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The Spock Resonance

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"The Spock Resonance" is the seventh episode of the ninth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Thursday, November 5, 2015.

Summary

Wil Wheaton interviews Sheldon for a Star Trek documentary where he reveals the ring and his plan to propose to Amy. Bernadette wants to start renovating the house and the topic of finally starting a family with Howard is brought up.

Extended Plot

Leonard, Penny and Raj are having takeout in 4A. Leonard mentions a study done on people who were cool and popular at thirteen found success hard when the grew up. Raj claimed to be very popular when he was thirteen among his family's servants even though he can't remember their names. Penny wonders what happened to the unpopular kids.
Doc2

Leonard explains you woke up with one.

Leonard explained that she woke up with one. Sheldon enters the living area and tells Leonard and Penny that Wil Wheaton has asked him to be in a documentary about Spock and its cultural impact that Wil is making with Leonard Nimoy's son, Adam. Asking Penny for advice, she tells him to not take off his shirt just because the director tells him to.
Depressing thing

Try not to be one of those depressing things.

Howard is in his living room busy with a video game, while Bernadette comes in and wants to talk. He says that he is busy with is Visigoths. Bernadette then asks "Howard" to pause to game and he knows it is time to talk. Bernadette wants to start redecorating, while Howard wants to leave the house like it was when he grew up. Bernadette doesn't feel like it's her house, though Howard adds that it is hers since she is always cleaning it. Bernadette changes her approach to say that she is redecorating. The furniture, the carpet, the walls...everything that depresses her. She suggests to Howard that he should try not to be one of those things. Howard has something to say and Bernie adds that it better not be that she can't changed things because his dad left him and his mother died. Howard remains quiet.

Spockumentry

Leaving a message for Amy.

Sheldon calls Amy and leaves her a message telling her about the documentary and saying she might want to watch it, even though they are broken up. Sheldon answers a knock at the door; Wil and Adam are at the door. Wil introduces Adam. Sheldon remarks that he really admired his father's work and that it is not often that he meet someone who started their lifelife's journey in his hero's scrotum. Wil tells Adam that Sheldon is pure gold.

Sandwich

Howard making a sandwich.

Bernadette finds Howard in the kitchen making a bologna sandwich like his mother did after his father left and before she died. She suggests a compromisec on doing one room which he considers reasonable. Kitchen? No, because that is the room he most associates with his mother. Bathroom? No he wants to change his answer. Dining room? His family didn't use that very often, that is after his father left. Bernadette went off to find some paint samples.

Leonard and Penny are watching from the kitchen. Sheldon is sitting in his spot while Adam sets up and tries to make him comfortable. Sheldon hopes that this is not ruse to get him to take off his shirt. Leonard asks Wil if he is trying to get back at Adam by having him talk to Sheldon. Sheldon first saw Spock in "The Galileo Seven" episode. His brother comes in and then sits on his head and tells him to "Eat farts". From then on he was hooked; on Spock and not his brother's Texas-style cuisine. Why does Spock appeal to him? Sheldon figures that its the same for everyone, the dream of a cold rational world entirely without human emotion. Sheldon describes how everything is logical like when your brother is hitting you and one replies that that is not true since I am hitting myself and you are moving my arm. Then you say "fascinating" and sit down and watch educational television together. Then they start to discuss collectibles. Sheldon mentions the autographed napkin that Penny gave him. Penny then gets to wave on camera even with her shirt on.
Safe1

We did things on that couch.

Sheldon then retrieves it from a wall safe that Leonard didn't know they had. He put in the wall safe after he filled the floor safe. The floor safe came after security camera was installed in the Aquaman statue. Leonard didn't know about any of this which distresses him since he and Penny did things on the couch that Sheldon knows about.
AN5

Raj and Howard vs. Mike and Bernadette

Raj is at Howard's house to help back him up since Bernadette and her father are considering improvements to the dining room. They are thinking about taking down the wall between the dining room and the living room. Raj calls it a great wall, but Mike wants to know what's so great about it. Raj caves in and changes sides. Howard wonders if it is a load bearing wall and whether it can be removed. Raj tells them to go under the house and check, which also bothers Howard who wonders when Raj's visa is up.

Doc24

The ring for Amy.

