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The Bon Voyage Reaction

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The Bon Voyage Reaction
Fin6
The Big Bang Theory episode
Chronology
Season 6, Episode 24
Airdate
May 16, 2013
Guest star(s)
Teleplay
Story
Director
Episode guide

"The Love Spell Potential"

"The Hofstadter Insufficiency"
Season guide

Season 5

Season 7

"The Bon Voyage Reaction" is the twenty-fourth episode and the season 6 finale of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on Thursday, May 16, 2013.[1]

SummaryEdit

Penny is thrown for a loop when Leonard is offered a temporary job overseas, but the news is an even bigger shock to Sheldon. Raj wants more out of his relationship with Lucy than she can handle.[1]

Extended PlotEdit

While eating at the CalTech cafeteria, Raj is describing the time he spent with Lucy where he was on video chat and stared into her eyes for twenty minutes until he realized that her screen had frozen. Leonard wonders if they are ever going to meet and hang out with her, Raj says that she is not comfortable around other people. Sheldon pipes in that he felt the same way until he started identifying others with beloved Star Trek characters. Leonard is a unnamed red shirted crew member (famous for being killed on away missions) and Raj is Lt. Uhura. Howard joins them and tells Leonard that he may have gotten him a job. Sheldon feels that Leonard's job is to cater to his every whim.  Howard learns that Stephen Hawking has an expedition going to the North Sea to test hydrodynamic simulations of black holes and they now need an experimental physicist. Howard recommended Leonard for the opening in the team. Sheldon reminds him that it is not a good idea for the unnamed crewman in the red shirt to go off on an expedition.

On the way home Sheldon tells Leonard that most drowning occur near ships. Leonard then concludes that Sheldon doesn't want him to go since he will be alone. Changing the subject Sheldon asks Leonard who would win in a fight, him or a shark. Leonard actually thanks Sheldon for his blend of concern and selfishness, however Leonard tells him that it is such a great opportunity that nothing he says is going to stop him. Sheldon then plays his trump card that Leonard's relationship with Penny might suffer. Leonard then stops his car, and stares at Sheldon who says that he should have opened with that. 

Fin4

Raj showing Lucy the ISS.

Raj is showing Lucy the International Space Station passing overhead near Venus through his telescope. Raj mentions that Howard was up there and only brought him back the typical "My friend visited the space station and all I got was this lousy T-shirt" shirt. Raj then brings up Leonard's request to meet her and asks if they could all hang out sometime. When Lucy hears that there are six of them, she complains that that is a lot of pressure with being stared at and personal questions like "Where are you from?" or "Why did you lock yourself in the bathroom?" Then Raj suggests just meeting one of them. Lucy's social phobia - she is uncomfortable even just being in a room with three people who are all inclined to be well disposed towards her -  is getting out of hand and posing problems for their relationship. 
Fin3

Telling Penny that he has a great opportunity.

At dinner at Penny's she describes spilling drinks all over her shirt and then getting her biggest tip ever.

Leonard tries to explain what the goal of the Hawking expedition which impresses Penny. Since he would be gone all summer, Penny is surprised and says that she'll come and visit him which is not practical since he is on a ship. Penny is worried that Professor Hawking will roll overboard, however he is not coming and is only sponsoring the trip to test his theory. Penny compares it to Leonard sending her to kill spiders in his bathtub. Leonard is worried that their relationship has been going so well that he hopes that being gone won't screw it up. Penny tells him that if he is going to screw it up, it's more likely that he would to happen if he stayed. Penny then tells him that it sounds like a great opportunity based upon what she didn't understand and that he should go. Leonard tells her that that is great and to also keep an eye on Sheldon. Penny then reminds him of what happened when she took care of his goldfish. Leonard then quips that she should just flush Sheldon down the toilet and get him a new one.

While the gang is having take-out in Apartment 4A, Leonard tells his friends not to throw him a party. Howard quips that they don't often get a chance to throw a "bon voy-age" party for someone actually going on a "voy-age". Raj enters, whispers to Howard and Leonard tells him that there is a beer in the refrigerator. Again Leonard insists that he doesn't need a party to which Sheldon remarks that they need it for closure before you die at sea. Penny quietly tells Sheldon to shut up. Bernie remarks that one of the things that got her through Howard's trip to space was getting married before he left. Penny quietly tells Bernadette to shut up. Raj joins them with a request. Amy is amazed that he can now talk and wants to cut open his brain to see what is going on in there. Raj wants one of them to meet Lucy. Sheldon tells him that his schedule is awful full. It's Leonard that he wants her to meet since his best friend Howard is a bit too Woody Allen. Penny suggests that one of the ladies meet her. Raj agrees and turns to Bernadette which offends Penny. Raj finds Penny too pretty which offends Bernadette. Amy tells him that she is the best choice since she was an outsider from the very beginning and they welcomed her in making her feel loved.  

