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The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification

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"The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification" is the second episode of the fourth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on Thursday, September 30, 2010.[1]

Summary

Sheldon works out that he won't live long enough to download his consciousness into a robot body, and so he attempts to extend his lifespan by changing his diet and then resorts to developing a Mobile Virtual Presence Device.

Extended Plot

Bot2

I want to live until here.

Vlcsnap-2011-11-20-00h27m03s209

Sheldon's Mobile Virtual Presence Device.

Sheldon works out that he won't live long enough to download his consciousness into a robot body. Elsewhere, Penny is low on funds to repay Leonard back for the Indian food, the pizza, the Thai food, the tank of gas, the frozen yogurt and her rent meaning she owes over $1,400. On the night Sheldon announces cruciferous vegetable night, and the next night where he introduces his MVPD, Howard and Raj make jokes about Penny living a free life without money, which only annoys Penny. Finally, she scares them off making jokes forever by sarcastically offering to sell her underwear for $1,400. They initially laugh it off, but immediately start to think it over with intrigued looks on their faces.

Sheldon determines that his best estimate for his life expectancy will cause him to miss, by only a few years, "the singularity... when man will be able to transfer his consciousness into machines, and achieve immortality". He therefore changes his diet and starts to exercise in hopes of extending his life expectancy. Since the diet of Brussels sprouts gives him a bad case of flatulence, and he tumbles on the stairs going down for a jog, Sheldon decides on an alternate plan to extend his life
The-Big-Bang-Theory-The-Cruciferous-Vegetable-Amplification-10-1-

Singing "Soft Kitty" to Shelbot.

expectancy.

He builds a robotic replication of himself which he calls a "Mobile Virtual Presence Device" (MVPD) that would go through all the hazards of life that Sheldon would otherwise have to experience while he stays behind in a "secure, undisclosed location" (his room). The MVPD has a monitor showing Sheldon's face in real-time (or any other image that he wants to display at that moment), speakers so his voice can be heard, and a microphone and camera to allow him to see and hear in his "secure, undisclosed location" (his bedroom) what is happening at the MVPD's location. Sheldon can then react to the situation as if he was present (to the point of enforcing the rule that nobody sits on "his spot" on the sofa). The monitor sits on top of a fixture covered with the exact same clothing that Sheldon is wearing that day. The MVPD has wheels which give it mobility and comes with an override switch so if anybody turns the MVPD off, Sheldon can override and turn the monitor back on.

Shelbot with Steve Wozniak

Steve Wozniak with his wife talking to Sheldon.

The guys dismiss the MVPD as a stunt (Penny calls it "Shelbot") and try to convince Sheldon to drop the idea, but he persists and proceeds to cite Section 74c of The Roommate Agreement requiring Leonard to assist him (by providing him transportation) "in the event one of [the roommates] becomes a robot." Leonard therefore takes the MVPD to work, though he regrets it, and later to Penny's restaurant for dinner.

At the restaurant, Sheldon's MVPD spots Steve Wozniak at a nearby table so he sends the MVPD over to meet Woz, telling him that he has a vintage Apple II computer, to which Wozniak says that if he had the Apple II there he would sign it. Sheldon then takes his Apple II and rushes out of the apartment, but trips and falls down the stairs, breaking the Apple II.

Later, Sheldon's MPVD goes to Penny's apartment door to help him fall asleep after the aftermath of falling down the stairs and the demise of his Apple II. He wants her to sing him a song to go to sleep by. At first she is reluctant, but he soon convinces her to do so. Sheldon plays "Soft Kitty" on his recorder while Penny sings.

