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"The Bow Tie Asymmetry"[1] is the twenty-fourth episode and season finale of the eleventh season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on May 10, 2018.

Summary

When Amy's parents and Sheldon's family arrive for the wedding, everybody is focused on making sure all goes according to plan – everyone except the bride and groom.[2]

Extended Plot

Maid-of-Honor Penny is organizing the hotel and transportation arrangements for the wedding guests. She remarks that their wedding day was a day that she never thought would happen. Both Sheldon and Amy have similar feelings. She rallies the troops comparing their jobs to one of their comic book movies. Raj suggests the new Avengers movie, the film that Bernadette napped through. Amy brings up a Lord of the Rings analogy. Someone has to go to places like Gondor, Mordor or hold off the demon of shadows and flame. The last item is Amy’s mother. Sheldon thinks that that is appropriate since the Lord of the Rings trilogy involved a ring that binds you in servitude forever. Amy turns to Penny and she is touched that he said “forever”.
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Penny organizing the wedding.

In apartment 4B, Amy gets off the phone with Wil Wheaton who is excited about officiating their wedding. Sheldon keeps working on his bow tie trying to get it perfect. He also explains that when he was younger he would have asked for William Shatner to do his wedding, but he was too expensive, Wil Wheaton would do. Also Sheldon wants to get his bow tie even; however, Amy thinks that a little asymmetry looks good. In the Renaissance, the concept was known as “sprezzuatura”. Sheldon is more of an Age of Enlightenment person. Amy wonders if Sheldon has any pre-wedding jitters. Sheldon does not, even if he came back from the future to stop the wedding because their child was going to destroy humanity. Amy adds that even under those circumstances they had gotten married because Sheldon believes that time travel is a closed loop. Sheldon then tells her how much he loves her so damn much.

Penny is bringing Amy’s parents and asks if Mr. Fowler was comfortable  sitting in the back. His wife says that he is fine. She also complains that Amy didn’t pick them up and even though it is the day before the wedding, she just didn’t have enough time for her mother. She feels that Amy used to be a much more devoted daughter and now she is just waiting for her to die and get her china.

Raj picked up Mary Cooper and her daughter Missy. Mary is very appreciative to Raj. Their driver to the airport was also an “Indian fellow”. Missy comments though Mary doesn’t think that’s racist to notice that someone is Indian. Raj doesn’t mind and he did notice that they were both white. Mary adds that Missy is a bit hormonal since she is pregnant. Raj congratulates her and Missy replies, “Whoopee.” She is also separated from her husband. Raj finds that interesting that she is available.
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Amy meets Missy.

The engaged couple and Leonard are visiting with George Cooper Jr.. Amy remarks that he is Sheldon’s brother. He replies that Sheldon got the brains and he got the bod and the face and the hair. Amy loves his accent and wished that Sheldon had it. Sheldon can sound like that, but won’t. Raj brings in Missy while his mother stopped at the hotel to freshen up and to pray for Missy’s soul. Sheldon introduces Amy and adds that if he ever needs a kidney ask his twin sister. Amy is happy and remarks that she always wanted a sister. Sheldon wonders why. Missy adds that she loves him too. Penny enters uttering, “Oh my, God.” Next come in the Fowler’s. Mrs. Fowler calls Amy “Mama’s little girl” and can’t believe she is getting married. She adds that her husband can’t believe it either. Amy tells her father "hi" and asks how he is doing. Without a word Mr. Fowler indicates that he wants to hang himself.

Howard is petting a dog while Bernadette comes downstairs wondering where he came from. She already has two kids and Howard and Stuart. Howard found the dog in the backyard and called the owner. The doorbell rings and its Mark Hamill. Howard excuses himself, closes the door and squeals, “That’s Mark Hamill!” Mark is so glad that Howard found his little friend, Bark Hamill. Mark had had an online contest with the fans and the runner-up was Honey Baked Hamill. Howard won’t accept a reward so Mark asks him if there is something he could do for him. Howard adds that he’ll probably regret saying that.
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Amy greets her parents.