Fin1

Amy meets Lucy.

Amy, Raj and Lucy are about to have dinner. Amy is explaining how she met Sheldon and then the rest of the gang that made her feel loved which Lucy says is nice to hear. Amy suggests that all of them get together next week. Raj tells Lucy that she doesn't have to if she doesn't want to. Amy replies that they should ignore him since he doesn't realize that she understands the severity of Lucy's social anxiety. Raj objects to her talking to somebody about social anxiety if they have a social anxiety which makes them society anxious, Amy then gets annoyed and tells him that she is a neurobiologist and that she is more qualified to know what is not working in his girlfriend's brain. Amy is also talking to Raj as if Lucy is not even there. Raj reacts that she is not his girlfriend although he immediately asks Lucy if she could be. Lucy is getting more uncomfortable when Raj adds that if she says no, he will never be happy again (Not to put you on the spot.) Lucy runs off to the bathroom. Raj tells Amy that they might as well eat since she is not coming back soon.

Penny and Sheldon are shopping for the party which makes no sense to Sheldon since the store didn't have a party section. Sheldon wonders why Penny of all people is encouraging Leonard to go. Penny says that since she is his girlfriend she is supporting him. Sheldon mentions that she might not continue being his girlfriend since there is a tradition that men at sea turn to each other. Sheldon goes on that all Hawking proves is where things came from, why things work and what the ultimate end of everything will be. Sheldon feels that he is working on the real big questions. Penny realizes that Sheldon, the genius, is actually jealous of Leonard. Sheldon explains it that he is not jealous, he is just unhappy that it is happening to Leonard and not to him. Penny tells him about another waitress she works with which got the toothpaste commercial she had also auditioned for. Though she was jealous and wanted to rip out her fake blonde hair, she smiles and said that she was happy for her. That's what friends do. Sheldon interpreted it as that they lie so they don't look petty. Penny shows him how to smile and say "I am so happy for you."

Raj is skyping with Lucy and apologizes for Amy since she got way out of line. Then the screen appears to freeze. Real-time Lucy reappears and she tells him that Amy was not the problem. Raj admits to pushing too much. Raj first says that she is better in one-on-one situations and then invites her to Leonard's going away party. The entire emphasis will be on Leonard and she can wear brown and blend into the couch. Raj almost begs her to come. At first she is unsure and then she reluctantly agrees.

Fin7

Raj can talk to Penny!

Another formal party at apartment 4A. Bernadette and Leonard are discussing when he got seasick the day he got stuck on the "It's a Small World" ride at Disneyland. Howard and Leonard agree that his trip is working on the frontiers of science and a trip of his lifetime. However Howard's trip of a lifetime was going into space. Howard is proud of him and will miss him though space still beats water. Amy asks where Lucy is and Raj says that she is just running late. Sheldon offers a toast to his best friend Dr. Leonard Hofstadter. He says that he has a wonderful opportunity ahead of him and that he couldn't be happier for him and then smiles. He looks over at Penny as they know where he got that from. Howard tells Sheldon that it is great for him to pretend to be happy for Leonard and that it must have killed him when he went into space. Raj then gets a text from Lucy telling him that she isn't coming, that their relationship is too much and that they shouldn't see each other anymore. Raj excuses himself while his friends tell him that they are sorry. Sheldon breaks the tension telling Howard that it didn't kill him when he went into space because they send monkeys into space. 

LenPenBye

Penny is really going to miss Leonard.

Sheldon, Penny and Leonard are sitting at the curb at LA International Airport. Penny sighs and says "Well, here we are."  They tell each other that they are really going to miss the other and try to kiss when Sheldon tells Penny that they are in a red zone and need to move to a white zone. Leonard tells Penny that they can e-mail and phone easily. Penny asked if he had enough inhalers and Dramamine mentioning the "It's a Small World" incident. Sheldon sees an officer and gets even more nervous. Leonard gives Penny a present which Sheldon quickly describes and tells her to move. They tell each other goodbye and "I love you". Sheldon yells out to the officer that they just love each other and aren't smuggling drugs. Penny kisses Leonard and hugs him tightly.

