|The Contractual Obligation Implementation|
Season 6, Episode 18
March 7, 2013
"The Monster Isolation"
"The Closet Reconfiguration"
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The guys go to Howard's old middle school to try and get female students excited about science whilst Raj plans his first formal date with Lucy. The girls play hooky to go to Disneyland and get made up as Disney princesses.
At apartment 4A, Leonard explains, as part of their contract with the university, he, Sheldon, and Howard are required to serve on a committee that promotes science among young women. Leonard is trying to persuade the others who would rather play video games because he happens to believe in this cause. Howard complains that if he could have persuaded women to do things, he wouldn't have spent so much time in the shower. Sheldon tells Leonard that the whole thing is a waste of time. Leonard replies, "Helping women?" Sheldon retorts that he doesn't want to help anyone because people should do things themselves. Leonard sarcastically replies that he drove him places yesterday for his errands. Sheldon then says that he is not against people using tools, which aggravates Leonard because, according to Sheldon, "Even an otter picks up a rock to open a clam." Leonard asks if he doesn't think there should be more women in science and Sheldon tells him that he believes in a gender-blind society, like Star Trek. Leonard describes Star Trek as a society where they invented interstellar warp drive, but a black woman still answered the space phone. Howard then reminisces about the many times he spent alone with Lt. Uhura in the shower. Sheldon's real objection is to be required to do "banal committee work" which is like the Fantastic 4's Human Torch being asked to heat up a frozen burrito. Leonard suggests that all student papers be submitted with just the student's first initial so that they are not judged by gender. Sheldon gives examples like Harry Potter's author J.K. Rowling and Star Trek script writer D.C. Fontana. Howard adds exotic dancer "D.D. Melons". With that, Howard feels he's helped women enough and then fires up the Xbox and Sheldon joins him. Leonard pleads for help so that he is not the smart kid doing all the work and the slackers sit back and watch. Sheldon says that that is not true because he is the smart kid doing all the work while the smarter kids watch. Howard asks Sheldon if he really thinks that he is one of the smarter kids and Sheldon replies that he is just a tool that he is using to make his point.
Leonard asks them to think about the topic and also play a less sexist game which has female characters with huge breasts. Sheldon explains that his character can use a battle axe as well as any man and Howard comments on how much milk his character could provide the world. Leonard challenges Sheldon, that since he claims to be so smart, why doesn't he spend five seconds and come up with a suggestion. Sheldon stops his game play which aggravates Howard. He feels that the problem shouldn't be addressed at the university level because it is too late. They should start at the middle school level to set women on the road to the hard sciences, Leonard wonders why he didn't think of that. Sheldon comments that some people are otters and some people are rocks. Leonard wants to give the idea a trial run. Howard proposes that they go to his old middle school to talk to some of the female students. Sheldon is uncomfortable talking about science and doesn't know how to spark the interest of school children. He goes over to his computer and Googles how one gets 12-year-old girls excited. Both Howard and Leonard scream "Nooo!" at Sheldon to stop (had Sheldon looked up the link, he would have seen various sex-related articles).
At Penny's, Raj thanks the ladies for again letting him crash girls' night. Penny tells him that it's great since he brought fancy wine and made fondue. Penny adds that she slept with guys for less. Amy and Bernadette look at her funny and she explains that it's a joke...based upon real events. Raj is seeking advice on a killer first date with Lucy. Amy says that evolutionary biology shows that women like men that are steady in the face of danger and suggests an unsafe environment like a seedy bar on the "wrong side of the tracks", a picnic near a lunatic asylum, or a wine tasting on Skid Row. Raj mentions that Lucy has some social anxieties and wants something simpler. Bernadette suggests Disneyland's Space Mountain ride where you can hold hands in the dark. Penny adds that you have to remember that the ride is real short and they take your picture at the end so you have to get all your clothes back on before it's over. Again she says that she is making a joke...based on real-life events. Raj doesn't like this suggestion either because of all the crowds. Amy hasn't been there since she was a kid and suggests that they go some weekend. Bernadette thinks it's too crowded on weekends so Penny suggests that they blow off work one day. Amy says that her mother claimed that playing hooky results in girls being addicted to jazz and reefer. Penny says that it's more like ending up in a Best Western motel with a 34-year-old guy named Luther. Bernadette asks her if that's another joke and Penny tells her that she can laugh about it now. The girls then decide to go to Disneyland themselves on Friday. Raj again asks for help on how to have a romantic date when he can't talk to her and she can't stand to be around people. Penny says that that is a "toughie". The girls think for several moments and all Amy can do is ask if they want to do Disney California Adventure too.
