Big Bang Theory s11e02 Episode Script

The Retraction Reaction

1 Uh, One dumpling left.
Who wants it? Maybe you should offer it to the pregnant lady.
And that would be Me, Sheldon.
I'm obviously pregnant.
Well, you never said it to my face.
And the last time I assumed a woman was pregnant, it did not go over well.
Yeah, I'm still mad at you.
(clears throat) You were drinking water instead of wine.
What was I supposed to think? KOOTHRAPPALI: Sheldon's right.
I would never ask a woman if she was pregnant, unless she tells me or I see a human being wiggling out of her.
Well, Sheldon, I'm pregnant.
Congratulations.
How far along are you? About three months.
Only three? Good gravy, how many babies are in there? Okay, let's talk about something that won't infuriate my pregnant wife.
I read an interesting fact about elephants.
Try again.
Oh, I've got something.
I'm being interviewed on public radio this Friday.
Oh, cool.
How come? Uh, the university is trying to get more funding for the physics department, so they want me to go out and talk it up.
Really? You? (whispering indistinctly) Well, they picked the right person for the job.
Thank you.
I think he bought it.
Our whole universe was in a hot, dense state Then nearly 14 billion years ago expansion started Wait! The Earth began to cool The autotrophs began to drool, Neanderthals developed tools We built the Wall We built the pyramids Math, Science, History, unraveling the mystery That all started with a big bang Bang! The Big Bang Theory 11x02 The Retraction Reaction Hi, I'm Ira Flatow, and this is Science Friday.
Joining me today is my guest physicist, Dr.
Leonard Hofstadter, to talk about all of the exciting research they're doing at Cal Tech.
Thank you for having me.
Whoa (chuckles) Could never get used to hearing myself in headphones.
Is that really how I sound? (chuckles) It is.
It is.
(deep voice): That is good to know.
I told him his voice was annoying.
He didn't want to listen.
Hey You're saying it's not? Just hey.
FLATOW: So, it has been five years since the discovery of the Higgs boson-- what's the next big thing gonna be? Wow, that's hard to say.
There's so much going on.
We've been collecting tons of data that could revolutionize the way we understand the universe.
For instance, there's a particle called a squark, which could prove supersymmetry.
That is interesting.
Have you found it? - What, the squark? - Yes.
No, no.
Wouldn't that be exciting? But we're also looking for the selectron, the gluino and the neutralino.
- Well, and have you found that? - No.
LEONARD: Another fun sidenote-- I went to high school with a girl named Theresa Gluino, but it didn't cost $2 billion to find her.
She was smoking behind the gym.
(laughs) So, what have you found? Uh, nothing, actually.
Should he be saying that? Uh, probably not.
Yeah, this is public radio.
Doesn't he realize that dozens of people might hear him? But I remain confident.
We've got the best equipment and the best minds all working on it.
Okay, sounds like he's back on track.
LEONARD: Although, some days I'm, like, ugh we've spent so much money.
Why haven't we found anything? What are we doing? Oh, boy.
There's Leonard.
I'll bet he's having a rough day.
(chuckles) Let's just try to be supportive.
Supportive? He publicly maligned the love of my life, Lady Physics.
You might not want to mention that to Lady Fiancée.
Hey, guys.
KOOTHRAPPALI: Hey, how's it going? (scoffs) What? You got something to say? I think I just said it.
P-F-F.
Pff! Look, I-I was just speaking the truth.
We're scientists-- isn't that what we're supposed to do? Oh, what would you know about the truth? You thought Phantom Menace was "not half bad.
" I told you that in confidence! Okay, calm down.
Everybody just cool it.
No, let 'em go.
If we get lucky, maybe one of them will start crying.
Uh, can we just drop this and have lunch like adults? - Fine.
- Very well.
- Leonard? - What? Pff! (knock on door) You ready for lunch? Oh, one second.
Ooh, someone's got a lot of fancy new lab equipment.
I know.
The university has been throwing money at my study.
With any luck, there'll be a brain disease with my name on it.
Fingers crossed.
Which is ironic, because if you had Fowler's palsy, you wouldn't be able to cross your fingers.
I'm surprised Sheldon's not up here playing with all your new toys.
Actually, I haven't told him about it.
We've been getting so much more funding than physics, he's been a little sensitive.
So you're just gonna hide your success from him? I know.
- Am I terrible? - No.
I do that, too.
How he thought my company retreat was in Boise? It was in Tahiti.
That's such a relief.
I mean, part of me was worried I was being unfair to Sheldon.
Take that part of yourself and hide it away.
Just like I did with last year's bonus check that I "didn't get.
" (knock on door) Ms.
Davis, you wanted to see me? Yes, Dr.
Hofstadter, come on in.
Should I sit or stand? I'm not used to being called into the dean's office.
Please, sit.
I have to say I'm a little nervous.
You should be.
Look, I know I screwed up, but it was only one interview.
How much damage could it have caused? Would you like for me to read you the e-mails from donors asking why are they giving us money if physics is a dead end? I didn't say it was a dead end.