Stuart approaches Denise with “Hey, dude,” and adds that he doesn’t think of her as a woman. She doesn’t think that he is much of a man. He asks her to Sheldon and Amy's Wedding, which she thinks is weird since he is her boss. Howard then runs in telling them that Mark Hamill is going to officiate at the wedding. She turns around and tells Stuart that he needs to buy her a dress.

Back in apartment 4A, Mrs. Fowler mentions that Amy played Amelia Earhart in the eighth grade. At home, not in a school play with all those kids that take drugs and have intercourse. Penny raises her wine glass and Leonard fills it. Leonard mentions the Fun with Flags Internet show which embarrasses Amy. Her mother reminds Amy what men do with those online videos. Raj tries to defuse the comments saying that the show puts him to sleep. Sheldon was being quiet thinking about string theory. Mrs. Fowler tells her husband that these are the people he's leaving her with after he dies.

Howard meets Bert Kibbler at the wedding and tells him that he looks good. He compares himself to a geode that looks wonderful, but you have to break it open to see the beauty. Raj sees Mark Hamill enter and Howard explains how he got him there. Howard then has to go tell Wil that he has been replaced.

Leonard is getting emotional helping his buddy get ready. Leonard is happy for Sheldon and that he will be officially and legally Amy’s problem. Ahh. Sheldon adds that he will always be Leonard’s problem. Leonard hugs him as Mary Cooper comes in and asks for a moment with her son. They both agree that they wish that his dad could be there. She is proud of him. Sheldon thanks her for everything including his whole life. They hug and then his mother wants to straighten his tie. Sheldon wants it to be a little asymmetrical. Mary adds that sometimes its the imperfect stuff that makes things perfect. Sheldon has a thought and leaves. Mary then says to herself, “Case in point”, referring to her Shelly.
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You look amazing!

Wil Wheaton approaches Mark Hamill and says. “So we finally meet.” Mark doesn’t know who he is, but does appreciate all the notes that Wil had made for the wedding ceremony while staying up all night.

As Amy is adjusting her veil, Sheldon knocks and she tells him to come in. He thinks that Amy looks amazing. He then describes how her comments about imperfection in his bow tie makes him want to add the imperfections of the real world into his string theory calculations. Amy then calls his work super asymmetry and he likes that. He gets her lipstick and starts to work out the calculations on her stand-up mirror.

Howard approaches Mark Hamill and asks him to stall since the bride and groom are running late. Mark doesn’t know what to do, so Howard asks if there are any Star Wars questions from the congregation. A lot of hands go up including Mr. Fowler’s. Raj is jumping up and down.
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What are you lunatics doing?

Sheldon is hard at work talking about slightly asymmetrical knots when Leonard comes in to check on them. They tell Leonard that they are inventing super asymmetry. Leonard hasn’t heard of that and wants them to leave until he gets into the discussions.

Raj asks Mark Hamill about Luke Skywalker trying to understand the native language when he was on the Wookie home planet. Mark doesn’t remember that, though Stuart remembers it happened on the dreaded Star Wars Christmas special. Georgie wonders why none of the Star Wars vehicles used tires also stumping Mark. Stuart answers again with Denise telling him that he was so hot.

Mrs. Fowler gets up to take Amy home because she is convinced that Sheldon stood her up. Penny tells her to sit back down because they love each other and Sheldon wouldn’t hurt her. Mary applauds Penny who tells her to also sit down. Amy’s mother tells her husband to say something because of the way Penny spoke to her. He replies, “Thank you.”

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Jedi wedding.

Back in the bride’s room, Leonard checks Google and finds that no one has thought of their idea of super asymmetry. They had a brand new idea. Penny comes in and asks what these lunatics are doing? They are working on science. Penny finds that shocking, but what about the wedding? Sheldon agrees that they have their entire lives to work on science. Amy says, “Let’s get married.” Penny is pumped up and leaves to get the wedding started.

