Bernadette’s big news sends the geeky gang reeling on The Big Bang Theory 9×16, “The Positive Negative Reaction.”
This week’s episode of The Big Bang Theory focuses on the aftermath of Bernadette’s pregnancy announcement. To the show’s credit, they know when they’re playing a trope, and the big reveal is dispensed with pretty quickly.
More important is the way the geeky gang reacts to the news, and in typical fashion, the story choices flirt with the line between funny and frustrating. Almost immediately after Bernadette tells Howard that he’s going to be a father — something he has wanted for years — Howard completely freaks out.
Look, we get that parenting is colossal responsibility, and it’s understandable that Howard would feel overwhelmed by both the hugeness and the minutia of having a baby. But it’s still not fun to see him squeaking in angry terror at Bernadette about the consequences of having a baby, when Bernadette is the one making the actual sacrifice here.
Like any good, responsible father-to-be, Howard runs off to his playgroup — sorry, the gang — to share the news. While he freaks out about the enormous financial responsibility (and the horrific possibility that he might have a daughter who looks like him), Sheldon pitches his own fit because his life might change when the baby comes. (It’s tragic, really.) He lists all the ways in which The Big Bang Theory itself may-or-may-not rearrange itself once Baby Wolowitz-Rostenkowski arrives (what happens to game night?) and generally makes the situation even worse.
With Howard enjoying his crisis, Penny and Amy try to cheer up Bernadette, who admits that she had only partly come to the decision to get pregnant when she indulged in unprotected sex with Howard… in Sheldon’s bedroom. (Okay, that’s pretty satisfying.) But now, with Howard having a meltdown, and her own awareness of the massive changes ahead of her, Bernadette isn’t sure that having a baby is the right thing to do.
(Because, you know. Her body will change. She can’t do things she enjoys. She may have to give up her job. She’ll have a human to care for, in addition to Howard. We feel you, Bernadette.)
Luckily, Howard comes up with some kind of great invention while out drinking with the guys (again, A+ in fatherhood already!) and regains his confidence in being able to care for his growing family. The girls and the guys meet at karaoke, where everyone sings baby-themed songs to Bernadette… and Sheldon sings “America the Beautiful.”
After the evening, Penny and Leonard agree that they may want children some day. (We’re calling it for season 14.) However, they have drawn on Sheldon’s sleeping face with markers, so they decide that a(nother) kid can wait until they are more mature.