I just said that I was worried it might be.
So if I just said I was worried you might not have a job next week, how would you feel? Light-headed, and glad you asked me to sit down.
Okay, just tell me what I can do.
I'm gonna need you to make a statement saying that you misspoke, and that you're confident the physics community is close to a major breakthrough.
You want me to lie.
Look, Dr.
Hofstadter, I'm counting on you.
I think that you are the smartest physicist at this university.
Really? See? Lies.
They're not that hard.
(door opens) - Hi.
- Hello.
Huh.
Looks like you've been busy.
Oh, I have.
Uh, dark matter, uh, reconciling gravity and quantum mechanics.
Supersymmetry.
I've figured out the biggest problems in physics today.
Wow, you solved them all? No, I just, I figured out that they're the biggest problems.
Is this about what Leonard said on the radio? Absolutely not.
And I do not want to talk about Leonard.
Can we please just talk about anything else? We could talk about my day.
Walked right into that one, didn't I? Well, since you sort of asked, I actually had a very good day.
Got some new equipment for my lab.
Well, congratulations.
I got some new equipment, too.
I got these markers.
They smell like fruit.
Which I did not notice when I bought them.
(sniffs) Don't really care for it.
Here, drink this.
It might help.
What if it doesn't? Well, that's why I brought the bottle.
No one would talk to me in the halls.
They just glared at me.
It's like high school all over again.
Oh, I would totally do high school all over again.
But that doesn't help you.
No.
I got called in to the administration office.
Ooh, look at my bad boy getting called to the principal.
We don't technically have a principal.
There's a standing committee that oversees the budget.
Ooh, look at my bad boy answering questions nobody asked.
Hey, come on, look, you said a few dumb things on the radio-- what is the worst that could happen? I may get fired.
Okay, well, even if you did, you could find another job.
Yeah, who wouldn't want to hire the physicist who publicly said physics is dead? Well, I wouldn't put that under "special skills.
" I can fix it, I just need to write a retraction I don't believe in-- basically sell out to keep my job.
Great, I'll leave you to it.
Hmm.
Hmm.
Oy.
(knocking on door) LEONARD: Sheldon, it's me.
What? Look, I know you're mad, but I have to write a statement that says the physics community is close to a breakthrough, and since you actually believe that, I could really use your help.
Sorry, I can't.
Come on, don't be like that.
I can't, because I think you were right.
What? Look.
(sighs) Not all science pans out.
You know, we've been hoping supersymmetry was true for decades, and finally, we built the Large Hadron Collider, which is supposed to prove it by finding these new particles, and it-it hasn't.
And maybe supersymmetry, our last big idea, is simply wrong.
Well, that sounds awful.
Now I get why everyone hates me.
Well, on the bright side, after working together for 15 years, you finally get to hear me say, "You were right.
" Oh, yeah, you did.
How's it feel? Mm, given I might be unemployed, bittersweet.
Read it back to me? Oh, hang on.
"Yes, one might question the $20 billion "to build and run the Large Hadron Collider, but on the other hand" Okay.
Um Oh, oh! "On the other hand, contrary to predictions, "the collider didn't create a small black hole "that devoured the Earth and life as we know it.
So, s-- money well spent.
" This is depressing.
Do you have any alcohol around here? Uh, not surprisingly, when Penny moved out, she took every last drop.
Um Oh, but I do have several bottles of Romulan ale that I bought at Comic-Con.
Isn't that just vodka with blue dye in it? You-- first, physics, now Romulan ale.
What else would you like to defecate on? Hey.
I thought you were coming right back.
I was, but we're both depressed, and decided to drown our sorrows.
In mouthwash? Man, that is so summer camp.
I-It's Romulan ale, from Star Trek.
It was briefly legalized during the alliance between the Romulan Empire and the Federation at the time of the Dominion War.
Aw, now I'm depressed.
The more I told him about my lab, the pissier he got.
You know what he said to me? He said, "I hope all your correlations turn out to be specious.
" He said that to your face? What a dick.
You know, you're a successful woman.
You should be able to brag about your accomplishments once in a while.
Well, so should you.
I mean, the guys are never shy about bragging.
Tell me about it.
Howie texts me every time his dog levels up in Warcraft.
Has he ever called you to tell you he found three peanuts in one shell? 'Cause Sheldon has.
We should be able to do that, too.
I guess we can brag to each other.
That's a great idea.
Damn right it is; I came up with it.
(chuckles) That felt good.
You know, there's so much money in pharmaceuticals, we don't even wash out our test tubes.
We just throw them out and get new ones.
I just got a brand-new, state of the art fMRI machine.
Whoa.
Those things are so expensive.
I know.
Sometimes, I just lie down in there and take a nap.
Oh.
It's like a million dollar bunk bed.
At the office, I have two assistants.
I don't even know their names, I just call them Thing One and Thing Two.
That's great.
I-I don't have assistants.
Oh.
I guess that's one of the benefits of being in the private sector.
That and all the money I make.
