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"The Sibling Realignment" is the twenty-third and penultimate episode of the eleventh season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Thursday, May 3, 2018.

Summary

When Sheldon learns that his mother won't attend his wedding unless he invites his brother, Georgie, he and Leonard travel to Texas to end a family feud. Also, the Wolowitz kids inadvertently infest Amy, Bernadette, Wolowitz and Koothrappali with pinkeye.[1]

Extended Plot

Amy comes home and finds Sheldon in a heated conversation with his mother. She won’t come unless Sheldon invites his older brother Georgie. His brother tormented Sheldon thoughout his childhood and he still holds a grudge against him.

At the Wolowitz house, the Posse is assembling gift bags for the wedding guests. The fact that Sheldon didn’t invite his brother gives the drama that the other girls were expecting at a wedding. Howard comes downstairs and asks what the symptoms of Pink Eye is because both kids have it. Amy is upset because she doesn’t want to be sick since her wedding is next week. Penny body blocks Howard from coming down thestairs to keep him away from the bride.

While Raj and Leonard play a video game, Raj complains that he might be the only single guy at the wedding without a date. Sheldon enters and asks Leonard about his brother who wasn’t that mean to Leonard. Georgie isn’t returning Sheldon’s calls. On his brother’s phone message, he told Sheldon to call back on 1-800-SUCK-IT. Leonard says that short of flying there, what else does his mother expect him to do? On a plane to Texas, Leonard keeps wondering why he was going.

Bernadette and Raj are discussing his wedding date problem. He wonders why he can’t call a firm and just hire a woman. Bernie explains that it’s called an escort service. Howard comes down the stairs with a case of Pink Eye and mentions to Raj that he should not have used his VR googles.

In Dallas, Sheldon and Leonard arrive outside Georgie’s place of business, the Dr. Tire Store. He apparently has a chain of tire stores. Sheldon muses that to get that degree, one only needs a semester of community college. Inside a clerk says that she’ll go contact "the doctor". Sheldon claims that he is the only doctor there to which Leonard objects. Georgie comes out and asks what the hell Sheldon was dong there. Also he goes by George now. Sheldon tells him that he wasn’t returning his phone calls. George reacts that Sheldon was the smart one and he should be able to figure it out. Leonard adds that Sheldon isn’t smart like that. His brother complains that they haven’t spoken in ten years and now Sheldon expects him to drop everything because that’s what he wants.

Penny answers a Skype call and finds that Bernadette has Pink Eye. Amy jumps into the call yelling that she also got it though Penny is still healthy. Bernadette suggests that Amy wear a veil, which Penny initially finds funny. Amy is afraid that Sheldon may never return from Texas if he knows she is sick. Bernadette then suggests that Amy tell Sheldon that the wedding theme is "The Walking Dead" which Amy accepts as plan B.

In George’s office he is not happy that Sheldon is now inviting him because their mother wants him there. George just wants Sheldon to ask him nicely which Sheldon does. He thanks Sheldon and then adds he would rather shallow a pregnant wildcat than come. Sheldon leave explaining that it is good that he sells tires because he is very tiresome.

At the motel, Sheldon is still arguing with his mother who wants her boys to work it out between themselves. Sheldon still blames his brother for being mean to him all through his childhood. He once threw away his Halloween costume and Sheldon had to dress up in a sheet as a ghost. Leonard decides to go talk to him again.

Raj had a date, but it didn’t go well since he was now infected. Amy isn’t sympathetic since she is getting married and her maid of honor looks fine with her clear eyes.

Leonard returns to George’s office as he finishes a big tire deal. Leonard tries to tell George that they were a lot alike and that he had picked on him so much. George feels like he was protecting his younger brother from life and his own foibles. The Halloween costume was of Madame Curie and George didn’t want him to get beat up. He looked after him, drove him around and explained and apologized to others when he was rude, not unlike Leonard. Sheldon got all the extra family money to go to college and to Germany, while George had to work hard to open his first tire store. And then who was their mother most proud of? Sheldon. Leonard added that his mother is also prouder of Sheldon, too.

At the pediatrician's office, Penny is playing with a kid’s toy. Everyone came since they needed to find out whether their Pink Eye cases were viral or contagious. Howard suggests that Amy wear a welder’s mask to the wedding. Bernie pops in with the good news was it is a bacterial and not a contagious case they all have. They will all be well by wedding time.

Back at the hotel, Sheldon is on the phone complaining about the spelling on their room service menu. Leonard comes in with George and tells Sheldon that he needs to apologize to him. Sheldon explains that George doesn’t know what he is putting their mother through. George retorts that Sheldon doesn’t know how bad it was for their mother after their father died and that he had to take care of their mother and Missy. Mary wouldn’t let Sheldon know how bad things were. He again was protecting his little brother. Just because life is hard for Sheldon, that didn’t mean that is wasn’t hard for everyone else. Sheldon didn’t realize that and apologized. And then he honestly asked George to come to his wedding which George said that he wouldn’t miss.

Sheldon and Amy are talking about the success of his trip though Amy won’t show him her swollen eye. She also suggests that he doesn’t have to hurry home and that he could stay (Amy looks at her eye drops.) another two to three more fun-filled days. Sheldon agrees so now they could visit a local train museum which thrills Leonard.

In a pharmacy checkout line, Raj meets a woman who also has Pink eye and then invites her to the wedding.