Sheldon brings out a locked box that contains his most prized possessions. The napkin has a Leonard Nimoy's signature and since he wiped his mouth on it, they were in the presence of Leonard Nimoy's DNA. What about his son Adam's DNA? That isn't completely true since it is diluted by his mother's DNA. Penny wants to know what else is in his lock box. Next is a miniature Wil Wheaton action figure, his passport and then another Will (Last Will and Testament). Penny then asks about the ring box. Out comes the ring and Sheldon very calmly tells everyone that he was going to use to propose to his girlfriend. "What??", shouts Penny. Sheldon says the ring was a family heirloom going back many generations. It has constantly been in his family except when the Indians cut off the ring finger of his great-great-great-grandmother. That was fine because the Texas Rangers got it back when they raided the Indian village and massacreed everyone. Penny wants to know if Amy knows about the ring. No, she broke up with him before he could ask her. Amy had reservations about their relationship, so he claims everything turned out for the best and he's fine - Penny doubts this which causes Sheldon to snap at her before collecting his thoughts together so they can move on with the documentary. He calls their film a "Spockumentary" which does not get a laugh, so he says that the joke was Leonard's who now gets to wave on camera.

Doc46

Sheldon running for his room.

Discussing his childhood, when Sheldon came to a dilemma, he would ask himself what Jesus would do. That advice was from his mother. The answer was "love thy neighbor", but since his neighbor had a dead tooth, Sheldon couldn't do that. Then he changed his philosophy to what Spock would do. Did he find that helpful? Three years ago he found that Penny was eating his Pop Tart so instead of getting vindictive, he bought a floor safe. Penny says, "I knew I could smell them." When he was eight years old a kid cornered him on the school play yard, so as Spock would he gave the kid his first Vulcan nerve pinch. Then the kid broke his collar bone. Adam said that that must have been very upsetting. Sheldon was not upset because like Spock he would rise above human emotions which Sheldon says that he has mastered. Penny gives him a raspberry. She feels that he is missing the whole point of Spock. He was half-human like Sheldon. He has feelings just like everybody else. Sheldon insists that he doesn't and that even though Amy broke up with him, he doesn't feel a thing. Penny says that he is yelling. Sheldon only does that when people don't believe him that he has put all this Amy nonsense behind him. He then runs off to his bedroom. Wil exclaims that this is going to be an awesome film. All of this outburst was filmed by Nimoy.  

Sea shell

Look a sea shell. No, that's a rat skull.

Howard and Mike crawl under the house to look over the wall structure. Howard feels like an archaeologist. Indiana Jones and the Single-family Dwelling. Howard finds a sea shell. When Mike informs him that it is actually a rat skull, he yells and tosses it away. Mike doesn't want him to add the droppings already under there. While under the den den, Mike thinks that it would make a great nursery. He also wants to know why Howard doesn't want kids. Howard denies it and figures that Bernie must have lied to him. Raj and Bernadette both hear the conversation from under the floor. She gets nervous, jumps up and down on the floor yelling "Earthquake!" causing dust to cascade down on them making them stop talking. Just to make sure she adds "Aftershock!".

Penny and Leonard are alone and she can't believe that he planned to propose. Leonard can't believe he still sits on the couch after he saw what they did there. Sheldon returns saying that he feels better. They also conclude that his outburst will be in the film. Sheldon thinks that it's ridiculous to get that upset over the Amy situation. To resolve it, he's going to find her and propose so that they can continue their relationship. So he grabs his jacket and says that if she doesn't accept, she can [Vulcan phrase]. Penny looks surprised now that she knows her husband also speaks Vulcan.

AN11

Bernadette lied to her father. She caused the dust avalanche on them.

Bernadette tries to explain herself saying that she didn't want to disappoint him. Howard replies that she was willing to throw him under the bus. She didn't think twice about it. Her Dad doesn't want her to miss the most rewarding experience of his life. Bernadette reacts that his wife raised the kids while he sat on the couch drinking beer. Mike leaves requesting the Bernadette tell her mom the he was here until 10. Raj thinks it's interesting that neither her father nor Howard help around the house. Howard is like the child she is afraid to have. Howard makes Raj leave and they are alone. Howard proposes to work harder and to be a good father unlike his own who left. Bernadette says that she'll seriously think about having a baby. Howard suggests that he gets cleaned up and "poke around in her crawl space." Mike had walked back in to the kitchen just in time to over hear this proposition, and immediately turned around and walked back out, disgusted. Neither Howard nor Bernadette saw him come in nor leave, although Howard did see the kitchen door swing after Mike left.

