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'The Big Bang Theory' recap: 'The Communication Deterioration'

If anyone can succeed in communicating with aliens, it’s Sheldon.

Posted on

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

There was an extensive amount of scientific jargon peppered throughout The Big Bang Theory this episode. It’s ironic that the general theme was the importance of communicating, yet I felt left in the dark since I’m not up to speed on NASA’s Discovery Program. I decided to wing it and researched molecular cocktails instead. One Cosmopolitan Ball, please!

My confusion began when Raj announces that NASA has invited a few scientist to help construct a message from Earth to include in the next Discovery mission. When he graciously invites the guys to contribute, Sheldon and Howard volley scientific phrases and ideas back and forth with ease. Rather than wondering what they were talking about, I chose to be impressed with Jim Parsons and Simon Helberg’s ability to memorize such intricate dialogue.

In a nutshell, Sheldon and Howard immediately hijack the project, assuming Leonard and Raj will settle in their perspective beta male roles. Not so fast, brainiacs. Instead of submitting, Raj praises Leonard for adopting a cohesive attitude. Raj kicks the two alpha males off the team to work only with Leonard. Who’s top dog now?

Howard finds sanctuary in making molecular balls of booze, while Sheldon spends the afternoon offering career advice to Penny. Should she audition for Kevin Smith’s new movie? Or should she stick with her pharmaceutical sales job? Sheldon reminds her that she shouldn’t worry about quitting her job, since she hasn’t landed the role yet. This upset me, mainly because I’m dying to see Serial Ape-ist 3.

Penny psyches herself up to enter the audition room. She laughs at her butterflies, wondering why she ever decided to give up her acting career? When she walks through the door, she’s greeted by a dozen other faces who look just like her. Hooray for having access to anti-anxiety pills! Penny bombs the audition and uses her fancy pharmaceutical sales paycheck to treat Amy and Bernadette to dinner. I guess it’s time to start working on my Serial Ape-ist 3 fan fiction.

Meanwhile, Raj and Leonard have a breakthrough. After succumbing to their emotions while remembering how E.T. almost died, the conversation sparks a barrage of scientific language that sounds incredibly exciting. Upon reaching the crescendo of the moment, Leonard realizes that they have just spent hours developing the exact same plan Sheldon and Howard suggested earlier in the day. It’s time to phone home.

Raj and Leonard invite Howard and Sheldon back on the project. All agree that the alien message must show what Earthly people look like, but must not feature our soft and squishy bodies. No one wants to be an alien appetizer.

In the end, Sheldon personally hosts the digital message, inviting the aliens for a quick jaunt over to Earth. Apparently if you turn left at Alpha Centauri, you can’t miss us.

Theoretical Laughter

“There was a scientist who had a theory, and James Clerk Maxwell was his name-o. J-A-M-E-S, C-L-E-R-K, M-A-XWELL, and James Clerk Maxwell was his name-o.”—Sheldon, revising song lyrics to get children excited about science

“When I encountered alien life, I discovered that the key thing was to not sit in its spot.”—Leonard, poking fun at Sheldon

Penny: [knock, knock, knock] Sheldon [knock, knock, knock] Sheldon [knock, knock, knock] Sheldon!

Sheldon: I bet that started off as a joke, but by the last one, you realized there’s something strangely enjoyable about it.

Penny: Yeah, I kind of want to do it again.

Sheldon: I don’t recommend it. You’ll be doing it the rest of your life.

“The whole experience reminded me how much I hated that world—the anxiety, the depression, the negativity. I don’t want to feel those things. I want to sell drugs to people who feel those things.” Penny, discovering a new appreciation for her job