|The Thespian Catalyst|
Season 4, Episode 14
February 3, 2011
"The Love Car Displacement"
"The Benefactor Factor"
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Sheldon gets a lot of negative responses about his Physics lecture. After talking to Amy, he decides to take acting lessons from Penny because he believes this will help him entertain his audience. Meanwhile, Raj, who is without a girlfriend, is having daydreams romantically involving Bernadette.
Extended PlotEditSheldon gives a lecture in a class, making his usual condescending comments. Meanwhile, the gang is enjoying the tweets of the people at Sheldon's lecture; all negative towards him. When he arrives home, he expects the reaction to his lecture to be monumentally positive, but his friends proceed to read out some of the tweets.
Later, at the Cheesecake Factory, Raj mentions how it's sad to "accidentally walk into a gay bar and have no one hit on you." This makes Leonard and Howard think Raj's deprivation of female company has caused some issues. Bernadette comforts and reassures Raj.Amy tries to cheer Sheldon up, but on failing that she proposes he take acting lessons as it is the responsibility of the teacher to "communicate as well as entertain and engage." Sheldon goes to Penny to ask for acting lessons; she agrees after he offers to pay her. Sheldon's first acting class in improvisation ends up stressing Penny, and in the second, they act out a script that Sheldon wrote based upon a fan fiction story when he was ten years old; "Where No Sheldon Has Gone Before." Penny takes the role of Mr. Spock, saying Sheldon needs to be out of his comfort zone, while Sheldon plays his mother who is sending him off to the 23rd century at the request of Mr Spock, who says that he is the best hope to bring peace to a vast and troubled galaxy. Eventually this brings out very emotional feelings from Sheldon. He cries because in the play he doesn't want to get taken away. Penny calls his mother to help him settle down: "Hi, Mrs Cooper. It's Penny. Yeah, I think I broke your son". Then she has Sheldon talk to his mother . Raj has a daydream in which Howard has been offered a fellowship, but he has to leave the country and while he is away requests that Raj satisfies Bernadette's sexual needs; Raj willingly agrees to it. Later he daydreams that Howard is hit by a truck and is not going to make it, but is able to convey his last wish, which is for Raj to take care of Bernadette sexually; again he agrees. The final dream sees Bernadette approaches him infuriated, but the scene quickly changes into a Bollywood-style dance routine.
"This is exactly what you would expect from the show: two good story ideas which go nowhere. The writers are far more interested in creating jokes around their initial concepts than actually bringing them to a conclusion. I think the show suffers because the best jokes come out of fully realised stories." - The TV Critic's Review
- Title Reference: "Thespian" in "The Thespian Catalyst" refers to Sheldon's decision to take acting lessons. Thespian means actor. It is named after Thespis of Icaria, the "Father of Greek Tragedy". He was a poet who lived during the 6th century B.C.
- Chuck Lorre's vanity card 
- This episode was watched by 13.83 million people with a rating of 4.3 (adults 18-49).
- This episode aired in Canada on February 3, 2011 with 3.192 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #3. In England, this episode aired on July 7, 2011 with 1.062 million total viewers and a weekly ranking of #12.
- Bollywood Dance Number Lyric:
Raj: Like the wild elephant, I'm trumpeting my love for you,
Bernadette: Like a hidden flower, my sweet fragrance comes into view,
Raj: My heart burns for you like a sun at noon.
Bernadette: My desert welcomes you like the rain in monsoon.
Raj: You are my heart.
Bernadette: My universe.
Raj: You are my heart.
Bernadette: My universe, my universe.
Both: You are my heart, my universe (x3)
Both: My universe...
Penny: Mrs. Cooper, hey, it's Penny, yeah, I think I broke your son.
Sheldon: Mommy, I love you, don't let Spock take me to the future.
Raj: Dance number aside, I am so not gay.
- Howard says, "FYI, I think that’s what Darth Vader said just before he started building the Death Star." Darth Vader did build the Death Star , as explicitly revealed in The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader: Of all the operations that Darth Vader oversaw, the most important was the construction of the Death Star, a moon-sized battle station that, when finished, would be equipped with a superlaser capable of destroying entire planets.
- The Sci-Fi Channel was actually renamed Syfy.
- Raj considers Labradoodles to have high sex appeal.
- One of the apparel Sheldon wears, more specifically in the scene where he knocks on Penny's door earlier in the episode, contains a number 73. This is a reference to the episode "The Alien Parasite Hypothesis".
- In the beginning of the episode, Sheldon serves as a guest lecturer on the topic of topological insulators.
- Penny appears to either have Mary Cooper's phone number memorized or have her on speed dial.
- Raj's hallucination with Bernadette turns into an Indian music video.
- One of about half a dozen times that we see Penny's acting skillls.
- Goofs: When Sheldon is asking Penny for two acting lessons, the latter looks directly at the camera, and therefore the audience, mid-way through the scene, thus unintentionally 'breaking the fourth wall."