Doc32

Sheldon is devastated to see Amy kiss another man.

Sheldon is walking up to Amy's apartment building, and in the distance he sees Amy saying goodnight to a tall man. {Dave} There is a quick kiss. She turns and heads inside alone. Sheldon is devastated and leaves. 

Doc31

Amy's date.

Finally, Sheldon is watching an old TV Star Trek episode with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock talking about Vulcans being unemotional. Sheldon says it's all a lie. So Leonard says Sheldon should focus more on the people in his life instead of TV characters. He agrees though it would have meant more if he heard it on television.

Credits

Notes

  • Title Reference: The title refers to Sheldon oscillating between his image as an emotionless Spock and his feelings for Amy.
  • Taping date: September 29, 2015.
  • This episode was watched by 14.81 million people with a rating of 3.7 (adults 18-49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 20.00 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #6 for the week ending November 8, 2015.
  • This episode aired in Canada on November 5, 2015.
  • In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on Thursday, December 3, 2015 on E4.
  • In Australia, it aired on Tuesday, February 2, 2016.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1]
  • Episode transcript [2]

Critics

  • Jesse Schedeen at IGN - ...with Sheldon looking back fondly on his experience with Star Trek and the ways he drew inspiration from Spock's logic-obsessed lifestyle. It was a nice testament to the character's legacy. However, things grew more complicated when Sheldon brought out his prized autographed napkin and nonchalantly let slip that he had almost proposed to Amy...Penny said it best when she reminded Sheldon that for all Spock's emphasis on cold logic, he was half-human and susceptible to the ups and downs of emotion just like everyone else. Apparently hanging around Leonard and Sheldon all this time really has rubbed off on her. I'm just glad that, for once, the writers just let Penny own her nerdiness and didn't tack on some exasperated "I can't believe how dorky I sound!" follow-up quip...The Big Bang Theory honored the legacy of Mr. Spock in a big way this week. There was plenty of humor to be had as Sheldon took part in a "Spockumentary" and his eccentric side showed. But there were also some strong emotional beats as Sheldon embraced his human side and tried (and failed) to win back Amy.
  • IMDB user reviews [3]

Trivia

  • Sheldon tells Leonard and Penny about the engagement ring and his plans to propose to Amy (confirming fan speculation that he indeed planned to propose following the revelations of the Season 8 finale). 
  • Chuck Lorre's daughter, Nikki Lorre directs this episode.
  • Bernadette and Howard are only seen at the Wolowitz House throughout this episode and they do not come to Apartment 4A to share a scene with Sheldon, Leonard and Penny in this episode. 

    As of this episode, Bernadette is still the only one in the gang that hasn't met up with Wil Wheaton until "The Celebration Experimentation" (S9E17) and she hasn't met Wil since nine previous season episodes of the entire show (1: S3E5, 2: S4E8, 3: S5E5, 4: S5E22, 5: S6E7,6: S7E10, 7: S7E19, 8: S7E23 and 9: S8E20) and her absent appearance in Season 3's "The Wheaton Recurrence" (S3E19).

  • Wil Wheaton makes a reappearance.
  • Leonard Nimoy's son, Adam Nimoy, guest stars in this episode.
  • Bernadette's father, Mike Rostenkowski (guest star Casey Sander) reappears after being absent in Season 8.
  • Howard and Bernadette start to renovate their house and finally have a serious discussion about starting a family.
  • Meagen Fay still does not return for an appearance as Bernadette's mother, Mrs. Rostenkowski in this episode since her absent appearances in "The Thanksgiving Decoupling" (S7E9) and "The Table Polarization" (S7E16). Whereas she does get a couple of mentions by Bernadette and Mike in the kitchen table scene at the Wolowitz house during this episode, but is not seen with an appearance in any scene of this episode. 

