The boys aim high and take on the Air Force project

By Lincee Ray
September 27, 2016 at 01:36 AM EDT
Sonja Flemming/CBS
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If inventor Elon Musk is right, and we’re all just characters in an advanced civilization’s video game, I hope the little alien kids have fun with Howard and the boys working for the military. That’s right, you figments of an extraterrestrial’s imagination. The U.S. Air Force is interested in the quantum gyroscope and has zero desire to interrogate the brown guy with a ton of syllables in his name. Close call, Koothrappali!

The guys are at a crossroads. If the military declares their research classified, they can take the whole thing away. They won’t be able to sell the gyroscope commercially; no one will be rolling in the dough or making it rain anytime soon. This reality seems to bother everyone but Sheldon. He embraces the idea of being a faceless cog in the military’s industrial complex. Who wouldn’t want to march around harassing civilians with a weapon system that oppresses mankind? It’s just like being a Stormtrooper!

Raj suggests Howard call a lawyer. Surely one of his relatives is an attorney, right? Howard tenses at the Jewish stereotype and retaliates with one of his own: Does Raj have a family member who works at a call center in India? Why yes, he does! Howard rolls his eyes and calls his cousin, Marty, who’s a lawyer. He may not be a patent lawyer, but he did last two days on Jeopardy. Can you say smarty pants?

Marty suggests they take the meeting with Colonel Williams, speak very little, and sign nothing. Leonard amends the “speak very little” advice, asking Sheldon to not speak at all. A silent Sheldon is a safe Sheldon.

Colonel Williams saunters into the lab, compliments Howard for being the brains behind the operation, mentions that he, too, is an engineer from MIT, and confirms the military believes there is an application for the technology. The Air Force wants to fund the research for the guidance system. When Howard challenges Colonel Williams on what the gyroscope will be used for, Williams claims it’s none of his business. It’s not like he’s handing over the Death Star from Star Trek. At this inexcusable pop-culture faux pas, Sheldon’s head nearly explodes.

There’s another catch: Colonel Williams needs the gyroscope to be a lot smaller than its current size. Howard doesn’t think it can be done. He’s surprised when Colonel Williams claims other colleagues at MIT believe they can complete the project in four months. Silent Sheldon succumbs to the pressure and like a weird scientific version of Name That Tune, Sheldon counters the current challenge, promising his team can build that gyroscope in two months. He also adds:

“I’m Dr. Sheldon Cooper. I’m the actual brains behind this project. Also, engineers aren’t real scientists, MIT is a trade school, and the Death Star is from Star Wars, not Star Trek. Otherwise, thank you for your service.”

While the boys are checking out different ways to test the retinal scanner in their new classified military digs on campus, Bernadette is plotting revenge against the mystery person who told everyone at work she’s pregnant. What if she doesn’t get the new research promotion she was up for because she has a bun in the oven? Why didn’t she eat all those Dove Bars and leave the wrappers around so people will think she’s just getting fat? The blabber must go down.

Too bad the blabber is Penny. It was an accident! Her ability to convincingly lie to Bernadette fascinates Amy. Instead of helping Penny figure out this mess, Amy wants to scan her brain so she can see what lights up. FOCUS, AMY!

Penny eventually opts for the truth and Bernadette is livid. Even a happy meal doesn’t assuage her anger. Or could that be hormones from Amy swapping French fries for apple slices? Who knows.

Bernadette eventually forgives Penny. She knows her baby is more important than any research project. She also knows her boss is an old, rich white guy, and she’s a sweet little pregnant lady who isn’t afraid to cry in front of a jury.

Everyone’s a winner in this scenario! Three cheers to the alien kid who exceeds in conflict resolution.

Theoretical Laughter

Bernadette: “I’m worried about Howard. Ever since that guy from the Air Force showed up, he’s been a nervous wreck.”

Penny: “We work at a giant pharmaceutical company. Get him some anti-anxiety meds.”

Bernadette: “He won’t take any pills that aren’t chewable or in the shape of a Flintstone.”

Penny: “There’s something I was too scared to tell you yesterday. Now I’m balls-out terrified.”

Bernadette: “I learned a long time ago when you’re 4-feet-11 and eye level with every guy’s crotch, that’s where you punch.”

Penny: “I learned something totally different.”

Episode Recaps

Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, Raj, and Wolowitz, Amy, Bernadette—the gang keeps growing. Bazinga!
  • TV Show
  • 12
  • 09/24/07
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