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"The Novelization Correlation"[1] is the fifteenth episode of the eleventh season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Thursday, February 1, 2018.

Summary

When Sheldon petitions Wil Wheaton to appear on the new Professor Proton show, Wil offers a role to Amy instead. Also, Penny gets angry when she thinks the female protagonist in Leonard's novel is based on her.[2]

Extended Plot

Sheldon and Amy are supposed to go to Leonard and Penny’s apartment to watch the new Professor Proton show. Sheldon fixes himself a sandwich instead and refuses to go since he doesn’t want to watch his sworn nemesis, Wil Wheaton, as Professor Proton. Sheldon is planning on complaining about it without ever watching it. Amy suggests that they watch it together so he can find specific points to criticize. While watching the show, Sheldon gets excited when Wil describes how they are going to build a hovercraft out of some common household items.

Penny enters her apartment to find Leonard clattering away at a typewriter-style keyboard. He is working hard on his mystery novel, writing the scene where his protagonist, Logan Dean, arrives at the CERN collider in Switzerland. Leonard suddenly has an idea for the murder weapon. Penny, exiting the room, casually asks if it’s a Swiss Army knife, which Leonard admits is even a better idea.

TNC-9

Leonard working on his murder mystery.

Back in apartment 4B, Sheldon and Amy are having fun with their toy hovercraft. Then on the show Professor Proton tells his science joke of the day and he introduces a real astronaut as his surprise guest: Howard Wolowitz. Sheldon is upset that Wil didn’t ask him to guest-star. Amy reminds him that he recently spearheaded an Internet petition to get Wil fired.

During lunch at work, Leonard is describing his novel where his hero discovers a new atomic particle, the gluino, AND a murder. Howard suggests that he talk to Bernadette, since she had been watching lots of detective shows while confined to bed. Sheldon joins them and immediately forgives Howard without explaining what Howard did. Howard just accepts it, noting that he had decided not to tell Sheldon that he had been invited to guest on Wil Wheaton’s show because of Sheldon’s penchant for petulant behavior. He suggests that Sheldon apologize to Wil.

Bernadette is enjoying Leonard’s mystery novel and tells him she has no idea who the murderer is. Neither does Leonard. Bernadette then asks if Penny knows that one of his characters is based on her: Ilsa, the head of the institute who is ”a confident, ball-busting beauty that keeps rolling her eyes” at the hero.

A scene from the novel is shown: A group of professionals are in a laboratory at the CERN Swiss facility. Logan looks at Ilsa and intones, “Its murder.”

Ilsa replied, “Figure that out yourself, genius?”

Logan replied, “Okay, no need to be snarky.”

Ilsa looks at him suspiciously, “Who would want to kill him?”

Logan looks around the room. “Could be anyone. Dr. Silvers. [Howard look-alike] Dr. Prakash. [ Raj with a goatee] Hans the janitor. [Stuart with a big mustache] But the door is locked, so it has to be someone in this room.”

“Wow, you are on fire,” snaps Ilsa, walking away.

Scene shifts back to Leonard and Bernadette: Leonard wonders if Penny would be flattered. Bernadette thinks that Ilsa is pretty mean, not unlike Penny sometimes.

Wil Wheaton answers his front door to find Howard, who apologizes for having brought over Sheldon. Wil wonders sarcastically if Sheldon has moved him to his super-secret enemies list. No, Sheldon doesn’t have one because he is not a Bond villain. Sheldon tells Wil that he is no longer on his enemies list, which doesn’t seem to mean anything to Wil. Howard gets Sheldon to say he was sorry and that he genuinely enjoyed his show. Sheldon also mentions that it was his childhood dream to be on the Professor Proton show. Wil instead asks if Amy would be interested in being a special guest on Professor Proton, since he wants to promote women scientists. Sheldon hems and haws for a moment and then proposes that he and Amy both be on the show so that women scientists know that they can land a man.

Back at home, Penny tells a nervous Leonard that she likes his novel and can’t wait to learn who the killer is. She also finds the Ilsa character kind of mean much like Bernadette whom she is sure that Ilsa was based on.

Novel: Logan tells everyone, “But the door is locked, so it has to be someone in this room.”

“Wow, you are on fire,” snaps Ilsa walking away. [Bernadette]

Back: Leonard agrees with Penny.

