"The Big Bang Theory" has been strongly hinting at the fact that Penny isn't entirely happy with her status with Leonard for awhile now and Thursday's episode, "The Justice League Recombination," finally made Leonard aware of that, at least on some level.
Personally, I do not enjoy the "will-they-or-won't-they" with Leonard and Penny, in part because they already have. At this point in the series, they creators probably need to decide to put Penny with Leonard or break them up fully. The problem with the latter scenario is that, as this episode kind of hinted at, if Penny isn't in a relationship with Leonard, then she has very little reason to be friends with the gang -- unlike Zack, who at least showed a previously unknown love for comic books -- and therefore would have little reason to be a character on the show.
In universe, Penny broke up with Leonard because he said "I love you" and she wasn't ready to say it back, but now it seems like even if she's not ready to say it, she's feeling something along those lines. At least, that was the vibe I got when Zack was kissing her at midnight on New Year's and she kept looking at Leonard with a look that said "I wish it was you." Hopefully this story will come to some resolution soon, because as it is right now, it's not making for good episodes. I thought the Justice League costumes in Thursday's episodes were good for some laughs, but otherwise the Leonard/Penny stuff was just a drag.
Also, I found it interesting that as the cast grows, the absence of cast members in a specific episode needs to be awkwardly addressed, and that was the case Thursday with both Bernadette and Amy. The characters might as well have turned to the screen and said, "You will not be seeing these characters this week. We will try to work them into a story in the near future."
For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the AdamReisinger.com TV Reviews home page.