|The Proton Resurgence|
Season 6, Episode 22
May 2, 2013
"The Closure Alternative"
"The Love Spell Potential"
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Extended PlotEditLeonard is teaching Penny how to launch a toy foam rocket using his computer. Her first shot hits Sheldon in the head, who tells her that she is lucky that he is out of silly string. Sheldon discovers that Professor Proton, the Mr. Wizard of his youth, is alive. Penny then hits Leonard in the head. Leonard tells Penny that he was pretty cool. Penny quips that it's cute when he uses the word "cool" wrong. He is now available to perform at children's birthday parties. Sheldon wants to hire him so he can do experiments for them, hang out with them, and maybe even take twelve photos with them to make their own calendar. Leonard thinks that it would be awesome to hang out with him and then remarks to Penny that he must have misused the word "awesome". Sheldon emails him as Leonard and Sheldon sing his theme song: "Grab your goggles, put your lab coat on. Here he comes, Professor Proton."
At the Caltech cafeteria, Raj asks Howard to watch his dog over the weekend while he spends time in the telescope lab. Howard asks him why he doesn't just put her in a kennel. Raj snaps asking why he doesn't put his mother in a home. Howard feels that she would probably be better off in the kennel. Howard says that he'll talk to his wife about sitting Raj's dog. Sheldon comes running in to announce that Professor Proton will be coming to their place. Leonard is excited, while Howard calls it a "lame kid's" show which gets him uninvited. Howard wonders how Sheldon got him to come. Sheldon then quotes Professor Proton, "There is no problem you can't solve if you use your noggin." and later says that he wrote him a big check.
Raj shows up at Howard and Bernadette's apartment with his Yorkie, Cinnamon in a fancy stroller telling the dog that she is going to have a sleepover at Uncle Howard's place. Howard tells Raj that if he had a stroke, his dog would feed on him. Her diet consists of people food including veal chops and scampi, though Raj is watching her weight. He also has to close the toilet seat since she drinks out of it. Howard talks to Cinnamon telling her he knows what it's like to have psychotic mother.
That night Sheldon calls Leonard through the wall because he can't get to sleep due to Professor Proton's visit the next day. In less than nine hours Arthur Jefferies a.k.a. Professor Proton will be visiting. Leonard tells him that if he doesn't get enough sleep, he is going to be cranky though he concludes that a cranky Sheldon is a regular Sheldon. He tells Leonard that he is planning on wearing a tuxedo and asks Leonard if he has any cuff links which Leonard does not. Sheldon then starts practicing how he is going to greet him when Leonard gets up, goes into Sheldon's room and smacks him. Leonard gets back into bed looking proud of himself when Sheldon again calls through the wall telling him that he still can't sleep.
When Howard and Bernadette return from the park with Raj's dog, Bernadette tells him that it was great seeing him throw a ball to Cinnamon. Howard enjoyed it since no one was laughing at him while he threw the ball for a dog instead of to himself. Bernadette admits that there were a few minutes that she felt like they were a real family. She had never felt like a real mom until then and maybe some day she could be one which makes Howard very happy. Checking on the dog, they find the stroller empty. Each of them tell the other that it was their job to put her back in the stroller. Bernadette runs out telling Howard that he throws like a girl.Sheldon is staring out the peephole because Professor Proton is late. Penny tells him to relax since he was only a few minutes late. Sheldon counters that when he was on television he was never late unless tornadoes were tearing apart east Texas which meant that they would join his show "already in progress". Professor Proton calls Sheldon to say that he is stuck on the third floor building landing having to walk up three flights of stairs taking half an hour to do so. All three of them find Professor Proton sitting on his suitcase with Sheldon exclaiming, "It's really you!" Leonard apologizes that they should have told him about the broken elevator. Exhausted, the Professor agrees. Sheldon tells him that it is an honor to meet him. The Professor says to just call him Arthur. Sheldon is thrilled that it means that they are now friends. Arthur remarks that a friend would have told him abut the elevator. Sheldon then gets as close to him as he wants without his mother telling him that it is going to ruin his eyes. Arthur asks Leonard whether Sheldon is dangerous. Leonard replies that he is a genius, which doesn't answer the Professor's question. Leonard introduces himself and Penny whom the Professor obviously likes. Arthur apologizes that he hopes he hasn't kept the kids waiting too long, but he is confused when he learns that there is no children's birthday party. As they climb the final stairs, he sayss that since the blonde girl is really his girlfriend that Leonard is the true genius.
