Caution: Major spoilers ahead!
CBS has been teasing constantly that this episode would reveal the biggest Big Bang Theory secret ever—and now we finally know! But was it the biggest secret in the show’s history? To be honest, not exactly. It was a pretty profound reveal, but it wasn’t quite as earth shattering as learning that Amy and Sheldon would have coitus or that Leonard and Penny would tie the knot. Still, the news that (drumroll, please) Bernadette is pregnant is a majorly exciting development, and one that will change the show as it heads into its 10th season.
Of course, Howard doesn’t know that Bernadette is pregnant because a rabbit on the loose conveniently stopped that from happening. Still, it’s a secret we didn’t see coming (click here to see what we thought the secret was!) since executive producer Steve Molaro told us a mere two months ago that there were “no immediate plans [for a baby].” So what changed? After all, Molaro said that while you “never know” what could happen, “that is the kind of thing that can really affect the DNA of a show.” Molaro wasn’t trying to lead us or anyone on with those quotes. At that time (in early December), he hadn’t even strongly thought about the possibility of a Big Bang baby this soon. When we caught up with Molaro after the taping of Big Bang‘s 200th episode on Tuesday night, he told Glamour that he came up with the idea two days before the table read of “The Valentino Submergence” (which most likely took place in early January). Per our conversation this past Tuesday night, he casually mentioned the idea of a Wolowitz/Rostenkowski baby to his fellow producers and writers—and surprisingly (for Molaro), it was met with much fanfare.
Melissa Rauch (Bernadette) was shocked by the decision, but she was totally thrilled to play all of the upcoming story lines that being pregnant and having a baby will bring. The actress—who in real life is not expecting—hasn’t been fitted for a fake baby bump yet, but she knows that wardrobe change is coming and is looking forward to the whole process.
Exciting baby announcement aside though, the true heart of “The Valentino Submergence” belonged to Sheldon and Amy, who shared one of the most heartfelt moments as a couple in this episode. During Fun With Flags, Sheldon got uncharacteristically serious as he talked to Raj (nursing a broken heart after splitting with Emily) about his own difficulties with love. “I acknowledge how painful [break-ups] can be,” he told his friend. “However, pain has an evolutionary purpose…Raj, I’m sorry you’re suffering. When Amy and I broke up, I also suffered. This may sound surprising, but I’m grateful for having gone through it.” A surprised Amy (as well as the audience), couldn’t believe that Sheldon Cooper was being so raw and mature. “Really?” asked a puzzled Amy. “Yes,” responded Sheldon. “I believe our relationship now is stronger than ever…When we were apart, I learned how important you are to me. I realize that when two people are in love, sometimes they…”
And with that, only the funniest moment of the night could make up for the frustration viewers felt at not hearing Sheldon finish his thought. Penny and Leonard, fearing that they had grown old and boring, literally leapt their way into the apartment dressed like Cupid, shouting, “We are young and funnnnnnn!”
It was a moment so hilarious that even Will Wheaton (who was watching the scene on a monitor backstage) burst out laughing and had to cover his mouth for fear that he was laughing too hard.
And while we are heaping on praise, let’s give a shout-out to Kunal Nayyar, who portrayed Raj’s heartbreak so authentically. “Before Emily, I was alone for so long, I don’t know if I can do that again,” he admitted. Although it was Raj who decided to end the relationship, how refreshing was it to see the pain that truly comes from knowing you have to start over, even if it’s for the best?
“The Positive Negative Reaction” (no doubt a tip of the hat to Bernadette’s positive pregnancy test) airs next Thursday night, followed by the epic 200th episode (guest-starring Adam West as himself) on the 25th. Stay tuned for coverage behind the scenes (we were there!), as well as video interviews from the cast at the 200th celebration party!
Photos: CBS/Monty Brinton