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The Space Probe Disintegration

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"The Space Probe Disintegration" is the twelfth episode of the eighth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Thursday, January 8, 2015.

Summary

The girls take Leonard and Sheldon shopping which gives them both a sudden wake up call, while Raj worries about the Pluto space probe he worked on operating when NASA tries to wake it up.

Extended Plot

With Leonard and Sheldon are getting ready to play a board game and Sheldon asks him what color he wants his playing piece to be. Leonard wants green; however, that is Sheldon's color. Sheldon is willing to compromise to blue and yellow which is also green. Amy and Penny show up ready to leave for a Sunday outing. The guys "good" news is that they have already ordered lunch and they four of them can play the Lord of the Rings version of Risk for the next eight hours. The girls want them to agree to do something they want to do since they usually do what the guys want to do like video game nights, game night and watching movies with director commentaries. Amy is mad that George Lucas can talk all the way through the movie and if she utters one word, she is banished to the kitchen. Even Sheldon agrees to let the girls decide. Penny suggests horseback riding (Kaley's hobby), but Amy has a narrow pelvis. Amy wants to do basket weaving at a Wilshire Boulevard craft store, though Penny doesn't. Penny then insists that they find something that the guys will hate to do since she went with Leonard to the Dr. Who convention (although Leonard didn't actually make her go, she went to stop people from beating him up for wearing a fez and bow tie in public). Sheldon starts to make suggestions because he is a problem solver; he suggests ice skating to trigger Leonard's asthma and bring out his fear of zambonis. Ice skating is also out since Amy has brittle ankles. Penny wonders if Amy had any part of her body that is normal. Amy gives Penny a smile that creeps her out.  

At Howard and Bernadette's Apartment, Raj is worried about the New Horizons spacecraft which he worked on. It is scheduled to be turned back on as it approaches Pluto and he is worried that it will not operate. The spacecraft could have been hit by space ice, which could have destroyed it. He can't even bear to watch the movie "Frozen" anymore. 

Probe8

Playing an invisible game of Risk: LOTR's edition.

Back in apartment 4A, the two couples are still wondering what to do. First they talk about seeing the Philharmonic which has a Beethoven concert. Sheldon reminds Penny that it is the composer and not the movie about the Saint Bernard. Penny wonders why she and Amy can't agree on something. Amy always goes along with Penny which Leonard finds interesting since they want the guys to follow her ideas. Sheldon then suggests that they go back to the basics and go clothes shopping while the guys sit in uncomfortable chairs holding their purses. Both of them would hate that. Finally they decide on shopping, Penny's favorite past-time. This activity is at Sheldon's suggestion for something that he and Leonard will hate. Sheldon says that it's settled though Penny feels he takes all the fun out of it. 

Raj is getting more nervous as it is still over two hours to go. Howard doesn't help as he starts another "I've been in space" story. Raj then decides that if he makes a basket shots into the waste can he can assume that the space probe will operate. Howard thinks that that is definitely less crazy. After he makes his shot, Howard tells him to settle down; however he HAS to try the best two out of three shots.

Sheldon and Leonard are sitting outside the dressing rooms. Sheldon is uncomfortable staring at all the panties in the lingerie section. He wanted to know why girls make such a production about buying clothes. Penny reminds him that his mother has his pants sent from the Wal-Mart in Houston. It seemed that the salesman at Wal-Mart knows Sheldon's personal style. There is also no cell phone service in the store. Sheldon thinks that there must be things to do before smart phones were invented so he tries to look them up on his smart phone. Son of a biscuit. Now he wants to complain to their corporate office that they have no Wi-Fi, but he can't call him either. Son of a biscuit! Leonard and Sheldon start to play an invisible version of Risk: The Lord of the Rings Edition with Leonard rolling the invisible dice and winning. After mentioning that they should stay and wait for the girls and make compromises for them, Sheldon surprises Leonard when he says that he makes compromises for him all the time. He didn't mention the lettuce that was stuck in his tooth at lunch even though others were laughing at him. Leonard explains that that is not a compromise like he drives Sheldon everywhere because he won't learn how to driveAmy has taught Sheldon to drive, but he finds it scary and doesn't want to take away what he thinks is Leonard's purpose in life.

