The Big Bang Theory recap: 'The Collaboration Fluctuation'
Can Sheldon and Amy survive a work collaboration?
It’s been a while since The Big Bang Theory writers penned an episode with a bunch of science talk. I guess it was time to write a script that forced me to zone out when things got a little too physics-y. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that this show continues to stick to its cerebral roots, but sometimes it can get away from you.
Things started out promising. Sheldon tells Amy all about his super secret gyroscope project, redacting the confidential parts by blowing Amy’s car horn. He invites Amy to tell him about her latest projects, giving her permission to blow the horn during the boring parts. Amy is eager to share. She’s working on figuring out where and when awareness takes place.
Cut to Sheldon in the cafeteria. Something remarkable has happened with a plastic spoon! Unlike Howard’s guess that it sang “Be Our Guest,” Sheldon explains that he picked it up without thinking. He somehow connects this moment to missing link in his own research. Could Amy be onto something? He’s never been interested in biology. It’s just grey, squishy stuff. But pair it with physics and you’ve got a fiesta. A physics fiesta.
Sheldon grabs all of his white boards and encourages Amy to collaborate with him. What do you get when you combine Amy’s knowledge in neuroscience and Sheldon’s math calculations? Magic.
Of course there need to be some ground rules. Such as: You can’t use your sexuality to get your way. Sheldon has the final say. Dr. Cooper’s name will appear first in all papers. And he will speak first, too. This is all normal protocol.
Amy throws the ground rules out the window and makes a new list. This is not a competition. There are no stupid ideas. Sheldon concedes, and we are treated to a delightful montage of Sheldon and Amy cheering each other on in the spirit of camaraderie to the kicky tune of “Happy Together” by The Turtles.
Sadly, the work is crap. Sheldon no longer wants his name connected to this garbage. He blames Amy’s loud breathing and she blames his sensitivity. In the middle of the argument, Sheldon discovers a mistake in the math. Problem solved!
They quickly start fighting again, yet they continue to find other areas of insightful solutions to their science/math/biology/physics problems. The result? Fighting is the reason they are making progress. Their hormones are sharpening their skills. Now they have a choice: Abandon all rules in the name of science or give up the collaboration in the name of their relationship.
I’ll give you one guess which one Sheldon chooses. SCIENCE!
While Sheldon and Amy are updating their ground rules to include amendments like, “We are on the same team, but this is a competition,” Leonard stresses about his wife’s budding friendship with their new roommate. Penny and Raj are doing yoga, gabbing about work issues, sharing eye cream and facial masks, shopping for the same blouses, and generally becoming each other’s gal pal.
Leonard crashes a trip to Target with Bernadette and Howard to complain about being the third wheel in his marriage. Leonard wonders why Raj gets to do dumb girly stuff with Penny. Howard has a better question: Does Leonard really want to do the dumb girly stuff with Penny? Bernadette suggests Leonard talk to both of them.
To Leonard’s defense, he tries, but Raj and Penny discuss all his issues and insecurities while Leonard is sitting right there. Penny calls him crazy and Raj chastises her for not making Leonard feel safe. Leonard explodes, irritated that they are once again leaving him out of the conversation. In the end, Penny and Raj give him the floor and he is silent because they’ve pretty much covered everything he wanted to say.
Talk about boring. I could have redacted the entire Penny/Leonard/Raj storyline. Let’s go back to that plastic spoon and see if it will sing and dance.
SHELDON: You tickled my intellectual fancy. Which, unlike my body, is an okay place to tickle.
SHELDON: Biology and physics coming together. It’s like the peanut butter cup of the mind!