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The Platonic Permutation

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"The Platonic Permutation" is the ninth episode of the ninth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Thursday, November 19, 2015.

Summary

It's Thanksgiving. Sheldon and Amy go on a lunch date to the aquarium as friends. Howard, Bernadette, Raj and Emily help out at a soup kitchen. Leonard and Penny make their first Thanksgiving dinner as a married couple.

Extended Plot

Raj has a new app that allows him to use his Siri without pushing any buttons. Howard then asks for pictures of naked grandma butts; however, she only recognizes his voice. Howard imitates Raj with the same request and Raj denies that he sounds like that. Siri then complies with Howard's request. While discussing Thanksgiving, Sheldon asks if anyone wants to go with him to the aquarium and have a Thanksgiving buffet since he is no longer with Amy. Silence. Leonard and Penny are having their first turkey day feast together and serving the rest of the gang. Bernie and Raj are going to serve food to the homeless at the soup kitchen. Howard lies that he is going too and then gets roped into going. 

Sheldon contacts Amy to offer her the tickets for her and anyone she is dating while giving her some fishy Thanksgiving facts. Amy can tell that he wants to go, so if it's not too awkward for him, they could go together as friends. She does think that having Thanksgiving dinner at an aquarium is awkward. He agrees and tells her that he'll see her Thanksgiving morning. Amy then gives Sheldon his last fishy Thanksgiving fact which disappoints him.

Aq51

Helping out at the soup kitchen.

Bernadette, Howard, Emily and Raj show up at the soup kitchen. Howard complains about their shift being six hours long. He doesn't think that he can complain for that amount of time. Raj wants to know if he ever does anything for others. He is a giving and generous lover. Emily asks Bernadette if they are close enough for her to call that creepy. Bernadette says that they are, but the word if "Yech!" The shift supervisor comes to the door and explains that they have enough help and to come back some other time. Bernadette swipes at Howard to get that smug look off his face. The supervisor returns saying that due to a cancelation, they could use the help. As the guys enter, Howard tells Bernadette to get that smug look off her face. She quips that she can't.

Leonard and Penny are unloading the groceries for their first Thanksgiving together. Penny needs to look up the recipes on Leonard's IPad. The password is his birthday, but it doesn't work. Leonard tried it, get in and realizes that Penny doesn't know his birthday. Leonard is enjoying himself as he runs off all these random facts about Penny. Birthday: December 2. Grew up on Perkins Street. Last four digits of her Social Security Number are 7-6-2-1. The odds of letting her forget this is zero. Now Penny claims that it's their last Thanksgiving as husband and wife.

Sheldon gets into Amy's car and they are both in good moods. Sheldon has a list of polite conversation topics so that their time together will not be awkward. questions to catch up with her. Any pets? No. Any vacations? Amy did go to visit her aunt in Bakersfield.
Aq31

Have you slept with any of your dates?

At the soup kitchen, the guys are assigned to wash dishes. Howard wanted to be where the action is and serve food. He wanted a poor little kid with a British accent to come up to him as ask: "Please sir, I want some more". Raj exclaims that this is a soup kitchen and not a production of "Oliver!"

Sheldon rattles off the high temperature for the day for the last week. Amy is tired of discussing the weather and insists that they have known each other long to conduct a conversation without an Internet list. Sheldon wonders what they should discuss. Amy replies to discuss anything that comes to mind. Sheldon wonders if she has had coitus with any of the men she has gone out with. Amy then remarks that she walked right into that.

While making dinner Leonard adds a teaspoon of pepper which is the name of Penny's childhood dog. A peeved Penny tells him that he thinks he knows so much about her. Who is her favorite Spice girl? Baby. Who is her favorite NSYNC band member? Justin? Backstreet Boys? Nice try. She preferred NSYNC. Leonard then claims to be the king of husbands.
Aq55

Leonard knows more about Penny than vice versa.

adds that she didn't like the orange lingerie he got her for Valentine's Day. Also she doesn't like the word "moist" because.. Hold on. That was only written in her journal which Leonard obviously read. Leonard tries to deny even knowing she had a journal. Penny knows he is lying because his voice goes up an octave.

Howard is washing dishes and claims that it's not so bad until he is told he has five hours and forty minutes to go. Raj tells him to treat it like meditation as they both try to experience their job. Feel the warm water. Smell the detergent. All four of them try mediation until the supervisor asks for three volunteers to serve food. Everybody leaves Howard to go serve food leaving Howard with the dishes to do.

