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The Big Bang Theory - The Retraction Reaction - Review: "Total Career Chaos"

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Did last week's episode leave us with a lot to think about, or what? Sheldon and Amy are engaged, Bernadette's pregnant, and Dr. Nowitzki is still alive after an encounter with Amy that could've ended a lot worse than it did. That's a whole lot of congratulations to go around.

This week starts off with the whole gang eating Chinese at Leonard and Penny's place. Amy suggests Sheldon offer the last dumpling to the pregnant lady - aka, Bernadette.

Yeah. That ain't happenin'.

Apparently Bernadette has yet to explicitly tell Sheldon she's pregnant - he doesn't like to assume as doing so in the past has led to some ugly results. Can't blame him - nothing's worse than congratulating a woman on a pregnancy she isn't experiencing.

Turns out Penny was the victim of Sheldon's comments.

Raj agrees with Sheldon, and Bernadette tells him she's three months pregnant. Leonard shares that he'll be interviewed on public radio on Friday to raise money for the Physics Department at the university, so he's going to promote the program. After some loud coaxing from Amy, Sheldon congratulates his pal.

He's used to it.

Friday arrives, and Leonard is doing his radio interview. Look how excited he is!

Leonard's not a fan of how his voice sounds through headphones. Amy, Sheldon and Penny are watching from home - they kind of agree that Leonard's voice is annoying... well, Sheldon blatantly agrees. Penny subtly.

The interviewer asks Leonard what big discovery will be made next in the Physics Department. He's not quite sure. They haven't developed any further findings. Oh yeah, and a whole bunch of science jargon is said that we could try and decipher, but let's just keep watching.

Bernadette, Howard and Raj are listening to the interview too, and don't think the dozens of people listening should know they haven't found anything. Leonard then proceeds to discuss the amount of money the university is spending on inconclusive findings. The gang's a little... worried.

The next day in the cafeteria, the boys spot Leonard in the food line and try to figure out how to speak to him about what happened. Sheldon can't shake his anger. He "pff"'s at Leonard.

Leonard defends what he said, explaining that he spoke the truth. Howard continues to egg the two of them on, and Leonard tells everyone to drop the discussion.

... Sheldon can't.

Bernadette meets Amy in her lab to go for lunch, noticing that Amy has lots of new equipment in her office. Amy's just hoping they name a brain disease after her. Dream big, girlfriend. She tells Bernadette that she hasn't told Sheldon about her new equipment as the Physics Department hasn't been receiving as much funding as they have. Bernadette asks Amy if she plans to continue keeping her success from her fiancé, but then admits to doing the same with Howard. She then encourages Amy to keep it up.

Ms. Davis has called Leonard to her office. He knows what it's about, but doesn't believe the interview had much reach.

Ms. Davis begs to differ. Donors are threatening to not longer donate if the department is dying. She then says he has to release a statement or he'll lose his job - the statement stating that the Physics Department is growing and a breakthrough is around the corner. Leonard doesn't feel comfortable lying - but Ms. Davis thinks he's the smartest physicist at the university!

... Just kidding. She's a great liar!

At Sheldon and Amy's apartment, Sheldon is hard at work. He's figured out physics' most imminent problems! He didn't solve them, though. Just determined they're big problems.

Amy asks if this has anything to do with Leonard's interview, but Sheldon doesn't want to talk about him. Well, it's that, or how Amy's day was. She admits she got new lab equipment; Sheldon appears mildly impressed. He says he also got a new piece of equipment, and holds it up.

How generous!

Across the hall, Penny is trying to help Leonard with his problems.

Leonard relays his depressing day, and how he may lose his job. Penny stays hopeful. When he tells her about the retraction he'll have to write, Penny doesn't see why Leonard's upset.

Back down the hall, Sheldon is stressed.

Leonard's at the door, and Sheldon is mad. He tells Sheldon he has to write a statement contradicting his previous one... but Sheldon admits that he'll be of no help. Why? Because he agrees with what Leonard said in the interview.

Mhm... i'm surprised, too.

Super Symmetry has been something they've worked on for years, and it's drawing up nada. Sheldon's lost hope. But, in a moment of pure rarity, Sheldon admits that Leonard is RIGHT. Rue the day!

The two are working on Leonard's statement - Sheldon dictating ideas to Leonard. They're not getting far, and Leonard asks for alcohol. All Sheldon has is romulan ale (AKA, Vodka with blue dye). Penny walks in, laughing at their drink.

Bernadette and Amy are drinking tea and discussing the fight she had with Sheldon. Why should the guys be allowed to brag about their achievements, but the girls have to keep their mouths shut? The two go back and forth sharing their accomplishments - including the new FMRI machine Amy got and likes to sleep in. And that Bernadette has two new assistants she's affectionately named after Dr. Seuss characters. Bernadette says she makes a lot of money - Amy says she has her integrity.


Penny is trying to understand why Sheldon and Leonard are so upset. Sheldon thinks he looks like he kissed Avatar. Both very important reasons to be sad.

Howard and Raj show up, and Penny explains what's happening. Leonard killed science, and Penny likes romulan ale. The boys still feel hopeless. Raj calls them two whiny babies, and angrily says there's nobody he'd rather be stuck with less.

And Howard's down for the count. Raj joins him when he thinks of the prospect of being forever alone.

Bernadette and Amy are still arguing over what's more important - money or improving lives. Amy claims Bernadette's pharmaceutical sector is a scam, and that she believes she'll change the world in her field. Bernadette can't wait to see that... from her GIANT YACHT!


The boys are in a stupor from the romulan ale, talking about their regrets entering the science field. Sheldon wonders if he could've been an accountant for the mob; now i'm picturing him working for Tony Soprano. I think Tony would have him... disappear... after a few short minutes. Not only would he not understand Sheldon's insults, but he wouldn't be able to understand Sheldon, period. I think Carmela would find him hilarious, though. I always loved her.

Sheldon then guesses Penny's weight after he says he could've worked at the fair. 180.

Penny, in the form of a motivational speech, says the guys have to find inspiration and keep going. Howard says they're going to visit Richard Feynman - who Leonard dressed up as Halloween for last year. I totally just laughed out loud.

Well, they're visiting Richard Feynman!

Penny wasn't aware he had died. The guys share their love of Richard Feynman, and Raj admits to having had a Brazilian wax done. Ohhh my goodness.

They come to the realization that it's their love of physics that will keep it alive. Meanwhile, poor Sheldon can't keep his ale down, and bolts away to throw up.

Ms. Davis has called Leonard to her office again, wanting to discuss an email he sent her. He drunk emailed her... uh oh.

Physics is un-dead, and Leonard wants zombie Richard Feynman to bite him. He was also bit by a rabid squirrel once, and signed the email with "XOXO". And, they couldn't get home from the cemetery because their Uber driver wouldn't let blue vomit covered Sheldon in the car. WHAT. A. NIGHT!

This episode teaches a pretty important lesson about not giving up things we're passionate about, despite how we feel about them at one particular moment in time. So, I guess we'll be seeing that romulan ale in future episodes.

Down below, let me know if you think Leonard could lose his job (fingers crossed not!) over that email he sent Ms. Davis in his drunken state; what you think Sheldon would be better at - working as an accountant for the mob or guessing people's weights at the fair; and if you've ever tried or would love to try romulan ale!

Catch The Big Bang Theory Monday Nights on CBS.

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