WARNING: This review contains SPOILERS
Well, well, well… We finally got our season finale. And it did not let us down. This time the writers decided to focus on the pairings and boy, there was EVERYTHING in this episode: you could say that we had two pairings wanting to break up and two others making a commitment. Or at least that’s what it seemed. The title, “The Commitment Determination” seemed at first like a reference to Penny and Leonard, and their final determination in committing to a life of being together. But it was actually more about about Sheldon and his commitment to Amy.
Raj & Emily; Bernadette, Howard & Stuart
The most relevant part of the episode was on Penny, Leonard, Sheldon and Amy’s part. However, this side-plot still held some relevance and shared some themes with the other part.
Raj and Emily (who haven’t gotten much attention this season) are having some issues. Or at least Raj is: she wants to have sex in a cemetery, which is really weird. Bernadette says that it’s OK as long as they’re two consenting adults. Except that Raj admits that he’s just “pretending to be consenting” because he doesn’t want “to be alone”. And that’s really f*cked up and not healthy at all. He has some doubts and wonders whether he should break up with her, something that Howard, Bernadette and the audience found hard to believe. He’s come so far: he started off as this shy, anxious boy who couldn’t talk to women and now he’s considering dumping a really beautiful woman who loves him. This would be the first break up of the episode. Except that it didn’t actually happen, or at least it didn’t happen on screen. As they were having a “romantic” picnic in the cemetery, Raj prepares to break up with her but he can’t do it.
The show made it very obvious to parallel this situation with constant cuts to Bernadette and Howard addressing an issue that has been bothering them for the second half of the season: Stuart needs to go. But they can’t do it either: it’s his birthday.
I guess we still didn’t get any resolution from these two sides.
Penny & Leonard; Sheldon & Amy
The first thing that I want to say is that Sheldon seemed oddly mature in this finale. The episode starts with Sheldon and Amy kissing on the couch. The moment is gone when Sheldon interrupts to ask her whether he should start watching The Flash. Sheldon’s commitment doubts are on The Flash, and not on Amy (after all, we later find out he didn’t have any doubts on committing to Amy). Obviously, Amy gets mad at him.
Sheldon later complains about it to Penny and Leonard. What’s the problem with taking things slowly?, he wonders. After all, that’s what Leonard and Penny are doing, right?. Leonard and Penny instantly get defensive on why they’re taking so long to set a wedding date considering they’re been engaged for over a year and still haven’t planned anything. That makes them a bit anxious so they decide some small wedding details to feel like they’re making some progress. They finally decide to get married that same night in Vegas.
Whether that was a wise decision we still don’t know. Even though they were heading to Vegas, we didn’t actually see them getting married in this episode so that’s another mystery that remains for next season. Especially since Leonard revealed something to her that made things a bit awkward. Apparently, he had made out with another girl two years ago after getting drunk. To him, it was coming clean. To her, it was like he was trying to sabotage the wedding. Again, no resolution and we’ll have to keep waiting to see their marriage.
Back to his business, Sheldon skypes with Amy at the end of the episode. An this is where we knew something big was gonna happen. Amy tells Sheldon that she’s been thinking and that she needs some time “to take a step back” and “reevaluate” their situation. Sheldon, who looks shocked, accepts and they say their goodbyes. This is what many of us thought the big surprise/cliff-hanger was. But then the writers used those final 20 seconds to rip our hearts apart: Sheldon asks his Golem figure, “an expert on rings”, what should he do with the ring he had gotten for her.
So now we know why Sheldon was being so mature, supportive and encouraging of Leonard and Penny: he wanted the same thing for Amy and him. Do you understand how big a deal this is? Sheldon Cooper wants to marry Amy. It’s still not clear whether they broke up or just took a break (I guess Ross and Rachel would disagree on that one) but I’m counting on them fixing their problems quickly next season.