Penny stops by to check on Raj on the way back from the airport. Raj says that he feels about the same and invites Penny in. She can't stay long because Sheldon is in the car with the window cracked open and he is going to finish the activity book in about thirty seconds. Raj explains that he finally found someone right for him and he drove her away. Penny then hugs Raj. They both miss their other halves. Raj starts to cry complaining that he can't find anyone and that he is unlovable. Penny assumes that that is the booze talking though Raj denies having anything to drink since last night. Both of their eyes open surprise upon realizing Raj has finally gotten over his inability to speak around women while sober. Raj is now crying for a whole different reason. Penny also bursts into tears happy for him.

Girls' night in Penny's apartment has them drinking wine and Raj is on water talking non-stop. He goes on and on about Lucy as the girls glance at each other. Amy asks Bernadette if he ever shuts up. Raj goes on and on through the credits until the show and season six is over.

CriticsEdit

  • The TV Critic: "It's felt like a season of tiny steps forward for the gang. ...It just wasn't very funny and hasn't been especially funny for most of the season. Statistically it doesn't seem to be any worse than the previous two seasons. ...[The Big Bang Theory] could be here for another decade churning out essentially the same story week after week."[2]
  • The DR Club gave this episode a B+.[3]
  • The A.V. Club gave this episode an A-.[4]
  • IGN gave this episode 7.3/10.[5]
  • IMDb user reviews

NotesEdit

  • Title Reference: The title refers to the reaction that they all have to Leonard leaving for an overseas job for the summer, or Raj being able to talk to women after Lucy saying goodbye (Bon Voyage) to Raj.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card.
  • This episode was watched by 15.48 million people with a rating of 4.8 (adults 18-49).[6]
  • This was the third time a season finale ended with a cliffhanger of leaving for a scientific expedition (Season 2's The Monopolar Expedition, Season 5's The Countdown Reflection).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 20.34 million.
  • This episode aired in Canada on May 16, 2013 with 3.569 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #2.
  • In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on with 3.569 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #3.[7]

Costume NotesEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Amy says that she met the rest of the gang after she started dating Sheldon, however Sheldon and Amy did not become boyfriend and girlfriend until long after Amy met the rest of the gang.
  • Similar to "The Closet Reconfiguration", fans thought Sheldon's jokes added into Leonard and Penny's farewells "ruined" Leonard and Penny's farewell.
  • The telescope that Raj uses to show Lucy the Venus and ISS seems to be a Celestron NexStar 8SE.
  • Sheldon tells Leonard, "I pretend everyone I meet is a beloved character from Star Trek. He then refers to him as an "unnamed crewman in a red shirt." Sheldon continues, "You know Star Trek. Should a guy with no name in a red shirt go on an expedition?" Sheldon later declares to Raj, "No one asked you, Uhura." This time is the first reference to 'redshirts', which were notoriously expendable and were normally the men who got killed on away missions to the planet surfaces. Yet, Uhura was previously mentioned in "The Precious Fragmentation" (albeit, it is Uhura of the alternate reality here), "The Prestidigitation Approximation", "The Roommate Transmogrification", and "The Contractual Obligation Implementation". Notably, Raj has a Lieutenant Uhura uniform.
  • Howard states, "Leonard, I may have gotten you a job. ...In a couple of weeks Stephen Hawking's team is sending an expedition to the North Sea to test hydrodynamic simulations of black holes, one of their experimental physicists dropped out, and I recommended you." Later, Leonard asks Penny, "Do you remember when I said the similarities of the equations of general relativity and hydrodynamics suggest you could find the equivalent of Unruh radiation in a large body of water?" This work is a nod to Hawking's seminal research in quantum field theory in curved space time and black hole thermodynamics.
  • Penny has specific a priori knowledge about Leonard's upcoming research, as Leonard acknowledges, implying he already revealed some details about the expedition without breaking the news of his departure to her.
  • With the same witty charm shown in "The Closet Reconfiguration", Penny poses, "I thought I said that to you," while again confronted with scientific jargon she does not understand.
  • This Season 6 finale is comparable to the Season 2 and Season 5 finales, "The Monopolar Expedition" and "The Launch Acceleration", respectively. Instead of Sheldon heading to the North Pole or Wolowitz venturing into space, it involves Leonard embarking on an oceanic science voyage. But in general, there is a lot less tension this time around. There is never really any question of whether Leonard will take the job. He never gets cold feet to the point where he tries to back out like Wolowitz did.
  • Similar to "The Hawking Excitation", Sheldon is jealous about one of his friends getting to work with Stephen Hawking.
  • Howard brags about going to space for the first time since "The Holographic Excitation".
  • Penny and Leonard say "I love you" to each other for the first time. Leonard first told Penny he loved her in "The Wheaton Recurrence", while Penny did not say she loved him until "The 43 Peculiarity", even though Raj badgered her about this issue in "The Date Night Variable".
  • Like in "The Wiggly Finger Catalyst", Penny consoles Raj by hugging him after he loses a girlfriend, as they both sit on a couch crying. However, this time, Penny has her own concerns too.
  • Second time Penny is seen at Raj's apartment, following "The Griffin Equivalency", while it is Amy's first appearance at this location.
  • Raj finally gets over his selective mutism. Penny is the first character he talks to since his recovery, similar to how she was also the first female character he talked to when it was revealed that he could talk to women while drunk. Penny was also the first female character in which it was revealed Raj had selective mutism towards women. This was revealed in the pilot episode which Raj did not reply to Penny. This time his mood is reversed.
  • Penny again mentions Leonard's goldfish that first showed up in "The Closet Reconfiguration."
  • Penny mentions being sent into the bathroom to kill spiders as she did at the beginning of "The Dead Hooker Juxtaposition". 
  • It is not explained where exactly Leonard is heading at the end of the episode, but, based on current flight paths, he would most likely be traveling to London Heathrow, from where he would either travel to the University of Cambridge for a briefing with Professor Hawking, or to Dundee, where the ship he will be working on would most likely be docked.
  • When Raj and Penny are in Raj's Apartment, he says that he misses Lucy already. He also says that in "The Vegas Renormalization" when a hooker leaves him.

