Who knew we would see the day when Sheldon and Raj figured out solutions for their social ineptitudes? Only The Big Bang Theory writers would think to tackle our favorite physicists’ lack of social skills with an emotion detector and an ex-girlfriend focus group. It’s been a while since I enjoyed both storylines as much as I did in this episode. That’s no bazinga.
When Raj tells the guys that he is back on the market, he wonders out loud what is wrong with his game. Why do women reject him? Sheldon receives the information like a scientist and runs through many possible answers. Raj shuts him down with a simple, “I’m fine.”
Sheldon is irritated when he learns that this obligatory remark is a mask for what Raj is really feeling. It turns out, Raj is not fine. Sheldon whines, wondering why no one just says exactly what’s on their mind. It’s quite annoying for those who struggle with recognizing emotional cues.
Lo and behold, Bernadette recently read about a gizmo that was created for people who have this exact same anxiety. MIT has a prototype, and because Howard is an alum, he can probably submit Sheldon’s name as a beta tester.
Of course this is a real thing. If anyone can build an emotion detector, it’s a bunch of awkward scientists with zero social skills.
Sheldon is on board. Sure, he’ll be a more considerate friend after using the machine, but he’ll also be able to identify his enemies, discover their fears, and use those fears to destroy them. It’s a solid plan.
Later that night, Penny casually mentions to Leonard that her brother is coming to down so she can help him find a job. Selling illegal drugs is the same as working in pharmaceutical sales, right? Leonard is a bit uncomfortable, but he goes with the flow.
Meanwhile, Howard receives the prototype from MIT. He and Amy practice with Sheldon. Amy stares at a picture of a bunch of cuddly puppies. Sheldon reads that she is happy. CORRECT! Amy looks at a picture of her deceased grandmother. Sheldon reads that she’s sad. EXACTLY!
Sheldon hauls his new machine over to the Hofstadters. If you’re happy and you know it, there’s no need to clap your hands. There’s a machine that can do that for you! He holds up the device just as Penny asks Leonard to go over Randall’s resume. Sheldon reads that Leonard is not a happy camper. Suddenly, Penny reads angry, too.
Leonard is mad at Penny for not asking him before inviting her brother to live with them. Penny doesn’t understand. Isn’t it the same as Leonard making her live with Sheldon for an entire year? According to the device, Amy and Sheldon are having a delightful time watching their best friends fight.
NEXT: One very harsh focus group