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The Big Bang Theory Recap: "The Locomotive Manipulation"

The Big Bang Theory Recap: "The Locomotive Manipulation", Season 7, Episode 15 - Romance is in the air as the gang pairs off for Valentine's Day.

*****Spoiler Alert*****

It took me forever to write this review because I just wanted to watch it again and again and again.

*****Spoiler Alert*****

Sheldon kissed a girl and he liked it. And even better it was on a train. First kiss on his favorite mode of transportation. It was a Valentine's Day he will never forget.

The gang paired off for Valentine's Day. Leonard has learned a lot about his lady love and they have settled into their relationship nicely. He gives Penny tickets to a Laker's game with his full blessing to go with anyone she chooses. Leonard has reached full acceptance that he will never like sports and Penny has too. They spend the evening just relaxing together and babysitting Raj's dog.

They do a lousy job of watching the dog who consumes the remainder of the box of chocolate that was Penny's gift to Leonard. We later find out that Penny got the gift as freebie with a tank of gas. Penny can and should do better by Leonard. For someone who has had so many guys treat her like crap, I can't understand why she can't figure out how to treat Leonard better.

Also, it seems even Leonard has finally noticed that Penny doesn't just drink because she wants to. Howard and Bernadette tag along with Sheldon and Amy on their train trip to Napa Valley. Leonard thinks it's a bad idea to take Penny which means her drinking problem is either this show's idea of a running gag or is something that's going to have to be "dealt with" here soon

Raj meets up with Leonard and Penny at the vet. His concern for little Cinnamon shines through and although his evening of work is interrupted, he actually gets the phone number of a very pretty veterinarian. A smart woman who's generally interested. Maybe now that he can talk to women without a drink first, he won't be a drunken fool. And now that he's had some practice dating with Lucy, maybe he can really make this work.
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Howard and Bernadette are taking their double date in stride; after all they're used to the craziness that is Sheldon and Amy. But Sheldon is all about the trains. He even finds a guy on board who knows more than trains than he does and they quickly bond, leaving Amy alone and angry.

The date quickly goes downhill as dates with Sheldon and Amy usually do, because Sheldon has never caught on to the fact that the idea of a date is to dance with the one who brung you.

Oddly enough, Sheldon is fine just knowing that Amy is there. As usual, he's not intentionally being rude, he's just being Sheldon. Sheldon feels tricked that Amy actually wanted his attention and romance instead of being on a date that they could both enjoy. But when Sheldon realizes it's not enough for Amy he gets angry.

Just how much romance is enough for our frustrated neurobiologist?

Is wine enough? Gazing into each other's eyes? How about a kiss, will that do? Just when you think this relationship is over, it truly begins.

And wow. What a kiss. I almost expected "It's a Thin Line Between Love and Hate" to start playing.

Anger is passion and the passionate response Sheldon worked up between him and Amy is steamy and complicated, but they both definitely enjoyed their kiss. And finally, he gets it and invites Amy to share his train journey, which is what she wanted all along. For him to want to be with her.

The episodes dealing with Sheldon's sexuality raise more questions than they answer. Did he have a normal adolescence? Has he ever been sexually aroused by a woman? I mean seriously, he's seen Penny naked, who everyone including Amy find's hot. All Sheldon ever noticed was her soup tattoo.

So in this episode it seems Sheldon's boy parts work the way they're supposed to. I don't think Sheldon knew this and I think he was definitely surprised by it. He does know that his "genitals are aesthetically pleasing." Going to take his word for on that one.

But Sheldon's been bridging the human touch gap with Amy for some time now. From holding her hand when Howard was launched in space to rubbing Vick's salve on her chest when she was sick, their relationship has become more and more intimate as time has gone on; even playing a decidedly sexual game of D&D which, to me, was a mind-blowing exploration in intimacy if not physicality.

So often, I find Chuck Lorre's writing to be so very vulgar and full of cheap shots.(Yes, I know one guy you won't agree with me, but mind you the cheap shots got bad enough on Two and Half Men that it drove even Charlie Sheen back to insanity. His lines were always the lowest of the low.) Yet here Lorre is; re-writing the book on what it means to love, be loved and reminding us all of the real differences between sex and true intimacy.

In a day and age where we have a bachelor making out with 20 women in a hot tub every week, it's nice to remember there's still a world, especially on TV, where love can come before a first kiss, let alone sex.

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