On The Big Bang Theory season 11 episode 2, it was clear from the get-go that Leonard’s physics career would be at the forefront. However, what we realized soon after that was that Leonard’s attempts to hype up the physics program at Cal Tech by appearing on public radio was going to very quickly blow up in his face.
What was the issue here? Well, Leonard told the truth to Ira Flatow — it’s unfortunate that the truth hurts in this case. The reality is that physics is not a glamorous job, and it’s also not one where you see significant breakthroughs on a regular basis. It’s all a matter of numbers, equations, mechanics, and trying to solve the matters of the universe. You can know that there are problems, but you still have to figure out the right way to solve them. This is what Leonard said on the radio, but he should have made the decision to hype up more potential solutions that could be coming in the future.
After Leonard’s comments disparaging his own program’s success rate, he was almost alienated by everyone at the school. Mrs. Davis returned and read him the riot act; basically, he was put into a position where if he wanted to keep his job at the university, he was going to have to lie and act like the university was making more progress than they were.
The irony in all of this was that Leonard’s comments inspired Sheldon to work harder in his field, only for him to also realize that physics may in fact be dead. Was Leonard right? It doesn’t matter, given that sooner or later he was going to have to issue a fake statement in order to keep his job. They got more depressed, which led to Penny inviting over Raj and Howard — who then got more depressed when they were reminded that A) Raj is alone and B) Howard is about to have a second child and will be completely overwhelmed.
Eventually, everyone just got drunk and reflective over their careers. Also, after a Penny pep talk, the guys went and visited Richard Feynman’s grave. (Side note: Was this where Emily wanted to have sex with Raj?) Leonard did end up issuing the retraction, but it certainly wasn’t the best one of all time. It was one of the funnier ones, though, especially the squirrel references.
Amy and Bernadette learn how to brag
This sideplot was fun, mostly because it illuminated something that has been bubbling under the surface for a rather long time: How successful these two women are. Amy is getting more money to work on her research, and Bernie works in the pharmaceutical industry. They’re so successful that they’ve taken to not bragging to their husbands about what they do.
With that, they started bragging to each other … at least until the two started to be at odds over it. Let’s just say that Amy was none too pleased that Bernadette makes so much money in a controversial industry.
This was a funnier episode than the premiere, and maybe one of the funniest science-related episodes on the show in a rather long time. The jokes about physics were mostly outstanding, the delivery was pretty great, and seeing Penny actually try to inspire the guys at the end of the day was a nice change-up from what we usually see. This was a story about understanding your calling and appreciating it — even if no one else does.
What did you think about The Big Bang Theory season 11 episode 2?
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