    As of this episode she still hasn't been speaking to Raj and the rest of the gang (Sheldon, The 'Lenny' couple [Leonard & Penny] and Amy) since her brief cameo appearance in "The Countdown Reflection" which was 79 episodes ago and her first physical appearance in "The Fish Guts Displacement" (S6E10), which was 69 episodes ago.

  • Amy goes on a date with "Dave" (guest star, British comedian Stephen Merchant) - she met him before using a dating app she signed up to in "The Helium Insufficiency" (S9E6) as a result of her conversation with Sheldon in episode 5 (S9E5) whereby she thinks he is moving on.
  • Leonard advises Sheldon to focus on the people in his life (his relationship with Amy) rather than those on TV. (This conversation is parallel to the Season 7 episode "The Proton Transmogrification" (S7E22) where Professor Proton advises Sheldon in a dream to appreciate the people in his life rather than on fictional stories such as Star Wars).
  • The conversation between Sheldon, Leonard and Penny regarding the engagement ring and his plan to propose to Amy are recorded by Adam Nimoy.
  • Amy only met Wil Wheaton with Sheldon two times in the episodes of "The Habitation Configuration" (S6E7) and "The Discovery Dissipation" (S7E10) of which Raj, Penny, Howard, Bernadette and Leonard did not share the scenes in these episodes with them.
  • Raj is only seen with Sheldon, Penny and Leonard in the opening scene of this episode and He shares a few scenes with Mike Rostenokowski and the "Howardette" couple [Howard & Bernadette] in the rest of this episode.
  • This episode will air in time for November sweeps.
  • Leonard learns that they have a wall safe and a floor safe after several years in the apartment. Also Aquaman has a security camera in it. And Sheldon has seen some of Leonard and Penny's amorous living room activities. Sheldon claims the Aquaman have been there since 2012. However, this is inaccurate; the statue was bought in "The Deception Verification" (S7E2), which aired on 26 October 2013.
  • Different napkin props from seven years ago.
  • Amy only features in one scene in this episode (the scene at the entrance door at her apartment kissing Dave, which Sheldon sees from afar) and she has no speaking roles with anyone in episode (Neither Dave nor a gang member including Sheldon etc.).
  • Raj remarks that it is a nice wall between the dining room and living room, and yet previously he suggested to Bernadette to remove it for more open space and add a fire pit.
  • Penny is surprised when she learns that Sheldon and Leonard can speak Vulcan.
  • Amy shares no scenes with Raj, the "Lenny" couple (Leonard & Penny) and the "Howardette" couple (Howard & Bernadette) in this episode and she has no speaking roles with them in this episode either.
  • Second episode where a main character has no lines - this time it's Amy. The first time it happened was in "The Maternal Congruence" (S3E11) and it was Raj who didn't speak (maybe except for whispers in Howard's ear) in that episode.
  • Johnny Galecki almost got hurt in an accident on the set when something from the scaffolding fell near him.
  • This is the second episode to mention Bernadette's reluctance to have children. The first episode where that happens was in "The Shiny Trinket Maneuver" (S5E12) where Howard learns Bernadette doesn't want kids, which upset both him and his mother. Apparently, Bernadette still doesn't want kids by this point, even though she made a deal with Howard in that episode where he would be a stay-at-home father and also in "The Proton Resurgence" (S6E22) where she smiled at Howard's comment that she's gonna be an amazing mom. However, it is suggested that Howard's childish ways only add to her aversion of children.

Quotes

Penny: What????? (After hearing that Sheldon had planned to propose to Amy)

[The living room scene at the Wolowitz house where Howard is playing a video game and Bernadette enters from the dining room with a magazine pile in her hand].
Bernadette: (asking Howard crossly) Hey. You got a minute?
Howard: Not really. Visigoths are kind of up my butt right now.
Bernadette: (gives him a stroppy order) Pause the game, Howard.
Howard: “Howard”? Uh-oh. (pauses his game) Make room, Visigoths. (asking Bernadette) 'Sup?
Bernadette: (with a stroppy smile) We need to talk about redecorating this place.
Howard: (groans) Oh, no, not this again.
Bernadette: (she sighs and then speaks to him crossly) Look, I get that you grew up here and you're attached to things looking a certain way, but... I want this to feel like my house, too.
Howard: Oh, honey, of course it's your house. Why else would you be cleaning it all the time? (chuckles)
Bernadette: (She is now very firm and cross) All right. Let's start over. I'm redecorating. The furniture, the carpeting, the walls. I'm changing everything that depresses me when I look at it. (suggests to Howard angrily) Try not to be one of those things.
[Bernadette slams the magazine pile down onto the table in fury and she gets up off the couch in a huff]
Howard: May I say something?
Bernadette: (she is still very cross) Is it about how I can't have new wallpaper 'cause your dad left when you were little and your mom died?
Howard: (he yells with huge loud anger) Never mind.
[Bernadette now snorts and hits the dining room door crossly].

