The Big Bang Theory recap: The Line Substitution Solution
Will Penny finally find a way to bond with Leonard's mom?
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
Over at the multiplex, an angry Stuart lays into Sheldon for being the most inconsiderate person on the planet. It appears that Amy has now paid Stuart to give Sheldon a piece of her mind. Sheldon sends Stuart back over to Penny’s apartment with apology flowers. Amy pays Bernadette $5 to slam the door in Stuart’s face.
Stuart returns to the theater to tell Sheldon that Amy is still mad. Sheldon decides to take matters into his own hands. He tosses money at Stuart to save his spot in line while Howard tosses more money at Stuart to make fun of Raj’s stick chair. It’s a brilliant invention, indeed, but I agree with Howard: Raj looks like he has a kickstand.
Sheldon arrives at Penny’s out of breath. He hastily powers through an apology outline he definitely secured from a Google search in the back seat of his Uber. He admits he was wrong, promises never to do it again, and asks for forgiveness. Amy obliges, and he runs out. Amy considers this a small victory. Beverly is so impressed that she asks Amy and Bernadette to be in her next book, insulting Penny and her marriage in the process.. Penny comes unglued at this point. Beverly is confused. Does her daughter-in-law want a connection or validation? Penny offers that she just wants Beverly to not insult her to her face. Does she even know what constitutes an insult?
Dr. Hofstadter eyes Penny and tells her, “One example might be you marrying my son and not inviting me.” Touché, Dr. H. Beverly admits that she wouldn’t have come, but she would have liked to know that it was even happening. She thought it was a mistake, but now she can see that Leonard has never been happier. Penny offers to have a private ceremony for Beverly now that she’s in town. Beverly finds that perfectly acceptable. Hugs all around!
When Sheldon returns to the theater to take his spot from Stuart, another dude cuts in line to join his friends. Unlike everyone else in the line, Sheldon can’t let it go. Just as he throws around the name “Rosa Parks” to the embarrassment of Howard, Raj, and Leonard, the line begins moving, and he’s unable to truly make his point by inadvertently degrading the name of an important Civil Rights pioneer.
Once again, small victories.
Sheldon: I remember because if it looks like Kim, it’s Kim. If it looks kinda like Kim, it’s Kourtney. If it looks nothing like Kim, it’s Khloé.
Amy: I called Sheldon “babe” once, and he asked me to get a drug test.