TV Review: The Big Bang Theory 9×04, “The 2003 Approximation”


The time has finally come for Leonard to make the big move out of his apartment with Sheldon and into the apartment across the hall with Penny. We knew it had to happen sooner or later, but Sheldon was evidently oblivious to this fact. He, Leonard and Penny just got back from The Container Store with a load of—you guessed it—containers, and Sheldon couldn’t be any happier. Containers, along with a delicious blue Icee, are the perfect combination for a happy Sheldon. However, as they reach the apartment, Leonard goes towards Penny’s place with his new buy, and it’s as if Sheldon has been slapped in the face. He realizes that this outing wasn’t just a nice day out together, but a day planned to butter him up before the deliverance of bad news. He’s feeling betrayed, and they didn’t sell a container big enough for his disappointment.

Since Sheldon’s relationships with Penny and Amy are now strained, he’s turning to Bernadette instead for female encouragement and comfort. His mom was in Bible study, Leonard’s mom is on a book tour, his Mee-Maw was taking a nap, and after a while, Siri just kept repeating her answers, so she was no help. Naturally, Bernadette was his next choice, his seventh choice, but hey, at least she made the Top 10. It was nice seeing these two on screen together. They rarely have screen time with each other, and when they do, it’s usually with the rest of the cast, so this was a nice change. Hopefully we get to see more of these two in future episodes. Sheldon eventually reveals to her that he is feeling abandoned. Therefore, Bernadette suggests looking at the situation as an opportunity. He can now find a new roommate. In an effort to get Stuart out of the house, she puts forward Stuart as a potential roommate for Sheldon, but neither of them are having it. Like all of us, Sheldon would rather have Chris Pratt as a roommate. Stuart, on the other hand, has other things to worry about.


In an effort to give off the illusion that business is booming, Stuart is thinking of having live music at the comic book store. Howard and Raj don’t know anyone, but lucky for Stuart, this duo knows a little something about filk music. For those of you who don’t know, filk music is folk music with a sci-fi/fantasy theme. Howard and Raj have always wanted to play together, and now they have the chance to do that while educating the world on this music genre. Like all successful bands, they’re going to need a cool name. There’s no need for a brainstorm sesh because Howard has had this stored in a corner of his mind since Junior High. He had the name saved for his teenage trio, but he was short two friends. He lays it on them. “Footprints on the Moon” is what teenage Howard envisioned, and everyone loves this chill-inducing band name, but Stuart’s chills might just be a case of Lyme disease.

Back at the apartment, Sheldon and Leonard are making their break official. After a series of signatures, an RSVP to a 10-year roommate reunion, and an initial confirming that ownership of the living room couch is transferred solely to Sheldon in all perpetuity all throughout the universe and all alternate universes, except of course those universes where owning a couch is forbidden by the hive queen (All glory to the Hive Queen!), Leonard is only one signature away from ending an era. He’s getting choked up and can’t bring himself to sign it, but in true condescending Sheldon Cooper fashion, Sheldon spells out Leonard’s name for him, which gets Leonard to quickly sign the end of his time as Sheldon’s roommate.

After a series of interviews with new potential roommates (excluding Chris Pratt because he never tweeted him back), Sheldon doesn’t know what to do. He even asks Amy to move in with him, but it’s too little and too late. He blames all of them for the way he’s feeling now. They poisoned him with feelings, and he can’t help but feel as betrayed as the tin man who got a heart by that evil wizard and Pinocchio who became a real boy because of that jerk Gepetto. Not exactly the message those two movies are sending, but you get the point Sheldon is trying to make.

At Penny’s apartment, Leonard is feeling a little blue. Penny is asking what he wants to do for dinner, and it’s Thursday night, meaning Thai night. Leonard can’t imagine eating anything but Thai food. He’s now free of Sheldon’s grueling and strict schedule, but he misses it, and on their way out to dinner, Sheldon declines an invitation to join Penny & Leonard because he also misses the way things used to be. He’s in a vulnerable state, so like an operating system, he’s restoring his life to the last stable version of himself, which is in 2003, the day before he met Leonard. He literally converts everything in his life. He trades in his iPhone for a flip phone and his couch for a lawn chair.


