The Big Bang Theory rocket launch is here -- and so is the story of Howard (Simon Helberg) and Bernadette's (Melissa Rauch) wedding, which almost didn't happen. As Howard sits, afraid for his life, next to two other astronauts, he remembers what happened in the days leading up to the launch: Bernadette asked him to marry her before he shot up into space.
Where will Howard and Bernadette get married?
This storyline is immediately a sweet one, rather than humorous. After all, this story starts with Howard giving Bernadette a star necklace, which he'll take into space, so she can truly have a star from space.
Howard and Bernadette's simple wedding is supposed to take place at City Hall, but that falls apart when there's too many people in line. Everyone is upset, especially Amy (Mayim Bialik), who insists on wearing her Maid of Honor dress. But they do take some time at the courthouse to make fun of Leonard (Johnny Galecki) proposing to Penny (Kaley Cuoco) in last week's "Launch Acceleration."
Luckily, Raj (Kunal Nayyar) the party planner has a great suggestion: get married on Sunday morning when Google's satellite is making the rounds over Los Angeles, so they'll be on Google Maps. But who is to marry them? Sheldon (Jim Parsons) strangely offers, but in the end all of the friends get ordained as ministers.
The Big Bang Theory Wedding, An Intimate Affair
After Sheldon gets himself out of Howard's debt, since Howard gave him a comic book worth $100 and Sheldon bought him an $88 gravy boat, the wedding begins. But is Mrs. Wolowitz there? She is, but she's not on screen, as she's afraid of falling off the roof.
Mr. Rostenkowski (Casey Sander) walks Bernadette down the aisle, but the moment isn't all that sweet when he hands her over to Howard by saying, "Here you go."
"What am I, a football?" Bernadette asks. And as her father walks away, he mutters, "Like that guy can catch a football." And that's not the only jab during this "Countdown Reflection" and wedding.
Because the gang all make speeches, not all of which are sweet. Raj cries. Penny makes an ironic statement about it doesn't matter where or how it happens, but they fell in love.
Amy would be Bernadette's maid-of-honor again, if their marriage crapped out. Sheldon spoke in Klingon, and then wished for them to be as happy together as he is with himself. Leonard though wishes them kindness, patience, and respect, qualities that are hard to find in others -- and then gives Penny a look.
Howard and Bernadette are married and happy, but Howard still has to be launched into space. This isn't a laugh-out-loud moment by any means. But it is by far the sweetest of the episode.
Both Raj and Bernadette declare their love for him and hold hands. Penny says, "This whole time a small part of me thought he was lying" and grips Leonard's hand. And then Sheldon, perhaps the most eloquent of all declares, "Boldly go, Howard Wolowitz," and then holds Amy's hand too.
Still, "Countdown Reflection" isn't over there. Executive Chuck Lorre's vanity cards at the end aren't usually related to the show, but this time it is. And if you weren't tearing up already, you probably were at Lorre's last words.
"I don't know what it is," he wrote, "but there's something primal, something deeply human being expressed when these characters unconsciously hold hands while watching their friend embark on a monumental journey... I want to... thank you for watching The Big Bang Theory, for being a part of our journey. I hope you've laughed a lot and stifled a little. I hope you're holding someone's hand. See you next year."
What did you think of the season five episode? Were you hoping for more laughs, or did the ending strike just the right note to sum up this season?