Yeah, you've got that.
I've got my integrity.
Hard to say which is better without making you feel bad.
Okay.
So you guys are upset because the collider thing disproved your theories? I-It's worse than that.
It hasn't found anything in years, so we don't know if we're right, we don't know if we're wrong.
We don't know where to go next.
All I know is it looks like I tongue-kissed Avatar.
PENNY: Come on.
You guys are physicists.
Okay? You're always gonna be physicists.
And sure, sometimes, the physics is hard, but isn't that what makes it boring? - Hey.
- We're here.
What's going on? Okay.
As far as I can see, science is dead, 'cause Leonard killed it.
And, uh, I don't know who the Romulans are, but those guys know how to party.
So, what do you want us to do? I don't know.
You're scientists; cheer them up.
"Cheer them up"? Do you even know what a scientist is? No, we don't need to be cheered up.
It just turns out that physics is exactly like Lost.
Started out great, and turns out just a big old waste of time.
Boo-hoo.
You know what you sound like? Babies.
Two whiny babies.
And there's nothing worse than being stuck with two whiny babies! Oh.
Oh, my God, I'm gonna have two babies.
No, no, no, no.
Babies are great.
You're lucky to have two babies.
I mean, look at me, uh, I'm all alone.
I'm never gonna have babies, 'cause you can't make a baby watching Netflix with your dog.
Thanks for coming.
I may not make as much money as you, but at least I know that I'm actually doing something that makes people's lives better.
Hey, my work makes people's lives better.
Especially if you have moderate to severe eczema and don't mind if you lose teeth.
You're right.
We both do important work.
I'm trying to map the structures of the brain, and you're trying to convince people that itchy hair is a real thing.
It is a real thing.
It happens to be a side effect of our cholesterol drug.
I'm just saying that my research may actually change the world forever.
I hope it does.
'Cause I'm gonna see that world from a yacht so big, you can land a helicopter on it.
(drink pouring) Physics is all we're cut out for.
I mean, if we weren't physicists, w-what would we be? I don't know.
Popular? (chuckles) Mm-hmm.
It's fine.
I don't need to be a theoretical physicist.
There's lots of things I could use this brain for.
I could be an accountant for the mob.
I could guess people's weight at the fair.
Okay.
This is getting silly.
Is it? Okay.
That is enough.
Your lives are not wasted.
Your careers are not at a dead end.
You just hit a rough patch.
Instead of feeling sorry for yourselves, you need to get up and get inspired.
How? I don't know.
You know, when I'm feeling down, I go for a run, which is exactly why I'm not 180 pounds, genius! I know where we need to go.
Mm.
Are we running there? Because watching drunk Sheldon run would be the highlight of my life.
WOLOWITZ: We're going to see Richard Feynman.
Penny, Richard Feynman is an iconic phys I know who he is.
Leonard dressed as him for Halloween last year.
PENNY: I had no idea Richard Feynman was dead.
Yep.
Most people don't know he's actually buried right here in Altadena.
I'm sure they keep a lid on that to avoid traffic jams.
Well.
(chuckles) Here he is.
Oh, wow.
He's buried with his wife.
We get it.
A lady loved you.
Quit bragging.
Feynman was so cool.
When I was a kid, I'd put on some headphones and crank up one of his lectures and just jam out to knowledge.
This guy knew how to live.
He taught himself musical instruments.
He studied Portuguese.
Just to give a speech in Brazil.
The only part of me that's been to Brazil is my bikini line.
Okay.
He did so much.
And here we are, stuck and letting him down.
You know, Feynman used to say he didn't do physics for the glory or the awards, but just for the fun of it.
He was right.
Physics is only dead when we stop being excited about it.
Even beyond the grave, he's imparting wisdom.
Um, I'm the one who remembered it.
Give me the bottle.
I mean, it might be a little corny, but I say we pour one out for all the science homies who came before us.
I love that.
(Wolowitz chuckles) Mm-hmm.
(chuckles softly) (gags) Here comes some more.
(Sheldon retching) Ah, we got to see him run.
(knocks on door) Oh, hi, you wanted to see me? Yes.
I wanted to talk to you about the e-mail you sent me last night.
I sent you an e-mail? You bet you did.
"Hello.
Shalom and aloha from the grave of Richard Feynman.
" (groans): Oh, it's coming back to me.
"Please accept the following retraction: "I know I said physics is dead, "but it is the opposite of dead.
"If anything, "it is undead, like a zombie.
"Speaking of which, "if Richard Feynman came back as a zombie, I would totally let him bite me.
" Any chance that's the end? "I got bit by a squirrel once.
"I had to get rabies shots.
"I cried so much, "my mother said 'don't be a baby.
' "In conclusion, "physics is great.
"Squirrels suck, and someday, "I'm gonna put my mom in a cheap nursing home.
"Yours truly, XOXO, Dr.
Leonard Hofstadter.
" I-I can explain.
I "P.
S.
"Can you come pick us up? "The Uber driver won't open the door because Sheldon is covered in blue vomit.
"