Big Bang Theory s12e10 Episode Script

The VCR Illumination

1 Previously on The Big Bang Theory Actually, I-I need to talk to both of you about your paper.
Oh, right, how are the citations coming? Um We came a-across a-a Russian paper that seems to disprove super-asymmetry.
(screams) Okay, Sheldon and Amy are still pretty upset about their theory being disproved.
So we have made a list of subjects for everyone to avoid.
- Symmetry.
- Asymmetry.
Uh, SimCity-- sounds too much like symmetry.
LEONARD: That also applies to The Simpsons, Simba from The Lion King, and cymbals.
Russia or Russian in any context.
The country, the dressing, the roulette.
Uh, also no talk of Rocky IV.
Why Rocky IV? Because he fights a Russian.
I'm sorry about her.
(chuckles) We should just try and avoid anything that makes them think of their project or science or Nobel Prizes or successes or failures.
- Hi.
ALL: Hi! Hey, guys.
Hey-a! What are you guys doing? Nothing.
Nothing? Like what my career has come to? Thanks a lot.
Nice going.
The Big Bang Theory 12x10 The VCR Illumination 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! (music playing) What are you doing? Eating, reading, watching television, listening to the radio.
What does it look like I'm doing? Is that asparagus? I thought you hate asparagus.
I thought so, too, but I also thought super-asymmetry was a good idea, so what else am I wrong about? Oh, so now you're reevaluating every opinion you've ever had? Yes.
I am following the example of 17th century philosopher René Descartes.
He subjected all his beliefs to radical doubt so that he could build a bedrock belief and build his cognitive life back up on firm principles.
Ugh! Still yucky, still yucky.
(music stops) Sheldon, I know you're upset about the paper, okay.
I'm upset, too.
I mean, I was so sure we were right.
Every fiber of my being felt like this was it.
This was the one.
How can I trust my instincts anymore? Well, just because our theory was wrong, that doesn't mean you're wrong about everything.
Doesn't it? I've always thought I hated jazz, maybe I was wrong.
Maybe it's great to hear all the notes at once.
(music playing) I'm trying, I'm really trying! - What you eating? - Chicken fried steak.
What? You can't have chicken fried steak first thing in the morning.
- Hey, you knew I was a bad boy when you married me.
Come on, you want a piece of this? You or the steak? Me.
I'm not sharing the steak.
(knocking) Hey, you guys busy? No, what's going on? I'm really worried about Sheldon.
I've never seen him this down.
Have you tried making him a cup of tea? He's reevaluated tea.
Now he thinks it's nothing but leaf soup.
That's a good point.
- No, it's not.
- No, it's not.
He's rethinking everything.
How long is it gonna be before he gets to me? - Oh.
- It's that bad, huh? I'm afraid so.
I just I don't know what to do.
I have something that might help.
It's-it's a recording of the only person whose opinion Sheldon actually respects.
Hawking? Feynman? No, himself.
It's a pep talk he made when he was a kid.
He gave it to me years ago and told me to save it for a real emergency.
What? You didn't break it out when he declared his room a sovereign nation and waged a trade war against us? His major export is talking.
I didn't want that anyway.
Is that a VCR? Yeah, Amy asked if we had one she could borrow and I just want to make sure it still works.
What's on the tape? Not sure.
I used to record a lot of Jeopardy! for my mom, but if I push play and you see some naked people Got it.
What is porn? Ooh, we were looking for "vintage '80s erotica," but I'll accept it.
WOLOWITZ: Hello, everybody.
I am The Great Howdini.
(coughing) Put it back on.
You look adorable.
It's just a practice tape from when I was trying to become a member of the Magic Castle.
I didn't know you auditioned there.
Oh, I never went through with it.
I watched the tape and realized I wasn't good enough.
You know that trick where you saw a mannequin in half? - Don't you mean a lady? - Thank God it was not a lady.
I'd just be getting out of jail.
Come on, you're a good magician.
Really? You always called magic dumb.
You can be good at something dumb.
- You know what, you should audition now.
- It's fine.
I don't need to be a member of the most elite magical society on the face of the earth.
Sounds like you still want it.
And I don't want our kids to watch this tape one day and think their dad is a quitter.
Oh, we don't have to show it to them.
Oh, I'm definitely showing it to them.
Hey.
Hello.
"Fine with flags"? Yes, flags-- up there flapping around on poles.
If you think about it, they're just the strippers of the emblem world.
Well, I got something that I think might cheer you up.
