'The Bon Voyage Reaction' was the season six finale of The Big Bang Theory. Although it did not really end in a cliffhanger, the episode kept throwing curveballs to make me think of it as one of the better episodes this season: Leonard is invited on an expedition at sea for four months, Lucy and Raj break-up, but the most exciting thing about this episode was that Raj speaks to women without alcohol!
Howard recommends Leonard for a scientific expedition to the North Sea, which means he will be on a boat for the next four months. Sheldon is clearly jealous of Leonard and does his best to talk him out of going, but isn't having much luck until he mentions Penny... Leonard begins to worry that leaving for four months won't be good for their relationship, but Penny tells him to go since it's such a great opportunity. As a show of support, Penny decides to throw Leonard a "Bon Voyage" party.
I was hoping that this episode would reveal who got tenure (maybe none of them did... maybe it was Kripke!), but it was an interesting move for them to send Leonard away for four months (especially when he and Penny are doing so well!). When he and the other guys went to the North Pole for three months at the end of Season Two, Penny was pretty happy to see him when they returned in Season Three so I wonder what will happen this time... Although I will admit, I'm probably more interested to see how Penny goes 'keeping an eye on Sheldon' for Leonard while he is away - it's always funny watching those two together.
Raj would like Lucy to meet his friends, but she worries that she will not be able to meet so many new people at once because of her social anxiety. Raj suggests just meeting one to start with, so Amy joins Raj and Lucy for dinner one night. Lucy and Amy seem to be getting on well, but Raj keeps interrupting and drawing attention to how uncomfortable Lucy must be feeling. This of course freaks her out, and she ends up hiding in the bathroom.
The next day Raj apologises for his behaviour, and convinces Lucy to come to Leonard's going away party. During the party Sheldon pretends to be happy for Leonard and makes a toast to him. After this, Raj gets a text from Lucy: she has decided that she cannot handle going to the party after all, and furthermore, she does not think they should continue their relationship.
I understand where Lucy is coming from with this, since Raj has been putting a lot of pressure on her to do things she is uncomfortable with, but, I also understand that Raj is only trying to do this because he cares about her (as was made clear in last weeks episode), so I am sad to see their relationship end because of this.
The next day Penny drops Leonard off at the airport for his trip, they exchange a kiss and 'I love you's, before Leonard gives her a present. They smile and say their goodbyes, but since Sheldon is so worried they are parked in the wrong spot and could get a fine Penny does not open the box. What I'm wondering is: WHAT'S IN THE BOX? It wasn't that big... jewellery perhaps? Surely it must have some significance, otherwise it probably wouldn't have been included, or maybe I'm just reading too much into it...
On her way home from the airport, Penny stops in to see how Raj is doing. He is absolutely devastated - he can't believe that he ruined the best relationship he ever had. He begins to cry and call himself unlovable, and Penny tries to console him by saying it's just all the alcohol he's had. That's when the revelation is made: Raj has not had a drink since last night - he is talking to Penny properly for the first time in his life!
The were two things I really loved about this scene. The first was Kunal's acting: his crying over Lucy was so touching that I just wanted to give him a hug - I have never felt so sorry for him before! The second reason was because of how unexpected this was - when Penny went to visit him, and they were both upset about being alone, I was worried we were going to have a repeat of the Season Four cliffhanger, but was pleasantly surprised when it turned out the way it did.
At the very end of the episode, Raj is telling Amy, Bernadette and Penny all about his problems (without having had a drink first), and Amy wonders when he is ever going to shut up. Although a predictable joke (that I bet the writers have been sitting on for a while), it still made me chuckle, and I am looking forward to what the next season will bring.
Although this season did not end in much of a cliffhanger, there are still some things I am wondering about - are Raj and Lucy going to stay broken up, or is there a chance they could get back together? Or will Raj find someone else now that he can talk to girls? And what will Lucy think of this? Will Amy and Sheldon reach a new level of intimacy? Will Howard and Bernadette start a family? Who gets tenure? What is going to happen between Leonard and Penny?! AND WHAT'S IN THE BOX?! I can't wait four months...
Review by Heather Bale.