Penny enters with Sheldon and Leonard. Sheldon is shocked at finding Mark Hamill in place of Wil. Mark congratulates him as the music starts and Amy comes in on her father’s arm. Amy notices the difference, but it is just another sci-fi guy with a beard. Mark moves straight to their vows since he has been answering questions for 45 minutes. Stuart knows who was really answering the questions. Amy tells Sheldon that she knew there was something special between them ever since they met in the coffee shop and her love has been growing ever since. She doesn’t know what the future holds, but she knows she has never been happier than she is at that moment. Mark gets all choked up and then tells Sheldon to continue. Sheldon doesn’t know what to say because he is overwhelmed by Amy. Even if he can’t express himself at that moment, he plans on spending the rest of his life showing how much he loves her. Mark barely gets out asking them if they will wed each other and he finishes with “By the power invested in me by EvenYouCanPerformWeddings.com"; he declares them man and wife. They kiss, applauds break out and Sheldon escorts his new wife Amy down the aisle to Barry Kripke singing “At last, my wove has come awong, my wonely days are over, and wife is like a song….”
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Dr. and Mrs. Sheldon Cooper.







Credits

Notes

  • Title Reference: Sheldon wants his bow tie to be perfect, but there's beauty in asymmetry which also inspuires his thinking about string theory.
  • Taping date: April 24, 2018.
  • This episode was watched by 15.51 million people with a rating  of 2.9  (adults 18-49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 21.82 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #x for the week ending xx May 2018.
  • This episode will air in Canada on May 10, 2018.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1]

Critics

  • Caroline Preece at Den of Geek! - Amy and Sheldon’s relationship has never been more fully realised that it is in The Bow Tie Asymmetry. She understands his references and genuinely cares when he gets fixated with his work and, while he refuses to indulge her, he doesn’t complain when Amy requests a return of the Texas accent after meeting his brother. Even Sheldon just appreciating how Amy looks in her ‘pile of swans’ dress is made sweeter than it might be otherwise, and the vows are romantic without betraying the characters and their history together...But The Bow Tie Symmetry is a high-point of the show nonetheless, underlining all of the parts of The Big Bang Theory that makes fans care about the characters while still managing to be funny and light. Leonard and Penny may have been the heart of the show’s first half, but fans have been waiting for this episode for years. It’s a miracle it works so well, but work it does, and maybe - just maybe - the wait was worth it. [2]
  • IMDb user review [3]

