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"The Maternal Conclusion"[1] is the twenty-second episode of the twelfth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Thursday, May 9, 2019.

Summary

Leonard is pleasantly surprised when Beverly comes to visit and she's genuinely kind to him, until he finds out the real reason she's there. Also, Denise and Stuart overstay their welcome at the Wolowitz House.[2]

Extended Plot

Having tea with the Coopers, Sheldon asks when Leonard was planning on picking his mother up at the airport. Never because she always takes a cab. She likes to meet people and then determine their emotional weak spots. After Sheldon volunteers Amy and himself to pick up Beverly Hofstadter, Leonard gets goaded into doing it himself. Sheldon wants to go, but ends up not going when Amy doesn’t want to be the only one not going and has the fear that people will be talking about her.
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Anu calling from London.

Leonard picks up Beverly who wonders why others didn’t come. When asked about her flight, she complains about some adults on the plane crying because that she made them cry after some of her constructive criticism. Beverly is staying with Leonard and Penny even though Leonard offers her the chance to stay in a hotel. She accepted Leonard’s earlier offer and Beverly thinks that everyone is now happy though Leonard does not sound happy.

Howard, Raj and Bernadette are having dinner together in the kitchen while Raj wonders why they never eat in thelr dining room. Bernadette explains that that’s for company and Raj finds out that he’s not company. They discuss that Anu is in London when Denise comes in, says "hi" and adds juice to their shopping list. Bernadette then snaps that she wondered whose handwriting that was. She has been staying at their house quite a bit lately.

In Apartment 4A, Beverly is discussing Leonard’s new project co-leading on a photon entanglement team. She finds that interesting and wants to see his lab. Leonard is surprised, but glad to show it to her. She then says good night and calls him “dear”. Penny thinks that Beverly is being nice, while Leonard figures that she is dying. Penny wonders if Beverly thinks that he is doing great and that she is proud of him. Leonard takes Penny’s glass away saying that she has had too much to drink.

Raj is Skyping with Anu in London at her concierge convention. He is glad to see him. Anu is staying in Notting Hill just like in Notting Hill (film)|the movie which Anu hasn’t seen. She has bad news that she had been offered a management position in London. What about them? Anu asks Raj how committed he is to California. His friends are there, but Raj hasn’t been happy for a long time.

Denise is leaving the comic book store for her art class as Stuart kisses her and says that he’ll she her later. Howard notices and Stuart mentions that they are having movie night later. Howard asks Stuart that shouldn’t he say something to him since it his house. Stuart thinks a moment and then invited Howard to join them. Howard asks about them doing at apartment|her place. Howard finds out that she has a rather creepy room-mate. Howard comments that it’s like Denise is living with them. Stuart replies that he and Bernadette said that Stuart could bring girls over. But they were making FUN of him at the time.

Leonard shows his mother around his photon lab and she finds the equipment very impressive. Leonard is expecting a “but” tinged with criticism. Surprisingly he gets none. Sheldon joins them and Beverly is glad to see him, but wants to spend her time with Leonard. She tells Sheldon that they can talk later about his Nobel Prize nominated work.
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Stuart agrees to move in with Denise.

Stuart and Denise sit down to watch Paddington 2 at her apartment when her creepy room-mate Mitch asks to join them. He sits down even though he’s seen the movie. He’d rather stare at them, which unnerves both Stuart and Denise.

Raj sits down with the Wolowitzes to discuss Anu. He thinks that her moving to London is the push he needed to move forward with their relationship. He plans to fly to London to ask her proposal|to marry him. Raj admits that they only like each other, be her feels that he can get a job as an astronomer in England. There are stars in London other than just Dame Judi Dench. Howard is shocked. Raj going to present her the ring that he gave her once before. Howard wonders if that makes him an “Indian Giver”.

Leonard gives his mother some tea which she appreciates. Penny tells her that she feels great since she and Leonard are getting along. Beverly calls him the most docile of her children. Penny also comments that Leonard was so happy to show off his lab. Beverly wants her to grade his level of happiness. Leonard admits that their relationship hasn’t always been easy, but he feels that she just wanted him to be the best version of himself. Beverly then asks that even though her parenting strategies were difficult at times, she wonders if they did contribute to his success. Penny wants some of the credit for helping him with his success. Beverly feels that that is a fair point. She would like to "observe" them together the next day. She is writing a book on how her parenting strategies affected her children as adults. On hearing this, Leonard gets very angry that while he thought they were enjoying each other’s company, she was just doing research on him, yet again.

Sheldon is going through his correspondence with Beverly and, believing that she is mad at him and doesn’t want to spend any time with him, relates not being able to understand why. Amy replies that she just may want to spend time with her son. Leonard comes storming in mad about his mother. Sheldon is just relieved that Beverly is not {mad at him. Leonard claims that he is done with his mother so Sheldon leaves to talk with her. Amy has Sheldon sit down and stay out of it. She doesn’t have time to explain the complex emotional issue with him. Sheldon lets her have the point, but feels that that excuse is running out of steam.