Leonard is apologizing to Penny for reading her journal because it was an accident. He just found it on the night table. Penny is upset that he kept reading though he is a big bookworm according to Leonard. Penny goes back to working on he meal, while Leonard still wants to make it up to her. He starts reading from his journal from the day they met. She wants to hear something recent. Leonard about how their love is growing and Penny knows that he is making it up. It's really about his excitement over the new Star Wars movie.

Sheldon thinks that things have gotten awkward, but Amy dismisses it saying that they are friends and should be able to discuss anything. How many dates has she been on? Who were they with? Where did they go? Where did she meet them? Did she sleep with them? How far is it to the aquarium? She has had six different dates with three different men and either went for coffee or to dinner. One she met at a bookstore and two she met online. She slept with none of them. And the aquarium is forty minutes away. Since he is hungry she packed some Cheerios for him. She asks him if he is okay which he is. She just wants him to be happy. Though he would have been happier if she added some Apple Jacks.

As Howard is washing dishes, Elon Musk brings in a tray of dirty dishes which surprises Howard. He was serving turkey, but served too much gravy and got demoted to dishes. Howard tells him that he is a big fan of the Tesla car and his SpaceX rocket project. Elon is just glad to help out the homeless that Howard agrees with saying that he had to drag Bernadette there. Howard wants to be adopted, tells him about being as astronaut and that he'd love to go to Mars, another of Elon's ventures. Elon plans on exchanging emails so they can stay in touch since he is always needs engineers. Also they share a half-eaten piece of pumpkin pie.
Aq32

Sharing a piece of pie with Eton.

At the aquarium Sheldon is unhappy with the buffet because they ran out of pilgrim hats. Sheldon has them play an ocean-theme game; Food, Friend, Fight. They both play a round. Amy says that she misses this. Sheldon thinks that she means the game. She never played the game before so how could she miss it, silly. Amy then says that sometimes she is just silly.

Penny pulls the turkey out of the oven and asks Leonard if he thinks it is done. Leonard comes out wearing Penny's carrot colored lingerie because he had read his wife's journal. He plans to put his picture on Facebook as punishment; however, Penny doesn't even want to see him in it. Leonard starts to dance around Penny and then gets caught by Howard, Bernadette, Raj and Emily.

Cleaning up after dinner, Penny is glad that Sheldon had a good time with Amy. Sheldon is glad that they can function together as friends. Amy calls Sheldon on the phone on the way back from her mother's. She had a really nice time with him earlier. She says that maybe she is ready to be his girlfriend again. Sheldon thought that she just wanted them to be friends. He adds: "I excel at many things, but getting over you is not one of them. I think I need to just be your friend". Fighting back tears, Amy agrees.
Aq38

Heart broken Amy.

Credits

Notes

  • Title Reference: The title refers to Sheldon and Amy reestablishing their platonic relationship.
  • Taping date: October 27, 2015
  • This episode was watched by 15.19 million people with a rating of 3.8 (adults 18-49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 21.23 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #1 for the week ending November 22, 2015.
  • This episode aired in Canada on November 19, 2015.
  • In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on Thursday, December 17, 2015.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1]
  • Episode transcript [2]

Critics

  • Jesse Schedeen at IGN - In general, this wasn't a particularly memorable Big Bang Theory episode. The humor was spread thin, and neither the soup kitchen subplot nor Leonard and Penny's latest fight went anywhere interesting. But if nothing else, this episode offered a solid look at Sheldon and Amy's awkward attempt to rebuild their friendship. Their breakup and the resulting fallout has been one of the strong points of this season so far.
  • IMDB user reviews [3]

Trivia:

