By Maane Khatchatourian
November 15, 2012 at 12:00 PM EST
Jesse Cowell/My Damn Channel


Image Credit: Robert Voets/Warner Bros.[/caption]

Tonight’s episode of The Big Bang Theory was a throwback to earlier seasons. Warning: spoilers below for those on the west coast!

Amy and Bernadette make no appearances, Raj and Howard struggle to understand the essence of Sheldon while strengthening their stalwart bromance, and Leonard feels insecure in his relationship with Penny. It’s 2010 all over again!

The misadventures commence when Raj and Howard realize that Sheldon disappears daily between 2:45 and 3:05 p.m. They follow him to the university basement to find out what he does during those 20 minutes and see him enter an old storage room. Then their guessing game starts. He’s certainly not doing 20-minute ab workouts, but he might have Leonard Nimoy, Bill Gates, or Stephen Hawking chained up in there. Ninja Howard and cat burgler Raj return to the site and break into the room after Sheldon leaves. The guessing game continues, but takes a complicated turn. The two find the number 43 written on a chalkboard and try to deduce its meaning to no avail.

In my favorite scene of the night, the brilliant Raj suspects that the prime number might be tied to an encryption code.

Howard: What kind of secret does Sheldon have to encrypt?

Raj: He’s always been very cagey about what he puts in his egg salad to make it so tasty.

Howard: It’s paprika.

Raj: Really? Oh, okay. One mystery solved.

It’s safe to assume that Raj has no future in detective work. After tireless hours, the dynamic duo decide to cheat. Howard installs a camera from the Mars rover in the room and finally catches Sheldon in the act. What they discover will shock you! Shelly opens a wormhole with his generator and prepares to jump into a parallel universe (the first 43 he visited were empty). The show then takes a turn from National Treasure to Alien when a critter appears to jump out of the wormhole and attach itself to Sheldon’s face. Bazinga! It’s just a cruel joke. Sheldon actually found the webcam and replaced the video feed to teach his friends a lesson. Thank the universe! For a brief moment I thought the writers had jumped the alien. We later find out that he uses the room to play hacky sack: 43 is the highest number of times he’s kicked the bag without it hitting the ground. It’s a bit out of character for a clumsy non-hippie like Sheldon, but he is competitive in nature. And I’ll take a hacky sack story line over an alien one any day.

While Howard and Raj were on the hunt for the truth, which they apparently couldn’t handle, Penny and Leonard had a spat. Leonard is overcome with jealousy when he finds out that Penny is working on an oral report with a male classmate. He has a sexy British accent and likes to text Penny so Leonard has every reason to be jealous. Sheldon fails to reassure his roommate that he’s a great catch (his reasons being that Leonard sleeps well and buys perfect grapes) and Leonard fails to read Alex’s (Sheldon’s assistant who has a crush on Dr. Hofstadter) flirtatious signals so he continues feeling insecure.

He catches up with Penny’s classmate when he’s leaving her apartment and warns him that “Penny’s boyfriend” is a “pretty scary dude,” unaware that the guy’s well aware of his actual identity. Penny and Leonard apologize and make up, as expected, but Penny says something unfathomable in the heat of the moment. “Listen to me, you are the one I’m with. You know I love you so will you please relax because you’re driving me crazy,” she says. That’s right, she used the L word for the very first time! Penny has to then rush off to work so the couple doesn’t get to savor the moment (read: cry), but hopefully they’ll celebrate in next week’s episode. If you ask me, it sounded much better coming from Leonard during coitus. What can I say, I’m a hopeless romantic.

Here are tonight’s best lines:

Sheldon: It’s a Frisbee-sized wormhole, Leonard. You could block it with a Frisbee, calm down.

Raj: It was tapenade and you guys suck.

Leonard: Oh, good. We’re still dating, right?

Raj: They turn off the lights and it’s like a cute little laser show that poops all over the place.

Alex: All I know is corduroy makes too much noise and I have to go find quieter pants.

Raj: Oh, what I wouldn’t give to get her out of those pants … and into something a little more stylish

Leonard: If you’re wondering why I’ve been staring through the peep hole, I’m trying to get a look at this guy who’s coming over to Penny’s.

Sheldon: To be honest, I didn’t know you were here.

Sheldon: He could be having the time of his life while she thinks she’s a chicken pecking for corn.

Leonard: Right, because girls are always like ‘oooh, that guy owns two Star Trek uniforms and gets a lot of ear infections, I got to get me some of that.’

Penny: Shouldn’t you be out with your gang, spray painting equations on the side of buildings?

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