Bernadette is having dinner with her husband and convinces him to go stop Raj. Raj is about to have his movie moment with Anu who won’t even get the point.

Back in Apartment 4A, Penny tells Beverly that Leonard was very upset with her and that she should talk to him. She refuses because she doesn’t think that Leonard should get what he wants by, as she claims, "throwing a tantrum". Penny then forcibly tells her to pick up her phone and call her son and apologize. Beverly then insists that Penny is also "throwing a tantrum", causing a frustrated Penny to storm off.

Talking to Sheldon and Amy, Leonard explains that around his mother he feels like a needy eight-year-old boy. Sheldon adds that he sounds like one right now. Amy tries to should more compassion than her husband saying that biologically humans need the approval of their mothers. Leonard wonders why after all these years, he didn’t learn that.
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Leonard finally comes to terms with his mother.

At the comic book store, Denise is complaining about her sore neck because her boyfriend made her spend the night in a comic book store. Her room-mate really freaks Stuart out. Of course, if Stuart had agreed to move in with Denise, that they wouldn’t be in this situation. Now Stuart does want to move in together with her more than anything. And they admit that they are a weird couple.

Howard runs up to Raj while he is in line to get on his plane. He tells him to go if he loves Anu and can’t stand to be without her for another day. If not, stay where his friends who love him and that he’ll find another girl who loves cooking shows, sweater vests and all the other dumb things he loves. Then they both admit that they love each other. Raj hugs him and then everyone in line breaks into applause. Howard denies what it looks like is happening. They walk off together with Howard saying that he owes him for the plane ticket ($1300) he had to buy to get back through security.

Leonard comes storming in and asks Penny to leave so he can talk to his mother. Penny is fine with that. He explains to his mother that she hurt him. Beverly claims it was not her intention. She asks if he is going to tell her how she failed as a mother. Leonard agrees and that it’s a long list. He pauses and them admits that she’ll never change. If he wants her to accept him for himself, he has to accept her for herself. He forgives her and forgives himself for taking so long to do it. She never asked for his forgiveness. Leonard finds himself feeling good after the admission. Beverly also has the same feeling. It feels good for him to forgive her and it means a lot. She comes up and hugs him and he gives her an even tighter embrace.

Finally, Stuart and Denise sit down with Mitch and tell him that Stuart had made a mistake and that they want to live together. Mitch asks him if he loves her. Stuart admits it and then tells Denise directly. She loves him, too. They’re happy. Then Mitch wants them to say it to him.

Credits

Notes

  • Title Reference: The title refers to the Beverly and Leonard working things out.
  • Taping date: April 9, 2019
  • This episode was watched by 12.59 million people with a rating of 2.0 (adults 18-49).
  • This episode aired in Canada on May 9, 2019.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card. [1]

Critics

  • Caroline Preece at Den of Geek! - After more than twenty weeks of water treading, The Big Bang Theory has finally served up an episode that feels and operates like a final season installment. The Maternal Conclusion doesn’t really break new ground or reveal things about long-running characters we didn’t already know, but it is a perfect distillation of a relationship...Leonard is understandably upset, and this leads to a confrontation that’s been 40-years in the making. In a cathartic moment, Leonard announces to Beverly that, despite the way she’s always made him feel, he’s chosen to finally forgive her. It’s a sweet moment, and Johnny Galecki is great, and their final moment is the most satisfying hug since Penny and Sheldon Christmas embrace in season two. [2]
  • IMDb user review [3]

Trivia

  • Eighth episode of the last ten episodes.
  • Beverly Hofstadter makes her final Big Bang appearance in this episode.
  • This episode also marks the final TBBT appearances of Denise and Anu.
  • Howard and Bernadette feel that Denise has effectively moved into their house with Stuart. They ultimately confess their love for each other and decide to move in together (after they get rid of Denise's creepy roommate).
    • As of this episode, Stuart is finally out of the Wolowitz House for good.
  • Anu gets a hotel management job in London. Raj plans to go and ask her to marry him but Howard talks him out of it.
  • Denise's roommate Mitch has a "creepy serial killer" aura about him, reminiscent of Norman Bates. Mitch's actor, Todd Giebenhain, previously portrayed a serial killer in a guest role on Criminal Minds.
  • Leonard says that his mother prefers to take a cab from the airport, yet there are several episodes where Leonard does that.
  • Both Raj's sister Priya Koothrappali and Raj's girlfriend Anu have their last scene while Skyping just before they break up with their boyfriends.

Quotes

Leonard: One of us is dying!

Penny: Never? Isn’t that usually when you go to the gym?

Amy: I don’t want to be the only one that doesn’t go. I’ll just sit here afraid that you’re all talking about me.
Penny: We’re not going to talk about you.
Amy: That’s my other fear.

