The Big Bang Theory recap: 'The Collaboration Contamination'
Is Amy Howard's new work wife?
Any time Mayim Bialik and Simon Helberg are paired together, which is rare, I always have a good time. And since Amy is working on a computer interface that uses brainwave patterns to control an arm, and Howard is a qualified engineer, the result is an entire episode of closeup magic, geeky nerd talk, and inadvertently making Sheldon jealous.
Fortunately, Penny has casually started reading one of Bernadette’s parenting books and is able to bend Sheldon’s irritated will to a more pleasing disposition. After annoying Leonard with “Guess the Siren” games and frantically trying to have a conversation with Amy using Morse Code through fanatic blinking, Sheldon reaches a breaking point. Now that Amy is constantly with Howard and sending texts that she’ll be home late, Dr. Cooper flirts with a panic attack.
No one wants Sheldon to go off the deep end, so Penny expertly steps in to implement chapter 2 of the parenting manual. She treats Sheldon like a toddler, explaining that she understands his frustration. He has every right to feel what he feels. His anger is valid. Now go wash up for dinner.
Leonard stares in disbelief. Penny has found the key to Sheldon’s weirdness. Or maybe she’s gotten really good at Jedi mind tricks. Either way, this is a win for the entire gang.
When Amy gets home that night, a very mellow Sheldon puts out a romantic vibe by suggesting he and his fiancée do a little quantum cognition together. I should point out that this all-night long activity is not a euphemism for anything in the hanky panky category of life. Sheldon just wants to make some science together. Alas, Amy is too tired and just wants to make science in the morning. Again, we’re talking about actual science here.
The next day, Sheldon texts Leonard to see if he can pick him up since Amy is once again working late with Howard. Penny pulls out the book and suggests Leonard give Sheldon two options that work for his schedule. Leonard complies and tells Sheldon that he can either be picked up in two hours or take an Uber. Sheldon chooses the Uber.
And all is right with the world.
Later Sheldon visits Bernadette to complain about how their significant others are working together on a Saturday. Sheldon is angry and wants Howard to feel as bad as he feels. Bernadette slyly informs Sheldon that Howard just LOVES chores and if he really wants to stick it to her husband, he will change the batteries in the smoke detector. That’ll show him!
While Sheldon cleans the oven and does all the laundry, Raj visits Amy’s lab and finds his best friend dancing to Neil Sedaka’s “Calendar Girl” with delightful hand gestures and jaunty choreography. Raj reports back to Sheldon and Bernadette that Amy and Howard have been having fun without them! He doesn’t even mention the slight of hand magic tricks. How did Howard get the three of clubs inside that brain model and Amy’s watch on the skeleton?
Sheldon later complains to Penny and Leonard that Amy is changing. What if she expects all that laughing and music cajoling at home? Penny presses Sheldon to feel what he’s feeling, but then Leonard taps the brakes. He doesn’t want Penny to validate his annoying behavior. Penny complains that Leonard isn’t putting up a united front before switching gears to confirm Leonard’s heightened emotions. He softens and then realizes Penny has turned the tables and is using the book on him!
Since Bernadette kicks both Sheldon and Raj out of her house for being general pains in the butt, the pair team up to watch a movie together. Who needs Amy? He’s not going to hold Raj’s hand either, so it’s practically the same.
And Spoiler alert, Raj: Sheldon doesn’t understand the concept of spoiler alert. Have fun watching a film where you already know the ending! Hey, it’s better than playing “Guess the Siren” game. I’m sure chapter 4 in Penny’s book will persuade you to pick your battles in times like these.
Bernadette: Sorry Halley threw up on your stuffed bear.
Penny: Oh, it’s okay.
Leonard: That’s an Ewok and it’s mine.
Penny: Which is why it’s okay.
Raj: Howard’s at his lab with his work wife.
Bernadette: I thought his work wife was you.