The final season of The Big Bang Theory kicked off tonight, picking up the morning after Amy (Mayim Bialik) and Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) wedding with “The Conjugal Configuration.” In addition to following ShAmy on their honeymoon, the episode considered a possible peek into Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard’s (Johnny Galecki) future through the lens of Amy’s parents and worked in some last-minute guest stars in response to Raj (Kunal Nayyar) starting a Twitter feud with a science celeb.

RELATED: Read all of our Big Bang Theory Season 11 recaps HERE

Life for Mr. and Mrs. Cooper kicks off at LEGOLAND, where Sheldon surprises Amy with apparent exuberance for marital coitus. When they arrive in New York for their real honeymoon, she learns that his enthusiasm is more a result of scheduling than desire. He’s built coitus into his to-do list periodically during their trip, planning for it after the Harry Potter play and their tour of landmarks related to the life (and eventual madness) of Nikola Tesla

True to form, Sheldon doesn’t understand why his approach to making sure Amy’s intimacy needs are met should irritate her. His ignorance leads to a showdown during the Tesla tour and Amy walking away from him in frustration. 

He catches up to her, with a peace offering of two hotdogs from a street vendor, and explains that he is not a physical person. He’s concerned that if he doesn’t schedule coitus, it won’t occur to him. He doesn’t want Amy to be unhappy in their marriage, to become cold and distant and to seek solace in the muscular arms of a longshoreman. 

Once she understands the motive behind his actions, she’s touched. She assures him that she could never be with anyone but him and tells him he can make as many schedules as he wants, as long as he doesn’t tell her about them anymore. He decides he’ll create an algorithm-driven random coitus generator to make the schedule, noting that it won’t be entirely random and asking if Amy knows why. 

Of course she does. She says, “Because the generation of true random numbers remains an unsolved problem in computer science.”

Sheldon shivers and drags her off to the hotel room, declaring that he’ll need her to say that again, but naked. 

Meanwhile, back in Pasadena, the gang discovers that Mr. Fowler (Teller) is secretly camped out in Sheldon and Amy’s apartment. When Mrs. Fowler (Kathy Bates) descends to reclaim her missing husband, Penny and Leonard use their spare key to let her in. She discovers him hiding in the bathtub, and although he comes to the living room with her, he refuses to go home. 

Leonard pulls Penny away from the confrontation, then immediately puts his foot in his mouth by suggesting that Amy’s parents have a dynamic similar to theirs. Penny, unsurprisingly, takes offense. She turns on her heel and goes to bed without another word.

The next morning, Leonard receives a chilly greeting as Penny makes herself espresso to “give herself an extra jolt for all the ball busting” she apparently needs to do during the day. Leonard struggles to dial back his insult by pointing out that if he inadvertently likened Penny to the overbearing Mrs. Fowler, he just as much likened himself to the cowering and impotent Mr. Fowler. He finally wins forgiveness by complimenting her on her many good qualities and insisting that any of his behaviors that suggest he’s scared of her have more to do with his childhood than with her. 

Later, Mrs. Fowler visits Penny. She’s concerned that her husband will never come home, but Penny assures her that he will. Mrs. Fowler moves closer, telling Penny what a good person she is and that she hopes they’ll get to spend a lot of time together. Penny immediately goes across the hall and orders Mr. Fowler to go home with his wife. 

There’s no marital drama (or kid drama) for Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and Howard (Simon Helberg), which positions them perfectly to play looky-loos as Raj turns an appearance on the local news to talk about a meteor shower into a full Katy Perry vs. T-Swift Twitter feud with Neil deGrasse Tyson. Raj revels in trash-talking the famous astrophysicist… until Tyson calls him on the phone and invites him to come say those things to his face. Raj backs down as fast as he can, and Tyson gets enough pleasure from his victory that he calls Bill Nye and tries to pick a fight with him. 

RELATED: Follow my Season 12 recaps here!


Leona Laurie