Bernadette: That’s whose handwriting that is!

Beverly: Really. A photon entanglement team.
Leonard: Yea, I’m actually the co-lead.
Penny: Yea, if you like photons and how they get entangled, he’s your co-guy.

Penny: Or you accomplished something great and she’s genuinely proud.
Leonard: All right. You had enough.

Howard: So she’s coming over again?
Stuart: Yeah, we’re gonna do a movie night.
Howard: It’s my house. Don’t you think you should ask me?
Stuart:You’re right, I’m sorry. Howard, would you like to come to movie night?

Raj: Hey, I can work from anywhere. I’m an astronomer. They have stars in London and I’m not just talking about Dame Judi Dench.


Penny: Still, it made him so happy showing you around his lab yesterday.
Beverly: Interesting. Would you say that made him, much happier than usual, somewhat happier than usual or as happy as usual?
Penny: Hm, multiple choice. I’m a-go with “D”; that’s a weird question.
Leonard: It made me really happy. We haven’t always had the easiest relationship. But, looking back, I guess you were trying to push me to be the best version of myself.
Beverly: So you would say my parenting strategies, although difficult at times, directly contributed to your current success?
Penny: Well, I may have had a little something to do with it. I mean, how often do you wear your super-hero underwear now?
Leonard:Only Fridays and my birthday.
Penny: Yeah, that was all me. That was me.
Beverly: Yeah, that’s a fair point. I hadn’t considered your influence. Perhaps tomorrow I could observe the two of you together?
Penny: Uh, observe? What is going on?
Beverly: Well, I’m just visiting with my son. And doing research for my book on how various parenting strategies affected my children as adults.
Leonard: This is all work for you? Hanging out with me and coming into my lab. I..I thought we were enjoying each other’s company, but it was just research.
Beverly: I was enjoying it, you know I love research.
Leonard: I can’t believe this.
Beverly: What? You seem angry.
Leonard: Of course, I’m angry!
Beverly: Well, would you say you’re somewhat angry, very angry or extremely angry? Never mind, I can see it in your face, dear.

Penny: You know, Leonard was really upset. Shouldn’t you go talk to him?
Beverly: And send him a message that he can get what he wants by throwing a tantrum? I don’t think so.
Penny: Beverly, put down you phone and go apologize to your son! [Silence from Beverly.] What? So now you’re not talking to me?
Beverly: When you’re finished with your tantrum, I’d be glad to. Just let me know when you’re done.
Penny: Oh my, God.

Amy: If I could respond more compassionately than Sheldon, and thank you for making it so easy. The need for a mother’s approval is baked into our biology.

Denise: I don’t want to blame you, but if you moved in with me when I asked you to we wouldn’t be in this situation.
Stuart: You’re right. It’s my fault. When I had a chance I was scared, now that I want to you’re stuck with Mitch.
Denise: So you want to move in with me?
Stuart: More than Galactus wants to devour worlds.
Denise: Well; that’s great ‘cause I want to move in with you more than the Thing wants to clobber.
Stuart: More than Hulk wants to smash?
Denise: More than Batman wants to ignore the due process of law.
Stuart: We are so weird. [Kiss.]

Howard: Look if you’re getting on that plane because you love Anu and you can’t stand the thought of spending another day without her…then go. If not then stay here with the people who love you.
Raj: But what if this is my last chance for marriage and family?
Howard: I promise it’s not. Believe me, somewhere out there, there is a woman who loves cooking shows and sweater vests all the other dumb things you love.

Leonard: Penny, can I have a moment alone with my…?
Penny: Yep, bye. [Leaves.]
Beverly: Have you calmed down?
Leonard: No, I’m not calm. You really hurt me.
Beverly: That wasn’t my intention.
Leonard: It doesn’t matter what you intended. What matters is the way you made me feel. Actually the way you always made me feel.
Beverly: I see, so…
Leonard: Yeah. And get comfortable, it’s a long list. [Exhales.]
Beverly: Is it happening soon?
Leonard: You know, it doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter, you’re never gonna change. If I want you to accept me for me, then I guess I’m gonna have to accept you for you. So…I forgive you.
Beverly: I didn’t ask you to forgive me.
Leonard: Too bad! I forgive you anyway. And I forgive myself taking so long for doing it. Oh, my God, that feels so good.
Beverly: I must admit it…it does feel good.
Leonard: What does?
Beverly: You forgiving me. It means a lot. Thank you. [She hugs Leonard, who hugs her even harder while crying.]

Stuart: Look I was scared to move it…but that was a mistake because she is amazing and I really want to live with her. So …think you’d be willing to find another place?
Mitch: Do you love her?
Denise: We haven’t really said that yet.
Stuart: Yeah, I do.
Mitch: Don’t say it to me, say it to her.
Stuart: I love you.
Denise: I love you, too.
Mitch: Now, both of you say it to me.

References

Gallery

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