Credits

Notes

  • Title Reference:  The change in Sheldon and his brother George's relationship.
  • Taping date: April 17, 2018
  • This episode was watched by 12.93 million people with a rating of 2.4 (adults 18-49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 17.66 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #x for the week ending xx May 2018.
  • This episode aired in Canada on May 3, 2018.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1]

Critics

  • Caroline Preece at Den of Geek! - For Sheldon, he doesn’t speak to his brother because in his mind he was tormented throughout his younger years. But for Georgie, Sheldon was the bully and then absentee as soon as he could go to the West Coast and immerse himself in science. Now, however, Sheldon has learned that letting other people into his little bubble can actually make for a richer life, but it’s a life his brother has been barred from.,..As with any episode focused primarily on Sheldon, the rest of the group are saddled with a far less interesting subplot, but the ordeal of Amy getting pink eye a week before her wedding providing some nice light chuckles. The only one spared is Penny, whose just glad that she won’t look terrible in Amy’s wedding photos, but Amy notes that that there won’t be a wedding if Sheldon catches wind that they’re infectious. [2]
  • IMDb user reviews [3]

Trivia

  • Sheldon makes up with his older brother who bullied him while growing up.
  • George is the biggest tire supplier in the sate of Texas.
  • Jerry McConnell played the genius inventor and string theorist on the sci-fi series "Sliders" where they were jumping between alternate worlds.
  • George states, "I busted my ass for it, 'cause all the extra money that we had had to go to Sheldon so he could go to college and he could go study in Germany." This implies Sheldon started graduate school at fourteen and received his first doctorate (Sc.D.) at sixteen while in Germany, where he was also a visiting professor at the Heidelberg Institute when he was fifteen. It further supports his condescension of most American academic institutions. He would obtain his second doctorate (Ph.D. Physics) at Caltech, as revealed by his diploma in "The Colonization Application" episode. NOTE: Georgie could be imprecisely referring to his posting at the Heidelberg Institute, despite Sheldon correctly acknowledging this is not studying abroad in "The Pancake Batter Anomaly" episode.
  • Everybody but Leonard, Sheldon, and surprisingly, Penny get pink-eye from Halley and Neil threatening Amy's wedding day.
  • Howard is unfamiliar with the symptoms of pink-eye, yet in "The Engagement Reaction", Bernadette characterizes Howard as "prone to pink-eye."
  • Amy and the girls are assembling a welcome package together for the guests.


Quotes

Sheldon: Guess who she’s insisting we invite to our wedding?
Amy: Jesus?
Sheldon: If only. My brother.

Amy: …and a laminated table of the elements because the American school system is a failure.

George Cooper, Jr.: Hey you’ve reached George Cooper. Please leave a message unless this is Sheldon again in that case; please try me on my other number 1-800-SUCK-IT.

Raj: Wh..wh..why can’t there be a service where you can pay someone to be your date for the evening.
Bernadette: Like an escort service?
Raj: No..no..no. You wouldn’t be paying for sex. I mean obviously if it went well it could lead to sex, but the money is for her time and companionship.
Bernadette: Oh, I get it. An escort service.

Amy: You infected me a week before my wedding. What am I supposed to do about this?
Bernadette: Wear a veil?

George Cooper, Jr.: Listen here; you want me at your wedding, all you got to do is ask nicely.
Sheldon: Georgie…
George Cooper, Jr.: George!
Sheldon: I would like you at my wedding.
George Cooper, Jr.: Thank you, Sheldon. That is nice to hear. But I would rather swallow a pregnant wild cat and crap out a litter of kittens.
Sheldon: It is fitting that you got into tires, because you are tiresome.

Amy: Okay, so each welcome bag gets a schedule of events, a map, and chocolate from me. And from Sheldon, a bottle of Purell the number for Poison Control in case someone accidentally drinks the Purell, and a laminated table of elements because the American school system is a failure.

George Cooper, Jr.: After all my sacrifices, guess which kid my mom is the most proud of?
Leonard: If it makes you feel any better, my mom's most proud of Sheldon, too.

Amy: I’m about to get married and look at me.
Penny: It looks like its getting better.
Amy: Oh, does it? Does it look like that with your two clear eyes?
Penny: I’m sorry. Are you mad that I didn’t get Pink Eye?
Amy: What do you think?/Bernadette: Yes!/Howard: Yes!/Raj: Yes!

George Cooper, Jr.: Look, I mean, I always look after him in school, I drove him everywhere, I apologized to people when he was rude.
Leonard: Yeah, I’ve done all that.

George Cooper, Jr.: I told you this was a bad idea. Sometimes you can’t patch a tire. You've just got to buy a new one. Actually that’s not the case.. Never patch, buy new.

Sheldon: I don’t appreciate what you’re putting Mom through.
George Cooper, Jr.: What do you know about what Mom’s been through? You were never home.
Leonard: Yes, this is good. Get ir all out.
Georgie/Sheldon: Not now! Shut up!
George Cooper, Jr.: You went away to college after Dad died. Who do you think took care of everything?
Sheldon: Mom did. Mom always took care of everything.
George Cooper, Jr.: Mom was a mess. Missy was a dumb teenager. I had to look after both of ‘em.
Sheldon: I talked Mom all the time. If she was upset, she would have told me.
George Cooper, Jr.: She was protecting you, you, idiot, just like everyone always does.
Sheldon: If things were bad, then why didn’t you tell me?
George Cooper, Jr.: Because I was protecting you, too. You’re my baby brother Sheldon. I know life had been hard for you, but that don’t mean it’s been easy for the rest of us.
Sheldon: I suppose don’t about how it was for everyone else.
George Cooper, Jr.: No, that’s all right. I know you didn’t.
Sheldon:I’m sorry.
George Cooper, Jr.: Thank you.

Gallery

References