Professor Proton is having tea while Sheldon is staring at him. Penny asks him if he does a lot of this, while Arthur is still trying to figure out what "this" is. Leonard tells him that they just wanted to hang out with him and learn about his life. Arthur explains that after his show ended, birthday parties were the only work he could get. None of his fellow scientists would take him seriously. Working with kids, he gets bit a lot. He then asks if he has it straight, that they are two physicists who want him to do a children's science show for them. Sheldon agrees and adds that if he has time they'll take twelve pictures together in seasonal clothing for his calendar. Arthur tells them that he is a real scientist with a PhD from Cornell University. Sheldon then asks if he brought his puppet. The Professor says that he didn't and that he hated that puppet, though Sheldon got a "Gino the Neutrino" puppet off of eBay. Arthur turns to Penny and asks if he is awake and if all of this is happening.
Howard and Bernadette are driving around calling out for Cinnamon. Bernadette wonders if she is not coming because of Raj's accent, so they both start calling for Cinnamon in Raj's accent. Howard wants Bernadette to do her accent later because it is a turn on. Bernie wonders why and Howard goes back to yelling for her without the accent.Back in Apartment 4A, Arthur is doing an experiment where he puts on an egg on top of a flask with a candle burring in it and asks what is going to happen as the air pressure decreases. Penny thinks she knows, however, Sheldon interrupts her saying that the egg will be sucked in. Penny then admits that she doesn't know. The egg then falls into the flask. Penny tells him that she isn't a scientist like the others, which Arthur had already figured out. Sheldon then wants him to do the potato clock where he powers the clock using the potato as a battery. Penny is impressed and says that that could solve the world's energy crisis, which Arthur denies. The Professor then tells them to keep their money because he is done. Sheldon asks him that if Penny has upset him, he can tell her to go away. Arthur comments that she is the only reason he has stayed as long as he has which pleases Penny. Arthur tells them that he is tired of being Professor Proton whom Sheldon tells him is "the best".
Arthur tells them that he is an 83 year old man with potatoes in his suitcase, other scientists think he is a joke, and his puppeteer slept with his wife. Sheldon goes off to get something while Penny asks how the potato clock worked. (Is it a trick clock or a trick potato?) He then asks Leonard what the two of them talk about. Sheldon has an autographed picture of Professor Proton from when he was a kid and asks him if he remembers sending it to him. Arthur replies that he has a bracelet on his arm with his address on it. Sheldon explains that he didn't have any friends growing up and everyday at 4 PM Professor Proton would come to his house and they would do science experiments together. Otherwise Sheldon might have ended up as a hobo or a surgeon. Leonard adds that science in making advances everyday because Professor proton inspired millions of kids to become scientists and all these discoveries are in part his work too. Arthur tells them that it means a lot to him and they agree that he means a lot to them. Arthur then sits down thinking that he is having a problem with is pacemaker. Penny asks if they can plug it into the potato.
In the telescope lab, Raj gets a call from someone who found his dog. Raj thanks him and heads to to pick her up and telling him to not give her anything starchy.
Arthur is now strapped to a gurney under the care of two paramedics. His vitals are stable, however he is being taken to the hospital for some tests. Sheldon volunteers to ride with him to the hospital in the ambulance. Arthur asks if he has to be a relative, which is not true and that thrills Sheldon. Arthur says that he can't catch a break today. Penny tells him that they'll back up his stuff and meet him at the hospital. Leonard apologizes that everything turned out this way to which Arthur replies that he is just glad to be carried down the stairs. Sheldon tells Leonard and Penny that he got to meet his childhood hero and ride in an ambulance. If they get to make the calendar, then this will be the best day ever.
While Howard is printing out a lost dog poster, Bernadette thinks that since they lost the dog, she'd be a terrible mother. Howard got the picture of her by Googling "foo-foo little dog". Raj video calls Howard and Bernadette. Howard tells him that Bernadette just took her out for a walk. Raj says that that is interesting and asks if they walking down Liars Lane. A lane frequented by liars as he holds up Cinnamon. Bernadette asks if she is O.K. and Raj replies that she has been shaking for hours. Bernadette is angry that he has had her for hours while they both had massages to calm down. She asks him why he couldn't have picked up a phone and called since they were worrying themselves sick about her. Raj changes his tone and tells her that he is sorry. She continues that sorry is not good enough and that he should take some time and think about what he has done. She closes the laptop. Due to her guilt trip on Raj, Howard thinks that she'll will make a great mother. She smiles and they kiss.At the hospital, Sheldon sings Professor Proton "Soft Kitty". Arthur thanks him and tells him that the fourth time is the charm. Sheldon asks him if he can get him some apple juice or jello. He declines, but does ask him for a favor. Arthur tells Sheldon that he is not feeling up to doing his act scheduled for the next day, so he asks Sheldon to be Professor Proton. Sheldon considers that an honor like ascending Mt. Olympus to dine with the gods. Realizing that they will know he is not the real Professor Proton, Sheldon asks Arthur if it is all right with him if he goes by Professor Proton Jr. Arthur agrees. Sheldon then tells him that it's like being his son. "Whatever," Arthur replies. Sheldon hugs Professor Proton and calls him father. Arthur replies "Sure, what the hell."