[The kitchen scene at the Wolowitz kitchen where Bernadette enters the Howard is sandwich making all by himself].
Bernadette(she's being friendly to Howard) Whatcha doing?
Howard: Oh! Making myself a bologna sandwich like my mom used to make me after my dad left, but before she died.
[He concentrates on cutting the sandwich in half all by himself for a second. Bernadette now turns unhappy and she speaks to him softly and crossly]
Bernadette: Okay, listen, I'm thinking that maybe we can compromise on the house.
Howard: (He turns to his wife) I'm listening.
Bernadette: (she snaps to him softly) Let's just redo one room and see how it goes.
Howard: (speaks with his mouthful) That is reasonable. But what room?
Bernadette: (she's asking him with a very firm smile) How 'bout this one?
Howard: (He doesn't like the sound of this) No way. No, this is the room I associate the most with my mom.
Bernadette: (She gets too annoyed and cross) Then how 'bout the bathroom?
Howard: I want to change my answer.
[Bernadette gets more crosser for one second]
Bernadette: (she is now out of plans) Fine. Then the dining room.
Howard: I guess we didn't use it very often. Unless we had company. Which didn't happen much after my dad left and not at all after my mom...
Bernadette: (She now storms off in fury) Great! I'm gonna go pick out paint samples.

Bernadette: So I should probably explain why I kind of fibbed.
[both Howard and Mike are covered in dust. Mike is glaring crossly at Bernadette and Howard is twitching his lips].
Howard: That would be nice.
Bernadette: I told my dad that you were the one who didn't want kids because I didn't want to disappoint him.
Howard: But you were okay throwing me under the bus?
Bernadette: Turns out yeah, I didn't think twice about it.
Mike: Bernie, you don't need to worry about me. But I don't want to see you miss out. Raising children was the most rewarding experience of my life.
Bernadette: (She is a lot crosser) Oh, please. Mom did everything. All you did was come home from work, sit on the couch and drink beer. How is that raising kids?
Mike: This is really a conversation for husband and wife. (awkward chuckle) I'm gonna go clean up, hit the road. If your mother asks, I was here till 10:00.
Raj: It's interesting your father didn't help around the house and Howard doesn't help, either, so... in a way, Howard's not only like your father, but he's also like the child that you're afraid to have.
Howard: Why are you still here?
Raj: Fine, I'll leave. But it sounds like somebody needs a fresh diaper.
[He exits the kitchen and now the "Howardette" couple are alone at the table at last]
Howard: All right... I admit... that I don't help out a lot. (chuckles softly) And I need to work on that. But... (sighs) if we had a kid, it would be different.
Bernadette: (asking her husband crossly) Why?
Howard: Because... when my dad left, I promised myself that... if I ever had a chance to be a father... I'd always be there.
Bernadette(softly and crossly) Okay, I'll think about it.
Howard: And this an actual “I'll think about it,” not like the “can we get a motorcycle with a sidecar I'll think about it”?
Bernadette: It's an actual “I'll think about it.”
Howard: I really believe I'd be a great dad.
Bernadette: (happily) I know you would.
Howard: Speaking of... making babies, what do you say I wash up and poke around your crawlspace?
[Mike unhappily enters the kitchen and he immediately leaves. Howard sees the kitchen door close].

Penny: The study say what happened to the unpopular kids?
Leonard: You tell me. You woke up in bed with one.

