Big Bang Recap: Hard Knock Lives

We always suspected The Big Bang Theory‘s Beverly Hofstadter (Christine Baranski) and Mary Cooper (Laurie Metcalf) would mix about as well as bleach and ammonia, but who could’ve predicted their first meeting would dissolve into a full-on argument about their favorite “Jewish bearded guys” (AKA Freud vs. Jesus Christ)?

On Thursday’s episode, the women responsible for Leonard and Sheldon were (finally!) brought together to commemorate their sons’ upcoming award for a physics paper. Of course, the celebratory nature of their drop-by was practically a moot point.

Beverly has never been a source of maternal warmth, and her unwillingness to show even an inch of fondness towards Leonard finally came to a head. After seeming more enthralled by stories of a young Sheldon’s business deals with an African warlord than her own son’s accomplishments, a jealous Leonard called his friend out for eating up his mother’s regards. While the roommates fought, Beverly was busy disregarding Mary’s East Texan “Bible babble,” referring to her Christian beliefs as superstition; in turn, Mary referred to Mrs. Hofstadter’s work in psychiatry as “bull dropped on the barn floor.”

Before things got too heated, Sheldon took Beverly out for — what else? — a warm beverage, where she asked him if he might’ve grown up even more intelligent had he been raised in a reward-based environment like Leonard. While Sheldon assessed that Mary’s nurturing resulted in his brother and sister being “mouth-breathing idiots,” a loving childhood might’ve been exactly what Leonard required. Upon this realization, Beverly returned to her son to offer him the chance at a new relationship based on unconditional love. Unfortunately, the ensuing first hug was anything but endearing.

While the Apartment 4A gang dealt with mama drama, Bernadette was busy realizing that she had become a mother for Howard, Stuart and Raj, forcing her to address their childlike dependence. After Howard’s attempts to prove he isn’t as reliant on Bernadette as he was on his mother all but failed, the man-children broke into a rousing three-part harmony of Annie‘s “Hard Knock Life” amid their new household chores.

Though neither of tonight’s storylines wrapped up neatly, “The Maternal Combustion” was easily one of our favorite Big Bangs in recent memory. But enough about what we thought: What did you make of tonight’s early Mother’s Day gift of an episode? Sound off with your comments below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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23 Comments
  1. k says:

    Beverly & Mary. The New Odd Couple LOL

    • BrightLight says:

      OMG, I totally agree! If Beverly and Mary were the stars of The Odd Couple, I’d never miss an episode. I haven’t laughed at TBBT this hard in a LONG time. Mary was slaying me! She reminds me so much of members of my family.

    • Jennifer says:

      OMG. ^^^ THIS!!!!!!!!

  2. abz says:

    One episode was not enough! I need to see Beverly and Mary together again. Couldn’t stop laughing.

  3. Karen MT says:

    The arguments were the best, both between Beverly and Mary, and Leonard and Sheldon. Dirty double mother suckler might be my new favorite phrase, if I don’t trip over my own tongue.

  4. c-mo says:

    I vote for Beverly and Mary to have their own spin-off!

  5. laurelnev says:

    Is no one going to mention the scene with Howard and the kitchen floor, pre tunes? That scene when he proudly showed off his clean floor, and tried to walk across to demonstrate…only to find his shoes wouldn’t cooperate. Funniest thing I’ve seen in ages! And yes, we need more Dueling Moms.

  6. ninamags says:

    It was a great episode. The moms need to be on more often, for sure.

    I’ve always thought Beverly is a horrible mom to Leonard.

  7. W domu zawsze mamy trzy choinki 1 duża, prawdziwy świerk przyniesiony z lasu, druga także
    z lasu ale mała, a trzecia jest także mała ale sztuczna.

  8. David Drummond dołączył do Google w 2002 roku i obecnie jest starszym wiceprezesem ds.
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  9. dancmh says:

    I like any episode Mary is in. Laurie Metcalf is gold.

  10. teresa faherty says:

    Hysterical. They need to revisit these mothers!

  11. Nicole says:

    I also liked Penny a lot more this episode. This season her character has seemed so cynical and mean. Unhappy. But tonight she actually seemed happy to be with Leonard and engaged. Supportive of him but gently teasing too. It was nice to see!

  12. Jennifer says:

    I haven’t laughed this hard at TBBT in a while. Howard, Stewart, & Raj singing with Bernadette walking in and out at the end was priceless.

    But, yes, we need more Mary & Beverly.

  13. Nan says:

    All in all a good episode, especially due to the minimal involvement of Amy. Loved the Frat House Mother aspect for Bernadette. I wasn’t thrilled with the way they dowdied up Laurie Metcalf with that awful hairstyle. She’s more attractive than that. I’m always amazed by Jim Parsons’ ability with rapid, convoluted dialog. Well done.

  14. suzi says:

    I was a little disappointed,–while I enjoyed the Meeting of the Moms, I thought it could have been better, and I’m not really sure why. It just didn’t live up to my expectations.

    • grys03 says:

      I sort of agree. There were some great individual spots: the chat between Sheldon & Beverley, the kitchen cleaning, “2 bearded jewish guys” & my favourite Howard, Raj & Stewart singing (what was the song?). I know the scenes I enjoyed probably comprise most of the show but the show felt dis-jointed somehow.

  15. AtlLady says:

    I’ve always wondered, after Leonard learned that Beverly and Sheldon spoke frequently, if Leonard started talking to Mary more since he does have her number. Even Penny has Mary’s number on her phone. Maybe Penny needs to get Beverly drunk and ask about what Beverly’s childhood was like. Get Penny’s father back and let him go toe to toe with Beverly. I’ll bet the chemistry between Keith Carradine and Christine Baranski would be interesting. There are so many possibilities with the side characters that enhance the main ones. Also, Howie, Raj, and Stuart should form a singing trio to play the local karaoke dives. Howard loves to perform, it would be a great way for Raj and Stuart to meet women, and, most importantly, these three guys are funnier together. You could close each show with them while the closing credits roll.

  16. luke says:

    Show again ran for 19 minutes only . CBS is one greedy whore.

    • abz says:

      Seriously!! Used to be 21-22 minutes. Even other CBS shows too. Mike & Molly was basically like 17 minutes this past week plus a minute for a pointless recap.