  • Laura Spencer will reprise her role as Emily Sweeney.
  • Amy doesn't share any scenes with the rest of the gang (Raj, Penny, Leonard, Emily, Howard and Bernadette) in this episode.
  • Sheldon and Amy become friends again; Amy wants to be his girlfriend, but Sheldon declines, saying he found it too hard getting over her.
  • Sheldon asks Amy twice during their journey to the aquarium if she has slept with anyone else - it's clear he wants to be the only man who gets to be intimate with her, even though he's not ready to get back together right now.
  • At the soup kitchen, Howard meets his hero, Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk.
  • Penny can't remember Leonard's birthday. Yet, she threw a party for him on his birthday in "The Peanut Reaction" (S1E16) eight years ago. An explanation for this may be that, over time, Penny forgot what Leonard's birthday is. Eight years is a long time. And for two of those years they were not a couple.
  • Amy is not seen with the six gang members (the 'Howardette' couple, Raj, the 'Lenny' couple and Sheldon) at dinner in the opening apartment 4A scene of this episode. She might be busy with something that time.
  • In "The Ornithophobia Diffusion" (S5E9), Penny and Leonard were also ex-es that went out together as friends.
  • This is the third episode in the entire series that does not end with a punch line or any audience laughter; the other two being "The Comic Book Store Regeneration" (S8E15) and "The Commitment Determination" (S8E24).
    • Sheldon's comment on eating SpongeBob may be considered comedic, but it was not played for laughs.
  • Bernadette has no speaking roles with Sheldon, Penny, Leonard and Amy in this episode (apart from saying "Happy Thanksgiving" to Leonard and Penny when she enters the apartment with Raj, Emily and Howard behind her after their return from the soup kitchen).
  • Penny's birthday is revealed to be December 2nd. Lots of Penny trivia was revealed, including:

Quotes

Sheldon: "I excel at many things, but getting over you isn't one of them. I think I need to just be your friend".
Amy: (Fighting back tears) "Oh, Ok. I understand".

(The opening apartment 4A scene with the five folks [Raj, Bernadette, Howard, Penny and Leonard] having dinner)
Raj: Have you guys seen this feature that lets you talk to Siri without pressing any buttons?
Howard: No. How does it work?
Raj: You just say, uh, “Hey, Siri, what time is it?”
Siri: The time is 6:37 p.m. Yeah. So now anyone can control your phone? Hey, Siri, show me pictures of naked grandma butts.
Raj: Nice try. It only recognizes my voice.
Howard: Oh. Cool. (he imitates Koothrappali) Hey, Siri, show me pictures of naked grandma butts. I don't sound like that.
Siri: Here are some images of naked grandma butts.
Sheldon: Hey. Good news, everybody. Now that I'm no longer with Amy, I have an extra ticket to the annual Thanksgiving lunch buffet at the aquarium cafeteria. Who wants it?
(Raj, Howard, Bernadette, Leonard and Penny don't respond to him)
Sheldon: Well, you realize you won't be going alone-- I'll be there the whole time
(Scene of Leonard and Penny carrying on with their dinner without saying anything)
Sheldon: Providing fish and pilgrim facts.
(Scene of Raj, Howard and Bernadette saying nothing at all)
Sheldon: Can you people hear me?
Leonard: Well, we're having everyone over.
Penny: Yeah, Leonard and I are gonna be cooking all day.
Leonard: Otherwise we'd love to.
Penny: But we can't.
Leonard: Yeah, poor us.
Penny: Mm-hmm.
(Both Leonard and Penny each other five on their hands)
Bernadette: And Raj and I are volunteering at the soup kitchen, feeding food to the homeless.
(Sheldon now sits down in his spot on the couch next to Bernadette)
Sheldon: Well, Howard, what about you?
Howard: Oh... I can't. I'm going to the soup kitchen, too.
Bernadette: (she snaps at Howard crossly) You said that sounded like the worst thing ever.
Howard: If you can't support me when I'm lying, why are we married?

(The scene of Penny at the oven in Apartment 4A)
Penny: Hey. Where'd you go? I can't tell if the turkey's done!
Leonard: Be right there!
(Leonard enters the room in Penny's orange lingerie)
Leonard: Hi, lover.
(Penny gasps and Leonard puts on a silent shifty giggle)
Penny: (she is rather surprised) What are you doing?
Leonard: I'm sorry about the journal. I want to make it up to you. So I'm gonna let you post a shame photo of me on Facebook.
(He shows Penny a card saying 'I READ MY WIFE'S JOURNAL. I'M A NAUGHTY CARROT.)
Penny: (with a rage of embarrassment) I am not putting that on the Internet! I don't want people to see this. I don't want to see it!
Leonard: Don't want people to see what, huh? A little bit of this?
(He inmates a groove dance with himself and Penny sighs 'Oh' by this)
Leonard: Huh? Some of this?
(He puts his arms high into the air and grooves his hips)
Leonard: And, since it's Thanksgiving, an extra helping of this?
(He rubs Penny's figure with his posterior. Pan to Bernadette, Raj, Emily and Howard entering the room through the front door of the apartment)
Bernadette: Happy Thanksgiving.
(they all stop to look surprised whilst Leonard stares at them for a bit and he now exits)

