In the show’s seven season history, this might be the first time we’ve seen the socially-inept genius deal with the knowledge that he’d made a blunder. After some sort of convoluted science talk that meant Sheldon found a new element (or something like that), his gloating immediately led to him realizing he’d misread a chart and, while the Chinese were still able to prove the existence of said element, he’d simply lucked into the discovery.
Naturally, Sheldon’s unable to handle the accolades he’s receiving at work, as he doesn’t feel worthy of them. It’s a new shade of the character, though it’s not unexpected. Sheldon must always be right and for the plebs around him to go on praising his accidental discovery is simply a reminder of the fact that he wasn’t right. As usual, his reaction exasperates those around him, but allows Amy (Mayim Bialik) to earn some points (and a spot in his tree fort) by agreeing with him, rather than trying to convince him to accept his luck.
Elsewhere, Howard’s (Simon Helberg) planning a special night for the anniversary of his first date with Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) by writing a song for her that requires the whole gang, while his wife is dealing with a raccoon virus that’s begun infecting humans. His romantic gesture moves Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) to examine the romance in their own relationship, driving Penny to try and find a way to offer Leonard more heart and less sex.
Both storylines are rather slight, but offer some genuinely touching final moments. If Howard’s performance for Bernadette (while she’s quarantined for spilling two dozen vials of that virus) isn’t released online to share, then something is wrong at CBS. Rauch and Helberg do some stellar acting in that scene, even as they’re separated by a window.
All in all, it’s a charming half-hour that allows the show to celebrate the love its various pairings feel for one another, rather than fall back into an easier, snarkier mode. Even if poor Amy’s only romance is when she goes into “the zone.” Ah well, they can’t all get a win.
But enough about that. Behold, the week’s funniest lines:
– “He’s both happy and quiet. It’s like seeing a unicorn and Bigfoot at the same time.” – Leonard, not wanting to disturb Sheldon.
– “Aw, what horrible thing are you trying to make up for?” – Penny, when Howard reveals his romantic plans.
– “Just you wait and see. I’m gonna romance your freaking ass off.” – Penny to Leonard
– “Look at it. I feel like my mind just made a baby.” – Sheldon, reveling in his discovery.
– “Of course. I’d be happy to shred it on my ax.” – Raj about his ukelele skills, which we sadly never see.
– “I like China. See, they know how to keep people in line.” – Sheldon because of course.
– “What else would you love? Other than being lifted over Patrick Swayze’s head?” – Penny, realizing Raj was the wrong person to turn to for romance help.
– “Sheldon Cooper does not get lucky!” – Sheldon
“You and me both, brother.” – Amy
– “People get things they don’t deserve all the time. Look at me with you.” – Leonard, to Sheldon.
– “Frankly, I’d prefer a sex tape.” – Sheldon
“You don’t know what a sex tape is, do you?” – Leonard
“No.” – Sheldon
– “Leonard, give me a beat.” – Raj, wanting to show off his rap skills.
“I will not.” – Leonard
– “How do I make them stop loving me?” – Sheldon
“Invite them to live with us.” – Leonard
– “I hate to pile on the bad news, but I just got a raise.” – Sheldon, as always, not quite getting it.
– “If there was a problem, I’d be throwing up out of my eyeballs by now.” – Bernadette, who ought to find a new line of work.
– “If I didn’t have you/Life would be blue/I’d be Doctor Who without the TARDIS.” – Howard, during his sweet song.
– “I have to say, this is the best Top Ramen you’ve ever made.” – Leonard
“I discovered a secret ingredient: The flavor packet.” – Penny