- The DR Club gave this episode a B-.
- ...The performances were fine but the script was understandably basic. Newhart is 83 years old and I suspect that played into asking little of him but to react with surprise and confusion to Sheldon's eccentricities. The problem was though that that same sideways look was used about twenty times. It was the only joke and it was repeated again and again and again. It would have been better to use Newhart in a smaller role and not build the episode around him... - The TV Critic's Review
- Title Reference: The title refers to the return to Sheldon's life of his childhood hero Professor Proton who hosted a children's science show.
- Chuck Lorre's vanity card
- This episode was watched by 16.29 million people with a rating of 4.9 (adults 18-49).
- Total viewers including DVR users 21.31 million.
- This episode aired in Canada on May 2, 2013 with 3.119 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #1.
Sheldon: You may find this hard to believe, but I didn't have any friends growing up.
Arthur: No, I get that.
Sheldon: But, I did have you. And every day at 4 o’clock you’d come to my house on channel 68 and we’d do science together. If it hadn't been for you, who knows what would have become of me. You know, instead of a world class physicist I could have wound up as a hobo … or a surgeon.
Leonard: I bet there are important discoveries made every day because you inspired millions of kids to pursue science. In a way their discoveries are your discoveries.
Sheldon: It’s true. A generation of young scientists are standing on your shoulders.
Arthur: Well thanks, thanks, you guys. That means a lot.
Leonard: It’s important you know how much you mean to us.
Sheldon: Professor Proton it is an honor to meet you.
Arthur: Just call me Arthur.
Sheldon: Leonard. Did you hear that? Professor Proton said that I should call me Arthur. That means we’re friends.
Arthur: No. A friend would have told me about the elevator.
Sheldon: Look at me. I can get as close to you as I want without my Mom saying its going to ruin my eyes.
Arthur: Is he dangerous?
Leonard: Actually he’s a genius.
Sheldon: I am.
Arthur: That doesn't answer my question.
Arthur: Is the blonde girl really your girlfriend?
Leonard: Yes, sir.
Arthur: You’re the genius.
Arthur: Is the blonde girl really your girlfriend?
Sheldon: Soft Kitty, warm, little ball of fur. Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purrr.
Arthur: Thank you Sheldon. That was very nice.
Sheldon: Do you want me to sing it again?
Arthur: No! The fourth times was the charm.
Sheldon: I met my childhood hero, now I get to ride in an ambulance. If we get him to do that calendar, it will be the best day ever.
- Professor Proton was a childhood hero of both Sheldon and Leonard. Sheldon claims that he was his only friend when he was little. Howard was not impressed by him.
- Chuck Lorre has said he's been pursuing Bob Newhart to appear on one of his shows for a long time. He suggested The Big Bang Theory to Mr. Newhart, who accepted under two conditions: (1) his scenes had to be taped live and (2) he wanted it to be a semi-recurring role. Lorre was fine with both and later called him with the story of Professor Proton. It's a recurring part, therefore he may do two more episodes in the 2013-2014 season.
- Soft Kitty is sung in this episode when Sheldon sings it in the hospital to Professor Proton.
- Amy is neither seen nor mentioned in this episode.
- Bernadette starts feeling good about possibility being a mother after telling Howard that she doesn't want any children.
- The name of Raj's Yorkshire Terrier, Cinnamon, is revealed in this episode.
- Professor Proton is very impressed by Leonard's girlfriend Penny.
- The Astronomy Remote Observing Room or "telescope lab" makes its second appearance, following its premiere in "The Boyfriend Complexity".
- This is one of the few episodes where somebody sits in Sheldon's spot and he doesn't notice or complain about it. Also he doesn't mind being in a hospital, as he is normally afraid of catching germs.
- Bob Newhart is known for remaining sane among a cast of crazies like on his previous shows.
- Bob Newhart was 83 when he did this episode.
- After 51 years, 7 nominations and all of his own successful sitcoms, Bob won his first and only Emmy award for this episode, taking home the 2013 award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, an award that much of the world felt was long overdue.
-  by MJistheBOMB