Leonard believes Sheldon is only trying to get attention with his antics, but in a heartbreaking moment, Sheldon says he’s not doing it for attention. He’s just trying to figure out how to live his life now that everyone is leaving him. He’s thinking about the future and the inevitable change that will come. First, they’ll have dinner together a couple of times a week, then a couple of times a month, then only for special occasions. Like when Bernadette divorces Howard, or when Raj’s weird girlfriend reveals where she buried his body (I’m glad Sheldon also thinks Emily is weird), or Amy’s wedding where she’s marrying someone better than him. In this whole episode you see Sheldon breaking down, trying to keep his pieces together, and in this specific scene, he lays his heart out for Penny and Leonard. Penny is touched, and suggests leaving things the way they are, at least for now. They’ll just alternate sleeping in both apartments. They can think of Sheldon as their dog—he’s happy when they come home and he’s also scared of fireworks. Sheldon couldn’t be happier with this arrangement. Bring out the new roommate agreement!

Finally, back to the filk music. Raj has an epic song idea. It’s a power ballad superhero crossover tale of epic proportions. A David and Goliath story, a song about man against god, a song called “Hammer & Whip: The Untold Story of Thor versus Indiana Jones.” It sounds epic, and it surprisingly is epic. They spit a few versus that are literally perfect. Lyrics like “Thor and Dr. Jones. One plays with lightening/The other plays with bones,” and a catchy beat will engrave itself into your brain. I’m still singing the chorus one day later. Everything is looking up for Footprints on the Moon until Emily comes into the picture. Oh hey, Emily is back! She comes and goes so much that I often forget Raj has a girlfriend. After hearing his sick verses, Emily isn’t that fond of the tune. She thinks it could be more upbeat. This causes a rift in the band because according to Howard, Raj is always changing for his girlfriends, but fortunately for us, this fight lasts only for a difficult 20 seconds, and we get to hear their beautiful and awesome filk song in its entirety.


So far this has been the best episode of the new season. Other than Emily, who I can honestly do without, I love when Sheldon’s story is put to the forefront of an episode. We saw a glimpse of his heartbreak, and it’s moving. He’s heartbroken about Amy, he’s heartbroken about Leonard moving out, and he’s trying to cope in whatever way he can. For now, they’re leaving things the same, but eventually he will have to deal with the inevitable. They treat Sheldon like a kid for the most part, so the change is always minimal, but it’ll be interesting to see when Penny and Leonard finally take a big step without thinking of Sheldon’s feelings. In addition to Sheldon’s story, this episode had filk music, which completely won me over.

Best Bazingas!

“Blue Icees and a trip to The Container Store? It’s like I died and went to the post-mortem, neuron-induced hallucination commonly mistaken as heaven.”—Sheldon

“You just blew my filking mind.”—Howard

“What happened to me, Amy? Years ago I was completely disengaged from my feelings. I’d say it was a happier time, but I was disengaged from my feelings, so who can tell?”—Sheldon



Alejandra Torres is a 21 year old from Miami, Florida. She graduated from Florida International University with a degree in English Literature. She loves books, television, and movies. Some of her other favorite things include: leftovers (food—not the show), cookie dough, and her pet poodles, Benji and Bella. She hates Miami traffic but loves XM radio, so basically, it’s complicated. In a battle between contacts or trendy, oversized glasses, the latter wins because lets face it, contacts are a lot more dangerous than some people might think. Her latest binge victim was Parks & Recreation. She “literally” got through six seasons faster than the Millennium Falcon kicks into warp speed. Her favorite shows include: Game of Thrones and Pretty Little Liars—because it doesn’t matter whether a girl is from Dragonstone or Rosewood, fashion is key.