Novel: Logan continues with his analysis. “Each one of you had a motive.”

Dr. Silvers asks, “Who died and made you detective?"

Logan points to the dead body, “He did.”

“I think you’re neglecting your own motive, a massive inferiority complex,” snaps back Ilsa.

“It’s not massive. Just average size,” replies Logan less confidently.

Hans the janitor breaks in, “I don’t mean to interrupt, but somebody’s tracking blood everywhere so – never mind, it’s me.”

Dr. Prakash says, “You say we’re all suspects.”

“How do we know you’re not the killer?” asks Dr. Silver to Logan.

“I have an alibi.”

TNC-3

Sheldon apologizes to Wil.

Ilsa snaps at him, “Yeah, he’s not smart enough to pull off a murder like this.”

Back: Leonard claims that Ilsa wears glasses like Bernadette even though it doesn’t say that in his novel. Leonard walks off trying to convince her that the mean boss is Bernadette.

Amy is working on her computer when Sheldon returns and asks if she would like to be on television on the Professor Proton show. She isn’t really interested. Sheldon felt that she would want to promote science for little girls, but she doesn’t want to be in the middle of Sheldon and his love for the show. And she doesn’t want to upset Sheldon, who finds that situation very upsetting. Amy admits that there are other things she doesn’t do so Sheldon won’t get upset.

Penny is sitting on Bernadette’s bed hanging out because Leonard is working late. Bernadette mentions that Leonard should stop by and that she enjoyed his book. Penny wonders if the Ilsa character bothered her. Bernie then mentions that Leonard said that it was based on Penny. She realizes that he left when they were talking about it and she now knows what he meant. Son of a bitch!

In the Caltech cafeteria, Sheldon starts talking about the distressing news how Amy doesn’t do things so that he won’t get upset. Howard tells him that everybody does that all the time. Sheldon asks if everyone walks around on eggshells to spare his feelings. He doesn’t want to have that kind of relationship with Amy. Sheldon insists that he is going to change.

Penny is reading the book trying to determine if the Ilsa character was her.

Novel: Logan is lying against a desk wounded.

Ilsa observes, “It looks like the bullet went straight through you. Damn it, Logan. When are you gonna stop?”

Logan replies, “I didn’t get my PhD in quitting.”

Novel20

Leonard's been shot.

“You’re a physicist. What makes you think you can solve a crime?” asks Ilsa.

“He’s losing a lot of blood,” remarks Dr. Silver.

“Great. I’m gonna have to clean that up!” complains Hans.

Dr. Prakash suggests, “You know, a little soda water might get that right out.”

Dr. Silver pleads, “We’ve got to find some bandages.”

Ilsa shouts, “No. There’s no time,” as she tears off her sleeve placing the cloth on Logan’s shoulder. “Does it hurt?”

“Everything you do hurts,” Logan replies.

“Then why do you keep coming back for more?” she asks.

Back: Leonard returns. Penny is pissed because she thinks that Leonard feels that she is mean and that everything she does hurts him. Leonard stammers as Penny storms off telling him to write whatever he want.

In 4B, Sheldon and Amy are playing chess and Sheldon lets her win. Amy wants to know what is going on. Sheldon says that he is responding with humility and admiration. He wants her to be able to do things she wants to do without having to consider upsetting him. There might be a little girl out there that might get inspired to become a brilliant successful scientist like Amy. "Thank-you, Sheldon." Amy really appreciates his compliment until he finishes that she is really bad at playing chess.

Now Leonard is talking to his mother that he might be subconsciously writing about Penny. Beverly corrects him and wishes that she didn’t have to do it all the time. She adds that he is a physicist and what does he know about writing a book.

Novel: Ilsa leans over the wounded Logan. [Beverly]

“You’re a physicist. What makes you think you can solve a crime,” asks Ilsa.

Back: Leonard leaves his mother as she again corrects his grammar. He runs over to Penny to tell her that she was writing about his mother, not his wife. Penny then imagines the story.

Novel:

“I think you’re neglecting your own motive, a massive inferiority complex,” snaps back Ilsa. [Beverly]

“It’s not massive. Just average size,” replies Logan less confidently…

[Later] Dr. Silver pleads, “We’ve got to find some bandages.”