Trivia

  • The wedding of Sheldon and Amy was Saturday, May 12th, but was broadcast in the USA on May 10th. Amy decided the date as per "The Relaxation Integration". This is exactly one week before the much publicized Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle; perhaps this is not coincidental, considering Amy's excitement with being a princess and wearing a tiara.
  • The wedding venue is the Caltech Athenaeum, as was revealed in "The Athenaeum Allocation". Barry is also singing as to the arrangement they made with him in that episode.
  • The wedding party was established in "The Matrimonial Metric".
  • Amy chose her dress in "The Monetary Insufficiency". Mayim Bialik thought he dress was "gigantic, hot, and poufy" [4].
  • Amy doesn't wear her glasses during the ceremony. It is unknown why. Looks like Blossom showed up as a stand-in bride.
  • It was Meemaw's ring that served as Amy's engagement ring in "The Meemaw Materialization". Meemaw is not seen at the ceremony, possibly because of her attitude toward Amy.
  • There are several people who Sheldon and Amy know, as well as, people who ship them who are absent from their wedding. These people include: Beverly Hofstadter, David Gibbs, Alfred Hofstadter and Meemaw.
  • So far Mary, Sheldon's brother George Jr. and Sheldon's twin sister Missy have been confirmed to appear at Sheldon and Amy's wedding. In Season One's "The Luminous Fish Effect", the siblings were described by their mother to be as "dumb as soup." They are supporting characters, albeit children, on Young Sheldon, wherein Georgie still had a mullet hairstyle.
  • George Jr./Georgie made his first appearance in the previous episode.
  • Jerry McConnell, whom portrays George Jr., played the genius inventor and string theorist on the sci-fi series "Sliders" where they were jumping between alternate worlds.
  • Courtney Henggeler's second appearance as Missy Cooper took place ten years almost to the day since her first appearance in Season One's "The Porkchop Indeterminacy". Missy was central to Season Seven's "The Cooper Extraction", but did not make an appearance, bit was heard screaming once.
  • In "The Porkchop Indeterminacy", Missy was attracted to Raj, whom reciprocated her feelings, though he could not speak to her back then (but now he can). He gets to drive her and her mother from the airport, where he is delighted to learn that she is separated from her husband, which could indicate a possible romance between the two. This is the first time Raj directly speaks to Mary without the aid of alcohol or medication.
  • Raj had invited a girl to the wedding in the previous episode but she clearly said no as she does not appear at the wedding and he is dateless.
  • Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) officiated Sheldon and Amy's wedding (after Howard asked him to officiate as a favor for Sheldon when he found his dog, Bark Hamill); originally Wil Wheaton was supposed to officiate for their wedding.
  • Both Star Wars and Star Trek members are in this episode. Wheaton's clash with Hamill alludes to Star Wars vs. Star Trek.
  • Mark Hamill is well-known for portraying The Joker in the 1990s Batman Animated Series, as well as in the sequel movie and Arkham video games, Batman's chief nemesis and Sheldon's favorite superhero, as well as Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars movies, one of the guys' favorite sci-fi franchises.
  • During the 'Q&A' with Mark Hamill, Stuart reveals Luke Skywalker was on the Wookiee home planet Kashyyk, when he helped Chewbacca get home to his wife, Malla, in the Holiday Special; he also states the closest thing to tires on a Star Wars vehicle are the metal gripping wheels of the HAVw A5 turbo tank.
  • Stuart's date is Denise, his employee at the comic book store, whom first appeared in "The Comet Polarization".
  • Kathy Bates replaces Annie O'Donnell who portrayed Amy's mother on a brief videochat in season 4. This is the first time a Big Bang actor was replaced in an already established role.
  • Mrs. Fowler's cruelty was especially revealed in "The Bachelor Party Corrosion". Amy's mother who is played by Kathy Bates also played the villain in "Misery" which is what Amy's mother gave her when she was raised.
  • Teller played Amy's father and escorted her down the aisle.
  • As part of the comedy/magic duo Penn & Teller, Teller's shtick was that he almost never spoke during the act, usually communicating through mime and other non-verbals. This was acknowledged as a running gag throughout the episode, when Mrs. Fowler would always speak up for him whenever he was asked a question (and pretending to hang himself when Amy asked how he was doing). The only time he spoke was at the end of the episode, saying "Thank you!" to Penny after she dresses down his wife for trying to disrupt the wedding.
  • This episode showed Howard wearing a tie for the first time ever in the series.
  • Bert and Barry Kripke attend the Shamy nuptials.
  • It looks like Wil Wheaton attended the ceremony with his real-life wife Anne.
  • The recessional song sung by Barry Kripke is "At Last" by Etta James.
  • Given Sheldon's enthusiasm with a make your own sundae bar at a wedding in "The Transporter Malfunction", most likely, there is one at this wedding.
  • The episode consisted of a teaser and three equal separate acts.
  • Sheldon makes slightly asymmetric knots with sheets in four dimensions, and then "bootstraps" the whole idea to a large asymmetry in 11 dimensions. He calls this theory 'superasymmetry', analogous to supersymmetry. He started constructing knotted strings in "The Solo Oscillation" and continued it in "The Separation Triangulation", "The Reclusive Potential", and "The Monetary Insufficiency", but his asymmetrical breakthrough occurs in this episode. Thanks to Sheldon's collaboration with Dr. Wolcott, it is shown time has multiple dimensions, and in the context of a singularity, non-abelian group theory is involved. His new formulas on entropy decrease due to quantum decoherence can be tested by creating a contained microscopic black hole. (Refer to black hole derivation within string theory. Examples of string theoretic approaches to the information paradox are the holographic principle and fuzzballs.)
  • Leonard displays intellectual interest in string theory research again, after "The Reclusive Potential" and originating with the "Pilot", wherein he referred to "identify[ing] the fingerprints of string theory in the aftermath of the Big Bang." It seems his mathematical faculties have returned to him after his mental lapse in "The Locomotion Reverberation".
  • As Sheldon develops his theory of 'superasymmetry', Amy, a biologist, merely speculates, "Maybe even at the initial moment of creation, the fundamental forces lacked symmetry." Previously, she has displayed some mathematical insight in both "The Comic Book Store Regeneration" and "The Collaboration Fluctuation". The former involved work on cellular automata, still within the province of biology, while the latter, focused on quantum cognition, requiring physics knowledge. Yet, Amy is primarily an experimental neuroscientist, not really a theoretical neuroscientist, greatly stretching the plausibility in these instances.
  • There was a scene filmed with the Coopers opening their wedding gift from the late Stephen Hawking that was not in the final edit, though it was released to YouTube (watch here).
  • In the unused ending/tribute to Stephen Hawking, the married Amy appears to have finally changed her style of dress. Her hair is up, she is not wearing any plaids, but she is wearing a plain skirt and a plain unbuttoned sweater.
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    Married Shamy.