Howard and Raj go out for a drive to calm Raj down. He wants to go to temple and though Howard thinks he means a Hebrew temple, Raj is heading for a Hindu temple. Howard is worried that they might rip his heart out like in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom". Even though the imperialistic movie makes the Hindu religion seems like barbarians, Raj still loves that film. Howard is also surprised that he is going since in ten years he never talked about his religious beliefs. Raj admits that religion is a sensitive subject for him, and that he does go to temple whenever necessary. Even though he's a scientist, Raj still has reasons for having a religion, just like Blaise Pascal, Michael Faraday, and Albert Einstein did (but Howard only thinks that Einstein believed in god after having coitus with Marilyn Monroe).
Probe7

Raj is worried about the space probe he worked on.

Penny and Amy are trying on clothes. Penny has on something that would go well in the "hookers and whores" division at work. She asks Amy why she does everything Penny wants. Amy replied that if she got friends, she would do exactly as they asked. She is glad that she met Penny before a cult got to her. Penny says that was then and now she is a woman who is smart, has great friends, a boyfriend, but zero fashion sense as Amy exits the changing stall. Penny agrees to do what Amy wants to do and that's basket weaving at the Crafts Festival Museum.

Leonard and Sheldon are still talking compromises. Sheldon put the apple pancake mix out of alphabetical order on a lower shelf so Leonard could reach it and make Sheldon his breakfast. Leonard compromises because he can't adjust the temperature in his own home, he can't whistle, he can't wear squeaky shoes, and he hasn't moved in with Penny because the last time he mentioned it, Sheldon ran away. Sheldon asked that given his past history, why is he bringing it up. Leonard explains that Sheldon has no idea how much he inconveniences that lives of everybody around him due to his behavior, which is exhausting. Sheldon feels that Leonard is mean to him due to his sarcastic comments and eye-rolls. He replies that all he can't think of a life without his best friend in it. Then Sheldon tells him that if he wants to move out and live with Penny, he should. Leonard doesn't want him to get upset; however, both start to cry over losing their roommate and best friend. They agree that he should do it in stages and the two nights a week at Penny's apartment gets reduced to once a week and Leonard can whistle in the apartment when Sheldon is not there.

Howard and Raj arrive at a Hindu temple and Raj starts to describe the architecture. Howard is worried that he is dressed right. Raj always feels that when entering the temple, everything is going to be all right since were all part of the same cosmos and were all interconnected. His philosophizing stops someone hits his car with their car door. He starts yelling at an older Indian man. In the middle of this out-burst, Howard gets a message and tells Raj that the probe is working fine. Raj calms down. He becomes a suddenly benevolent and respectful Hindu and gives Grandpa a folded hands Namaste! bow.

The other guys are making baskets at the Crafts Festival Museum and Leonard doesn't find it boring. Penny tells Leonard not to let Amy know or they'll be there every Sunday. Sheldon is not making a basket; he's making a 16th century Chinese warrior hat. Leonard briefly rolls his eyes at Sheldon, which he sees due to his "excellent peripheral vision".

Finally, Leonard and Penny are celebrating their new life living together in Penny's apartment. The both are real proud of Sheldon who is sleeping on the couch and calls out for them to keep the noise down.

Credits

Notes

  • Title Reference: Refers to Raj's mental state over the success of a space probe mission he worked on.
  • Taping date: December 9, 2014
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card. [2]
  • This episode was watched by 18.11 million people with a rating of 4.6 (adults 18-49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 22.95 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #x for the week ending xx January 2015.
  • This episode aired in Canada on January 8, 2015 with 4.28 million viewers with a weekly ranking of #7.
  • In Australia, it aired on March 10, 2015 with 0.89 million viewers.
  • Episode transcript [1]

Critics

  • Jesse Schedeen at IGN - The early portions of the episode were fairly dry and...transitioned into more serious territory..(which) led to some actual progress... Elsewhere, Raj and Howard featured in a smaller subplot... (which) could just as easily have been inserted into (any episode, but) it worked simply as a more lighthearted counterpoint to the relationship drama unfolding across town. [2]
  • IMDb user reviews [3]
  • Dhruv Rao of The DR Club gave the episode a B+ []