Credits

Critics

  • The TV Critic: "The story is a solid idea. There is so much one can do with the Sheldon character and having him face his mortality, even in his own bizarre way, is one of them. The image of his smug face on a computer screen leering at poor Leonard provides obvious comedy. As did his attempts to diet and exercise which led to some sprout induced wind - the most obvious comedy of all...All his overbearing behavior would be funnier and more interesting to watch if it led to some kind of conclusive story...A typical Sheldon-centric story, your mileage may vary."[2]
  • The A.V. Club gave this episode a B.[3]
  • IMDb user reviews

Notes

  • Title Reference: The title refers to the cruciferous vegetables (specifically, Brussels sprouts) that Sheldon adds to his diet that cause him a major case of flatulence.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card.
  • This episode was watched by 13.06 million people with a rating of 4.4 (adults 18-49).[4]
  • This episode aired in Canada on September 30, 2010 with 2.964 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #1.[5]
  • In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on November 11, 2010 with 1.061 million total viewers and a weekly ranking of #19.[6]
  • In Australia, it aired on November 10, 2010 with 1.151 million viewers and a weekly rank of #21.[7]
  • Episode transcript [1]

Costume Notes

S04E02ManBotBlue
S04E02FlashBolt
S04E02GLantern
S04E02Phillips
ManBot Flash Run Bolt Green Lantern Philips/Stouble Test

Trivia

1911 Solvay conference

La théorie du rayonnement et les quanta, Conseil de Physique de Solvay (The Theory of Radiation and Quanta, First Solvay International Conference on Physics).

Tbbt04e02thecruciferousvegetableamplification 000911870

Sheldon introduces a few anachronisms.

  • There is no guest appearance by Mayim Bialik as Amy in this episode until the next episode "The Zazzy Substitution" (S4E3) to which she does appear in.
  • This episode and the next episode (S4E3) are the final two episodes where Melissa Rauch has no more guest appearances as Bernadette before she becomes a main cast member in "The Hot Troll Deviation" (S4E4).
  • Sheldon's android form is called the Mobile Virtual Presence Device (MVPD).
  • Bernadette does not appear as the Cheesecake Factory waitress with Penny in the scene with the three guys (Leonard, Raj and Howard) and their "Shelbot" (who Penny is not waiting on Sheldon's face on the screen) at the table of the Cheesecake Factory. She might have one or two different shifts.
  • Sheldon introduces 24 anachronisms to a photograph of the 1911 Solvay Conference on the theory of radiation and quanta. (Photograph taken by Benjamin Couprie © International Institutes for Physics and Chemistry. Courtesy: Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, American Institute of Physics.
Seated (L-R): W. Nernst, M. Brillouin, E. Solvay, H. Lorentz, E. Warburg, J. Perrin, W. Wien, M. Skłodowska-Curie, and H. Poincaré.
Standing (L-R): R. Goldschmidt, M. Planck, H. Rubens, A. Sommerfeld, F. Lindemann, M. de Broglie, M. Knudsen, F. Hasenöhrl, G. Hostelet, E. Herzen, J.H. Jeans, E. Rutherford, H. Kamerlingh Onnes, A. Einstein, and P. Langevin.)
  • Sheldon says, "You don’t get it, Leonard. I’m going to miss so much, the unified field theory, cold fusion, the dogapus." In "The Jerusalem Duality", he mentions cold fusion, "Look, I've decided that if the three of you drop whatever it is you're working on and join me, we could lick cold fusion in less than a decade, twelve years tops."
  • Sheldon wants to fuse his consciousness with cybernetics, but this fact was not always the case, perhaps getting the idea from Raj. In "The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization", Sheldon postulates, "You know, in the future, when we're disembodied brains in jars, we're going to look back on this as eight hours well wasted." Raj then responds, "I don't want to be in a jar. I want my brain in an android body."
  • When Shelbot is in the car, he plays an Elizabethan English song called "Greensleeves" on a wooden recorder.
  • Loophole: Leonard was technically not required to do anything for Shelbot since the wording of the section in the Roommate Agreement mentions becoming a robot, not using one to get around while the original body is still in use and intact.
  • Steve Wozniak is the sixth guest-star who played himself.
  • Sheldon had an Uncle Carl who was "KBB" (killed by badger). He believes such a possible death is coded genetically.
  • Sheldon's family tree shows that he is 29 years old. Also, "fusion" is misspelled as "fushion".
  • Sheldon says, "That’s what I was going for." In "The Wildebeest Implementation", he similarly states, "That's what I strive to emulate." Sheldon ended his sentence in a preposition, something Leonard was ridiculed for in "The Jerusalem Duality" by Dennis Kim. In The Staircase Implementation when Raj says "You’re the guy we’re trying to get away from.", Sheldon corrects him saying "And for the record, the correct syntax is 'I’m the guy from whom you’re trying to get away'."
  • Longest episode title until "The Contractual Obligation Implementation" in March 2013.
  • When Sheldon's MVPD knocks on Penny's door, he does perform a triplet knock, but only one knock each instead of his usual "knock-knock-knock, Penny; knock-knock-knock, Penny;  knock-knock-knock, Penny".
  • In the Queeg episode of British sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf, the ship's computer Holly is deposed from his position by an emergency back-up personality with all the charm and human kindness of the sergeant instructor in Full Metal Jacket. Queeg claims Holly's computer senility makes him a danger to the ship, but allows him to continue in the lowly position of night watchman. Holly's new persona takes the form of a ramshackle mobile unit with a screen mounted on a chassis, wearing a drab brown overcoat, which looks in essentials identical to the MVPD. Was this the root inspiration? After all, the boys are very familiar with the Red Dwarf continuum - Sheldon owns all sixty-one released episodes, so how he can have failed to notice this...

