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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Big Bang Theory: “The Anything Can Happen Reoccurence”

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Amy and Bernadette are two characters that entered an already established dynamic, and sometimes they need to get away from the incessant drama that follows the people they call their friends. “The Anything Can Happen Reoccurence” opens with Penny complaining to Leonard about the horrible filming process of Serial Apist 2: Monkey See, Monkey Kill while Sheldon hounds him about what field he should pursue now that he’s abandoned string theory, and Leonard’s predicament is the situation Amy and Bernadette escape by lying to their friends.

When Penny, Sheldon, and Leonard embark on an “Anything Can Happen Thursday” voyage to find a new restaurant to eat at, they discover Amy and Bernadette sitting together at a restaurant. Amy told Sheldon she was sick and Bernadette told Penny she was working, and when they’re caught in their lie, Amy and Bernadette are forced to reveal their annoyance with Penny and Sheldon’s constant complaining. While it’s not much of a surprise to find out Bernadette would lie about her plans to get a stress-free night of drinking, Amy’s involvement in this plot is more unexpected, revealing that she’s getting fed up with Sheldon’s bullshit and is no longer going to shower him with affection when he’s not offering anything in return. 

“The Anything Can Happen Recurrence” works because it introduces some friction into the group by pitting the girls against Penny. There’s some drama between Amy and Sheldon, but for the most part, Penny is the problem in this episode. Bernadette is simply tired of listening to Penny complain, but Amy has a deeper issue with her friend: She’s jealous of Penny’s relationship with Sheldon. It’s not news that Penny and Sheldon’s relationship is the heart of this show. Amy is starting to notice how much more comfortable and expressive Sheldon is around Penny.

Amy wants to have that same kind of relationship with with Sheldon, and Leonard assures her that it will happen if she gives him time. Sheldon can’t be rushed with these things, and he tends to create a stronger bond with someone when their relationship begins in a more antagonistic manner. Penny and Sheldon butted heads, and Sheldon likes having people like that in his life. He’s a confrontational person who thrives on conflict because it gives him an opportunity to prove his superiority. Amy has only shown compassion and admiration for Sheldon, so there’s less pressure for him to engage. The further Amy pushes him away and the more she frustrates him, the more likely it is that she’ll ignite a spark of passion in her man.

There’s no reason for Amy to be jealous of Penny, and Penny’s actions in this episode may mean very good things for Amy’s future with her boyfriend. After a dinner without their deceitful friends, Penny takes Sheldon to a psychic and gets him to listen to his fortune despite his opinion that astrology is mumbo-jumbo with extra jumbo, and he learns that the answers he seeks to his professional problems lie in his personal relationship with Amy. She is the key to his future, and if he actively pursues a romance with her, everything will fall into place, both professionally and personally.

After the fortune, Sheldon exclaims that everything he just heard was malarkey, but judging from his reaction during the prophecy, he was seriously considering the psychic’s words. It goes against everything he believes in, but there’s a part of Sheldon that wants to believe in something more, something that can’t be proven with numbers. He wants to experience something mysterious and unknowable, and what he’s looking for is the thrill of love.


Sheldon’s already started to take baby steps in that direction by kissing Amy and discovering that he actually enjoys that sensation, and the psychic’s prediction tells him that he needs to let himself embrace an even higher level of intimacy with his girlfriend. It would be wonderful to see the psychic’s words reverberate in the future as a message that haunts Sheldon and guides his actions, because he could probably do amazing things with his head if he fully embraced what his heart wants.

The Raj and Howard subplot involves the two men watching a horror movie at Howard’s mother’s house and realizing that modern horror films are depraved and disturbing. It’s an opportunity for the writers to come up with grotesque scenarios and compare them to the horrific everyday actions of Howard’s monstrous mother—but it’s not particularly funny. Like Raj’s silence around females, the jokes about Howard’s mom have reached their expiration date, and repeating variations on the same bit is just lazy at this point. When Raj asks Emily why she loves watching these movies so much, she tells him that they turn her on, so he decides to suck it up and expose himself to some blood and gore in hopes of getting laid.


Stray observations:

  • Sheldon’s stemless martini glass half-full of milk is a great detail in his dinner scene with Penny.
  • “Hey, anything can happen. We can push him down the stairs!”
  • “You told me you were sick, but you look just as pale and tired as always.”
  • Bernadette: “I’d tell you what I do with Howard, but I don’t think dressing like a Catholic schoolgirl is gonna work with Sheldon.” Leonard: “He’d probably give you homework.”
  • “If I wanted to waste my time on nonsense, I’d follow Leonard on Instagram.”
  • “You know what this is? And I reserve this word for those rare instances when it’s truly deserved. This… is malarkey.” Penny: “Wow. You’ve really struck a nerve. I’ve never heard him use the M-word before.”
  • “Unless you have Gravity on Blu-Ray under that skirt, I don’t know where you’re going with this.”