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4 stars, Comedy, Reviews

The Big Bang Theory S5, E15: “The Friendship Contraction”

Any episode of The Big Bang Theory that explores the intricacies of the infamous “roommate agreement” is guaranteed to draw laughs just from the absurdity of the concept. Last night’s episode was no exception, from the opening “emergency preparedness drill”, to the establishment of “Leonard’s Day”, it was all systems go.

Understandably, such an episode was always going to be a Sheldon show, and he didn’t fail to deliver. When Leonard finally gets sick of the agreement, he ceases their friendship (through a clause, of course) and, apart from the obligatory “sup” when they pass each other in the hall, Leonard’s obligations are now null. He will no longer have to “provide a confirmation sniff on questionable dairy products”, and as Sheldon says “To amend the words of Toy Story: You’ve not got a friend in me.” He even offers Leonard’s duties to the rest of the group (for a mention in his memoirs “You’re Welcome, Mankind“), and when none oblige, he tries to strike up a friendship with comic-book store owner Stuart  – just to get to a dentist appointment by 4 o’clock!

Sheldon once again demonstrates he full oblivion to all things non-scientific, commentating “Wine and a girl in the dark … he’s going to be bored out of his mind” in relation to Leonard choosing to spend time with Penny than to become friends with him again.

It was enjoyable to see some more pop culture references than usual, namely Leonard pulling out a light saber in the black out and quoting Crocodile Dundee: “You call that a glow stick? That is a glow stick!”. There is also a humorous nod to recurring knocking gag in the series: “Since when don’t you knock, it’s the only thing good about you”.

The sub-plot involving Howard trying to get a cool astronaut nickname (“Rocket Man”) was also quite funny. His efforts fail when he is interrupted in a video conference by his Mum offering him breakfast, earning him the nickname “Fruit Loops” instead.

4 out of 5 stars

Episode details

  • Original Australian airdate: 20 February 2012 (8:00 pm)
  • Channel: Nine Network
  • Viewers: 1.374 million (3rd most-watched show for the night)
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