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"The Comet Polarization"[1] is the twentieth-first episode of the eleventh season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Thursday, April 19, 2018.

Summary

Sheldon's comic book store experiences changes when writer Neil Gaiman puts Stuart's store on the map. Also, Koothrappali takes credit for Penny's astronomical discovery, and friendships are threatened.[2]

Extended Plot

Raj sets up his telescope and computer up on the apartment building roof with most of the gang in attendance. The project is to watch the planet Mercury at the greatest height of its elongation. Amy looks over the side of the building and calls to Sheldon that roof is pigeon-free. Sheldon comes running onto the roof ready to see planets. Penny wonders why Raj didn’t use Leonard’s telescope since it was downstairs. Raj scoffs that his is much better since it was a professional instrument. Stuart gets excited that author Neil Gaiman reviewed Stuart’s comic book store favorably in a tweet. Stuart thought that he could remember the author being in the store, but the whole gang was arguing about the best comic genre metal when he visited and they missed him. Stuart announces he starts get quite a few tweeter followers. After Raj adjusts the telescope, he turns it over to Penny. She sees something fuzzy in the sky and Raj has her take a picture of it. Viewing it on his computer screen Raj thinks that Penny saw a comet.

At the comic book store, the place is full of customers as Sheldon and Howard arrive. Sheldon can’t believe that they are in the right store. Sheldon complains that he preferred the store before. Howard called that era empty and sad. Now where was Sheldon going to hang out and read a comic book? Stuart offers him the couch, but Sheldon won’t sit next to strangers. If Sheldon is going to sit, read a comic and ignore a woman, he can do that at home with his fiancée. He is also annoyed because Stuart is out of the comic he wanted to buy.
Crp21

I discovered a comet!

In Leonard and Penny’s apartment, Raj joins them and announces that they indeed did see a comet and that no one else had reported it so they get credit for discovering it. Penny is excited that she discovered it, though Raj adds that it was with his telescope that he positioned it so that she could see it. Leonard says that both of them can have their names on it; however, Raj put on the paperwork in his name only. Penny insists that she saw it first and she took the picture. Raj asks her that if a monkey took the picture, would he have discovered it? Then Penny get mad and throws him out.

The Wolowitzes are all dressed up for their date night out; however, Stuart can’t make it since the store is so busy. He apologizes and Bernadette is not really angry. Howard is sorry that they are getting the dinner and romance they wanted. She divides it up by her going out to dinner and Howard stay home with the Internet to have the romance.

Penny is on the Internet and finds out that the person that takes the picture discovered the comet and that that was her. Raj stole her comet. She feels that it happens all the time because people look at her and don’t think she knows what she is talking about like at work. Leonard wants everyone to be happy, so Penny stalks off because he is not on her side.

At the comic book store, Sheldon tries to make a point to Howard when he realizes he is trying to talk to a stranger which scares him. He tries to admit that he can accept change more now because he was fine with Amy changing her shampoo. Next Sheldon goes to check out and meets Denise, the new assistant store manager. Sheldon yells, “Nope!” and runs out of the store.

Back at home, Sheldon is complaining about the changes since he has spent thousands of dollars there. Stuart did give Sheldon a mug. Sheldon compares the store to the country in the "Black Panther" movie and complains about the new woman at her store. Amy is sure that someone is going to get offended. Amy also offers the suggestion that she think of her as a friend that he hasn’t berated, lectured or condescended yet. Sheldon thanks her, calls her wise and that she smells like books. “You’re really the whole package.” Amy takes that as a compliment.

Leonard visits Raj and asks him to include Penny in the discovery. Raj explains that his boss was so excited that he called him “Captain Comet” instead of his usual “Dr. Doughnuts”. Then Raj starts calling himself a bad person and a bad scientist so Leonard caves and says that he’ll talk to Penny…and may end up sleeping on Raj’s couch.
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Neil Gaiman visits.

Sheldon is watching Denise while Howard comments that she seems to know her stuff. Sheldon takes that as a challenge so he approaches her and asks her to recommend something without saying what he likes. She offers a DC alternate history comic which gets Sheldon excited. Neil Gaiman is back and mentions his alternate history story “1602” when Sheldon brushes him off. Denise even offers to take it back if he doesn’t like it; but he can't tell Stuart. Sheldon has even forgotten who Stuart is.

