Warning: Spoilers ahead for the most recent episode of The Big Bang Theory. Feel free to look away if you still need to catch up.
Well, the most recent episode of The Big Bang Theory was, on the surface, mostly about Sheldon and Raj, but the show managed to reveal some things about Penny and Leonard that might spell trouble ahead for the fan favorite couple. It seems like the (relatively) newly married couple has gotten into the habit of trying to hide their marital troubles by making sure they have someone who demands a lot of attention living with them. And, now, that someone is Raj.
Let's back up a bit so we can get into how all this came about. As most fans know by now, Raj is having some financial problems after deciding to live without his rich father paying a large portion of his bills. As such, the astrophysicist has now found himself unable to afford his apartment, and, when he puts the word out on social media that he's looking for a cheaper place, Leonard and Penny decide to let him live in Sheldon's old room. They had made the same offer to him a couple of episodes ago and he turned them down, not wanting to mooch off his friends. Now, though, with no other place to live, he accepts their offer.
Of course, Sheldon, though originally gracious about Raj occupying his old room, is quickly revealed to be none too pleased about this new living arrangement. He tells Amy that he actually feels "a bit replaced" even while realizing that the feeling is irrational. To try to get a better handle on why he feels this way, he video chats with Leonard's psychiatrist mother, Beverly. While suggesting that Sheldon considers his old room an escape hatch for his relationship with Amy, she also notes Leonard and Penny's willingness to take on another roommate so soon after finally getting Sheldon out of their home might be a sign that they feel they need a buffer in their relationship.
Oh, damn, Beverly. Way to expose the cracks in your son's marriage. At first glance, Beverly's theory may seem far fetched, but we do know that Penny and Leonard have been having some problems with their relationship now that they've been married for a while. And, they were so troubled by those issues, that they actually had Sheldon draw up one of his famous relationship agreements for them to follow.
A couple of months ago, Penny actually floated the idea of having her drug dealing brother, Randall, live with them if she was able to get him a job locally, which caused a big fight between the two, since she told her dad she would try without talking to Leonard first. In recent weeks, it had seemed that the agreement worked to make Penny and Leonard feel more steady and satisfied in their marriage, but what if it hasn't?
If you think about it, Beverly might have a pretty good point. As their relationship took off over the years, Penny and Leonard constantly complained about Sheldon and his compulsive and controlling ways and how it negatively impacted their time together in the apartment. But, now that he's not an issue anymore, they've allowed another person, with some intriguing issues of his own, to bring his problems into their space. While it's true that Raj won't be as overtly difficult as Sheldon was, his presence will likely take some of the focus away from whatever issues Penny and Leonard need to deal with. And, obviously, this will only mean that their problems will be ignored and might fester, as opposed to them actually getting better.
So, what do you think? Are Penny and Leonard headed for more marital troubles now that Raj has moved in? Let us know in the comments below. You can keep up with the continued twists and turns in their relationship when The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays on CBS.