The Big Bang Theory

Season 5 Episode 13

The Recombination Hypothesis

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Jan 19, 2012 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
345 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Leonard asks Penny out on an impromptu romantic date.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • One word... filler

    Perhaps the most mediocre of all episodes this season. It did almost nothing to advance the story of the characters' lives. This is typical of all shows that attempt this "what if" trick without telling the readers until the end. It is nothing more than "it was just a dream" except that the end of the episode loops back to the episode's opening... as if you just spent a half hour going nowhere so that the network could throw ads in your face.

    All it said to me was that the writers couldn't figure out how to get Penny and Leonard back together... or not. There's something very symptomatic here, considering other shows created by Chuck Lorrie have all had a similar problem. The "couple" if together move forward learning about each other as if they never did while they date. That's liveable, since its at least interesting to see the process. If the couple is not together at the beginning of the show, chances are they never will be, because the writers appear to have very little knowledge of how that process really works... and from the shows I've watched, I don't think Chuck does either.

    Don't get me. I love his work. I look for his name on any new shows coming out. But is a problem I've seen in almost every production he is involved in.moreless
  • Finally a good one

    The Big Bang Theory [5x13] The Recombination Hypothesis

    TV com Rating-8.2

    RJG Rating-8

    Leonard asks Penny out...Will it lead to anything or fail?

    Finally,a good episode for the Big Bang...The story was just about Leonard & Penny and had just the right amount of Sheldon .Hope it doesnt lose track again...

  • mistake doing again..

    leonard.. penny relation is finished.. its over.. why they are starting it again..??

    sheldon's part is good.. 100th episode... disappointing.
  • Unexpected

    I have got to say that I was disapointed with the episode from a character building viewpoint, while I thought it was pretty good as comedy.

    ***Spoiler alert***

    Really, yet another "dream sequence"? Surely this has been done to death by now?

    I would have much prefered that we had known all the way through that this was a "what if" scenario in Leonards imagination, rather than a "Bobby Ewing in the shower" type thing.

    At least that way I would have enjoyed better, the ups and downs of the "new" relationship.

    I should point out that I am VERY much in favour of the "Geek shall inherit the Earth"; in this case, the Earth being Penny.

    I also think Sheldon should be careful, as the way it's going, Amy has more chance of bedding Penny than he has!!!

    The card game was brilliant and I'm sure I saw Jim Parsons almost losing it a couple of times.

    However, while the episode was funny, it seems the writers are seriously struggling for a way forward. If things continue this way, poor Raj will be left in the cold with three couples on the go (assuming Leonard and Penny get back together, as the very last scene indicated).

    Mind you, I can easily see Howard and Bernadette breaking up as he is so much a "Mummies boy", he'll never leave his Mum. If this happens, I really hope we don't lose Bernadette as she is superb.

    Anyway, I really do hope things improve soon.moreless
  • Wrong direction

    Leonard and Penny is over. It was a mistake to make the 100th episode about them. It should have been about Sheldon and Amy's relationship, and how it develops.

    As an episode, it was okay. The only fun thing about it was the game between Sheldon, Howard and Raj.
Johnny Galecki

Johnny Galecki

Leonard Hofstadter

Jim Parsons

Jim Parsons

Sheldon Cooper

Kaley Cuoco

Kaley Cuoco


Simon Helberg

Simon Helberg

Howard Wolowitz

Kunal Nayyar

Kunal Nayyar

Rajesh Koothrappali

Melissa Rauch

Melissa Rauch

Bernadette Rostenkowski

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The opening scene is nearly identical to the opening scene of the pilot episode: Leonard and Sheldon arrive at their apartment and spot Penny doing something in her apartment through her open door, and Leonard goes to talk to her. The characters are even dressed similarly, with Leonard wearing a crimson shirt with a hoodie and Sheldon in a superhero T-shirt and checked pants, and Penny wearing the exact same shirt she wore in the pilot.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Leonard: So, do they have a name for a first date with someone you used to go out with?
      Penny: Ah, that's a good question. How about awkward?

    • Leonard: Penny, do you have plans for dinner?
      Penny: Why? You guys going somewhere?
      Leonard: No, I mean just you and me.
      Amy and Bernadette: Woooooooh!
      Penny: Uh, have you thought this through?
      Leonard: Yes, and I think we should go anyway.

    • Sheldon: This is a disaster! I distinctly ordered the Leonard Nimoy Mr. Spock standee. Why would I feel safer with Zachary Quinto at the foot of my bed?
      Leonard: I don't know. He was pretty bad-ass in Heroes.
      Sheldon: (considers, then shrugs) You're right. I'll give him a shot.

    • Leonard: Penny, do you have plans for dinner?
      Penny: Why? You guys going somewhere?
      Leonard: No, I mean just you and me.
      Penny: You mean, like a date?
      Leonard: Not "like a date." A date.
      Amy and Bernadette: Woooooooh!
      Penny: Um... ah... o-okay, sure.
      Amy and Bernadette: Woooooooh!

  • NOTES (2)

    • International Airdates: Czech Republic: July 9, 2012 on Prima COOL; Turkey: October 30, 2012 on CNBC-e; Finland: April 8, 2013 on Sub

    • This episode's end titles has Chuck Lorre's Vanity Card #374, a thank you to the audience for getting the show to 100 episodes.