The Big Bang Theory – The Retraction Reaction
By: Jenny Vintzileos
Last week’s focus was not only on Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy’s (Mayim Bialik) future as a couple, but Howard (Simon Helberg) and Bernadette’s (Melissa Rauch) future second bundle of joy. This week will focus on Leonard (Johnny Galecki). In an effort to try and drum up interest and funding for the physics department, what happens when Leonard is given the opportunity to try and do just that? Let’s find out!
The gang convenes in Leonard and Penny’s (Kaley Cuoco) apartment where Bernadette officially shares with Sheldon the news of her pregnancy. While it is obvious that Bernadette is pregnant, Sheldon refuses to believe it until she says so as Raj (Kunal Nayyar) believes it is not his place to ask any woman about pregnancy. Sheldon even manages to throw in a barb at Penny as he once believed she was pregnant all because she drank water instead of wine. Howard attempt to diffuse the situation by trying to change the subject. Leonard takes the hint and mentions that he will be going on a radio talk show to talk about physics to try and gather some interest. Sheldon tries to say that Leonard will be perfect for the job, even though secretly Sheldon feels he is most knowledgeable about the subject.
Unfortunately, during the talk show with radio host Ira Flatow (as himself) Leonard comes out saying that while his department is trying to work towards breakthroughs in their field, they are reaching a dead-end. His friends listen as Leonard candidly explains his own thoughts about he feels he is wasting the university’s money by continuing in his field. The next day, Leonard’s words come back to haunt him as Dean Janine Davis (Regina King) explains to Leonard that his interview has caused donors to question their donations to the physics department. In order to save the department Leonard must write a retraction so that the department and his job are secure.
In the meantime Bernadette goes to visit Amy in her lab where she finds that Amy has received new equipment to use due to her accomplishments in her field. Amy is nervous about sharing the great news with Sheldon as her department received more money than the physics department did. When Amy arrives at the apartment she notices that Sheldon is working hard on trying to solve some of the larger issues of physics in an effort to prove that his field still has work to be done. Amy shares the news about the accomplishments of her department, much to Sheldon’s chagrin. Of course, Sheldon still attempts to talk up his department rather than listen to Amy go on about her good news.
Later on that day Amy ends up at the Wolowitz residence explaining to Bernadette how she feels about Sheldon getting upset. Bernadette explains to Amy how as women they shouldn’t have to hide their accomplishments, but should celebrate them instead. However, Bernadette takes her success story a little too far as she starts mentioning how she makes a lot of money working in pharmaceuticals rather than talking about the science of her job. Amy gets a little offended and the “girl power” chat begins to turn ugly as it becomes about research versus reward.
As Leonard is consoled by Penny and a glass of red wine, he confides in his wife that he could lose his job if he doesn’t “sell out” and write a retraction. Later on Leonard decides to pay Sheldon a visit to gather some inspiration on writing his retraction but finds that Sheldon is just as disheartened about physics. They attempt to write the retraction together and find difficulty in doing so, which prompts Sheldon to break out some Romulan Ale (vodka with blue dye) so that they can drown out their sorrows. Penny ends up coming over to find Leonard and all three drink together as Penny decides to bring in Howard and Raj to cheer up the depressed physicists. Unfortunately, her plan backfires and instead four drunk nerds end up on the couch drowning their sorrows in Romulan Ale.
Penny is not deterred by their depressed state and still tries to motivate the guys to get up and find inspiration. Even in a drunken state the guys decide to pay a visit to Richard Feynman, a famous American quantum physicist. Their search comes to a cemetery as Feynman passed away almost twenty years ago. While Leonard, Raj, Howard and Sheldon stand at Feynman’s grave, Sheldon recalls Feynman’s excitement for the field of physics. Leonard finally understands and explains to the guys that “physics is only dead when you stop being excited about it.” To pay their respects Howard decides to pour a little of the Romulan Ale on Feynman’s grave in respect, while Sheldon’s body makes him pay for drinking so much alcohol.
The next day Leonard goes to visit with Dean Davis again, this time over the “retraction” that he had sent her the night before. While Leonard pleads with her to stop the dean continues to read Leonard’s drunken stream of thought, with thoughts of evil squirrels and how the cab driver wouldn’t give them a ride as Sheldon was covered in blue vomit from drinking. The dean looks rather amused as Leonard continues to sink further into his chair.
It would seem that Leonard was able to salvage his job this week, which is fortunate. But next week all Shamy (Sheldon/Amy) fans should get ready for some wedding planning! How will Sheldon fare under a task outside of his realm? Well one thing is for sure: it shall be interesting. Join me again next week for an all-new episode of The Big Bang Theory!