Walking down the halls of Howard's old middle school, Leonard says that it was nice of Howard's old school letting them try out their science topic on some of their students. Howard found out that the school was excited about it since he was their most famous alumni. Sheldon tells him that he must feel good returning as an astronaut. Howard then reminds them that the last time he was here he was just a "scrawny little nerd". Then Leonard adds that now he's an astronaut. Howard finds his old locker and still wonders, even though he has a masters degree in engineering, how a bully got him and his briefcase into his locker. Then, a taller student walks by and bumps into him and doesn't say he is sorry. Howard starts to say something to the student, but then stops. Sheldon thinks that Howard is smart since they don't want any trouble.
The girls are on their way to Disneyland. Amy says she can't believe they are ditching work for Disneyland. Amy goes into a long explanation of how she kept calling her boss as she went through the day before, leading him through a story about her food poisoning. Penny says she just works at the Cheesecake Factory and told them "bye". Bernadette wants to head straight to where they make you up to look like a Disney princess. Penny wants to get drunk and ride the rides. They all want to be Cinderella, but Bernadette says that since it was her idea and she's driving she gets to be her or they can all walk home if they don't like it.
Raj is setting a table at a library with picnic paraphernalia for his date with Lucy and a man sits down at the table. Raj tells him that he is getting ready for a date because he and his date are both uncomfortable in social situations. The guy says that he also has that problem and asks if he can join them. Raj says no and tells the big man to climb back up whatever beanstalk he came down. Lucy comes in and the big guy tells her that she can do better. Lucy asks if they are eating there and Raj texts her that they are having a "texting date". She replies that she likes the idea. He also tells her to remember that he has an adorable accent.
In a room full of middle school girls, Leonard asks them (in a wannabe rapper voice), "Who's ready for some sci-ence??" He introduces everyone and tells the girls that they are going to learn how cool science can be--as cool as -273 degrees, which is the temperature that entropy reaches its minimum value (absolute zero). Leonard says they all learned something and it was fun too...except there is no reaction from the students. Sheldon is next and he calls them "female children" and tells them they are about to be inspired by the story of female scientist Madame Curie who died from radiation poisoning due to her discovery and work with radium. With a little hard work, Sheldon tells them, the same thing can happen to any of them. Sheldon then asks Leonard if they are done and can they go. Howard tells them that they too can go into outer space. One student wants to know if he went to the moon. Howard says no but he has been to the International Space Station. Then she asks if he flew the rocket, and Howard admits that he just rode inside the rocket. Finally, she says that he's like her uncle that flies around as a flight attendant. Howard snaps back that her uncle just serves passengers nuts while he is an "American hero". Leonard now takes over and explains that he is an experimental physicist. He tests theories and gets to work with lasers. A student wants to know how he decided to become a scientist. Leonard mentions that both his parents were scientists and that they pushed him. He really wanted to be a rap star like Snoop Dog, but with more respect for the police, which gets a laugh from the students. Then he raps a couple of lines, but the students look at him funny.
Back at the library, Raj and Lucy are having a good "text date", laughing at each other's comments. Lucy tells him that she does web design for porn sites. Surprised, Raj denies even knowing what they are. Lucy tries to cover up her mistake by claiming she typed the wrong word due to an auto-correct error, she says she really works on prom sites. Raj texts back he really likes proms but when Lucy looks at him funny. He texts that it was auto-correct and that it should be that he likes sports.
