5:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Big Bang Theory': How Will Coitus Change Amy and Sheldon?
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Thursday's The Big Bang Theory.]
It really happened.
During Thursday's The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy (Mayim Bialik) finally consummated their relationship — and it couldn't have been more perfect.
The episode featured Sheldon putting girlfriend Amy above his need to see the new Star Wars movie in a fine example of love for the emotionally stunted character. Rather than see Star Was: The Force Awakens on opening night with the gang, Sheldon opted to spend Amy's birthday with her and deliver perhaps the best gift she could have ever wanted: coitus.
It was a super-sweet story that only Big Bang Theory could do — turning Star Wars into the episode's B-story and drawing parallels between the experience of seeing such a highly anticipated movie and Amy and Sheldon's first time.
The recently reunited couple finally having sex comes as producers waited eight-plus seasons for the right moment to present itself. But the real surprises of the episode came when Sheldon not only enjoyed it but was also good at it — and revealed that coitus would be an annual event on Amy's birthday.
"That line speaks volumes as to where this fits into his life. He enjoyed it, but his priorities are his work and research. Like a scientist, he investigated a sexual relationship and enjoyed what he found and sees no reason to pursue it until there's another birthday," Big Bang co-creator Chuck Lorre tells THR with a laugh.
The decision to make sex an annual event — at least right now, in Sheldon's mind — is in line with the character and also illustrates one of Lorre's favorite things about the lovable scientist.
"Sex plays a very small part in his life, and I've always found that to be one of the most wonderful things bout Sheldon's character: that he opted out of that part of life that everyone else assumes we should be obsessed with," says Lorre. "He's chosen not to be. From the very beginning, it's just not something that holds a lot of interest for him."
For showrunner Steve Molaro, Sheldon's annual (for now) remark helps put the spotlight on just how much the character has grown, not only since the start of the series, but also since the couple broke up.
"That's what we tried to strive for — incremental growth — but the characters still feel like the characters," Molaro tells THR. "That's what attracted me so much to that moment and that line. Yes, they're going to be physical and, even though he liked it, once a year is good for him."
In terms of what happens post-coitus for Amy and Sheldon, producers are still figuring out what comes next for the couple. But one thing is certain: Their recent reconciliation helped set the stage for both the intimacy and improved relationship.
"Certainly Sheldon's character has the ability to compartmentalize this and maintain his priorities," says Lorre. "But this is now part of his psyche. It'll be interesting to see if he can successfully keep it as a part of his life and not let it become a dominating element."
Molaro, who reveals that the past five drama-filled episodes have been emotionally exhausting, says he's looking forward to stepping away from the "major life events" episodes and getting back to the fun one-offs.
"The separation was great for them, as people and as individuals and for their relationship. I don't know what would have happened had she not taken a stand and sent him this wake-up call where he realized just how much he wanted her in his life," says Molaro. "And at the same time, she was feeling, 'I love this guy, but, boy, is he a lot of work! Is he worth the effort and the work to be in a relationship with him?' Ultimately, it came over the course of all these months of them being apart, where for her, the answer is: yes. And that's a nice place for them to be. As far as what happens moving forward and if there will be a Relationship Agreement 2.0 or not, that's to be determined. I'm sure he'll be thinking of it. Whether or not she will be OK with that is to be determined."
For Bialik, meanwhile, she's happy to have her scene partner back again.
"Broken up didn't feel right for us, and whether it's sex or not sex, I prefer scenes where Jim and I get to engage like that. It really grows these characters so that, when we have moments like this, it's like emotional money in the bank," she told THR on set. "People care about Sheldon — even before I was on the show — and they care about his personality and sensibility; that's really what we wanted to protect from the time that I came on. This has to be a continuation of that. As much as sex means something, for these characters, it doesn't have to mean everything changes."
Parsons, meanwhile, is looking forward to seeing Amy and Sheldon return to their typical behavior. "The post-coital scene seemed to imply a certain amount of, let's get back to where they were and responding to the same situations in their own unique ways," he says.
In the meantime, there's still that engagement ring Sheldon was planning to use to propose to Amy. "That ring is in play. It's still in his pocket. We'll see what happens with it," says Lorre with a cryptic laugh.
As for whether Sheldon always will need the Jedi version of Bob Newhart's Professor Proton to help him determine his major life decisions, that's not something Lorre even can imagine. "Given where we are now and where I imagined we might be when we started, I can't say no to that because it's still amazing to me that we've come this far," he says. "I have no idea what the future holds. That's the fun of making a TV series: I don't have to know. We'll find out."
For his part, Newhart hopes to continue his history of popping back into the comedy once or twice a season. "I looked in the mirror one day, and I said, 'I'm not ready to quit yet.' I still have my fastball. So when Chuck approached me about doing the show, he hit me at the right time. I missed being on the set and being with other actors and great writing, great performers. This is the best of both lives for me."
What did you think of Amy and Sheldon's big moment? Sound off in the comments section, below. Big Bang airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.