The Big Bang Theory: The Bandwagon Catalyst

The Big Bang Theory S05E23: “The Launch Acceleration”

Love was in the air this week as Howard and Bernadette’s wedding crawled closer and closer to fruition. Love, or, you know, desperation and experimentation. It’s all kind of the same, really. Weddings (that aren’t yours) tend to have that effect from time to time. It seems like my Facebook news feed is spammed regularly with chicks I barely remember from high school flashing their engagement bling. This, of course, is followed by mild panic and the constant fear of becoming a cat lady before I’m thirty (it was a close call for a while there.)

Inspired by the advanced stage of Bernadette and Howard’s relationship, Amy decided to do a little experimenting in the name of avoiding that fate. She attempted to speed up the development of Sheldon’s feelings toward her by programming him to associate her with things he already loved dearly: Super Mario Brothers, strawberry Quik, and spaghetti with little chunks of hot dog in it.

Sheldon initially dismissed her efforts as “malarkey and poppycock” but they seemed to have work. Sheldon didn’t quite know what to do with his newfound feelings, but was delighted to have one of those bro-mantic conversations with Leonard, commiserating about their “old ladies.”

Leonard, for his part, took the desperate course of action in response to Howard’s impending marital bliss, proposing to Penny during sex, then quickly trying to take it back when her answer wasn’t a “yes” or a “no” but more of a “WTF?”

I not-so-secretly love the fact that it was Leonard, rather than Penny, who was hit with the wedding panic. Certainly, it SHOULD have been Leonard, based on their personalities and characterization, but traditionally (and stereotypically), it’s the female in a TV relationship who ends up desperately throwing herself at a man when her bestie is about to say “I do.” It’s a stereotype that often transcends a mere storytelling trope to become a very real attitude among very real live women. The portion of my Facebook feed that isn’t all “LOOK AT MY RING” tends to swing around to the other direction, their statuses vaguely declaring, “No one cares about your ugly dress” while simultaneously worrying over not having been on a real date in over a year.

So, I love that it was Leonard who panicked. And I love that Penny’s attitude basically amounted to an eye-roll.

Meanwhile, having made peace with his grounding by NASA, Howard blasted ahead toward his wedding day. The men were fitted for tuxedos and his mother decided not to accompany the happy couple on their honeymoon. Life was good.

And then NASA called back and said that he would be going into space after all.

I imagine that typically, a grounded astronaut would be delighted to get this call, but as we all know, Howard is not a typical astronaut. Raj’s dismissive opinion of the Soyuz spacecraft certainly didn’t help. Once desperate to go up, Howard found himself desperate to stay right down here, and decided to use the wedding as an excuse to do so. He argued that he didn’t want to disappoint Bernadette, but that backfired when Bernadette was completely understanding about the whole thing and didn’t want to be the reason Howard didn’t chase his dream.

Remembering that Bernadette’s dad was a total hard-ass and rationalizing that he’d be irate at the idea of postponing the wedding due to the fact that he paid for the deposit on Howard and Bernadette’s venue, Howard clung to the idea that Mr. Rostenkowski would shoot his “dream” down real fast.

Yeah, not so much. He understood Howard’s dream of spaceflight too...and the only thing he really liked about his future son-in-law was his job.

So, it looks like Howard is going to the International Space Station after all. Despite making things weird, Leonard and Penny are taking their relationship a little further—but not TOO much further. Yet. And Sheldon just can’t fight his neurobiological feelings anymore, thanks to Amy’s tampering, so they got down to a game of doctor, “Star Trek style,” with Amy in full TOS science officer attire. Leonard was appropriately horrified when he walked in on the quirky couple.


What did you think about last night’s episode? And what do you expect will happen in next week's season finale?

Comments (16)
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this isn't Chuck or Firefly guys, it's The Big Bang Theory. A comedy.



It was a funny episode..it's good to know that he's still going to space. Can't wait to see what cliffhanger they've got for next week
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Why am I still watching this show? This show is just ...terrible.
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This show is just straight doodied-up, egg-suckin' gutter trash seriously. Ugh.
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Pretty funny episode. Not exactly loving the fact that the show is almost turning into a romcom -- albeit, a geeky romcom -- but this episode was cool enough.



If I took one thing away from this episode, it's that I NEED to get the Super Mario Bros. theme song on my iPod. It's odd how Sheldon's favorite music, drink, and music are all things I also like, and yet I'm the farthest thing from smart.
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This recap makes me depressed for the condition of BBT this whole season...
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Playing doctor star trek style added to list of things to do before you die. Now just got to find a girl :(
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Amy in that Nurse Chapel uniform was way more effective than I expected, even if she was acting somewhat creepier than usual while talking to Leonard.



This was a cute episode all around, I really cannot imagine how they're going to complete this storyline next week though.
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seriously just one scene for Raj, is Kunal Nayyar even a cast member?
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I liked it. And I'm right there with you, for their personalities, Leonard is the one who would be freaking out and wanting to get married (gotta lock that down). Good episode all around. Not heavy on the Raj, but I am well okay with that, I don't need too much of him.
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Playing doctor Star Trek style FTW. Amy looked cute in her outfit.
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Amy in Star Trek uniform = HOT.
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Hilarious episode, hilarioous show. Nuff said!
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Loved the parts about Sheldon/Amy and Leonard/Penny and hated the part about Howard, the wuss - loved Bernadette's and her father's attitude though.



How can anybody who was ever interested in space flight be so freaked out by the idea to go up there? I never really liked Howard. The prospect of him going to space was the one cool thing about him, the one thing I would envy him about (if he was real) and now he's all whiny about it.



Lol, now I sound like Bernadette's dad ;-)
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The Sheldon/Amy stuff was amazing last night and I liked that the Penny/Leonard stuff didn't lead to a quickie break-up, that they worked through it like adults.



I totally agree with the Howard issues though. If his reluctance to go to space had hinged more on how he generally sucked at the zero-gravity stuff (Bernadette had to send him soooo much spare underwear at space camp) rather than his being a wuss, I would have been more willing to take his side. I'm glad he didn't get an easy out, lol. ;)
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Personally I don't like the Howard/Bernadette thing, doesnt seems natural. But the Sheldon/Amy was awesome this week.
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loved it, love this show, so funny...
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