At the middle school, Leonard rants on about having to learn to play the cello when he was younger. Sheldon speaks up that he doesn't know if they have ever been discouraged from science careers but he knows they have been discouraged today. The students applaud his comments. Sheldon tells them that it might be better if they hear from two actual female scientists, Bernadette and Amy. Sheldon thanks them for taking time out of their busy schedule even though they are at Disneyland dressed as Disney princesses. Bernadette is Cinderella, Penny is Sleeping Beauty, and Amy is Snow White. They tell the students that the world needs more women scientists though as they grow up the world is more focused on how they look instead of the power of their minds. Amy at this moment touches up her lipstick. Bernadette says that they can be anything they want. Penny quips, "Unless you want to be Cinderella." Bernadette quickly challenges her to "come at me" (start a fight).
Lucy and Raj finish their date when her phone battery runs out. She says she had fun and that this date definitely pushed her comfort envelope. Lucy flees with a panic attack when she tries to kiss Raj. Raj says he is still counting the experience as foreplay.
Howard returns home and Bernadette calls out that she has a surprise for him. Howard hopes that she is Cinderella. Upon seeing her he removes his shirt and trots over as Prince Charming. Leonard gets to Penny's apartment, sees her dressed up, and says "What?" as Penny tries to explain enthusiastically about ditching work and going to Disneyland and he begins to tear his clothes off. In Sheldon's apartment, Amy is lying down on the couch and calls Sheldon over from the computer to kiss Snow White and wake her up, but Sheldon declines, saying he heard her the first time.
- The TV Critic: "The conception of these stories was solid but the execution was basic. We don't often hear much about the actual work the guys do at the university so I welcome any exploration of that. Similarly I enjoyed the way the idea to go to Disneyland grew organically out of a discussion of where Raj should take Lucy on their date...I couldn't help but laugh at Leonard attempting a hype-man style intro to his talk and elongating the word "science" in rapper style. However the bit was quickly overdone with Leonard oblivious to how pathetic his routine seemed... A typical Big Bang Theory episode: nice ideas, no ambition."
- The A.V. Club gaves this episode a B+.
- IGN gave this episode 7.8/10
- The DR Club gave this episode a B.
- IMDb user reviews
- Title Reference: The title refers to the guys' requirement by the university to inspire women to pursue science careers.
- Chuck Lorre's vanity card.
- This episode was watched by 17.63 million people with a rating of 5.5 (adults 18-49).
- Total viewers including DVR users 21.90 million.
- This episode aired in Canada on March 7, 2013 with 3.611 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #1.
- In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on May 23, 2013 with 2,629 million total viewers.
- The whiteboard by the bookshelves in the apartment references the Cauchy-Green tensor, expressed merely as "Cauchy-Green". The analysis that follows lies within the domain of continuum mechanics. An inequality regarding two stretch ratios is supplied. Next, it is written that two material coordinate position vectors are orthogonal. The last line reveals the two stretch ratios are inversely proportional. [Note that "Cauchy-Green" can also generally refer to the Cauchy-Green formula (Pompeiu formula), a corollary of Green's theorem in complex form from which we can directly obtain the Cauchy integral formula.]
- Howard and Sheldon are seen playing the video game Soulcalibur V on the Limited Edition Kinect Star Wars Bundle of XBox 360 that previously appeared in The Extract Obliteration (S6E06). Leonard calls the game sexist.
- Howard looks at his copy of Batman #17 (Death of the Family) before playing the game on Xbox.
- Second time that auto-correction function on a phone causes a ridiculous misunderstanding. The previous one is in "The Wildebeest Implementation" (S4E22), Amy texts Bernadette that Penny dates an architect, while Bernadette receives that Penny dates an astronaut due to auto-correction.
- Sheldon mentions the pyrokinetic abilities of the Fantastic Four's Human Torch, which are the result of cosmic rays bombarding his body while in space. (For further references to the Fantastic Four, see the Trivia of "The Re-Entry Minimization".)
