The Big Bang Theory Season Premiere- The Date Night Variable - Season 6 Episode 1 Recap

The Big Bang Theory Season Premiere- The Date Night Variable - Season 6 Episode 1 As the episode opens Howard is discovering that 250 miles above the Earth isn't far enough to avoid his mother's nagging. She has discovered Howard's plans to move in with his new bride, Bernadette. Penny is helping Amy prepare for an anniversary date required by her Relationship Contract with Sheldon. Amy is unaware Sheldon found a loophole in the contract is “outsourcing” certain elements of the date to Raj. Penny and Leonard are settled in for a relaxing night watching sports and avoiding discussing their relationship.

Raj then becomes aware Sheldon and Amy's date is celebrating an anniversary and leaves, only to interrupt Leonard and Penny's evening at home. He then gives a rundown of Leonard and Penny's rocky relationship and gives them some much needed advice. Floating in the International Space Station, Howard continues to mediate the conflict between his mother and wife over where he will reside.

Things wrap up with Penny forcing Raj from Leonard's apartment, after which he has an awkward moment at the comic book shop. An intoxicated Amy threatens to leave her date with Sheldon and end their relationship. Sheldon then gives Amy a “heartfelt” speech that satisfies her, to a small degree. Howard settles his residential issues with his mother and Bernadette by telling each of them what they wish to hear, despite the contradictions this raises. He then decides to settle things by never returning to Earth.

This episode launches the new season with much promise and potential. It does this without ruining the traits of the characters that have become so beloved over the last five seasons. While Sheldon doesn't flaunt his extreme IQ as much in this episode. His lack of skills with other humans is still as obvious as ever. Rescuing his date with Amy by quoting a line from Spider-Man shows that he may be more aware of romance than previously believed. However, Sheldon has yet to show any inclination for emotional, intimate contact with Amy.

Leonard makes an obvious attempt to relax Penny with football, greasy foods, and beer. Traditional gender roles are humorously reversed as the couple sits on the couch. Raj's appearance at Leonard's door saves Penny the hassle of Leonard's attempts to talk about their feelings. The eviction of Raj leaves much undeveloped in the relationship, giving later episodes room to settle things, or not, between Penny and Leonard.

Howard's mother attempts to lay on a thick guilt trip in her signature screaming tone. A tone Howard mentions can be heard from space without complicated communications gear. Fearing she might catch a computer virus, Howard's mother remains unseen in the series by only calling Howard on the “phone.” Bernadette makes herself visible via video chats with Howard on his laptop. The comments and observations of Howard's crew mates on the ISS add an extra layer of levity to a delicate balancing act.

Raj demonstrates his awareness of the requirements of a happy relationship, despite not being in one himself. His speech to Penny and Leonard gives the audience an outlet to express their frustration with the two over the last few seasons. His shared “sadtinis” and moment in the comic book shop shows a possible opportunity to see more of Stuart, the owner of the shop. Raj's invitation to hang out gives him an outlet while Howard is elsewhere. This creates a possible chance for some friendly jealousy when Howard returns from space.

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