It is the emergency pep talk you made when you were a kid.
Oh, that.
I was saving it for the day they stop making Star Wars movies.
I don't think that's ever gonna happen.
How long has it been since you've seen it? Not since the day I recorded it.
No, I had just watched Back to the Future II, where Marty McFly gets a glimpse of his future self and that got me thinking, the day may come where I needed my help, like they did with that movie.
That was not great.
Okay, all hooked up.
Here we go.
Oh, look how cute you were.
Amy please, of course I was cute.
Look how I turned out.
Hello, Sheldon.
Hello, Sheldon.
If you're watching this, I assume something bad has happened.
Something unfortunate and unforeseen.
Something that's making you question everything.
I'm so smart.
Now just to make sure it's really you watching this and not an imposter, what am I thinking of? On the count of three.
One, two, three.
Robot monkey butler.
Robot monkey butler.
Okay, good.
Should I leave you two alone? No, this is gonna be inspiring.
You should watch.
Sheldon, never forget, no matter how bad things seem, you can Al What? What No.
N (scoffs) My dad taped over it with one of his stupid high school football games.
Sorry.
You know, it doesn't matter, nothing matters.
Is there anything I can do? Yes.
You can build me a time machine so I can go back and tell my younger self to give up, because nothing's gonna work out the way he wants.
I was thinking a nice cup of leaf soup.
What's all this? Your magic tricks from the garage.
Your wands, your top hat with the stuffed mouse inside.
I never had a stuffed mouse.
Okay, do not wear this hat.
Why is it all in the living room? Because I think The Great Howdini deserves to be a member of the Magic Castle.
That's sweet, but I'm not that guy anymore.
I've outgrown it.
Have you? Look, I know you still want this, and I can help you.
All those pageants I did as a kid-- I could teach you how to present yourself, connect with the judges, sabotage the competition.
Whoa, whoa, no one's sabotaging anybody.
Of course not.
Little girls in ball gowns trip, it happens.
Trust me, I'm gonna be the pageant mom to you that my mom was to me.
I thought you hated your mom for making you do that.
More talk like that and you're not getting any dinner.
Amazing how it all comes back.
(Skype ringing) Yes? - Hello, Mother.
- Hey, Beverly.
Hello, Leonard.
Hello, Penny.
To what do I owe this call? I need your professional advice.
Well, I'd love to help you out, dear, but I'm very busy at the moment.
Perhaps we can schedule a time next week.
It's about Sheldon.
Oh, well, I-I suppose I can spare a minute or two.
Wh-Why did you just say you're too busy, but Leonard, please, not everything is about you.
Penny, go on.
Well, ever since his paper got disproven, he's been a wreck.
He's been sad and and angry.
He just seems kind of broken.
Well, it sounds like he may be grieving.
Really? - Over a theory? - Of course.
You can grieve over any emotional loss.
The more you care about something, the greater the trauma of losing it.
Oh, boy.
He cared about this a lot.
Yeah.
What can we do to help him? Well, grieving is a process.
Every culture has its own rituals and traditions to facilitate mourning.
The ancient Egyptians had their mummification, the Tibetans had their sky funerals And when I was little and my dog died, my mom sat me down and very gently told me that she wished the truck had hit my dad instead.
I was trying to lighten the mood.
Your dog had just died.
Howard and I have been working really hard on his audition, so it'll be helpful to get another set of eyes on it.
Well, as someone who has watched every episode of America's Got Talent, I'm getting pretty good at telling when some American's got talent.
Seriously, Heidi and I agree, like, 90% of the time.
All right.
Don't be afraid to be brutally honest.
Like my mom used to say when I was doing pageants, "Tears only make your eyes sparkle brighter.
" That is both sad and true.
Half my Instagram is after a good cry.
Howie, you ready? WOLOWITZ (flat): Yeah.
I now present The Great Howdini.
(music playing) I've got magic to do, just for you I've got miracle plays to play I've got parts to perform, hearts to warm Kings and things to take by storm As we go along our Way.
Hello.
I'm The Great Howdini from Altadena, California.
I have no brothers or sisters and my favorite thing to eat is grilled cheese.
When does the magic start? It already started.
Hey.
Hi.
How are you guys doing? A little better, if you can believe it.
Sheldon? (muffled): Go away.
Buddy, come on, let us help you.
The only person who could help me was erased by the Medford High Wolves.
Oh, that's funny.
My high school was also the wolves.
No? Not now? Okay.
