Okay! Two episodes in a row that actually focused on the same plot, and a serious one, centered on Penny and everything! Color me surprised!
The main plot follows Penny as she decides to quit her job at the Cheesecake Factory to focus solely on acting. Penny forgives Leonard for the proposal fiasco, but she again has reason to be upset with him as he doesn't support her decision to quit her job. Sheldon, who is forced to take vacation days from work, goes with Penny as she runs errands, getting started on her new life of pursuing acting more fully. Sheldon supports Penny's endeavors, because he reasons that the best way to achieve a goal is to focus all of your energy on it. Leonard and Penny eventually make up when he says that he could never quit his job to follow his dream, but that he's proud of Penny for doing so.
Amy gets into a predicament at work when Bert, a geologist with a crush on her, asks her to go to a rock show. She doesn't know how to let him down easy, so she sends Raj and Howard to do so. They end up getting roped in to going to the rock show. Bernadette accidentally burns one of Howard's comic books, but Stuart doesn't have it, and the two of them are forced to go track down a replacement at another store, run by Jesse, Stuart's rival. Jesse insults Stuart, and Bernadette decides not to buy anything from him. However, she later comes back to the store alone and purchases the comic book she needs, although she continues to berate Jesse as she does so.
So! Pros and Cons!
Cons: I thought Sheldon's stuff was a bit weak. The bit where he acts like a dog was over the top and silly. I also thought that there could have been a more nuanced exploration of Amy's story line. This guy who has a crush on her is certainly rather awkward, but there's nothing really wrong with him. I understand that Amy loves Sheldon, but it would be interesting to explore the dissatisfaction she must feel in their relationship.
Pros: More Penny-centric plots! Yay! I enjoy the fact that Leonard really does disapprove of some of Penny's life choices, and they aren't shying away from the difficulty of this. I think the best scene in the episode is the one where Leonard exclaims that he thought they were in the sort of relationship where they made big decisions together. I think this sort of threw Penny for a loop, and hopefully in the future we get to see them talk about this more. Also, despite being uncertain about Sheldon's role in the episode, I loved the scene where he joined in on their relationship talk, referencing the fact that he basically is a part of their relationship. I also loved seeing Josh Peck guest star as Jesse. That was a nice little nod to my childhood! Bernadette and Stuart's whole subplot was hilarious, in fact.
Alright, there you have it! Not my favorite episode, but I continue to be excited about the focus on Penny, and I hope this story thread actually continues.