Quotes

Penny: All right! It's go time! I'm pumped!

Sheldon: [To Amy.] Wow, you look amazing!

Penny: [Penny running down the aisle.] Okay everyone. Here we go!
Sheldon: Leonard. That’s Mark Ha…Ha...Ha… It’s Mark Hami…Ha…Ha…
Leonard: Yep. Thank Wolowitz. He set it up.
Sheldon: Thank you.
Mark Hamill: Congratulations on your wedding.
Sheldon: Thank you. When this is over, I have 4000 things for you to sign.
[Processional starts; Amy enters.]
Amy: [Father kisses her.] Thank you, Daddy. I…I thought Wil was marrying us.
Sheldon: Wolowitz got us an upgrade.
Amy: Another sci-fi guy in a beard? Seems lateral, but okay.
Mark Hamill: Welcome. We are gathered here today in the sight of friends, family and Almighty God.
Sheldon: That’s too religious.
Mark Hamill: That lady over there made me say that.
Mary: He heard you and he can’t un-hear you.
Mark Hamill: we’re here to celebrate the marriage of Sheldon Lee Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler. I had more prepared, but I’m gonna skip to the rings and the vows since I’ve been answering your questions for 45 minutes.
Stuart: Yeah, he answered them.
Mark Hamill: Amy, you’re up.
Amy: Sheldon, when I was a little girl, I used to dream about my wedding. But, eventually I stopped, because I thought that day would never come. And then I met you. From the first moment in that coffee shop, I knew there was something special between us, even I did work on a study that disapproved love at first sight.
Sheldon: I loved that study the moment I read it. Ironic, huh?
Amy: Clearly it was wrong. Because I felt something that day, and those feelings have only gotten stronger with time. I can’t imagine loving you more than I do right now. But I felt that way yesterday and the day before yesterday and the day before that.
Sheldon: Is that growth linear or accelerating?
Amy: Accelerating.
Sheldon: Or maybe we could graph it out.
Leonard: Save something for the honeymoon.
Sheldon: Smart.
Amy: Sheldon, I don’t know what the future holds, but I know I’ve never been happier than I am now in this moment marrying you.
Mark Hamill: Well, that was unexpectedly beautiful. I need a minute. [He points to Sheldon.]
Sheldon: Amy, I usually know exactly what to say. But at this moment I have no words. I guess I’m overwhelmed by you. In a good way. Not like elevator in the haunted Mansion way. Even if I can’t tell you now how I feel, I will spend the rest of my life showing you how much I love you.
Mark Hamill: Do you…Do you…
Wil Wheaton: Hey, I’m just saying, I’m here if you need me to step in.
Mark Hamill: No, no, no. I got this. Amy, do you take Sheldon for your lawfully wedded husband?
Amy: I do.
Mark Hamill:And Sheldon, same thing.
Sheldon: I do.
Mark Hamill: Then by the power invested in me by EvenYouCanPerfromWeddings.com, I know pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.
[Recessional. Sheldon and Amy leave hand in hand.]
Kripke: [Singing.] At wast…My wove has come awong…My wonewy days are over…And wife is wike a song.

