5:32pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Big Bang Theory's' Kunal Nayyar, Kaley Cuoco on Raj's Big Moment
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the sixth-season finale of The Big Bang Theory.]
Who ever thought heartbreak would feel so good. And for The Big Bang Theory's Rajesh Koothrappali, there may be no better truth.
During Thursday's emotional season six finale, the CBS comedy boldly went where it has never gone before: Kunal Nayyar's loveable but lovelorn Raj overcame his selective muteness and spoke to Penny (Kaley Cuoco) without the assistance of alcohol.
Of course to get there, Raj had to have his heart completely broken after equally socially awkward Lucy (Kate Micucci) broke things off with him, feeling overwhelmed with just how far he'd pushed her out of her comfort zone.
"It's really wonderful because after playing this character for six years, you see him slowly let his guard down," Nayyar told The Hollywood Reporter during a visit to the set for the finale. "In sitcoms, you can sometimes get stuck in two-dimensional characters or one trick ponies. This has been really wonderful because this season, we get to see Raj really let go of his armor and evolve as a human being and be vulnerable -- which is rare for him."
For Cuoco, whose Penny had the pleasure of being the one to console Raj after dropping Leonard (Johnny Galecki) off at the airport, the moment was a great way to end the season.
"In the first season, when Raj actually starts talking when Penny is giving him alcohol, Penny says, 'You're talking to me,' and I say the same thing now but it's completely flipped," Cuoco says. "It's interesting how things have changed and it's incredible to think what this show has done over these past few years; it's amazing."
The progression marks the latest in a season filled with watershed moments that has included Penny declaring her love for Leonard, Amy and Sheldon having "the talk" and more.
"All of these characters, as a function of getting older on the show, will continue to evolve, that's just the reality of the situation," Nayyar says. "They can't be in their late 20s their whole lives; now they're getting married and they want to have children. All of these characters -- including Raj -- as the years go on will try to evolve as much as they can."
Adds showrunner Steve Molaro: "We're ready to go deeper and push and move forward telling stories where things happen to these characters and things matter more. I'm really proud of season six; it's been really satisfying and fun to see how we've been able to go deeper and push these characters."
Are you happy to see Raj's world open up? Hit the comments below with your thoughts. Come back to THR's The Live Feed on Friday for more from the set.