It's Valentine's Day in 'The Big Bang Theory,' and The Tangible Affection Proof opens on Penny & Leonard and Sheldon & Amy discussing their plans for the evening.
Leonard reveals to his beau that he is a "romance ninja" and will surprise Penny with his feats of love, whilst Sheldon looks to change the subject, and hypothesizes about a rather disgusting rectum theory. Who said romance is dead?
Leonard books an evening in a restaurant for himself and Penny, which then turns into a double date after Howard loses his tiny, yet thoughtful, gift for Bernadette.
The Walowitzs though, arrive furious at one another. Bernadette has hidden Howard's X-Box because he failed to do the laundry, proving once again that Howard is still struggling to leave behind his juvenile tendencies of yore and adjust to married life.
Leonard looks to remind them of the occasion in hope that this might appease their quarrel but then Penny notices that her ex-boyfriend is here with the same girl that he cheated on her with, who is played by Kaley Cuoco's sister, and after they get engaged right in front of her eyes, she jealously begins to proclaim how terrible her life is.
Of course, Leonard takes umbrage with this proclamation and suddenly begins a shouting match with Penny, as Howard and Bernadette look on, before finally deciding to reconcile.
Leonard, who had earlier attempted to propose to Penny in order to maker her night as memorable as her former lover's, an effort she rebuffed before his knee had even touched the ground, and Penny continue their dispute all the way home.
But after Leonard looks to clear the air, Penny reveals that she is sabotaging their relationship because it is moving too fast. Leonard then declares that he won't propose to her ever again, and that, if they ever get to that point, it is now her responsibility to ask, which they both seem happy with.
Meanwhile, Sheldon asks his assistant, Alex, to purchase Amy a gift with $2,000 he gives her. She intimately researches, and then purchases several options that would make a delightful present, but Sheldon rejects a musical box and a Canterbury Tales map, citing more modern alternatives, and then keeps a signed print of a brain cell drawing by Santiago Ramón y Cajal for himself. Classic selfish Sheldon.
However, when Amy arrives at the apartment the pair exchange the perfect gifts for each other. Amy decides to forgo the traditional Valentine's Day ordeals and watch one of Sheldon's "silly 'Star Wars'" whilst Sheldon enlists Amy as his emergency contact at the University, and for his troubles he is given an extra hug that he didn't bargain for.
It makes for a peculiar, sweet and strange scenario, and both Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik performances eke out the perfect romantic nuances of the characters.
Unfortunately for Amy she forgets that Sheldon is quite the hypochondriac and she is called out to assist him twice within the space of 24 hours, with what he presumes is a brain tumour and a poisonous spider bite respectively. Aw, young love.
Raj, as you would have guessed, is alone for Valentine's Day, but he tries to remain positive and organises a gathering for his fellow bachelors at Stuart's comic book store.
After noticing how desperate each individual at the soiree looks he takes it upon himself to give a rousing speech about how they are not alone, they are a community instead.
It proves to be so rousing that a girl decides to ask him out on a date right there and then. Raj departs with her, but not before shouting "later losers" at the expense of the guests. What a heartless swine.
The Tangible Affection Proof is a playfully sweet episode that generates organic, and enjoyably light, conflicts that reflect each characters current situations. By its end it has managed to progress every relationship forward, in their own imitable ways, and has maybe even found a possible spouse for Raj too.
Leonard and Penny lead the episode, and Johnny Galecki flourishes, reminding us that Leonard as a naïve, romantic and thoughtful fool who really is quite smitten with Penny, even if he is overzealous at times.
Kaley Cuoco is also brazen and uncharacteristically tortured and troubled as she reveals Penny's foibles in a forthright and honest manner, and I think it's plain to see that Penny's proposal powers will be unleashed before season 6's conclusion.
A joyous romp.
- - Sheldon after Amy asks about their plans for Valentine's Day, "In conclusion, I believe that the painful sensation felt after passing a meal of spicy chilli is proof that the rectum does possess the sense of taste."
- - Raj's idea for Stuart's party, "The theme will be 'the greatest time a man can have is the time he spends with himself.'"
- - Sheldon on Amy, "I think she likes monkeys and the colour grey."
- - Leonard after witnessing Penny's ex-boyfriend propose to his new girlfriend, "Two can play this game," Leonard gets down on one knee to which Penny instantly insists, "Get up."
- - Raj discusses what he would do to Stuart if he were a woman, "Then I'd take you home, slip off your little black dress, and pile drive you into oblivion.
- - Amy, "Happy Valentine's Day." Sheldon, "M'kay."
- - Sheldon to Amy, "This is the most thoughtful gift anyone has every given me, and that includes a rather amazing gift I gave myself earlier today."
- - A furious Leonard to Penny, "Oh fine, you win, you're a bitch."