Penny: All right, Saturday is the big day. A lot of people thought this would never come. I may have been one of those people.
Amy: I may have been one of those people.
Sheldon: Wait, wait, are we talking about the wedding?
Amy: Oh, yes.
Sheldon: Oh, yeah, I was definitely one of those people.

Amy: So are you feeling okay? No wedding jitters?
Sheldon: No. There’s nothing in the world that would stop me from marrying you tomorrow even me coming from the future to prevent the wedding and the subsequent birth of a child who will destroy humanity.
Amy: Because if you came from the future that would mean you already went through with the wedding because you believe that time travel is on a closed loop.
Sheldon: I love you so damn much.

Mrs. Fowler: She used to be such a devoted daughter. Now she’s just waiting for me to die so she can get my china.

Mary Cooper: Thanks again for picking us up.
Raj: My pleasure Mrs. Cooper.
Mary Cooper: You know our driver to the airport was an Indian fella.
Missy: Mom…
Mary Cooper: So now it’s racist to notice when somebody’s Indian.
Raj: I don’t think its racist. I notice you were both white.

Mrs. Fowler: And did you know my Amy was Amelia Earhart in the eight grade?
Penny: Amy, you never said you were in a school play.
Mrs. Fowler: Oh, no, no, at home. I never let her do a school play. Those kids just take drugs and have intercourse.

Leonard: After today you are officially and more importantly legally Amy’s problem.
Sheldon: Don’t be silly, Leonard. I will always be your problem.
Mary: Hey, baby.
Sheldon: Hello, mother.
Mary: Leonard, could you give us a moment?
Leonard: Oh, of course.
Mary: Oh, Shelly. I wish your dad could see you now.
Sheldon: Me too, I miss him.
Mary: He would be so proud of you. I know that I am.
Sheldon: Thank you. I mean for everything. My whole life.
Mary: Oh, let me straighten your tie.
Sheldon: No, no, no. It’s all right. It’s supposed to be a little asymmetrical. Apparently a small flaw somehow improves it.
Mary: I can see that. Sometimes it’s the imperfect stuff that makes things perfect.
Sheldon: [Thinks of something.] Excuse me.
Mary: Case in point.

Leonard: Everybody’s waiting. What are you guys doing?
Amy: Super asymmetry.
Leonard: Super asymmetry? Is that a thing?
Sheldon: We’re inventing it right now!
Leonard: Do you think that this can wait until …Hold on! This is interesting.

Penny: Sheldon loves Amy and he would never hurt her on her wedding day or any other day. So park it!

Penny: What are you lunatics doing?!?
Amy: Sheldon had a breakthrough.
Sheldon: Actually Amy and I had a breakthrough.
Penny: Oh, science? Shocking!!
Leonard: You don’t understand. This could be real big.
Sheldon: No, Penny’s right. We have our whole lives to do science together.
Amy: Let’s get married.
Penny: All right. It’s go time! I’m pumped!

Gallery

References