Something I think the show is doing really well is giving the women screen time apart from the men, having ladies' nights and sleepovers. Penny has always been one of the stars, but we really only saw her interacting with her geeky neighbors. These new characters give us a chance to explore her, seeing other sides of her life. I find it interesting that Amy Farrah Fowler seems to be the advocate for the trio's activities, as she is introduced as a loner, but is really embracing having a social circle. Of course, she is such a delight, and it has been handled in a way that seems realistic, so I'm not pointing that out as a flaw. On the contrary.
I love Amy and Sheldon's relationship, a term I use in the loosest sense of the word. While they have thus far avoided a romantic entanglement, I have to think that one will be coming, likely at Amy's aggression. Their frequent interaction, often though video, is perfect for the two modern, anti-social geniuses. But more important, Amy understands Sheldon, and knows how to talk to him in a way that others don't. In this week's episode, Sheldon is missing his friends, who have deserted him. Amy gets to the heart of the problem, and helps Sheldon understand the group's dynamics, namely, that they are Leonard-centric, not Sheldon-centric as Sheldon has long belived. She, more than anyone else, is tethering Sheldon to the real world. I understand the argument against that notion, as Sheldon's male friends are his most obvious connection, but without Amy, I'm not sure he can make his way back to them as he does.
Which brings us to this week's episode, a memorable gem. Leonard is getting serious with Priya, so he, Raj, and Howard are hanging out over at Raj's place with her. Amy and Bernadette cheer Penny up, who has, of course, been left out. But that still leaves Sheldon, who stubbornly refuses to change his habits. In true Sheldon fashion, he finds it easier to construct a new social group, rather than adapt in the slightest way. In the end, Sheldon realizes that it is not as easy as he thought to replace his friends, and he ends up making some concessions, which is something the character probably wouldn't have done a couple of seasons ago.