The Big Bang Theory – Episode 5-20 Review – “A Gay Old Time”

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So, does last night’s episode of The Big Bang Theory mean that Raj won’t be coming out of the closet as gay after all? There have been countless indications this season that Raj is indeed gay and I, along with many other readers and reviewers, thought that we were heading towards this major plot development.

But in “The Transporter Malfunction”, Raj instead came out as metrosexual and dying to settle down with a woman. While I loved seeing an episode centered around this underused character, it wasn’t what I expected.

Now, all that said, I thought this was a really strong episode. Like I mentioned above, Raj is often underused on The Big Bang Theory. While the introduction of Amy and Bernadette and the coupling off of characters has been good for the show, it’s been difficult for both the character of Raj and the actor who plays him, Kunal Nayyar. He doesn’t really fit in anymore, but the show has done an excellent job of slowing revealing Raj’s isolation from his friends and how that makes him feel.

Raj is lonely, so lonely that he finally asked his parents to set him up. And the inkling that he might prefer men? That was addressed right away, when Raj’s conservative Indian parents revealed that they were expecting him to come out, not ask for an arranged marriage.

Then Raj was set up with a girl who seemed great…until she told him that she’s a lesbian. She was looking for a sham marriage that would please her parents, and since the rumor was that Raj is “comfortable in a sari” she thought Raj was in her same boat and would make a perfect match. It was rather heartbreaking.

I suppose Raj could still indeed be gay, and be in such deep denial that he himself does not know it yet. At the end of the episode Bernadette and Howard got Raj a cute lapdog to help combat his loneliness, and Bernadette said “Metrosexual, my ass.” Obviously she still thinks he’s gay, so the writers could still be planning to go that route with the character.

Even though things were left a little open ended, I thought this was a really strong episode for Nayyar. I’m excited to see where the character goes from here, but I do hope that Raj enters new territory. Whether he finally realizes he’s gay or finally meets a woman, I’m ready to see him enter a new phase.

The other plotline this week involved Sheldon, Leonard, and a collectible toy. It was funny and featured a voice-over by Leonard Nimoy, and I thought it was light and silly enough to be a good complement to Raj’s more personal storyline.

What did you guys think?

Favorite quotes & moments:

  • Leonard: “You went to the comic book store by yourself?”
    Penny: “Yeah. It was fun. I walked in and two different guys got asthma attacks. Felt pretty good.”
  • “Oh dear. Two suns and no sunscreen.” – Sheldon
  • Leonard: [Referring to his new toy] “Once you open the box, it loses it’s value.”
    Penny: “Yeah, yeah. My mom gave me the same lecture about my virginity. I gotta tell you, it was a lot more fun taking it out and playing with it.”
  • Raj: “No, I’m not gay. If anything, I’m metrosexual.”
    Raj’s father: “What’s that?”
    Raj: “It means that I like women, as well as their skin-care products.”

You can follow Jill at her blog,, or on Twitter @jillemader Jill has been an avid fan of TV since the age of two, when she was so obsessed with Zoobilee Zoo that her mother lied and told her it had been canceled. Despite that setback, she grew up to be a television aficionado and pop culture addict.