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The Big Bang Theory recap: The Line Substitution Solution

Will Penny finally find a way to bond with Leonard’s mom?

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Michael Yarish/CBS

The Big Bang Theory

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Scott Halberstadt, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Frank Pacheco
Chuck Lorre

It’s always a fun episode when Christine Baranski visits the set of The Big Bang Theory as Leonard’s passive-aggressive mother. This time Penny is determined to bond with the esteemed Dr. Hofstadter. She even volunteers to pick her up from the airport so Leonard doesn’t have to be trapped in a car while his mother critiques his every life decision. 

But first, she and Sheldon have to use their breakfast time to expand knowledge. Sheldon holds up a flash card and Penny correctly guesses the sign for Helium. In turn, Sheldon identifies a photo of Taylor Swift. Penny notes the symbol for pie. Sheldon almost stumbles on a Kardashian (tricky!), but he correctly guesses Khloé. We’ve come such a long way in nine seasons, haven’t we?

Later that day, Raj informs the guys that Joss Whedon is hosting an Avengers screening. It’s first come, first served, and I immediately have flashbacks of the Indiana Jones screening from season 4. You can imagine my delight when Sheldon once again recites the cardinal rule of line etiquette: No cuts, no buts, no coconuts. Sadly, Sheldon can’t attend the screening because he is going shopping with Amy. He assumes everyone will choose to not have fun without him. Howard astutely points out that when Sheldon’s not there, that’s when they do have fun. 

Raj suggests Sheldon hire someone to help him be in two places at once. The next thing we know, Stuart is hopping in the car with Amy, ready and willing to build a bear or check out the sale rack at Old Navy. Amy is livid that Sheldon would pay Stuart to get out of spending time with her. Stuart assures her that Sheldon is sorry but would rather spend time standing in a line. This is NOT helping, Stuart.

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Meanwhile, Penny picks up Dr. Hofstadter and the conversation quickly goes south when Beverly asks if Leonard has difficulty in the bedroom. Beverly senses Penny’s nervousness and asks what she can do to help assuage her anxiety. The answer? Try not psychoanalyzing everything! 

Beverly understands and does her best to be pleasant at dinner with the girls. This tactic backfires on Penny. Beverly ends up bonding over scientific mumbo jumbo with both Amy and Bernadette. They are three peas in a pod, and Penny is the piece of celery nobody wants.

NEXT: Penny comes unglued