SPOILER ALERT. Following is the taping report for "The Weekend Vortex." Please credit me if you share this information anywhere.
Leonard, Howard, and Raj are climbing up the stairs. Raj asks Leonard if he wants to spend some time that weekend playing the new Star Wars video game. Leonard says he sort of promised himself he’d get off the computer – go on a walk, get some exercise, maybe join a gym. Howard asks, so you’re in? Leonard says sure.
On the second take, Howard’s line was changed to, you’re about to climb three flights of stairs. Leonard says good point, he’s in. (On a few of the takes, as they reset back to the bottom of the stairs, Kunal was making an exaggerated motion of running back down, and smiling at the audience.)
Next floor – Raj says maybe they can do it like the old days. Leonard asks, make it a marathon? Raj says yeah, start Saturday morning, 48 hours, sleeping bags, junk food. Howard adds, turning off our cell phones so our moms can’t call.
Next floor – Leonard says it’ll be like their Halo party from a few years ago, when the neighbors called the cops on them. Howard says that they called because of the smell, the neighbors thought they were dead. On the first take Howard said it more seriously, like he was clarifying the real reason they called. But on the second he said it lighter, like he was reminiscing about how great that was. Raj says they were pretty bad ass back in the day. Leonard says great, they’ll do the marathon, and Raj says “it’s on like Alderaan.”
They enter the guys’ apartment, where Sheldon and Amy are inside, and Leonard tells Sheldon to clear his schedule for the weekend – it’s going to be 48 hours of Star Wars. Sheldon asks, movies or video games? Or board games? Or trading card games? Or dressing up? Or comic books? And he had a few more… but then Sheldon says, yes to all! Leonard tells him the online game. Sheldon says, oh bully!
Amy says something like, as much galactic fun Sheldon would have exploring imaginary planets, they already have plans to go to her aunt’s ninety-third birthday party. Sheldon asks Amy to just tell them he couldn’t make it. Amy says her aunt will be disappointed. Sheldon says he’s 93, she won’t be disappointed for long. Amy says that she followed the relationship agreement – she gave him a 72 hours written notice, checked the air pressure in the car tires, and called the Center for Disease Control and asked what shots they recommend for a trip to Orange County – and fyi, it’s none.
Sheldon says that the relationship agreement wasn’t formed for either one of them to get their way. Amy says he uses it to get his way. Sheldon says no, he uses it to get the right way, and it’s a happy coincidence that his way is the right way. Amy says that he gave her his word, and he’s going to the party.
Leonard tells Sheldon they’ll miss him. Sheldon says who wants to spend their weekend with make believe planets and monsters anyway, that’s for babies. Howard says, but it has lightsabers. Sheldon turns to Amy and says, oh, lightsabers, please?
The guys enter the comic book store, and Sheldon stops to talk to Stuart. Stuart asks how he can help, and Sheldon says he’s going to a birthday party for a 93-year-old woman, and asks if Stuart has any gift suggestions. Stuart suggests putting a tennis ball on the end of Excalibur, and it’d make a cool cane. Sheldon asks if Stuart will provide the tennis ball. Stuart says no, so Sheldon turns that down. Then Stuart says they have the Batman collector’s utility belt, she could use it to hold her pills. Sheldon says she’d look silly wearing it without the rest of the costume.
Stuart is out of ideas. Sheldon says it’s okay, he’s already tried the model train store, and Radio Shack, they weren’t any help either, “this woman is impossible to shop for.” Over looking at some comics, Leonard tells the others that he’d make fun of Sheldon for having girl problems, but he still can’t believe that Sheldon has girl problems. Sheldon joins them and says to mock all they want, it’s like his dad always said – Shelly, the women aren’t good for anything except a friggin’ pain in the bottom. Leonard asks, your dad used to say that? Sheldon says he cleaned up the grammar and language, but essentially, yes. Then Sheldon’s line was changed to saying he cleaned up the language and removed the yee-haw.
Howard tells Sheldon he’s a grown man, and shouldn’t go if he doesn’t want to, he should just tell Amy he wants to stay home and have a sleepover and play video games with his friends; Amy might even like it, women like a firm hand on the tiller. Raj says he can never find the tiller – he read a book, but it didn’t help.
I think Sheldon might have had one more line here, but I can’t remember what it was. But then Howard pulls out his phone and says he just downloaded and app that might help – and he waves it, and it makes a whipping noise. He and Leonard and Raj laugh, then Sheldon says Howard’s right, he has a mind like a whip, he should be able to figure this out.
Leonard and Penny in her apartment, cleaning dishes. Leonard says he made some plans with the guys for the weekend, but then he wasn’t sure if he should have checked with her first because of the whole beta test with their relationship. But then he was worried that she might think he was taking things too seriously if he did ask, and then he got a nosebleed.
Penny says he doesn’t have to ask, he can do whatever he wants to do. Leonard says oh, okay, but that’s not exactly the answer he was hoping for. Penny asks what he was hoping for. Leonard says that she’d be upset that she couldn’t spend time with him, but then she’d realize he’s a stallion that has to run free, and it would turn her on a little bit. Penny says she’s an actress, and tells him to ask her again. So Leonard asks, what do you think about me playing video games all weekend with the guys?
