I was a bit curious how a Thanksgiving episode would go at this point in the characters' lives, and found several different areas surprising. The Penny-Zack thing caught me off-guard, but I think it's really setting up yet another serious play by Leonard to "put a ring on it." But Bernadette's mother being absent really confused me... it didn't seem to bother anyone, but there's no obvious reason as to why she traveled alone, either. Similarly, Sheldon's mean-spirited attitude for the bulk of the episode seemed uncalled for and harsh, even for him. I think the best grouping of characters was probably the gossip-loving Raj, Amy, and Bernadette (complete with a mouth full of marshmallows!) in the kitchen, and wish more could have transpired in there.
The Big Bang Theory "The Thanksgiving Decoupling" (S07E09): Howard invites the gang to his mother's house for Thanksgiving dinner, as Bernadette's father is going and Howard has nothing to say to him. [why did ONLY Bernadette's mother go and not the rest of the family?] Sheldon doesn't want to, but everyone else is game. Once they get over there, however, Sheldon bonds with Bernadette's dad over football, and even has a beer with the man, as Sheldon's own father passed away when he was only 14, so he was never able to do such a thing. [poor Howard, he really did have a similar situation!]
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And, in the kitchen, Raj is in charge because Howard's mother has gout, and Amy and Bernadette assist.