Sheldon: Hello Amy, its Sheldon. Yea, I know we’re broken up, but I’m leaving this message because I thought perhaps you’d like to watch me being interviewed for a documentary about Mt. Spock. Or as I like to call it, a Spockumentary. I’m going to use that joke when I’m interviewed so try to laugh like you’re hearing for the first time. You know, hysterically with a tinge of sadness since I’m no longer in your life. Bye.

Adam: What was it about Spock that appealed to you?
Sheldon: I think the same thing that appeals to people everywhere. The dream of a cold rational world devoid of human emotions

Sheldon: Not only is it signed to me, but this is where he wiped his mouth, so we are currently in the presence of Leonard Nimoy’s DNA.
Wil: Um, doesn’t Adam count as Leonard Nimoy’s DNA?
Sheldon: No offense, but this is pure 100% Nimoy. And because of your mother you’re only 50%. Which isn’t bad, but anything you wipe your mouth on gets thrown away.

Sheldon: My 1/8 scale Wil Wheaton action figure. I also have the other kind of will. And in it I will my Wil back to Wil.
Leonard: Will Wil want it?
Wil: Wil won’t.
Penny: What is that ring box?
Sheldon: Oh, that is an engagement ring that I was going to give my girlfriend Amy.
Penny: WHAT?!?!?
Leonard: You bought her a ring?
Sheldon: No, no. It’s been in my family for generations. Except for a short time when Comanche’s cut off my great-great-great-grandmother’s finger and stole it.
Wil: Sheldon’s that’s awful.
Sheldon: No. The Texas Rangers tracked them down to their village and slaughtered every last one of them. It was a happy ending. Well, for my nine fingered Nana.
Penny: Okay, back to the ring. Does Amy even know about this?
Sheldon: No. She broke up with me before I could broach the subject.
Leonard: Oh man, I’m sorry. That must have been devastating for you.
Sheldon: No not at all. No, I’m fine. You know, Amy had reservations about our relationship, so it all worked out for the best.
Penny: I knew. It just…
Sheldon: I said, I’m fine!

Sheldon: As I said, the entire point of emulating Spock was to rise above human emotions which I spent a lifetime mastering.
Penny:Oh. Psssst.
Sheldon: Excuse me?
Penny: I’m sorry. I’m not here.
Sheldon: No you went Psssst. What does Pssst mean?
Penny: Um…
Leonard: You did go Pssst.
Penny: All right, fine. Well, Sheldon, I’m no expert, but aren’t you completely missing the point of Spock? I mean, he like to act like had no emotions, but he was half-human.
Leonard: Just like you.
Penny: I’m just saying, you pretend you don’t, but you have feelings like everybody else.
Sheldon: Not true. No look at me. I had an engagement ring to give a girl, and instead she rejected me and am I emotional about that? No. No. I am sitting here on a couch, talking about my favorite TV character, like nothing happened. Because I am just like him, all logical, all the time.
Penny: Sweetie, you’re yelling.
Sheldon: Because when I speak at a regular volume, no one seems to believe me that I’ve put this Amy nonsense behind me. (Runs off.)
Wil: This documentary is going to be awesome.

Penny: I can’t believe Sheldon was going to ask Amy to marry him.
Leonard: I know. And I still can’t believe he watched what we did and that couch and still sits on it.
Penny: Yeah.
Sheldon: Hello.
Leonard: Hey buddy. How you doing?
Sheldon: Better. Did Wil and Adam leave?
Leonard: Yeah.
Sheldon: Do you think they want to put my outburst in the documentary?
Leonard: Oh, yeah.
Penny: Definitely.
Sheldon: Well, there’s no point dwelling on it. As the Vulcans say:Kup-fun-tor ha'kiv na'ish du stau? (Vulcan phrse. It means:"Can you return life to what you kill?").
Penny: Do you know what that means?
Leonard: No.
Penny: Are you telling me the truth?
Leonard: Nirsh (Vulcan phrse. It means: "No").
Sheldon: Well, this is ridiculous. Being upset about Amy all the time isn’t accomplishing anything. If I want to resolve this situation, then I’m going to take action.
Penny: What are you going to do?
Sheldon: I’m going to find her and ask her to marry me. If she says yes, we can put his behind us and resume are relationship. And if she says no….well then she can just ponfo mirann (Vulcan phrase. It means "go to hell" )
Leonard: He didn’t mean that.

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