QuotesEdit

Leonard: Anyway, Stephen Hawking’s team is looking into that and I've been invited to join them.
Penny: Wow, Hawking, good for you!
Leonard: Well, it is. You know I’d be gone for a while.
Penny: For how long?
Leonard: Three - four months.
Penny: Whoa. When would you leave?
Leonard: A couple weeks.
Penny: Wow. OK. Well, I’ll just come visit you.
Leonard: That’s the thing. You can’t. I’ll be on a ship in the North Sea.
Penny: On a ship. Aren't they afraid Hawking will just roll overboard?
Leonard: He’s not going to be there. He’s sending a team to research his theory.
Penny: Oh, sure. Like when you send me to kill spiders in your bathtub. Well, OK. Four months.
Leonard: Yeah, I’m a little worried because things between us have been so great. And I’d hate to do anything to screw that up.
Penny: Oh, sweetie. If you’re going to do anything to screw things up, it’s going to be while you’re here, not while you’re away.

Penny: Well, here we are.
Leonard: Yep, I’m really going to miss you.
Penny: I’m going to miss you too.
Sheldon: Penny, we’re in the red zone. The white zone is for loading and unloading. We’re breaking the law.
Penny: Yeah, but here’s no space in the white zone.
Leonard: Anyway. We can email and I think the phone connections are pretty good.
Sheldon: Uh, you have to get out of the car right now. I’m not going to jail for you.
Leonard: Would you just relax?
Sheldon: Oh, I see a space in the white zone. Quick, circle the airport.
Penny: Did you bring enough inhalers?
Leonard: Yes.
Penny: And extra Dramamine? You remember what happened on “It’s a Small World.”
Leonard: Yeah, I’m covered.
Penny: OK.
Sheldon: Oh, dear lord, a police officer is looking in our direction. We've been made.
Leonard: Calm down, I’m getting out. Something I want to give you.
Penny: Oh, Leonard.
Sheldon: It’s just a heart shaped locket with a picture of Leonard’s face in it he got at the mall. Now move, move, move.
Leonard: I love you.
Penny: I love you too. (They kiss and hug.)
Sheldon: Don’t worry, officer. They just love each other. We’re not smuggling drugs.

Amy: So after I started dating, Sheldon and I met Leonard and then everybody else and they've all been so wonderful to me.
Lucy: That’s really nice to hear.
Amy: Maybe next week we could all get together.
Raj: Lucy, you don’t have to answer that. Don’t put her on the spot. Am I right? Tell her she’s putting you on the spot. Go ahead. Tell her.
Amy: Ignore him. He’s a little nervous because he doesn't think I understand the severity of your social anxiety.
Raj: Are you crazy? You can’t talk about social anxiety to someone who has social anxiety. It makes them socially anxious.
Amy: Excuse me, but I’m a neurobiologist. I think I’m a little more qualified than you to understand what’s not working in your girlfriend’s brain.
Raj: Don’t call her my girlfriend. We haven’t discussed whether we're girlfriend and boyfriend yet. Now that it’s out there, are you my girlfriend? By the way if you say no, I’ll never be happy again. Not to put you on the spot.
Lucy: I think I have to go to the bathroom.

