‘The Big Bang Theory’ Finale Unmutes Raj, Waves Bon Voyage Leonard

The Big Bang Theory finale premiered last night on CBS trailing tears, laughs and a huge surprise in its wake.

As promised by Simon Helberg (Howard), the highly anticipated sixth season closer delivered “some exciting, groundbreaking events” designed to ensure the show’s (almost) 20 million viewers return for the recently picked up season seven.

The episode was titled “The Bon Voyage Reaction.”

Previously Helberg told Rolling Stone that Leonard’s shock adventure — a four month boat expedition with Stephen Hawking’s crew in the North Sea — would see “jealous” “nervous” reactions from the rest of the gang. What he didn’t say was who from.

As it turns out, it wasn’t back on again girlfriend Penny who ended up spinning out over Leonard’s trip of a lifetime but (you guessed it) Sheldon.

The show’s seven writers — who also include its creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady— reveled in the opportunity to let Sheldon’s hero worship of Hawking spill out into seething jealousy over Leonard’s big break.

Trying, in vain, to convince his friend that the expedition was dangerous, even fatal, Sheldon (played by Jim Parsons) cited crabs, sharks and drowning as the possible architects of Leonard’s demise.

Sheldon: “Who do you think would win in a fight — you or a shark?”

Leonard: “I know what you are doing. You don’t want me going on this research trip because you’re afraid to be alone.”

Sheldon: “I’m not afraid to be alone. On the sea, it would be terrifying. Because of all the drowning”

Rather hilariously, the one thing that did panic Leonard was Sheldon’s blunt suggestion that his going away might change his relationship with Penny.

But in the end it was “Bon Voyage” Leonard. And there were more surprises to come in The Big Bang’s finale.

Audiences have watched Rajesh Koothrappali whisper in Howard’s ear around women for six seasons, only speaking to them after downing much alcohol. But last night it was ‘hello talkative Raj’ as he chatted with Penny for the very first time as they consoled each other over his liaison with Lucy and Penny’s tears over Leonard’s absence.

It was a big moment for not only Raj but for the series and it certainly changed the dynamic of the group as girls in the group soon realized they couldn’t shut Raj up.

What did you think of The Big Bang Theory last night? Did it live up to previous finales?