I can’t say that “The Speckerman Recurrence” was a bad episode of The Big Bang Theory, but I can’t say that it was their greatest offering, either. I’m going to go out a limb here and say that it felt a little like the characters were regressing right in front of my eyes.
Maybe that’s the inevitable by-product that comes from reminiscing about high school, which is exactly what happened when Leonard was contacted by a bully who made his childhood miserable. Wanting to hold Jimmy Speckerman accountable for all the things he did, Leonard agreed to meet him, only to find out that his bully just wanted to use his brain to make a quick buck.
Meanwhile, with the help of Amy and Bernadette, Penny came face to face with the realization that in stark contrast to her new circle of friends who all had bullies, she WAS a bully in high school. Penny has come very far in a very short time, so it was frustrating that instead of feeling genuinely bad about her former transgressions, she could barely make it through an apologetic phone call to a former, stuttering classmate. The bit might have been funny, but it made Penny seem unlikeable, and I really don’t like that. And then when she went shopping in the donated clothes bin…I felt like I was seeing season one Penny, the girl who made the boys go get her TV back from her ex. Penny might still have her moments, but she’s not that girl anymore. I wanted her to really make an effort to make amends. Even Sheldon said it…Penny is capable of great change. It would have been nice to see that.
Because we certainly didn’t get any real amends from Speckerman, at least not any sober ones. After sleeping it off on the couch, in Sheldon’s spot, he woke up the next morning every bit the jerk he was in high school. For a shining moment, I thought Leonard was going to man up and answer his “what are you going to do about it?” question with “call the police and have you arrested for trespassing,” but he didn’t. He and Sheldon got chased out of their own apartment.
Again, that’s funny, but as someone who was bullied, I wanted to see Leonard actually stand up to Speckerman. But, just like Penny, he reverted to season one Leonard who returned home from the TV escapade without his pants.
Maybe I’m expecting too much, but I’ve been watching these characters for five years now; I’ve seen them grow and change, so I know it’s possible. This episode did nothing to make anyone better or even different. Penny didn’t show remorse; Leonard didn’t grow a pair. And Sheldon just pompously belittled everyone. It’ll never not be funny because these actors are incredibly talented comedians who could make the phone book sound hilarious, but when growth and change stagnate, that’s when a show starts to lose viewer satisfaction.
Bernadette: I love this dress. How come I never see you wear it?
Penny: Because when I wear it, it’s a shirt.
Howard: Hey, we’re here to support you, buddy.
Leonard: No, you’re not. You’re here to see if I get my underwear pulled over my head.
Howard: You wore underwear? You fool…
Leonard: And for the record, Jimmy wasn’t the reason that I wet my bed. That one has my mother written all over it.
Sheldon: You know what would be nice?
Raj: What’s that?
Sheldon: As a symbolic gesture to all of the bullies who have tormented us over the years, if we open our home to Jimmy and once he’s asleep, we kill him.
Sheldon: I’m not going to say ‘I told you so,’ but we could have killed him.
What did you think of the episode? Let me know below!