Final seasons of beloved shows can sometimes be more fun when the creative team pulls out the stops in wrapping up everyone's stories. Over on The Big Bang Theory, Leonard and Penny's status quo is about to get shaken up when the latter's ex-husband Zack returns in Season 12 with a new wife at his side, with Grace and Frankie and Living Biblically's Lindsey Kraft cast as Zack's latest lover Marissa. The couple has a very specific favor to ask of Leonard, too.
Here's the deal, which is a tad more complicated than Brian Taylor Smith's Zack Johnson coming back specifically to show off his new romance to try and make anyone jealous. When Zack and Marissa show up, they will apparently announce that they're trying to have a baby together. Judgments about Zack rushing into fatherhood aside, fans will learn that he is actually infertile. And according to TVLine, the newlyweds are looking to Leonard for some assistance in that area.
To be fair, it's within the realm of reality that Zack and Marissa just need Leonard to, say, drive them to a fertility clinic, or to lend them money to pay for some kind of procedure. It's even possible that Leonard knows someone at an adoption place that Zack wants to connect with. Not that any of these are more likely scenarios, just generally possible ones.
Because this is a sitcom in its twelfth year of existence, though, all assumptions can point to Leonard's sperm becoming a heated topic of discussion. Since Penny and Leonard don't totally seem like they're gearing up for parenthood in the near-ish future, it would be a crime to let Leonard's genetic line go dormant, right? I'm unsure of the criminal seriousness of Leonard's genes getting reared by Zack's genes, though.
Perhaps Lindsay Kraft's Marissa will bring the Midas touch to this situation that Zack simply cannot. The couple will be showing up in the episode airing on January 10, and Kraft is confirmed to appear in multiple episodes. As such, this predicament doesn't look like it will get immediately resolved in a 20-minute runtime.
So does that mean Leonard and Penny will be in for a tough round of decision-making? What's more, could Zack and Marissa's attempts at conception be an inspiration for the Hofstadter family to try adding to its own ranks? It might be strange if this is a bigger influence than Bernadette and Howard having kids, but the urge to become parents isn't always birthed from the most obvious places.
It would be extremely interesting if The Big Bang Theory ended Season 12 by just giving Leonard and Penny the motivation to try and have kids, rather than trying to hit all the major beats in the limited number of remaining episodes. Plus, there's always that kicked-around idea about a spinoff based on the couple.
The Big Bang Theory won't be the first time that Lindsay Kraft will be working with Johnny Galecki, as she's coming off of the morally askew comedy Living Biblically, \which he produced for CBS. That was arguably her biggest role to date, but audiences will likely also know her from HBO's _Getting On, Netflix's _Grace and Frankie and most recently from Bravo's Dirty John.
Expect to find Lindsay Kraft shaking things up on The Big Bang Theory on Thursday, January 10, at 8:00 p.m. ET. New episodes will be starting back up on CBS on January 3. While waiting to see what Leonard's genetics are heading, be sure to keep up with everything left to hit fall TV before jumping over to the midseason premiere schedule.