LEONARD: Look, t-this might seem strange, but, uh, we thought it might help you get some closure if you had a chance to properly say good-bye to your paper.
Yeah, you know, we could say a few words, you could talk about what it meant to you and-and we could bury it somewhere.
You mean have a funeral for our theory? Yeah.
That's ridiculous.
I thought so, too, but my mom thought it might work.
Beverly thought it would help? We should try it.
Wha-- How come when you thought it was my idea SHELDON: (stammers) Leonard, please, this is not about you.
I guess we could bury it in the park.
Yeah, where dogs do their business and other dogs sniff that business? - I don't think so.
What would you like to do, Sheldon? The only fitting send-off: a Viking funeral.
You mean, like, push it out into a lake and shoot it with a flaming arrow? This guy gets it.
How about a bathtub and a match? How about a bathtub and a flaming arrow? How about a bathtub, a match and an ice-cold Yoo-hoo after? Sold.
(sighs) Would you like to say something? Y-Yes, thank you.
I know this is just a scientific theory, but to me, it was more than that.
It described the universe in a new and beautiful way.
I want that to be the universe we live in, but I guess it's not.
Amy, would you like to shoot the arrow? It's kind of beautiful, isn't it? Yeah, it is.
It's getting kind of close to the curtain.
It's in water, it's fine.
- Oh! - Oh! Oh! Looks like we both had theories that were wrong.
PENNY: Okay Are you getting sick? No, I have glitter in my nose.
Just your nose? Consider yourself lucky.
Hey, I'm gonna take tomorrow off so we can spend the whole day running the act.
You know what, it has been so much fun working on this with you, but - But what? It hasn't.
I'm not gonna audition.
Hey, I didn't raise a quitter.
You didn't raise me at all.
Look, I get that you're scared, but we just have to push past that.
I'm not scared.
I don't like the act.
It's over-the-top and weird and has more jazz hands than magic.
Why didn't you say something earlier? You seemed like you were so happy, and then when I tried to say something, you seemed like you were so mad.
Hey, this isn't about me.
I just wanted you to have your dream, and I wanted to control everything about how you looked and acted so that your victory was mine.
Well, that's honest.
But if I'm gonna go through with this, I have to do it my own way.
I respect that, and I'm glad that I helped lead you to this moment.
Stop trying to make this your victory! (crowd cheering, whistle blowing over TV) Why are you watching that? I'm just looking to see if there's anything left of your speech.
It's not important.
I remember everything I said.
And? It was good, it just would've meant more coming from me.
All right, bring it in.
Is that your dad? It is.
I've only seen pictures of him.
I know we're down, by a lot.
And if I'm being honest with you, we're probably not gonna win this one.
In fact, we're definitely not gonna win this one.
Do you want me to turn it off? But we're not gonna quit, either.
And if we do lose, you need to know that doesn't make you losers.
You learn as much about who you are and what you're made of from failing as you do from success.
Maybe more.
So you can spend the next half feeling sorry for yourselves, or you can get out there and give them hell.
Yeah! Let's give them hell! Oh-- watch your mouth, your mom might I remember that game.
Did they win? Oh, no.
No, they lost so bad, the other team let one of their cheerleaders try to kick a field goal.
Well, that was a nice speech.
Too bad it didn't work.
Maybe it did.
What do you mean? I've been acting like the game is over, but it's only halftime.
And there's a lot more physics left to play.
Wow, was that your first ever sports metaphor? It was.
And I think it was a home run.
That's two.
It's interesting.
I've always thought that my father's journey and my own were so different, but he also faced failure and setbacks.
Maybe our lives mirrored each other more than I thought.
So, from one viewpoint, you and your father's lives are asymmetrical, but from another vantage point, they're symmetrical.
Sheldon, what if symmetry and asymmetry are observer-relative? That would mean that the Russian paper was right But only from one perspective.
If we look at it from a deeper view in more dimensions, our theory still stands.
Not only stands, i-it might be an even bigger idea than the one we were originally proposing.
Go get your laptop.
We have a paper to fix.
(chuckles): Okay.
Thanks, Dad.
We're gonna give them hell.
Hi, I'm The Great Howdini, and it's an honor to be auditioning at the Magic Castle.
Could I borrow your watch, sir? - Sure.
- Thank you.
Ooh, Rolex, fancy.
I'll get it right back to you.
Observe: one very expensive watch, one wooden mallet.
Do I dare? I do.
Would you be amazed if your watch survived that pounding? I think you would-- behold.