The Boyfriend Complexity features one of the most long-anticipated moments in “Bang” history: Howard and Raj share their first onscreen kiss. Actually, it’s an accidental kiss — mostly accidental anyway — but many regular “Bang” viewers have probably seen this coming; thank goodness Howard and Raj didn’t or we might’ve been cheated out of one of Season 4’s funniest moments.
Howard and Raj aren’t the only two engaging in some serious lip lock in week 9. When Penny’s dad (Keith Carradine) visits, Penny drafts Leonard into pretending to be her boyfriend. Turns out, Leonard is the only boyfriend Daddy has ever liked; Leonard’s a scientist; he went to college; plus he has no neck tattoos, outstanding warrants or babies. What’s not to love? As such, Penny has told her dad that she and Leonard are dating again. Daddy’s thrilled and Leonard even more so when, in the opening sequence, Penny greets him at her door with a long, passionate kiss. It’s only later that Penny explains the situation.
Of course, as so often happens with lies, the truth has a nasty way of intruding. In this case, Penny’s own conscious does the intruding and after an episode spent swapping spit with a gleeful Leonard, Penny confesses the truth to her father.
Much to Leonard’s surprise, Penny’s father is far angrier with her than him. In fact, Daddy begs Leonard not to give up on Penny. Leonard is Penny’s best hope — according to Daddy — of producing grandchildren who grow up in a house without wheels. He admonishes Leonard to lie, cheat, stack the deck — whatever’s necessary to win Penny back. Leonard promises to try and, as Penny’s in the bedroom changing, Daddy turns to reverse psychology, loudly kicking Leonard out and forbidding him to ever date Penny again.
Meanwhile, the aforementioned kiss between Howard and Raj begins, unsurprisingly, with a bottle of wine. When Raj spends a night in front of a computer screen, using a government telescope to monitor a nearby star for signs of a habitable planet, he invites Howard to join him. Howard, in turn, invites girlfriend Bernadette for this night of stargazing. Since Raj can’t speak to women without drinking alcohol (which Bernadette brings with her), the evening quickly descends into a night of blathering Raj-style drunken idiocy.
When idiocy morphs into to depression and Raj begins bemoaning the sad state of his love life, Bernadette tries to comfort him, assuring him there are plenty of girls who’d love to kiss him; he just needs to make the effort. That leads Raj to close his eyes and lean in to kiss Bernadette, provoking Howard to jump in front of her to counteract his inebriated friend.
A scandalous kiss ensues, with Raj kissing passionately, holding the sides of Howard’s head in a loving death grip. Howard is mortified, of course, and so is Raj when he finally opens his eyes. The next day makes for an awkward, hilarious lunch at the university cafeteria, as the two hash through their unintentional moment of intimacy, while an oblivious Leonard and Sheldon make unintentionally loaded comments, laced with homoerotic innuendo.
The Boyfriend Complexity is one of season 4’s funnier episodes so far. Some of the best moments come as Sheldon copes with Leonard and Penny’s pseudo rekindled relationship, modifying the roommate agreement to reflect what he’s learned since the two last dated. Of course, when Leonard tells him the modifications are unnecessary — he and Penny have broken up again (they never tell Sheldon the truth) — Sheldon doesn’t take it well and the modified roommate agreement — all several hundred pages — ends up flung into the air and scattered about the apartment.