After a brief winter hiatus, The Big Bang Theory has returned to continue one of the best seasons it’s had in several years. Normally, sitcoms on CBS (save Mom, perhaps) don’t usually hit the same depth and work so hard on their characters. Big Bang‘s framework has long been there, but Season 9 has largely been a bright spot in their long history. I do think that “The Sales Call Sublimation” may have taken a step or two back, but the first 11 episodes’ strides were so great that I hardly think it matters.
This week on The Big Bang Theory: Howard and Bernadette prepare to re-model their house, so Stuart decides to leave and get his own apartment. Then, they discover they might actually miss him a little. While Amy’s out of town, Sheldon and Raj discover a medium-sized asteroid, and struggle with what to name it. Leonard visits a psychiatrist to assist Penny with a pharmaceutical sales pitch, and helps himself out a bit in the process.
To be honest, it’s hard to come back from an episode like the last one. If anything, “The Sales Call Sublimation” suffered slightly because it’s back too soon from what was certainly an iconic episode of the long-running sitcom. CBS doesn’t really do long hiatuses but still, in comparison to it’s predecessor, this episode was simply unremarkable.
Don’t get me wrong, because there were still a lot of wonderful character beats and moments that make the show the charming sitcom that it is. I had a feeling, for instance that Howard and Bernadette would miss Stuart. As much as the guy’s a creepy sad-sack, he has his moments. Then of course Leonard and Penny with the shrink was some pretty strong character work, too. We all knew that Leonard would have to deal with his mommy issues (and Penny her Sheldon issues) eventually, right?
Best in show (er…episode) has to go to Raj and Sheldon’s discovery. It wasn’t my favorite plot until they finally reached a naming agreement. As funny as it was that (SPOILERS) Sheldon agreed to name any and all of his future children “Rajesh” in exchange for naming the asteroid after Amy, it does point to the larger character work they’ve been doing with him this season. Sheldon, finally in a happy relationship, still clearly has a lot to learn about what women do and do not want. This little piece of “The Sales Call Sublimation” was both the funniest and the most truthful.
As always, here are some of my favorite quotes/moments from the episode:
- “It’s the third best best western I’ve ever been to.”- Amy, beginning an ageless gag
- “You always know just what to say when I tell you what to say!”- Sheldon
- “Who wants to get their Sheld-On?”- Sheldon, recruiting
- “If anything I’m trying to get my Sheld-Off.”- Leonard
- All the guys listing Leonard’s issues was a funny bit.
- “An Indian guy outsourcing a computer job to a white fella!”- Sheldon (is he getting more southern?)
- “I actually did hear you roll your eyes that time”- Leonard, hearing a sound married men are familiar with
Since episode 11 was such a hard act to follow, “The Sales Call Sublimation” was really about as fine a follow up as you can get. It was funny, and still deepened its characters, though much more subtly so far in the second half of the season. All of it’s strongest elements were there, and Big Bang is still shaping up to have its strongest season in years.
What did you guys think? Did you enjoy the mid-season premiere? Let us know in the comments!
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS.