The Big Bang Theory season 12 is admitting that there's an issue with how boring Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard's (Johnny Galecki) uneventful married life has gotten - but it doesn't seem like it will change anytime soon. After a tumultuous dating history, the show's principal couple eventually got married in a shotgun wedding during season 9's "The Matrimonial Momentum." The episodes that followed tackled the effects of not having their family and friends present during their special day, but after formally tying the knot in the first episode of season 10, their story has been pushed to the side to cater to other character's narratives.
Since, The Big Bang Theory has attempted to acknowledge the issue in the past with the couple having a relatively serious conversation about how their friends' relationships constantly progressing unlike theirs - Bernie and Howard having kids, and Sheldon and Amy moving in together and eventually getting engaged. Leonard and Penny attempted to come up with things that could spice their married life up, but sadly, nothing really worked after realizing that they couldn't agree on the steps they want to take. At this point, the pair has fallen into the trap of being regularly involved in their friends' issues but failing to address their own problem about being dangerously complacent in their relationship.
Given this recurring criticism, one would think that the writers behind The Big Bang Theory would actively rectify the situation in its final season. But several episodes into season 12, that doesn't seem to be the case. If anything, the show is even leaning on the idea that Penny and Leonard's marriage has become so boring that they can casually mention it as seen in the latest episode of the show. Sure, the two's worsening case of marital stagnation may have been reinforced by the fact that they still haven't reached a compromise as to whether or not they want to have children, which has become quite an issue after newly-weds Amy and Sheldon, who are in the same page about the matter, got in the mix. Keeping things casual means they're able to delay the inevitable conversation about the issue. But after the initial discussion, there hasn't been any word about the matter - as if both Penny and Leonard have just forgotten about it.
With a serious problem just waiting to blow up, coupled with the idea that both Penny and Leonard have pretty much lost interest in making strides in their married life, it's easy to get the impression that The Big Bang Theory's inaugural couple is heading towards a break-up. Next week’s Halloween-themed episode titled "The Imitation Perturbation" is further laying the grounds for a separation with Penny supposedly not remembering her and Leonard’s first kiss; the two first locked-lips 12 years ago during Penny's own Halloween party despite the fact that at that point, they still weren't involved, making it worse for Leonard.
So will Leonard and Penny really break up at the end of The Big Bang Theory? That's highly doubtful - and would unlikely be permanent.
However, another round of separation and reconciliation involving the two doesn't really address the issue that there's no real progress in their relationship; it would just bring them back to where they originally started. At this point, the best way to shake things up is to throw a curve ball their way by revealing that Penny is actually pregnant. Almost every milestone in her relationship with Leonard has been spontaneous - first kiss, engagement, first wedding, and them getting pregnant follows that pattern. Obviously Penny has made it clear that she doesn’t want kids, especially now that she’s focusing on her career which is good for her considering that she's struggled really hard to find her own means of living. However, The Big Bang Theory has also set a precedent about her character being unsure of what she wants/needs until it's already in front of her. She didn’t like Leonard at first either, and yet, she eventually and genuinely warmed up to him, and the same can happen with her own baby.
The Big Bang Theory continues Thursdays on CBS.