'The Big Bang Theory' Season 7, episode 22: Professor Proton helps Sheldon grow

jim-parsons-johnny-galecki-the-big-bang-theory-proton-transmogrification.jpg "The Big Bang Theory" is one of the top-rated comedies on television and rightly so because it's very funny. But every once in a while it delves into more serious territory and we're always pleased to see how well the writers and actors handle the solemn subject matter.

Thursday's (May 1) episode brings to mind the Season 6 episode "The Closet Reconfiguration," which saw Howard and the group deal with a letter that Howard's absent father sent him that Howard never read. The scene where all of his friends tell Howard the various things it might have said (with one being true) still makes us tear up a little to think about.

The same can be said for "T he Proton Transmogrification" and Sheldon having to deal with the loss of yet another father figure in his life when Professor Proton (guest star Bob Newhart) passes away. Proton's appearances to Sheldon in dreams (dressed as Obi Wan Kenobi, of course) remind Sheldon to appreciate what he has in life and the episode ends with him hugging Leonard. *sniffle*

There are always a lot of laughs on "TBBT," but with them have been some wonderful character arcs for the ensemble, not the least of which is Sheldon Cooper's opening up and learning more about how to be a person. Jim Parsons is funny, to be sure, but you are reminded of how gifted an actor he is when he gets meatier material, like kissing Amy or tonight's death.

The show has been renewed for three more seasons, so we look forward to seeing what else the writers throw Parsons' way because he's a joy to watch with both humorous and serious material.

And also -- the side plots of Star Wars Day and Penny/Leonard's engagement thing were both delightful.

Best Lines:

Sheldon: "I'm working on the Star Wars Day schedule. I have a window built in after 'Phantom Menace' for complaining, but I'm worried an hour won't be enough time."

Sheldon: "Amy, mourning the inevitable is a complete waste of time."
Amy: "And watching a bunch of goofy space movies you've seen hundreds of times isn't?"
Sheldon: "If we were in a physical relationship, you just lost sex tonight."

Howard to Sheldon: "You're being so quiet. Are you upset or are you just rebooting?"

Howard: "Since we all agree Episode I is not our favorite, maybe we just skip it this time?"
Sheldon: "Howard, I think you of all people should avoid espousing the principle if something is not our favorite we should just get rid of it."

Prof. Proton: "Make sure you appreciate those who are still there for you."
Sheldon: "But I do appreciate them."
Prof. Proton: Well then, what am I doing in the swamp dressed like Friar Tuck?"

The amazing "Star Wars" food puns: Admiral Ackbar's Snack Bar, R2Decaf, Cafe Au Leia, Chai Tea3PO, Attack of the Scones.
Photo/Video credit: CBS