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The Real Reason Raj Didn't End Up With Anyone On The Big Bang Theory

During "The Stockholm Syndrome," the series finale of "The Big Bang Theory," every main character seems settled and happy. Sheldon Cooper and his wife Amy Farrah-Fowler (Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik) win the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work in super asymmetry. Leonard Hofstadter and his wife Penny (Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco) are happy together and expecting a baby, and their friends Howard Wolowitz and Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz (Simon Helberg and Melissa Rauch) have two children together. So what about Raj Koothrappalli, played by Kunal Nayyar?

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter from 2019 — after the finale aired — Chuck Lorre and two showrunners, Steve Molaro and Steve Holland, opened up about Raj's eternal singledom. At the end of "The Stockholm Syndrome," Raj attends the Nobel ceremony with all of his friends and, inexplicably, Sarah Michelle Gellar, who makes sure to tell him that they are not on a date. As Lorre told the outlet, not only was Gellar's appearance a nice comedic touch during a moving scene as Sheldon and Amy accept their shared award, but nobody felt like Raj's story needed to be fully wrapped up; as he put it, "we didn't feel like it was necessarily to have some big story closure for every character."

"That felt forced and somewhat unnecessary because sometimes big things don't happen to everybody all at once unless you're forcing it into a series finale," Lorre continued. "And that didn't feel realistic. It didn't feel like a comfortable way to go. So Raj's story just remains open."

Raj's story is, as Natasha Bedingfield once sang, still unwritten

The sad thing about Raj's open-ended ending is that out of all the characters on "The Big Bang Theory," Raj pines for true love more than anyone else — he even nearly enters into an arranged marriage with a woman named Anu (Rati Gupta), and though the two develop real feelings for each other, Raj ends the relationship when she moves to London for work. According to this interview, Steve Holland felt like the scene where Howard races to the airport to stop Raj from leaving was the character's big ending, but within the universe, there could be more to come.

"So many ideas were talked about; everything was fair game and on the board going into early this year talking about what the finale could be and Raj finding his person was certainly one of them," Holland told THR. "We just felt we didn't need to tie up everything in a bow. Their lives were still going on."

This feels like a strange sentiment to express when, for the audiences, the lives of these particular characters are not still going on for them, but Holland stuck to his guns, saying, "It felt OK to leave him still searching for love — and I believe that he ultimately will find it someday. but we didn't feel the need to have to show it."

Does it feel fair to leave Raj completely alone at the end of The Big Bang Theory?

The final word on Raj's lack of closure came from former showrunner Steve Molaro, who harked back to the very beginning of "The Big Bang Theory." As Molaro put it, "I think this show started with these four guys all single. To honor the bones of the series, it's OK that somebody still hasn't found the right person."

This idea makes sense from a writing perspective, but frankly, it still feels pretty unfair to poor Raj. He certainly tries to find love, and each and every time, the show's writers toss multiple hurdles at any promising opportunities. Early in the series, Raj can utter a single syllable in a woman's presence only if he's drunk (which isn't a joke that has aged particularly well since the show's original run). At one point, a woman is using Raj for his family's money. Even Raj's relationship with Anu feels uneven; she frequently makes decisions and steers the ship, whereas Raj just seems like he's along for the ride. In the end, every other character finds the "right person" — even the notoriously difficult and ill-tempered Sheldon Cooper. Artistic decisions aside, it seems mean to leave Raj all alone at the end of "The Big Bang Theory." At least he has his dog Cinnamon.