Leonard returns to tell Penny that he talked to Raj, but Penny quickly figures out he caved in. Leonard replied that she is a strong and independent woman with her own voice, like Katy Perry. "Go out and roar." Penny admits that he has a point and leaves to talk to Raj.

Bernadette enters the dining room and finds that Howard has cooked dinner for an in-house date night. Bernadette loves it until Stuart shows up. Denise is running the store that night. His funny story is that he ran out of his cash register tape due to the new business and he didn’t know how to change it. Bernie decides to leave dinner for Stuart and they can go out.
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Amy confronts Denise.

At dinner, Sheldon keeps talking about Denise and the great time they had together talking bout comic books. Amy storms down there and introduces herself to Denise as his fiancée. At first Denise didn’t believe that Amy was real. Amy tells her directly what was going to happen next. Denise was going to teach her to talk about comics like she really liked them. Denise really does. Amy plans to be there all night if it takes that amount of time.

Raj hears Penny coming up the stairs and knows that her feet sound angry. He apologizes first and Penny says that she is angry at him. He calls himself a jerk and says that he’ll add Penny’s name even if it’s professionally embarrassing and that he’ll be on thin ice at work. Penny says that that was good, says bye and leaves. Closing the door Raj remarks that his dark side approach worked better with Leonard.

Amy is reading a DC universe book that she got at the comic book store when Sheldon comes home. She starts to talk to him about what she has learned; however. Sheldon says that he talked enough about comics books. Amy throws the book onto the coffee table in disgust.

Credits

Notes

  • Title Reference: The title refers to the polarization of friendships when Raj won't share the credit for the discovery of a comet with Penny.
  • Taping date: March 27, 2018
  • This episode was watched by 12.91 million people with a rating of 2.4 (adults 18-49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users xx.x million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #x for the week ending xx April 2018.
  • This episode aired in Canada on April 19, 2018.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card.

Critics

  • IMDb user reviews [1]

Trivia

  • Neil Gaiman is the science fiction author that Howard named his son Neil after along with Neil Diamond and Neil Armstrong. Unfortunately Howard doesn't recognize him or get to meet him.
  • Stuart's comic book store becomes popular after Neil Gaiman tweets about it favorably.
  • That view or set of the apartment building roof hasn't been used since the guys bounced a laser off the moon the end of season 3 and the first episode that Amy appeared in. Other roof top sets have been used.
  • Patton Peter Oswalt is an American stand-up comedian, actor, voice actor and writer.
  • Amy tries to show an interest in comic books after Sheldon carries on about comic book expert Denise. Denise recommends the DC Universe: Rebirth Omnibus.

Quotes

Sheldon: You're wise, and you smell like books. You really are the whole package.

Neil Gaiman: [Tweet] Next time you’re in Pasadena check out the Comic Center. Great vibe. Old School. The owner really knows his stuff.

Amy: You know, the Greek version of Mercury, Hermes, was worshipped in Athens by the carving of giant wooden phalluses.
Sheldon: Please Amy; get your mind out of the ancient Athenian gutter.

Penny: But I took the picture.
Raj: Because I told you to. Like, if a monkey took the picture did it discover the comet?
Penny:Excuse me?!?
Leonard: Uh, he didn’t mean monkey.
Penny: Get out the hell out my apartment!
Leonard:Actually I think she did. You should go.

Penny: My God. You’re such a people pleaser. You can’t stand making anyone angry.

Sheldon: Excuse me. I was wondering if you could recommend something.
Denise: Oh, sure. You want to tell me what you like?
Sheldon:I would not.
Denise: All right, well, you’re wearing a Green Lantern shirt, so I’m guessing you’re a DC fan. Though that’s from the Alan Scott era, and you’re probably not super into the current run. How would you feel about an alternate history where World War One is fought with dragons and magic?
Sheldon: That’s what I wanted the theme of my tenth birthday party to be.

Leonard: You...you are a strong and independent woman. You have your own voice.

Gallery

References