great one. The Big Bang Theory Season 8 Episode 24 will be titled, "The Commitment Determination," and airs next Thursday at 8/7c.

Need to catch up on past episodes? You can always watch The Big Bang Theory online right here via TV Fanatic!

The Maternal Combustion Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (79 Votes)

Ashley Bissette Sumerel was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in September 2017. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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