Is Sheldon the new Professor Proton?

By Lincee Ray
November 02, 2017 at 09:38 PM EDT
CBS

Two very big events are happening over on The Big Bang Theory: Howard is getting a vasectomy, and Sheldon is creating an audition tape to be the next Professor Proton.

How can this episode be anything but stellar?

Seeing a man limping through the waiting room in pain doesn’t help Howard’s mental preparation to have something very important snipped. Sure, he has Raj offering moral support, but Bernadette’s insistence that he stop whining cancels out all of the encouragement. Buckle up, big guy. It’s time to walk the green mile.

Howard isn’t the only one who’s nervous. Sheldon is convinced that he can be the next Professor Proton using the same low-key “enthusiasm” he brought to the screen during Fun With Flags. Moreover, he’s not going to water anything down. The children of the world will swim in a sea of theoretical physics, algorithms, fancy equations, and an entire whiteboard full of really, really hard math.

Amy proudly shows Leonard and Penny Sheldon’s audition tape, singing his praises and gently persuading the Hofstadters to speak up if they find the segment dangerous, or way too long, or entirely inappropriate for young children. Leonard gets the hint. If Sheldon is going for borderline psychotic with complete contempt for children, then mission accomplished!

Penny takes a different tack. Instead of lying about his approach to the audition tape, Sheldon should act likes he loves kids and watered-down science. This intrigues Sheldon. He figures he can ask someone who has acted professionally to help him out. Penny smiles, honored that her friend is dropping boundaries to ask for her assistance.

Cue Sheldon knocking on Wil Wheaton’s door.

Back at the Wolowitz house, Bernadette’s patience is tested when Howard implements a bell-ringing app to summon his wife to perform certain duties when he is unable. Poor Bernie takes care of baby Halley, cooks dinner, goes to doctor’s appointments, and waits on her husband hand and foot. It’s no wonder her doctor puts her on bedrest for overdoing it. It looks like that bell app is going to come in handy now that Penny has taken on Halley duties while her friends are laid up for a few days. She’s such a good friend!

You know who isn’t a good friend? Wil Wheaton! Sheldon is shocked to learn that his archnemesis-turned-friend went behind his back and landed the role of Professor Proton himself. It’s enough for Sheldon to get a lovely visit from Jedi Professor Proton in his dreams. While sitting on a moist log in the Dagobah system with his mentor, Sheldon promises to sabotage Wil’s new job.

While Sheldon broods over the Professor Proton gig, Penny broods over the fact that Bernadette and Howard don’t technically trust her to take care of Halley. Why are they getting all weird that she puts a little bourbon on Halley’s pacifier to help her sleep? It’s a joke…for the most part.

Over at the university, Sheldon campaigns for Leonard and Raj to call the network and register a complaint against Wil. There’s no way he’s going to let a “Hollywood pretty boy” ruin the best thing that ever happened to him as a kid. Sheldon heads to Wil’s house to demand that he turn down the offer, especially since he isn’t even a scientist. How is this fair? This is when Wil Wheaton delivers the line of the night:

“Well, I wasn’t on a starship either, but pretending I was bought me this house.”

This does not resonate with Sheldon, but when Wil promises to make Professor Proton great again, Sheldon softens. Of course, he catches himself before falling into Wil’s Hollywood ways and threatens their friendship. Does Wil want to go back to being archnemeses? Wil doesn’t mind because he doesn’t really see a difference.

Consider yourself warned, Wheaton. The wrath of Sheldon will fall upon you soon.

And the wrath of Penny will fall on the Wolowitz household soon, too. After Bernadette and Howard run their friend ragged, they hear Penny consoling their child from the baby monitor. And what they hear sends chills down the spine of any parent who ever had someone important take care of their baby.

Halley calls Penny “Mama.”

Theoretical Laughter

Raj: You know who could play Professor Proton? Meryl Streep.
Howard: She’s not a scientist.
Raj: Then explain to me why she has chemistry with literally everyone.

Penny: I can watch your stupid baby! If she cries, I’ll pick her up. If she’s hungry, I’ll give her a bottle. And if she poops, I’ll light some incense.

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