The Big Bang Theory‘s ninth season ended with a much more lackluster finale than what the show had gotten us used to in previous seasons. ‘The Convergence Convergence’ teases some plot points, but doesn’t quite resolve any of them.
‘The Convergence Convergence’ starts off by doing something we are not quite used to seeing in the series, which is mentioning the events that took place in the previous episode. As a matter of fact, through Dr. Beverly’s visit, ‘The Convergence Convergence’ almost felt like a Part 2 of ‘The Line Substitution Solution’. In this case, Penny mentions her day with her to Leonard and how she had promised to celebrate a second ceremony for friends and family (ironically, Penny’s parents weren’t there).
As it was to be expected, the majority of the ceremony was dedicated to the conflict that came out as result of placing their parents under one roof, rather than on the main characters themselves: Leonard inviting his father Alfred (Judd Hirsch) causes some friction with Beverly and their divorce, and Beverly isnt’ getting along with Mary (Sheldon’s mother) either. However, the ones who really got along were Alfred and Mary, which freaked everyone out because of the possibility that Sheldon and Leonard could end up being stepbrothers. It would certainly be an interesting move and I guess they could toy with the idea for a while, but I doubt they would introduce such a drastic change in their relatinoship at this point in the story. Overall, the whole ceremony felt lackluster and more forced than anything. While only focusing on Leonard and Penny’s marriage would not have been a wise choice, they could have certainly taken advantage of the situation to make some emotional speeches, even if it was only for the typical “we’re all here together to celebrate our love. Please, don’t ruin it, adults”.
However, I was expecting the big twist to come from the guiding system invention. This is something that has been a subtle plot point all season long and that I was hoping would reach its climax in this finale, especially after the military conflict that got introduced in ‘The Fermentation Bifurcation’. There was no climax. Howard and Raj receive a message from the Air Force right after they finish testing the invention, which prompts Howard into believing that they’re being watched from the military and that they’re going to be erased from existence if they don’t play along with them. While this plot point was pretty exciting to watch as it made references to conspiracy theories and pop culture, as well as adding some new dynamics to the car scenes we’re so used to, there was no clear resolution. It’s a shame, really, because this is the type of comedy you would expect out of a sitcom about scientists, but they really didn’t make a lot with it. I guess we will have to wait until Season 10 for that.
There are two different types of season finales. Some shows bask in big revelations and cliffhangers to hook fans until the next season, while others focus on giving closure to on-going plot threads and introducing new plot points for the next season. The Big Bang Theory had always gone with the first option (Sheldon leaving in Season 7, Amy breaking up with Sheldon in Season 8…), which is why I was expecting an extra scene after the credits. ‘The Convergence Convergence’ was still a very entertaining episode from beginning to end, but it was far from having the effect previous season finales had. Hell, it was even far from the effect that other episodes from this very same season had. I guess this time the “cliffhanger” is supposed to be whether Sheldon and Leonard will become stepbrothers or not, but since we didn’t see Alfred and Mary actually hooking up (which could have been used as an ending scene, for example), I’m guessing it won’t happen or that it won’t have a lot of relevance in general. The good news is that Season 10 still looks interesting, if only for Bernadette’s pregnancy.