Visiting The Big Bang Theory on Its Deathbed, Week 20

Illustration for article titled Visiting The Big Bang Theory on Its Deathbed, Week 20
Screenshot: CBS

The Big Bang Theory is a CBS sitcom about a group of geeky adults that has run for 12 staggeringly long years. In that time period, it has attracted critical ire, many Emmys, and earned its stars million-dollar salaries. But now this show is dying and I, a pop culture critic with a heart made of onyx who has never even seen a single episode, have decided to watch the program weekly to pay my respects—and also roast it to death one last time.


Season 12, Episode 21: The Plagiarism Schism

Summary: Amy apologizes to Dr. Pemberton and Dr. Campbell for her outburst, in which she called the two of them frauds, but then Amy and Sheldon learn Pemberton might have plagiarized his thesis. They go to the group and ask if they should leak the information and the group is divided. This is insane to me because it’s a fucking Nobel Prize we’re talking about! Amy and Sheldon decide to take the high road, but Leonard and Penny decide to take the low road for them and collect information on Pemberton. Amy finds out and ultimately decides, along with Sheldon, to hand over the information to Pemberton and Campbell to make sure it never gets out. Again, why? Expose the man! But upon being confronted with this info, Campbell freaks out and leaks it himself, costing Pemberton his career. He tells Amy and Sheldon they can both continue the Nobel journey together, but I’m not so sure either of them want to do that.

While talking about bad stuff they’ve all done, Bernadette admits to Howard that there used to be another waitress at the Cheesecake Factory who had a crush on Howard. I did not know Bernadette worked at the Cheesecake Factory until now, as I’ve gone to great lengths to be as uneducated as possible writing about this show (lmao, great lengths my ass) much to the distress of several readers. Anyway, she told this mystery waitress that Howard had every kind of Hepatitis to get her off his case. Howard, being a complete creep, becomes sort of obsessed with finding out who the woman was, admitting to Raj that back then he knew all the waitresses names, what kind of car they drove, and if they had boyfriends. Is this supposed to be endearing? I’m really glad I got to this show by the time most of these doofuses are settled down, because I truly don’t think I could handle a show about bumbling, creepy men incapable of interacting with women that’s apparently funny because they’re “nerds.”

As if that wasn’t weird enough, Howard goes to the Cheesecake Factory to find this woman, but in a monologue that I’m guessing is supposed to be heart-warming he tells Bernadette that he realized he didn’t care and that the quest was “all about my vanity.” Dude, you got in the car and went to this restaurant to figure out if a woman liked you years ago, while your wife and kids are at home? Bernadette just kind of shrugs it off and accepts the apology.

Worst joke: Sheldon doesn’t know why it’s so hard to figure out if he and Amy should tell on Pemberton. “Maybe because you want to win, but deep down you know it’s not the honorable way to do it,” Raj says. “That’s really wise,” Amy says. “Yes, but it may just be the Indian accent,” Sheldon replies.

Nerdiest moment: Sheldon compliments Amy on her perfectly round meatballs, because the old ones were “prolate spheroids.” Eat your meatballs Sheldon.


What I learned this week: When Amy and Sheldon ask the group if they should keep their info to themselves, Howard freezes. “Does it have to do with internet tastes that may not reflect real life tastes?” he says. Bernadette responds, “I know all about your tall girl website, it goes on our credit card.” Gah!

Did I laugh?: Yes, when Sheldon tells Dr. Campbell and Dr. Pemberton that their “money’s no good here” during lunch and Sheldon valiantly hands over the bill to Caltech President Siebert.


How dead is this show?: Guys... this show is almost dead. Are you freaking out? I’m totally freaking out?!

Hazel Cills is the Pop Culture Reporter at Jezebel. Her writing has been published by outlets including The Los Angeles Times, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, ELLE, and more.


Accompanying himself on the 10 gallon plastic pickle tub

If they found out a paper in their field might be plagiarized, they are ethically obligated to tell their ethics board. They could be reprimanded for not doing it. This isn’t a moral quandary. The ethics board lays out exactly what their supposed to do in black and white.

God, this is a dumb sitcom.