'The Big Bang Theory': The road to recovery

bbt-feb-2-cbs.jpgAh! Now that's more like it. After a few weeks of relegating Sheldon ( Jim Parsons) to third banana on "The Big Bang Theory," show producers got it right on Thursday (Feb. 2).

Fed up with the incredibly needless "Roommate Agreement" that always seems to make his life miserable, Leonard ( Johnny Galecki) tells Sheldon he is voiding the document. While this means little for Leonard, it throws Sheldon's life into disarray. And much of the episode focuses on Sheldon flailing about as nobody is there to attend to his every need.

In an ingenious plan to draw Leonard back, Dr. Cooper cuts off the power in their apartment building. The assumption is that Leonard will need Sheldon's emergency preparedness skills and, as a result, re-sign the agreement. While it doesn't happen quite this way, the two get back together in the end thanks to a little extra help from Penny ( Kaley Cuoco).

In the other storyline, Howard ( Simon Helberg) realizes that as he nears his NASA mission, he's likely to get a nickname. So he and Raj ( Kunal Nayyar) do their part to plant the seeds of what kind of name he'd like. Of course this goes awry.

The episode was a marked improvement over recent weeks because it brought Sheldon back to the fore of the show. It also allowed him to bicker with Penny. It is here that the show runs best and delivers the laughs. That said, Howard's story line either needed more to it or they needed another story to balance everything out. But it was a nice recovery after a few substandard outings.

On a scale of 1-to-Pi, Thursday's episode was Fransen-Robinson's constant, or about a 2.8.

Photo/Video credit: CBS