Amy: Sheldon, I can tell that you want to go, so if you’ll be comfortable with it, maybe we could go as friends.
Sheldon: You don’t think that would be awkward?
Amy: Well, it is Thanksgiving in an aquarium cafeteria, so I’m going out on a limb here and say yes. But if you mean in-between us, I’ll think we’ll be fine.
Sheldon: Very well then, I’ll see you on Thanksgiving morning.
Amy: See you then.
Sheldon: Oh, and forget what I said about the Myanmar catfish. My list of marine themed pilgrim facts is pretty short.
Amy: Do you know the served shellfish and eel at the very first Thanksgiving?
Sheldon: And there goes my list.

Emily: So, how does this work?
Bernadette: The soup kitchen manager assigns the jobs, and the shifts are six hours.
Howard: Six hours? Oh, God, I don't want to complain for that long.
Raj: Do you ever do anything for anyone else?
Howard: I happen to be a giving and generous lover.
Emily: Are you and I close enough to say that’s creepy?
Bernadette: We are and I believe the word you’re looking for is “Yeech!”
(the door opens)
Travis: Uh, can I help you?
Bernadette: Hi. We'd like to volunteer.
Travis: Oh, I appreciate you guys coming down, but we already have enough people. Any other day, please, come back.
Bernadette: (she is now completely sad) Oh. Okay.
(Howard puts on a smug smile for three seconds
Bernadette: (smiling crossly to Howard) Wipe that smug smile off your face.
Howard: Maybe I'm happy that so many people turned up to help the less fortunate. (chuckles)
Emily: Are you and I close enough for me to say...
Bernadette: That he's an ass? He beat you to it.
Travis: I was wrong. A large group had to cancel.
Bernadette: Oh, great. We'd love to help.
Howard: Wipe that smug smile off your face.
Bernadette': (laughing) I can't!

Amy: Sheldon, we’ve known each other a long time We are perfectly capable of having a conversation without relying on a list that’s off the Internet
Sheldon: All right. Well, what should we talk about?
Amy: I don’t know. Just ask me whatever comes to mind.
Sheldon: All right. I know you’ve been seeing other men. Have you had coitus with any of them?
Amy: Man, I walked right into that one.


Amy: So you have questions about me seeing other people.
Sheldon: Just a few.
Amy: Go ahead.
Sheldon: How many dates have you been on? Who were you with? Where’d you go? Where did you meet them? Did you sleep with any of them? And how much longer to the aquarium? I’m getting kind of hungry.
Amy: Let’s see. I have had six dates with three different people. It was either for dinner or coffee. One I met at a bookstore and two I met online. I haven’t slept with anyone. The aquarium is forty minutes away. And there’s a baggie of Cheerios for you in the glove compartment.

Travis: We're gonna have you washing dishes. Uh, aprons and rubber gloves are here-- just... scrape, wash and stack. If you need me, I'll be around.
Howard: So we don't even get to be up front where the action is?
Bernadette: (quite worried) What difference does it make?
Howard: I don't know. I was hoping some poor kid would come up to me and say, (high-pitched British accent) Please, sir, I want some more.
(Bernadette grins crossly at Howard as she, Raj and Emily sort their aprons out)
Raj: You're in a soup kitchen, not a production of Oliver!
Howard: It's not like I'm expecting them to sing.

Raj: You know, this reminds me of high school.
Emily: You worked in a restaurant?
Raj: No, I was in India-- it was humid and smelled funny.
Howard: All right, I think I'm getting into a groove here. This isn't so bad.
Emily: Only five hours and 40 minutes to go.
Howard: We've only been doing this 20 minutes?!
Raj: You know, I read that washing dishes can be an excellent form of meditation. The key is that while washing the dishes one should only be... washing the dishes.
Howard: Just because you have that accent doesn't mean what you say isn't stupid.
Raj: No, seriously. It's about being present in the moment, focusing on the feeling of the warm water, the smell of the detergent, the sound of the dishes squeaking, and following your own breath.
Howard: Ah. (chuckles) Okay..I'll try it.
(Bernadette, Howard and Raj all inhale deeply at the same time)
Travis: I need three people out front.
Emily, Raj, Bernadette: I'll do it! Me! Right here!
Howard: (with complete rage) No fair! I was meditating!

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