The Big Bang Theory ‘The Maternal Combustion’ Review

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We’ve seen Leonard’s mother. We’ve seen Sheldon’s mother. But we’ve never seen them interact. Meanwhile, Howard helps Bernadette with the housework and tries to act like a proper husband.

WARNING: This review contains SPOILERS


Both Leonard and Sheldon’s mother visit their sons for Sheldon and Leonard’s paper, although we don’t really get to see anything related to their paper (I can only guess it’ll be relevant for next week’s season finale). It was only a matter of time that they would get to meet each other, especially considering how different they are: Dr Beverly Hofstadter is a psychiatrist and scientific person while Mary Cooper is a very religious woman. And their personalities indeed collide when they first meet each other and immediately start disagreeing on the existence of God.

The Big Bang Theory - The Maternal Combustion - The Daily Fandom

As the four of them sit down to chat, Leonard starts becoming annoyed that, while Sheldon’s mother is very supportive of her son and his intelligence, his mother doesn’t really seem to feel the same way. He is jealous of Sheldon’s relationship with both mothers and complains about his mommy issues, something that we’ve known he’s clearly had ever since his mother was introduced in the show.

And, if that wasn’t enough, the mothers keep disagreeing because of religion in which turns in a fight between Jesus Christ and Sigmund Freud.

Sheldon and Dr Hofstadter, who get along really well, discuss parenting methods. It appears that Leonard’s mother thought that children had to earn their parent’s affection by giving them rewards. However, at the end, after both mothers agree to bury the hatchet, Dr Hofstadter tells Leonard that she’s realised that there are other methods of raising a child and they hug awkwardly. We can only hope that this mother-son relationship is finally solved.

The Big Bang Theory - The Maternal Combustion - The Daily Fandom

On the other hand, there was a question lingering since Howard’s mother’s death: what is gonna happen to Stuart? Apparently, he keeps living in Howard’s mother’s house. Bernadette tells him that they don’t mind that he’s staying but that there’s gonna have to be some rules, like putting pants on. However, she realises that Howard is actually acting the same as Stuart. She gets mad and makes them clean the kitchen which leads to a conversation on how Bernadette treats Howard the same was as his mother so he decides to “start acting like an adult in this marriage”. But he obviously fails.

Yes, this is an episode that we needed. Both mothers had to meet each other at some point, and it was very important for Leonard’s character to finally get to make amends with his mother. However, Howard’s part of the story felt a bit week, and it feels like things should be more exciting before the big season finale, where we have been promised big changes for the romantic relationships. It seems very different from last season’s final episodes, where we had Sheldon’s career dilemma and existential crisis along with the crisis of Leonard and Penny’s relationship. This time, it seems like… everything’s too good and everything is too happy (except for Howard’s mother’s death, of course). We’ll have to wait until next week. Who knows, maybe they’ll really surprise us!

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24-year-old TV journalist. I especialize in fangirling over TV shows and anime. Currently fighting for fan studies to be recognized as a valid academic field.

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