Penny asks, all weekend? She can’t see him at all? But – no, never mind, she knew what she was getting into. No one can put a saddle on Leonard Hofstadter. Then she pulls at her shirt a little, and says it’s getting hot, and steps towards Leonard and puts an arm around his neck, her face close to his, “Ay papi.” Leonard asks, ay papi? What is that? Penny says it’s an acting choice. Leonard asks, that you turn into Speedy Gonzalez when you’re turned on? Penny says, si papi. Leonard says he’s going to kiss her just to make her stop speaking Spanish. But right as they kiss, Sheldon knocks at the door.
Then it was changed a little, so after Leonard asks about her turning into Speedy Gonzalez, Penny asks if he has a problem with that. Leonard says, uh-uh. But before they can kiss, they’re interrupted by Sheldon’s knocking. First Penny just walked to answer it, but then it was changed so she gives Leonard a quick peck on the lips before walking to the door.
When they were doing more takes of this scene, right before one the director came over and said something to Kaley, and I don’t know what he said but it looked like he made a claw with one hand, and Johnny started laughing. When the director left, Johnny told Kaley he didn’t even notice, whatever it was, and gave her a little hug. Then the director yelled hold in the middle of the next take, and gave Kaley another note, and when he left it looked like she mouthed “I don’t even know.” (But after that one, instead of both arms around Leonard’s neck, she only put one up.) And there was also a lot of cheering and whooping here on the first few takes, with Leonard and Penny close and the almost kissing, so they eventually had to ask that people not cheer.
But anyway, as Penny goes to answer, she says too bad stallion, your friend the giraffe is here. At the door, Sheldon gives Penny a package of gummy bears. Then he says, now that she’s in his debt, he has a favor – manipulate Amy into letting him out of the birthday party. Penny says no.
Sheldon says he anticipated the gummy bears not being enough, so he was ready to up the ante – he pulls out Cooper Coupons. He shows the first is good for a grammar check, for an email, letter, tattoo, whatever she wants. Then he says the next is a fun one, spend a day with him at the California Science Center, and he’ll point out their mistakes. Leonard tells Penny to check the expiration date on those coupons, he’s been burned before. Penny tells Sheldon it’s not going to happen. He says it’s time for plan B then. Penny asks what that is, and Sheldon says going outside with a wet head and hoping to catch a cold.
(Taped yesterday, reenacted once for us on stage.) Sheldon climbs into Amy’s car. Amy says something about how she thinks he’ll enjoy the day – in addition to meeting her family, the nursing home her aunt is in is catering, so all the foods will be soft, “it’s like a vacation for your teeth.” Sheldon says that he decided to find a way to go to the party and still have a good time. Amy thanks him. Sheldon says don’t thank him, thank wireless technology, and pulls his laptop from his bag.
Sheldon says this way he’ll be able to still play with his friends while at the party. Amy says that her family will be wanting to talk to him, but he’ll be on his computer, isn’t that a little rude? Sheldon says he’s got it covered, he brought his headset, so he won’t be able to hear what they have to say. Amy tells him if he cares so much more about the game than the party, and doesn’t mind her going by herself after she’s already told everyone that he’s going, then he can stay and play his game.
Sheldon happily thanks her and climbs out. Then he asks if she could bring him a slice of birthday cake, but only if the candle blow is clean and dry.
Sheldon, Leonard, and Raj in the guys’ apartment. Raj is unpacking a grocery bag, saying he got everything they need – low fat beef jerky, low carb beer, 100 calorie snack packs. Leonard asks him if he picked himself up a Y chromosome, because he thinks Raj is short one.
Sheldon’s on his laptop, and says the game gives them the choice to play for the light side or the dark side. Leonard says they always are the good guys when they play – in D&D they’re the Lawful Good, in Time of Heroes they’re the heroes, and in Grand Theft Auto they pay the prostitutes promptly and don’t hit them with a baseball bat. Sheldon asks, those women are prostitutes? You told me they were collecting money for stem cell research!
Howard comes in, carrying his sleeping bag and other stuff, and says he’s got a surprise. Leonard asks if it’s yogurt that helps women poop, cause if so, he thinks Raj beat him to it. Howard says that Bernadette will be playing with them too, that’ll be fun, right? Raj asks, you invited her? Howard says that Bernadette was suggesting they go out for breakfast the next morning, and then maybe the arboretum, and Howard said he was planning on playing video games all weekend with the guys. Bernadette said that sounded like fun, and asked if she could come too. He waited too long in answering , and she asked, what, you don’t want me to come? So now he bought her a new laptop and she’s parking the car.
Sheldon asks Leonard if this would be contextually appropriate for the whipped sound effect. Leonard says yes, but he thinks Sheldon waited too long for it to be funny. Sheldon does it anyway with his phone, and Leonard and Raj laugh, and Leonard says he was wrong, it’s still funny, then Sheldon does this weird laugh.
Penny answers her door to find Amy, who’s leaning sadly against the doorframe. Penny asks what’s wrong. Amy says her boyfriend’s a jerk. Penny says, well I know he didn’t cheat on you… then invites Amy in. They sit on the couch, and Amy says that Sheldon ditched her and didn’t go to the party. So all her relatives asked where he was, and if she’d made him up like Arman the miniature horse breeder.
Penny asks who Arman was. Amy says a boyfriend she made up to get her family off her back. But it all fell apart when they’d asked how she met him. