May 9 2014 11:00am

The Big Bang Theory 7x23: Will You _____ _____ ?

The movies mean romantic complications for Raj, Leonard and Penny, in two very different ways. Raj faces a bout of uncertainty when he spies Emily, his current crush, at the movies with another man, while Penny’s career takes yet another downward turn on the set of her killer gorilla movie.

Penny and co-star Wil Wheaton are giving this low-budget film their all as they enact a scene where Penny’s character, a bisexual go-go dancer, is turning into a gorilla. Wil Wheaton plays the scientist who loves her. An enraptured Leonard watches from the sidelines, but the director isn’t watching at all. He’s playing on his phone. The movie is garbage, he tells Penny when she wants to reshoot the scene, and nobody cares.

Leonard sticks up for Penny, Penny sticks up for Leonard, Wil Wheaton insists that if Penny goes, he goes, and the camera cuts to a shot of all three of them nursing beers in a dimly lit bar.

Unable to enjoy his movie, Raj repairs to Sheldon’s apartment, where Sheldon attempts to console him by making chai tea. Sheldon asks Raj why seeing Emily with another man matters. Wouldn’t Sheldon be upset if he saw Amy out with another man? Silly Raj, the relationship agreement rules that right out.

Back at the bar, Penny bemoans that the only thing worse than being in a movie where they glue monkey hair to her ass is being fired from a movie where they glue monkey hair to her ass. Wheaton does his best to encourage Penny that acting is about the passion they have for their craft, but he’s out at top speed when he gets an audition for Sharknado 2. Ever her biggest fan, Leonard steps in, reminding Penny how good she was playing Anne Frank, and that he got itchy and swollen just watching her performance in a hemorrhoid commercial, but even that doesn’t cheer Penny.

Raj doesn’t understand why he has such a difficult time relating to women, but Sheldon has a clue. Raj doesn't want to be alone. Raj has dated eleven women and thought each of them were his perfect match. Raj gets what Sheldon is saying. Raj needs to work on his fear of being alone.

He doesn't have long to wait; Emily drops by soon after he arrives home, to apologize and make sure the two of them are okay. Her tattoo artist has been asking her out for months and she wanted to get it over with. If she saw Raj with another woman, she would be upset. Raj is happily surprised, thanks her, assuring her he's not seeing anyone else. Neither is Emily. Raj asks Emily about her tattoos, allowing that he has a pierced navel. Emily proposes a bargain; if Raj lets her see his piercing, she'll let him see her tattoos. One is on her shoulder, one not on her shoulder and one really not on her shoulder.

Arriving at her apartment, Penny flops on her couch. She needs to make smart decisions with her career and her life. She and Leonard should get married. Leonard, however, thinks Penny is asking because he is a smart decision. He’s her bran muffin, boring but good for her. He would rather be a strawberry Pop Tart, something she could get excited about, even if it could give her diabetes. Penny tells him to forget it.

Leonard finally pops the question!Leonard assures Penny he does want to marry her, but he suspects she only proposed because she got fired from the movie and is feeling sorry for herself. Penny agrees it looks that way, but getting fired from that movie was the best thing that could have happened to her. She's finally realized that she doesn't need to be famous or have some big career to be happy. Perplexed, Leonard asks Penny what she does need.

Penny blurts out, “You, you stupid Pop Tart!”

Leonard's response? “Oh. Well, I guess I'm in.” Are they engaged? They guess so. There’s an awkward moment, and both agree that was one anticlimactic proposal. Leonard, however, knows what might help. Reaching into his wallet, he extracts a diamond ring and extends it to Penny.

He drops to one knee and asks Penny if she will marry him. Penny, of course, answers with a delighted “oh my God, yes,” and Leonard slips the ring on her finger. Granted, it would have been more romantic if she didn’t still have monkey hair on that finger, but they celebrate their new engagement anyway, with an embrace and a heartfelt kiss.

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.

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Teddy Pierson
1. TeddyP
Being a long time fan of the show, I always thought none of the main
characters should date Penny. Main characters dating each other is just
soooo standard and overdone in sitcomes. Plus, I liked the chemistry of Penny just being a friend to the guys. It was a good and unique dynamic.
Anna Bowling
2. AnnaBowling
@TeddyP, even though I personally ship Leonard/Penny, you're definitely not alone in preferring the just friends chemistry, because that's an interesting dynamic.
3. wsl0612
I think the proposal fit so well with the characters and the show's "feel" (can't think of a better word right now). I don't mind that they're dating, seems like the writers did a very good job of keeping their relationship fresh and realistic. And this show has to end sometime, although I'm not in any great rush, so getting Leonard and Penny married isn't a bad thing at this point.
Anna Bowling
4. AnnaBowling
@wslo612, this proposal (and all of the unsuccessful ones that went before it) did feel very much in character and in tune with the feel of the show, and this feels like a good time in the show to take Leonard and Penny to this next phase of their relationship.
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