- Howard's custom action figure from "The Cooper/Kripke Inversion" is visible, behind glass, at Bernadette's apartment. Both Howard and Bernadette figurines are revealed to be there in the next episode.
- The girls dress up as Disney princesses. Bernadette is Cinderella, Penny is Sleeping Beauty, and Amy is Snow White.
- In reality, Penny, Bernadette, and Amy would not have been allowed to receive makeovers and dress up as princesses in Disneyland. While such a service exists, it is exclusively for young girls, and adults are not allowed to dress in costume to avoid confusion with the costumed characters.
- The longest episode title since "The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification" in season 4.
- Sheldon comes up with two very reasonable good suggestions for their project without any off-the-wall suggestions.
- Amy again dresses up in a costume as Snow White after Sheldon said that she didn't believe in wearing costumes in "The Justice League Recombination". In "The Launch Acceleration" she dressed up in a Star Trek medical officer's uniform. In "The Holographic Excitation" she dressed up as Ragedy Anne.
- Third episode where Sheldon talks to children after "The Friendship Algorithm" and "The Zazzy Substitution". Second time Howard talks to children after "The Shiny Trinket Maneuver".
- Leonard: So now let's bring out theoretical physicist, Dr, Sheldon Cooper.
- Sheldon: Hello, female children. Allow me to inspire you with a story about a great female scientist. Polish born, French educated Madame Curie. Co-discover of radioactivity. She was a hero of science until her hair fell out, her vomit and stool became full with blood and she was poisoned to death by her own discovery. With a little hard work I see no reason why that can't also happen to any of you. Are we done? Can we go?
- Raj: Anyway I was hoping I could pick your brains a little. I'm supposed to take Lucy out Friday and I need a killer first date.
- Amy: Well, evolutionary biology says that women are attractive to a man who is steady in the face of danger So I recommend an unsafe environment. A seedy bar on the wrong side of the tracks. Picnic near a lunatic asylum. A wine tasting on skid row.
- Sheldon (while typing into a search engine): How do I get 12-year-old schoolgirls excited?
- Howard and Leonard: Noooooooo!
- (they both run to stop Sheldon from searching it)
- Leonard (to middle school girls in a wannabe rapper voice): Alright, who is ready for some sci-ence!
- Raj: Thanks again for letting me drag girls' night.
- Penny: Are you kidding? You brought fancy wine and made fondue. I've slept with guys for less. (Everyone stares at her.) It's a joke! Based on real events.
- Raj: Anyway I was hoping I could pick your brains a little. I'm supposed to take Lucy out Friday and I need a killer first date.
- Amy: Well, evolutionary biology says that women are attractive to a man who is steady in the face of danger so I recommend an unsafe environment. A seedy bar on the wrong side of the tracks. Picnic near a lunatic asylum. A wine tasting on skid row.
- Raj: Lucy has some social anxiety issues. Maybe we could start with something simpler.
- Bernadette: Why don't you take her to Disneyland? You can go on Space Mountain; you're in the dark, she's holding onto you.
- Penny: Yeah, you just have to remember that that ride is shorter then you think. And they take a picture at the end so make sure you have all your clothes back on. (Everyone stares at her) It's a joke!! Based on real events.
- Taping report by Monique
- ↑ The Big Bang Theory - The Contractual Obligation Implementation (TV Episode 2013) - IMDb
- ↑ The TV Critic's Review
- ↑ The Big Bang Theory: “The Contractual Obligation Implementation” - TV Club - The A.V. Club
- ↑ The Big Bang Theory: "The Contractual Obligation Implementation" Review - IGN
- ↑ The Contractual Obligation Implementation/S6E18 - The DR Club
- ↑ Live+7 DVR Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory' Leads Adults 18-49 Ratings & Total Viewership Gains; 'Smash' Earns Biggest Percentage Increase in Week 24 - Zap2it
- ↑ Top Programs – Total Canada (English) March 4, 2013 – March 10, 2013 - BBM Canada
- ↑ BARB via Wikipedia