03/15/2013 08:15 am ET Updated Mar 15, 2013

'The Big Bang Theory': Howard Struggles Over A Letter His Estranged Father Wrote Him (VIDEO)

A spotlight was turned on the relationship between Howard and Bernadette on the latest episode of "The Big Bang Theory." Howard had tricked Sheldon into cleaning their closet, and in doing so, Sheldon found and read an unopened letter Howard's estranged father had left him when Howard was 18.

Sheldon hadn't meant to pry -- he was sorting correspondence -- but it was a letter Howard had never read. He had determined he didn't want to know what it said. Unfortunately, the girls convinced Sheldon to tell them, and then the whole gang, except for Howard, knew what it said.

He'd even burned the letter to finally remove the temptation to read it. It was a sweet and poignant scene between husband and wife that wasn't played for laughs. Well, until the fire alarm went off. Then, Bernadette had to give Howard a boost as they were both too short to reach it.

Howard's friends came up with a way to tell him what was in the letter without telling him. They each told him a version of what the letter could have said, and one of those versions was the truth.

A writer for Gather loved the intimate peek inside Howard and Bernadette's marriage, writing, "Through this, a new side of Howard and Bernadette's relationship comes to light. They both may be short, but they're there for each other."

Melissa Rauch thought the scene was "beautifully written." She told TVLine, "When something happens to your spouse, it very much feels like it’s happening to you. That’s what’s happening in this episode – her heart is breaking for what Howard’s going through."

Catch new episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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'The Big Bang Theory'