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'Big Bang' recap: Guess who's hooking up now?

May 19, 2011 |  9:44 pm


Lots of surprises this week as "The Big Bang Theory" goes barreling toward its season finale. During a video chat with her parents, Leonard discovers that Priya is moving back to India. Howard gets his panties in a bundle when Bernadette receives a major job offer and starts treating him like a trophy husband. And the most shocking development of all, Penny and Raj hook up (the bang heard 'round the world, so to speak). If you predicted that last one, raise you hand.

I didn’t see that one coming either, which is what makes it such a delightful surprise, even though it's another princess-and-a-misfit fantasy. This show is based around such things, so let's forget how implausible it seems for the moment, or the rather shoddy lead-up to it. The scene of Penny and Raj drinking together was rather lackluster. Guess they were counting on the big reveal -– the two of them waking up together after a night of drinking. That certainly worked. Penny's walk of shame, through the living room, in front of Leonard, sure tees things up for plenty of conflict next week.

Suddenly, this show resembles a nerdy version of "Friends," and what’s wrong with that? Penny's confession that she should never have let Leonard go is another big moment in this episode, and probably its most significant. But we all saw that one coming eventually.

This episode seemed to get off to a slow start -- the pacing, the jokes, everything a little flat in comparison to last week's especially funny show. But "The Roommate Transmogrification" finished big, which seems just what Bang has planned for this, its fourth season.

 -- Chris Erskine

Photo: Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons), center, toast the addition of Raj (Kunal Nayyar) to the neighborhood.

Credit: Matt Kennedy / CBS