“We’ve been watching over this year how in small ways the relationship was talking at them,” exec producer Chuck Lorre told TVLine Thursday night at a bash celebrating the milestone. “The friendship is going well, but then we throw in a moment where she was drunk and [said] she regretted breaking up with him. So, although it is a little risky, it felt like the right thing to do, to explore Leonard and Penny again in the 100th episode.
“It felt true to the characters,” he added, “that they would want to try again.”
Not only that, but it also felt true to the series itself. “When we wrote the 100th episode, we went back and watched the pilot,” explained exec producer Bill Prady, because “we wanted to circle back to the inciting incident for [everything], which is when Leonard, who has Sheldon [pulling] him away from the world, meets Penny, who pulls him toward it. So, that’s what we set out to explore in the 100th episode.”
Is it safe to intuit from all this that Penny and Leonard do get back together? Yes, probably… and kinda-sorta. “That relationship isn’t done,” Prady confirmed, “but it’s also not easy. Penny and Leonard have a special connection, but they are going to have a hard time of it.”
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So might viewers. “Not everything is quite as it seems,” teased Simon Helberg (Howard). “There are some twists and turns.” However, added Kunal Nayyar (Raj), the outing doesn’t have so many twists and turns that we’ll be thinking, “‘Why the heck is all of this happening? What show am I watching?’ It is not a gimmicky episode.”
“It’s a very weird way,” concluded Lorre, “that the episode plays out. I hope people like it.”
I have a sneaking suspicion we will. What do you think? And are you relieved/excited/nervous to see the show reunite Penny and Leonard? (Reporting by Carrie Bell)