The Big Bang Theory Season 12, Episode 22 Recap: Leonard and Beverly Just Broke My Heart

Michael Yarish/CBS

Across town, Raj is preparing to board his flight to London while Howard and Bernadette sit at home questioning his decision. They reckon that Raj—a hopeless romantic—is off to try and be with a woman who doesn’t believe in romantic comedies. “You can’t really think this is a good idea,” Bernadette tells her husband. “Of course I don’t,” Howard says. When he questions what else there is left to do, Bernadette urges him to run after Raj and get his best friend back. Maybe it’s Bernadette’s voice, but Howard is out of there faster than Usain Bolt.

Back at the Hofstadter’s house, Penny tells Beverly to apologize to Leonard, but she refuses in the most monotone, emotionless voice. I don’t know why I never realized this before, but Beverly is so Miranda Priestly.

Meanwhile, Leonard wants to know why he so desperately wants his mother’s approval. “You’d think I would have learned,” Leonard says. “It’s too bad you didn’t,” Sheldon says. Yes, it really is a shame Beverly isn’t Sheldon’s mother.

Over at the comic book store, Denise tells Stuart that if he would have moved in with her when she asked, they wouldn’t be in this weird situation with her roommate. Stuart says she’s right, but when he had the chance he was scared. Now he says he wants to move in with her. The two engage in witty banter about comic books that I don’t understand, further proving that everyone’s person is out there.

Denise and Stuart look lovingly at each other
Michael Yarish/CBS

A good 45 minutes away, Howard rushes to the airport to stop Raj. “If you’re getting on the plane because you love Anu and can’t imagine spending another day without her, then go. If not, then stay here, with the people who love you.”

Raj is perplexed. “But what if this is my last chance at marriage and family?” (Well, if that’s the case, then me and a bunch of other 30-something singles are all screwed.)

Howard promises it’s not his last chance. Somewhere out there, there’s a woman who loves cooking shows and sweater vests and all the other dumb things he loves. “And I don’t think she’s waiting for you in England,” he says. “When you propose to someone in Notting Hill, it should be to someone who knows what that movie is.” Howard usually annoys me, but I’m here for his TED talk.

Raj’s response is brilliant. “Are you saying you’re just a boy standing in front of another boy saying you don’t want him to leave?”

“Sure,” Howard says, reluctantly. Then the two best friends hug. The airport lounge bursts into applause. And with that, Raj is returning home. But is this really the end of Anu? Or will she decide she can’t live without Raj?

While all of this is going down, Leonard storms into his apartment, prepared to have it out with Beverly. She asks if he’s calmed down. “No, I’m not calm! You really hurt me,” he says. Beverly says it wasn’t what she intended, and Leonard says it doesn’t matter. “What matters is the way you made me feel. Actually, the way you’ve always made me feel.” (Yes, Leonard!)

Beverly—giving us her best Miranda Priestly impression—says, “I see. You’re here to tell me all the ways I’ve failed you as a mother.” Leonard says yep, and it’s a long list. But then he adds it doesn’t matter because she’s never going to change. “If I want you to accept me for me, then I guess I’m going to have to accept you for you,” he says. “So…I forgive you.”

Beverly says she didn’t ask for forgiveness, but Leonard says too bad. It’s so heartbreaking and honest and once again a reminder that Johnny Galecki has never gotten the critical acclaim he deserves on this show. Leonard, with his voice cracking, says he forgives himself for taking so long to make peace with the fact that his mother will never change.

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