Screenplay by Jim Reynolds, Steve Holland and Dave Goetsch.
There are two sides to comedy: jokes and bittersweet. The Champagne Reflection was on the bittersweet side, with characters basking in the present to think about what their lives will amount to. And the answer is: nothing. The Big Bang Theory itself states that eventually, the Universe will implode, leaving nothing. Entropy will consume all in time. That’s the basis of cosmology, and as a theoretical physicist, Sheldon Cooper only knows that too well. So it’s fitting that this episode should take the time to show us that all our efforts are truly meaningless by dividing the story into each character’s place, and linking them through meaning.
Firstly, there’s Cooper himself. We begin with him recording the final episode of Sheldon Cooper Presents “Fun With Flags”, and reminiscing on what it’s like to end something. So many sitcoms have famous last episodes, Friends: the Last One‘s final moments being testament to this. Eventually, he decides to bring Sheldon Cooper Presents “Fun With Flags” back, which I found to be a nice jab at the kind of producers that can’t leave something alone. Basically, Peter Jackson. The Big Bang Theory‘s characters are almost defined by their pop culture interests, so for one of them to unironically channel the kind of George Lucas milking is an interesting point made by Reynolds, Holland and Goetsch.
Then we have our title reference with Leonard Hofstadter, Howard Wolowitz and Rajesh Koothrappali clearing out a deceased professor’s office and finding an unopened champagne bottle, which was said to be reserved for when the professor achieved something important, which hadn’t been opened. There, the three of them make a pact: they were all take ownership of the champagne bottle, until one of them achieved something significant.
Of course, with anything like this, there’s always the oblivious ruining of something heartfelt by another character. In this case, it was Cooper opening the bottle to celebrate the final episode of his show receiving a positive comment, prompting him to bring it back. But this was also extremely clever of the writers’: it was both in-character, while also promoting a good life philosophy- if you enjoy something, and people like it, that’s all that matters. The moment is what’s important, and life is a pile of them. Not one single great thing.
The big Bang Theory: the Champagne Reflection – bittersweet plot device, meaningful episode. 6/10