Penny: Are you OK?
Raj: No.
Penny: I’m so sorry.
Raj: No, it’s my fault. I finally find somebody who is right for me and I drove her away.
Penny: Oh. Raj.
Raj: Penny, I miss her already.
Penny: I known how you feel. I miss Leonard too
Raj: What is wrong with me? Why can’t I ever have love?
Penny: You will.
Raj: No. I’m unlovable.
Penny: That’s just the booze talking.
Raj: No, no. I haven’t had a drink since last night. (Both realized what he said and look shocked.)
Penny: You ‘re talking to me.
Raj: I am.
Penny: Ahh!
Raj: Now I’m crying for a whole different reason.
Penny: Me too!

Sheldon: Would you like to hear a classic Sheldon Cooper factoid?
Leonard: What do you think?
Sheldon: Great. I’ve been doing some reading about vehicular safety. Did you know that the highest number of drowning accidents happen on or around boats?
Leonard: Interesting that you would bring that up when I might go work on a boat.
Sheldon: Well, that’s the thing about factoids, they’re interesting.
Leonard: I know what you’re doing. You don’t want me going on this research trip because you’re afraid to be alone.
Sheldon: I’m not afraid to be alone. On land. On the sea, it would be terrifying. Because of all the drowning.
Leonard: Sheldon.
Sheldon: Fine, no more drowning talk. I’ll change the subject. Oh. Who do you think would win in a fight, you or a shark?
Leonard: Look, I appreciate your signature blend of concern for me and incredible selfishness. If I get the chance to do this, there is nothing you can say that’s going to stop me.
Sheldon: Very well. Things between you and Penny have never been better. I hope four months apart doesn’t change anything. (Leonard stops the car and stares at Sheldon in anger) I should have opened with that, huh?

Howard: I’m proud of you, Leonard. Working out on the North Sea for months, that’s really something.
Leonard: I know. As far as science goes, this is the adventure of a lifetime.
Howard: Maybe your lifetime. I went to space.
Leonard: It’s not a competition.
Howard: You’re right, you’re right. I’m really proud of you, and I’m gonna miss you when you’re gone. And space beats water.

Sheldon: Um, can I have your attention, everyone? (Clinks glass) That’s, uh, B-flat, for those who don’t have perfect pitch. I would like to propose a toast to my best friend, Dr. Leonard Hofstadter. He has been presented with a wonderful opportunity, and I couldn’t be happier for him.
Leonard: Thank you, Sheldon. That must’ve been very hard for you to say.
Sheldon: Well, I mean it. I’m really happy for you. And that’s how you get a toothpaste commercial. Cheers.

GalleryEdit

  • Penny comforting Raj.
  • Penny finds that Sheldon is jealous of Leonard.
  • Raj finally can talk to Penny!
  • Sheldon proposes a toast to Leonard.
  • Eating take-out.
  • Raj showing Lucy the cosmos.
  • Leonard discussing being away for four months.
  • Amy says that she knows what is not working in his girlfriend's head.
  • Amy meeting Lucy.
  • Space beats water.
  • Penny's final hug for Leonard before he leaves for 4 months.
  • They're not smuggling drugs.
  • I'm going to really miss you.
  • Amy having dinner with Lucy.
  • Chuck Lorre Productions, #416.

ReferencsEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Big Bang Theory - The Bon Voyage Reaction (TV Episode 2013) - IMDb
  2. The TV Critic's Review
  3. The Bon Voyage Reaction/S6E24 - The DR Club
  4. The Big Bang Theory: “The Bon Voyage Reaction” - TV Club - The A.V. Club
  5. The Big Bang Theory: "The Bon Voyage Reaction" Review - IGN
  6. Live+7 DVR Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory' Again Leads Adults 18-49 Ratings Increase & Tops Total Viewership Gains; '90210' Earns Biggest Percentage Increase in Week 34 - Zap2it
  7. Top Programs – Total Canada (English) May 13, 2013 – May 19, 2013 - BBM Canda

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