Trivia

  • First new episode broadcast in 2015.
  • Bernadette only appears in two scenes at hers and Howard's apartment with Raj and Howard in this episode and she shares no scenes with Sheldon, Amy, Leonard and Penny in the rest of this episode. here are four facts about this:
    • Bernadette doesn't come shopping with Leonard, Penny, Sheldon and Amy during the rest of this episode.
    • Bernadette doesn't come to the dress fitting room conference with Amy and Penny (with trying dresses on and chatting to each other through walls etc.) in the department store scene of this episode.
    • Bernadette doesn't come to the Crafts Festival Museum to make baskets with Leonard, Penny, Amy and Sheldon in the Crafts Festival Museum scene of this episode.
    • She (Bernadette) could be busy doing lots of different stuff at hers and Howard's apartment that day
  • This episode reveals that Sheldon can indeed drive and was taught by Amy. Even though he can drive, he chooses not to because he says it is scary and he sometimes gets the pedals mixed up.
  • Sheldon claims that Leonard driving him to work is what gives his life purpose, which is never true, and it once again highlights the fact that Sheldon always takes advantage of Leonard, much to his chagrin.
  • Sheldon's rule that Leonard can't whistle was first mentioned in "The Friendship Algorithm" (S2E13); however, Sheldon does eventually allow Leonard to whistle while he is out of the apartment, whereas in "The Friendship Algorithm", Leonard actually whistles with Howard and Raj in apartment 4A when Sheldon is away.
    • Leonard is also heard whistling while exiting the Apartment in "The Egg Salad Equivalency" due to being in a good mood, despite the fact that Sheldon was also home at the time.
  • Leonard and Sheldon like to play Risk: The Lord of the Rings Edition.
  • Penny and Leonard may be celebrating their new life together, but since they were probably occasionally sleeping together in Penny's bed, one night a week is not real change; however, since Leonard will be moving out in stages, the change will eventually become bigger.
  • Bernadette does not come on the trip to Hindu Temple with Raj and Howard. She could be at busy home (hers and Howard's apartment) doing a number of different stuff that day.
  • "New Horizons" a NASA space probe launched to study the planet Pluto, it's moons and bodies in the Kuiper belt. The mission profile was proposed by a team led by principal investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute. After several delays on the launch site, "New Horizons" was launched on 19 January 2006 from Cape Canaveral, directly into an Earth-and-solar-escape trajectory with an Earth-relative speed of about 36,373 mph. It set the record for the highest launch speed of a human-made object from Earth. "New Horizons" should perform a flyby of the Pluto system on 14 July 2015, long after Raj received his confirmation that his experiment was working in this episode.
  • Sheldon is aware of how difficult he can be even though usually he appears to be oblivious to it.
  • Sheldon does not let Leonard wear squeaky shoes because according to Sheldon: "[He is] a scientist, not a circus clown".
  • Second episode to display Sheldon's talent for making exotic clothing. First was "The Luminous Fish Effect" (S1E04).
  • Second episode where Raj rants about his recent problems. First was "The Weekend Vortex" (S5E19).
  • Sheldon again mentions his fear of Zambonis
  • This is the first time Sheldon is sleeping on Penny's couch instead of in her bed. As we know he's always insisted in sleeping in a bed from "The Vegas Renormalization" (S2E21) and "The Hofstadter Insufficiency" (S7E01). Previously Sheldon also found the couch too short for his "Cornish" head.  
  • Second time Howard references Apu from The Simpsons, the first being "The Griffin Equivalency" (S2E4).
  • On July 14, 2015, the New Horizons space probe did pass Pluto taking pictures and other data.
  • Amy mentions having brittle ankles, but it's later revealed that Amy once went ice skating while Sheldon looked up the symptoms of hypothermia.

Quotes

Raj: Oh, another two hours to go. The wait is killing me.
Howard: I know. I get it. When I was in the Soyuz capsule returning from the space station, plummeting toward Earth at 17,000 miles per hour…
Raj: Before you finish, is this a story about patience and waiting or just another reminder that you went to space?
Howard: A story can do two things.
Raj: Ugh, I feel like I’m gonna have a heart attack.
Howard: You work in pharmaceuticals, don’t you have anything you can give him?
Bernadette: All I have is our new urine flow drug. Won’t help with his anxiety, but it’s so strong, when he pees he’ll fly around the room like he’s got a jet pack.
Raj: I can’t stop thinking about it.
Bernadette: You know, worrying won’t have any effect on what happens.
Raj: I know.
Howard: Maybe you need to do something more productive.
Raj: Okay. If I make this shot in the trash can, the probe will have arrived in perfect working order.
Howard: So, in addition to being crazy, you’re resting the fate of the mission on your athletic prowess.
Raj: Yes.
Howard: The man who crashed his stationary bike.
Raj: I didn’t crash it, okay? My playlist was too up-tempo, I got light-headed and I fell off. Okay. It all comes down to this.
Howard: You happy? Now you can relax.
Raj: What kind of scientist are you? Everyone knows you got to make two out of three.

Sheldon: (repeated): Son of a biscuit.

