The Status Quo Combustion
Leonard and Penny tell the group they are engaged; all are happy, but make a bigger deal of Raj and Emily having had sex. Leonard’s mother is unmoved by his engagement, but accepts Penny because Sheldon is very fond of her. Sheldon is angered the university will not let him change research fields and considers quitting. He is further upset that Leonard and Penny do not want to live with him when married. He is disturbed at Amy’s suggestion they could live together, and his last nerve breaks on discovering Stuart’s comic book store was destroyed by fire. Sheldon decides to leave town to figure out what he wants. Leonard protests but Penny says they should let him go. Sheldon calls Amy to say he is all right, after which a distraught Amy attacks Leonard with a pillow for letting him go. Howard’s mother drives away all nurses hired to look after her, even Penny. Howard offers Stuart the job, giving him money and a home while he gets back on his feet after losing his store. He loves the job, becoming surprisingly close to Howard’s mother.
Title reference: The various changes in the characters’ lives changing the status quo.