May 11 2012 3:24pm

The Big Bang Theory Season 5 Finale Special Recap: We Now Pronounce You Nerd and Wife

Howard and Bernadette walk down the aisleAre you feeling the Big Bang Theory love? H&H blogger Anna Bowling is, and especially about last night’s Season 5 finale (episode 24), “The Countdown Reflection.” Make sure you’re caught up (and if you missed it, check out Anna’s TBBT 5.23 reaction post) and then read on for a special recap of the shippy moments that went down last night:


The nuptials of Howard and Bernadette bring to mind a burning question; why aren’t there more astronaut heroes in contemporary romance? They’re smart, risk-takers, literally out of this world, and as Howard shows, can be stunningly romantic. Right from the start, with Howard “Froot Loops” Wolowitz only seconds away from liftoff, this episode delivers the goods. During some good-natured ribbing from Howard’s fellow astronauts, we find the first surprise—Howard and Bernadette are already married! Did not see that coming, but thanks to the magic of flashbacks, we don’t miss a thing.

As both launch and wedding day near, Howard presents Bernadette with a delicate star necklace, but he’ll need it back; he needs to take it into space with him, so he can give Bernadette a star that has been among the stars. This gesture so charms Bernadette that she can’t wait for their rescheduled wedding.

Howard agrees to a hasty, private ceremony, but Amy objects. She doesn’t want to miss “her” moment as maid of honor and insists on wearing her dress and tiara anyway. Sheldon outs Leonard’s rejected proposal to Penny. Everyone has questions and opinions about this development, but maid of honor Amy shuts them down; this day is about Howard and Bernadette…and her.

Though the City Hall wedding is foiled by a scarcity of time and plethora of couples, Howard suggests a trip to Vegas, but Bernadette isn’t sure. Raj’s inner party planner may be miffed over not having the chance to recreate the Sound of Music wedding, but saves the day with a better idea yet. If they wait until Sunday morning, the Google satellite will be over Pasadena and they can have the ultimate wedding photo taken from space if they hold the ceremony on the roof. Since anybody can be ordained over the internet, technology even solves the matter of an officiant…but which one of their friends will it be? Sheldon volunteers, but only if he can perform the ceremony in Klingon.

While many sitcom weddings pile on the yuks, Big Bang Theory plays it surprisingly straight. Howard gifts his groomsmen with an iconic Fantastic Four comic each and leaves to retrieve his mother. Mrs. Wolowitz remains heard but not seen, as she sets up her chair away from the edge of the roof. Bernadette’s father hands her over to Howard with a gruff “Here you go,” and the wedding is under way.

In a crowning moment of heartwarming, we learn that Leonard, Penny, Sheldon, Amy, and Raj all got ordained so they could perform Howard and Bernadette’s wedding. Amy promises Bernadette that she’ll serve as maid of honor again if this thing with Howard craps out. Penny fidgets as Leonard extols the virtues of marriage, and Sheldon wishes that the bridal pair find as much contentment with each other as he has found with himself, in Klingon and English.

Bernadette’s vows are like her groom, short and sweet, while Howard’s tug at the heartstrings. Before meeting Bernadette, he couldn’t imagine spending his whole life with only one person, but now he can’t imagine it without her, then informs his mother that from now on, Bernadette is the only woman allowed to yell at him. All officiants pronounce them husband and wife, and in perhaps the longest shot ever, the satellite view does indeed capture the large white heart outlining the wedding site.

During the actual launch, the notice of a fuel leak doesn’t help to settle Howard’s nerves, even if the other astronauts assure him that nine times out of ten, there’s no problem. That tenth time? Problem. Uh -oh.

Back in Leonard and Sheldon’s apartment, the gang watches the launch, new bride Bernadette understandably concerned. She loves that man. So does he, Raj assures her, taking her Bernadette’s hand. Penny follows suit with Leonard, and miracle of miracles, even Sheldon reaches for Amy’s hand, and the warm fuzzies produced by one of the best sitcom weddings of ever should last us through the summer.

The cast of The Big Bang TheoryThe big question, though, (okay, apart from whether Howard’s mission will be successful, but since this is a comedy, we’re not too worried) is how the powers that be are going to top this come next season. What are your theories?


Anna C. Bowling considers writing historical romance the best way to travel through time and make the voices in her head pay rent. She welcomes visitors to her blog, Typing with Wet Nails and to follow her at Twitter.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
Aww, that sounds like a really sweet finale. Great piece, Anna!
Anna Bowling
2. AnnaBowling
@redline_, it really was. Sweet, funny and true to each individual character and the ensemble as a whole.
terree l
3. terree l
My two favorite parts were when during the wedding Howard yelled to his mom that Bernadette was the only one who could yell at him now! and then at the final scene when everyone held hands EVEN SHELDON!!!!
Anna Bowling
4. AnnaBowling
@terree 1, I'm still misty eyed about everybody holding hands in the final scene. That was my favorite part, too.
terree l
5. CCRead
That was a gorgeous wedding dress Bernadette wore!
terree l
6. Ira
What did Howard scream as the rocket lifted off?
Anna Bowling
7. AnnaBowling
@CCRead, Bernadette's dress was stunning, and the bridesmaid dresses were a perfect complement. The shrug and tiara? Pure Amy.

@Ira, Howard screamed "oy vey" as the rocket lifted off.
Stephanie Treanor
8. Streanor
I did love the dress too! Amy with her tiara at town hall cracked me up especially when she left bernadette to try to be the maid of honor in another couples' wedding!

I'm kinda hoping next season we get to focus on Raj, i love the joke on his "sexuality" but maybe they can do something where he comes out of the closet and the guys try to help him by going to a gay bar. Mostly because i really want to see Sheldon get hit on by a gay man. Which could then force him to prove his masculinity and go home and make out with Amy!!! OOH I'm writing to big bang now
terree l
9. ikeknight
Maybe Sheldon comes out. That seems much more likely than Raj being gay.
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