The penultimate episode of The Big Bang Theory aired Thursday night, and finally gave viewers an answer to Raj's relationship with Anu.
In "The Maternal Conclusion," Anu (Rati Gupta) told Raj (Kunal Nayyar) she would be taking a full-time job in London. So, Raj told his friends he was planning to go to London to propose to her again. He got all the way to the airport, but Howard (Simon Helberg) arrived to stop him from leaving California.
"To us, that felt like a more satisfying end," showrunner Steve Holland told Entertainment Tonight after the episode aired. "I think the Kooth and Anu storyline was really nice and good for Kooth and got him some growth, but it didn't feel right for us to have him go off and enter into this relationship."
Holland continued, "There's always been a fun Howard and Koothrappali bromance at the center of this show and it felt like a really fun way to honor that and also like a way to keep things honest."
Gupta joined The Big Bang Theory for its last season. In an interview with PopCulture.com in January, she admitted it was a little intimidating to join the show at this point.
"It was definitely intimidating to jump into this super well oiled machine, and tight-knit family, but everyone has been so warm and welcoming and has brought me in and made me feel like I belong there, and it's been a very lovely experience, working with these men and women," she said. "They're all so great, and such pros. Like a masterclass, every day I'm at work."
Thursday's episode also provided some closure for Leonard's (Johnny Galecki) difficult relationship with his mother, Beverly (Christine Baranski). Their relationship has never been great, as fans of the show understand, so it was surprising to hear her praised Leonard for getting a new job.
However, it turned out this was all part of a paternal experiment. Leonard wanted to get angry, as he usually does, but instead he chose to forgive Beverly.
Holland told ET the writers thought it was "important" to "put a pin in the relationship" between the mother and son before Big Bang is over.
"In these last few episodes, Leonard has gone through some character growth and it just felt like it was the right time for him to finally stand up to his mom," Holland said. "So we'd been talking about that scene and having [Christine Baranski] come back and having Leonard really put her in her place."
Holland said co-creator Chuck Lorre came up with the idea of having Leonard forgive her in the episode instead of getting mad at Beverly.
"You expect him to sort of lay into her and chastise her for all the years she's put him down – and instead, he forgives her," Holland said. "It just felt like a really powerful moment for this character."
Next week, the hour-long season finale of The Big Bang Theory airs at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. It will be followed by a half-hour behind-the-scenes special about the show and the Young Sheldon Season 2 finale.
Photo credit: CBS