Ilsa [Beverly] shouts, “No. There’s no time,” as she tears off her sleeve placing the cloth on Logan’s shoulder. “Does it hurt?”

“Everything you do hurts,” Logan replies.

“Then why do you keep coming back for more?” she asks.

Logan admits, “M..maybe, I do.”
Novel31

Amy with Professor Proton.

Back: Penny is looking weird with that dialog between Leonard and his mother. Leonard then storms out wondering why he was even writing a book since he was a physicist.

Sheldon and Amy are watching the conclusion of Professor Proton with Amy appearing on it. Wil says that it was a pleasure to have her on. Amy points out that one can feel that pleasure if you don’t have a lesion in one's nucleus accumbens in their brain. Sheldon tells her that she was glowing even if it was only her oily scalp. Sheldon tells her how proud he was; while she can tell how hard he was trying to hold it in. Amy heads off to bed so Sheldon can go up on the roof and scream at the top of his lungs.

Credits

Notes

  • Title Reference: The title refers to how the characters of Leonard's novel are based upon his friends.
  • Taping date: January 16, 2018
  • This episode was watched by 14.69 million people with a rating of 2.9 (adults 18-49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 19.58 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #x for the week ending xx February 2018.
  • This episode aired in Canada on February, 2018.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card. [1]

Critics

  • Milka Väinämö at Tell Tale TV Though it could be flattering to have someone base a character on you, in that situation you would likely want that person to cast you in a positive light. The way Leonard has written about Ilsa, a blond eye-rolling and mean character with a striking resemblance to Penny does not really show her in a positive light...As The Big Bang Theory prepares for the likely wedding episode, a lot of screen time has been spent on focusing on the ways in which Sheldon is growing and changing as a person. As he learns that both Amy and his friends have been stopping themselves from doing or saying certain things just to make sure that he doesn’t get upset he realizes that something has to change. He does not want anyone, especially Amy, to bend over backward just to please him. This is MAJOR! M-A-J-O-R!..As an advocate of getting women out there doing the things they do best, I loved the fact that Amy decides to go on Wil Wheaton’s show to inspire young girls to get interested in science. [2]
  • IMDb user reviews [3]

Trivia

Quotes

Wil Wheaton: Hello, Sheldon. I suppose you've come here to tell me that you've moved me to your super-secret enemies list.
Sheldon: I don't have a super-secret enemies list. I'm not a Bond villain. I'm just a regular guy, with a regular enemies list.

Amy: I thought we were having dinner at Leonard and Penny's.
Sheldon: Oh, no. No, they're watching the new Professor Proton. I can't keep Wil Wheaton off the Internet, but I can keep him off my retinas.

Raj: I don't know which Hemsworth is playing Logan Dean, but I know it's a Hemsworth.
Leonard: Well, Logan's actually based on me.
Raj: So a young Paul Giamatti.

Sheldon: So you're not going to do something just because you think it might upset me?
Amy: Well, it's tricky, because answering that question honestly is one of the things I tend not to do because it upsets you.
Sheldon: Well, that's very upsetting.
Amy: Like I said.

Amy: So, you're just gonna sit here by yourself and do nothing?
Sheldon: Of course not. I'm going to write mean comments about Wil's show online.
Amy: Well, you can't criticize something you haven't seen.
Sheldon: I'm sorry, are you familiar with the Internet?

Sheldon: Oh, Amy. Good, you're here.
Amy: Hi. What's up?
Sheldon: How would you like to be on television?
Amy: Is it gonna be a news story where I have to say you were quiet and kept to yourself and I'm as shocked as anyone?

Sheldon: I just learned some very distressing news. Sometimes, Amy doesn't do things because she's worried about how I'll react.
Howard: First of all, it's not sometimes. It's always.
Raj: Second, it's not Amy. It's everybody.
Howard: Third, it's not news. It's well-established.
Raj: Yeah, like just now I wanted to get a croissant, but I didn't want to hear you say oo-la-la.
Sheldon: So you're saying everyone walks on eggshells to spare my feelings?
Howard: No, of course not. Because we don't want to hear you complain about how much you hate the sound of crunching eggshells.
Sheldon: Well, I don't want my relationship with Amy to be like that.
Raj: Sheldon, Amy knew what she was getting into.
Sheldon: You think?
Raj: Yes. We warned her.

Gallery

References