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The Big Bang Theory

Season 5 Episode 5

The Russian Rocket Reaction

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Oct 13, 2011 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
352 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Sheldon is miffed that Leonard plans to attend a party hosted by his nemesis, Wil Wheaton. Meanwhile, Howard is offered a chance to be a payload specialist on the International Space Station.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Hypocritical women

    The episode was fine. It gave laughs and did the job expected with the show. Which is good in my opinion. What bothers me is seeing Bernadette crap on Howards dream of space travel. In saying so I wonder how it would look if Howard asked Bernadette to drop her job since it keeps her at risk of catching all sorts of crazy diseases on a daily basis. Just a thought.moreless
  • Fair Episode

    The episode was okay, was a little confused at Wil Wheaton being nice and that Leonard was keen on attending the Party as the Episode overlooked the whole Bowling episode which pretty much saw Wil Wheaton break-up Penny and Leonard (like Sheldon never mentioned it or even the game where Wheaton cheated him either when explaining his hatred).

    Apart from that it had it's moments, just found it hard to separate in my mind the why's and expectations I had of the whole episode as I watched.

  • Still love the notions but tiring of the love potions

    Seeing this episode a bit later than most, as I am traveling overseas, I had time to review a few ideas (and spoilers) before I entered the lab.

    The episode is great because the raison detettre of the series still resonates but... the "sitcom factor" is destroying the uniqueness that actually was the genesis of the programs success.

    Sidelining the funky-science quirkyness of the core group and their interaction with "world-wise" Penny - or even the individual nuances of the guys (e.g. Sheldons "D&D" throw-backs("mortal enemy" and many other things)- or Raj having oral problems with girls (pun intented) - or Leonards constant attempts at normalicy... ;-) in favour of plebian bf/gf matters (Howard and Bernadette) is "dumbing down" the series.

    A great idea was under utilised - as were the abilities and dynamics of the STNG actors with the cast.

    As noted - the core is still there and the writers can still produce but the material seems to edge toward mediocre themes at times - divergent to thedilithium plated thematic of yore.

  • Sadly, this show is losing its magic for me.

    I loved the Big Bang Theory because it was all about Penny's social skills versus the guys' awkward genius. With a lot of the crazy, weird fun things genius scientists do when they're off in their own little world thrown in. That's what made the show so brilliant and original. But now it's all about relationships, just like pretty much every other sitcom out there. They seem so obsessed with pairing everybody up, they even threw Penny and Raj, the two last single people in the cast, into bed together. It's not that I don't like Amy and Bernadette (Priya I can do without), I actually really like the characters and it's fun when they have weird girls' nights with Penny. But aside from those scenes Penny has now been pretty much sidelined as the focus has shifted to the relationships. And I fell in love with the show because it was dealing with something fresh and new and different, that hilarious and compelling interaction between Penny and the guys, rather than a bunch of standard boy-girl relationships.

    This episode is a good example. The focus is on Howard and Bernadette's relationship, which was pretty ho-hum and standard stuff: boy wants to do something girl doesn't want him to do. And the much more interesting bit of Sheldon's enmity with Wil Wheaton was relegated to B story status, and it just wasn't exploited to its full potential, it was treated like a throwaway joke. I mean come on, if you have Sheldon, Wil Wheaton and Brent Spiner in an episode, you should take advantage of that. It was also a disappointment, seeing as how the conflict between Sheldon and Wil was building, and then they just let it drop. There's no climax or payoff. Meanwhile, Penny hardly plays a role in the episode, beyond one short scene where she asks Bernadette if she really loves Howard, and being present when Sheldon is talking about his Mortal Enemy List.

    I understand that shows have to evolve if they are on the air for several seasons. But the trick is to hold on to the heart and soul of the show that people fell in love with in the first place while adding new facets that don't take away from the core. And sadly, in this case, they're taking away from what I love about the show.

  • 505

    I was waiting for Wil Wheaton to trick Sheldon in some way so I was a little bit miffed when that did not happen. I will say that this was probably the best episode of the season thus far, so there's that. Sheldon had some good material tonight, especially the bit with his enemies list being on a floppy disk.

    The show may be losing its touch a bit, but I actually laughed during the episode and it has had signs of improvement week to week this year. I do question though if it will ever return to the quality duringits heyday.moreless
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

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner



Carol Ann Susi

Carol Ann Susi

Mrs. Wolowitz

Recurring Role

Kevin Sussman

Kevin Sussman

Stuart Bloom

Recurring Role

Wil Wheaton

Wil Wheaton


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The sword Sheldon and Leonard are trying to purchase at the beginning of the show from Game Of Thrones is Longclaw, sword of Jon Snow.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Amy: I don't understand. What difference does it make if Leonard goes to Wil Wheaton's party?
      Penny: Wil Wheaton is Sheldon's mortal enemy.
      Amy: "Mortal enemy?" Sheldon, I know you're a bit of a left-handed monkey wrench, but you really have a mortal enemy?
      Sheldon: In fact, I have 61 of them. Would you like to see the list?

    • Stuart: Okay, if you're going to question the importance of an actor's signature on a plastic helmet from a movie based on a comic book, then all of our lives have no meaning!

    • Sheldon: You've already signed something for me, Brent Spiner—your name on my list. From this moment on, you are my mortal enemy!
      Wil Wheaton: Don't worry, it doesn't take up a whole lot of your time.

    • Brent Spiner: (on a Star Trek: TNG action figure) I haven't seen one of these things in years. Remember how we used to make these things look like they were masturbating?

  • NOTES (5)

    • This episode's end titles has Chuck Lorre's Vanity Card #359.

    • Wil Wheaton commented over his Twitter account (@wilw) that some dressing on the set used for his party are from his actual house, including the Velvet Wesley Crusher picture.

    • Bill Prady (@billprady) tweeted the day after broadcast that the two people in the background chatting with Stuart were Star Trek writers D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold. He later added that the sword purchased at the start of the episode would become part of the permanent set dressing for Leonard and Sheldon's apartment.

    • Principle filming for this episode was done September 20, 2011.

    • International Airdates: Australia: October 24, 2011 on Channel 9; Czech Republic: June 25, 2012 on Prima COOL; Turkey: September 25, 2012 on CNBC-e; Finland: February 4, 2013 on Sub