Quotes

Leonard: What'cha doing there, working on a new plan to catch the Road Runner?

(Sheldon falls down the stairs while trying to jog with Penny)

Penny: Oh my God, are you OK?!
Sheldon: I think so.
Penny: (sighs) Let me help you up.
Sheldon: Thank you.

(Sheldon farts in Penny's face due to his dinner of Brussels sprouts from the previous night)

Penny: Oh, Sheldon!
Sheldon: If it makes you feel any better, Thursday is no longer cruciferous vegetable night.

Howard: Really? That's your question? "When did he put a ramp in?"

(Leonard is driving Sheldon to work, who is in his bedroom and using his mobile presence device ("Shelbot") to go around places)

Shelbot: This is delightful.
Leonard: Uh.
Shelbot: It's much easier to enjoy the picturesque roundly travel to work when you remove the specter of fiery, vehicular death.
Leonard: Refresh my memory, why didn't I just put you in the trunk?
Shelbot: Because I called shotgun, remember?
Leonard: Right...

(Sheldon turns his screen around to Leonard)

Shelbot: You seem tense. Perhaps this will relax you.

(Sheldon plays a clip of German women doing a dance, while he is playing his recorder)

Leonard: I don't wanna listen to music, Sheldon!

(Sheldon's screen goes back to his face)

Shelbot: Very well. I don't understand why you're not enjoying this. Together, in this car, with my enhanced capabilities, we're like Knight Rider.
Leonard: Except the Knight Rider of the car isn't a yammering sphincter.

(Sheldon again turns his screen back to Leonard)

Shelbot: You mock the sphincter, but the sphincter is a class of muscle without which human beings couldn't survive.

(Sheldon shows a picture of all the sphincters in the human body)

Shelbot: There are over 50 different sphincters in the human body. How many can you name?
Leonard: I was wrong. This is exactly like Knight Rider.
Shel-Bot: Perhaps you'd be interested in a different game.
Leonard: No!
Shelbot: (shows another picture) This is a photograph of the 1911 Solvay Conference, on the theory of radiation and quanta. Using Photoshop, I've introduced a few anachronisms. See if you can spot all 24. I'll give you the first one: Madam Curie should not be wearing a digital watch. And go.

(Sheldon plays his recorder to the theme of Jeopardy)

Leonard: That's it, bye-bye.

(Leonard turns the screen off and continues driving, until the screen suddenly turns back on, with Sheldon being up close to the camera)

Shelbot: BAZINGA!

(This scares Leonard, who swerves the car and almost crashes until he can control it)

Shelbot: I have an override switch.
Leonard: I almost died!
Shelbot: And I'm safe and sound in bed. Who's crazy now?
Leonard: I'm still gonna go with you!

(Sheldon turns his screen around and grins)


Shelbot: He's the lamb. You're not.

Gallery


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