Sheldon: (repeated): It's what I do.

Penny: Sweetie, you really thought I’d want to do this?
Leonard: No.
Penny: Did you tell him that?
Leonard: Yes.
Penny: Did you say it out loud with words?
Leonard: No.

Penny: ..and we watch movies with director commentaries.
Amy: Oh my favorite. George Lucas can talk all the way through Stars Wars. I say one word and I’m banished to the kitchen.

Raj: I meant a Hindu temple.
Howard: Oh. Okay. It’s not like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? Right? Some bald guy with horns is not going to rip my heat out?
Raj: Dude, that movie is an imperialist’s fantasy that makes the followers of a beautiful and peaceful religion look like a bunch of blood-thirsty barbarians.
Howard: You love that movie.
Raj: Yeah, it’s pretty great.

Raj: Whether you call it God or the universe or the self, we’re all interconnected, and that’s just a beautiful… (elderly Indian man opens his car door, dents it on Raj's car door; Raj is now angry) Son of a bitch, that guy just dinged my car! Se-seriously?! Y-you were just gonna drive away?! Like my life isn’t hard enough right now! A space probe might be destroyed, my parents are going through an awful divorce, the guy who cuts my dog’s hair just gave her bangs!
Howard: Raj...
Raj: (still angry) Well, you saw her! She looks like Jim Carey from "Dumb and Dumber!"
Howard: Raj, you just got a text. The probe turned on. It's fine.

Amy: How’s it going in there?
Penny: Eh. Not really a great outfit for work unless something opens up in the ”hookers and whores” division. Hey, can I ask you something?
Amy: Sure.
Penny: Do I really force you to do things you really don’t want to?
Amy: Yeah, but it's okay.
Penny: How is it okay?
Amy: I promised myself if I ever got friends I’d do whatever they said. Really I’m lucky you found me before a cult did.
Penny: Well, you know that was a long time ago. You’re a different woman now. You’re smart, you've got great friends, you've got a boyfriend, you’re pretty, you have zero fashion sense, but… Anyway, tonight we’re going to do whatever you want.
Amy: Really?
Penny: Absolutely. You name it, we’re doing it.
Amy: Basket weaving at the Craft Museum.
Penny: Well, you named it.

Leonard: Sheldon, do you realize I don’t live with the woman I love because of you? No other reason. Just you.
Sheldon: Is that true?
Leonard: Yes, it’s true. The last time I brought it up, you had an emotional breakdown and got on a train and ran away.
Sheldon: Well, given my history on the subject, it seems a little reckless to bring it up now.
Leonard: (angry) You have no idea how much you inconvenience the lives of everyone around you! It's exhausting!

Sheldon: And if you want to live with Penny, I think you should.
Leonard: (curious) You mean that?
Sheldon: Yes. Just put on your squeaky shoes and ee-ee-ee your way out of my life.
Leonard: I'm not leaving your world. I'm just talking about living across the hall.

Leonard: We were just talking about living arrangements.
Amy: Are you crazy? You know he’s a flight risk.
Sheldon: That’s exactly what I told him.
Penny: Sheldon we know this is a sensitive subject and Leonard’s not gonna move out till you’re ready.
Sheldon: Well, what if you did it gradually?
Leonard: All right well, how about we start with two nights a week I live with Penny?
Sheldon: How about one night a week and I let you whistle?
Leonard: Okay.
Sheldon: You got it.

Leonard: Well, Roomie. It’s only one night a week, but it’s a start.
Penny: I know. I’m really proud of Sheldon.
Leonard: Yeah, I’m proud of him, too.
Sheldon: Can you keep it down? Some of us are trying to sleep out here.

Raj: Oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God.
Howard: Will you please relax?
Raj: I can’t take it, dude.
Bernadette: You okay?
Raj: No, I’m not okay. I feel like I’m gonna jump out of my skin.
Bernadette: I told you not to wax down there. It’s itchy when it grows back.
Raj: I’m worried about the New Horizons space probe.
Bernadette: What’s he talking about?
Howard: Nine years ago he was part of a team that launched a spacecraft to collect data about Pluto, and it’s finally close enough, so this morning it turned itself on.
Raj: We hope. The signal has to travel over three billion miles. So it’s gonna be hours before we know if it even survived.
Howard: Now we get to see him flip out because he’s worried it was demolished by space ice.
Raj: Space ice is no joke. I can’t even watch Frozen anymore.

Gallery

References

  • [4] Taping Report by Trinabeana78

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