'The Big Bang Theory' recap: The mother of all fights

Christine Baranski and Laurie Metcalf made an epic return to “The Big Bang Theory” in an episode that finally allowed the two women that gave birth to Leonard and Sheldon to meet. Fans have waited years for the ladies paths to cross and their interaction did not disappoint.

The moms have come to town to celebrate Sheldon and Leonard receiving an award for their paper, though both have very unique ways of showing their sons how proud they are. Knowing this, both guys try to prepare their mother for meeting one another. Sheldon asks Mary Cooper to dial down the “bible babble” and Leonard asks his psychiatrist mother Beverly to keep her negative opinions on religion under-wraps.

Mary of course immediately dotes on “Shelly”, recalling childhood adventures of the boy genius, in between explaining how the lion’s managed to stay alive without eating any of other animal inhabitants on Noah’s Ark. (They consumed the floating bodies of drowned sinners, of course.) Meanwhile, Beverly’s attempts at catching up with her son involve questioning the stability of his relationship with Penny and later asking whether or not the two are having “satisfactory intercourse.”

After the Mrs. Cooper and Dr. Hofstadter exchange pleasantries, Beverly immediately begins praising Sheldon for all of his recent success, completely disinterested in the role Leonard has played in it. Leonard pulls Sheldon into the bedroom to chastise him for hogging the spotlight, leaving Penny to carry on a conversation with the mom’s. Before you know it, Beverly is referring to religion as superstition and Mary is insulting the theories of Sigmund Freud. Penny tries to bring the two together by reminding them they both share a deep belief in a “Jewish bearded guy” but the damage is done.

The fight does allow Beverly to rethink some of her parenting techniques. A conversation with Sheldon over hot beverages leads her to question whether or not Leonard would have been better off receiving the kind of unconditional love Sheldon had growing up. Sheldon admits it didn’t do much for the “mouth breathing idiots” he has for a brother and sister, but Leonard might have benefited from it.

This leads to a reluctant truce between the two mothers and a promise of unconditional love from Beverly to Leonard, followed by the most awkward mother/son hug of all time.

Speaking of mothers, Bernadette is tired of playing mom to Howard, Raj and Stewart, who has become so comfortable in their home that he no longer feels the need to wear pants. After watching the guys waste away the day playing video games and eating junk food, she puts them to work.

Her simple request that they clean the kitchen proves to be more work than husband Howard expected, but he does take a leap into adulthood by taking out the garbage all by himself! Well, at least he tries to, the bag breaks open all over the kitchen floor.

The episode ends with the three guys scrubbing away at the kitchen before breaking into a charming song and dance number. The guys joyfully sing along to the show tune “Its A Hard Knock Life”, which proves to be too much for Bernadette, who enters in the middle of the performance and immediately exits, shaking her head in disbelief.