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'The Big Bang Theory' recap: Penny and Leonard together again

November 19, 2010 |  7:07 am


And now back to our regular programming.

In this season's first seven episodes, "The Big Bang Theory" has tip-toed around Penny's and Leonard's breakup, referencing it but not getting much mileage out of the situation. Well, the gloves are off.

"Oh frick frack, not this again," Sheldon says.

Yes, this again -– and just in time for sweeps. This princess-and-the-frog relationship is now the juice that runs the show, and what made this week's episode one of the best of the season. I guess you can't blame executive producer Bill Prady for not wanting to rely on the Penny-Leonard thing too much -– or for having to mark time after Kaley Cuoco suffered a broken leg and had to be written out of the show for a while.

I'll bet that made for some long nights in the writers' room.  But Penny-versus-Leonard is this season's main event, and it's about time they rolled it out.

In this week's story line, Penny's father is visiting, and she wants to pretend that she and Leonard are still together, because the young scientist is the only boyfriend her father has ever liked. Why? "I want grandkids before I die, and I'd like to see them grow up in a house without wheels," says her father, played by Keith Carradine.

Of course, in pretending to be together, they ignite the old sparks.

Meanwhile, in one of the funniest moments of the year, Howard intercepts a kiss that Raj was trying to plant on Howard's girlfriend, Bernadette – a laugh-out-loud moment. Another funny and unexpected treat: Bernadette's dead-on impersonation of Howard's mother.

 All in all, a terrific episode that seems to point to better things to come.

 -- Chris Erskine

Photo: Howard (Simon Helberg, left), Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and Raj (Kenal Nayyar) in "The Big Bang Theory." Credit: Sonja Fleming / CBS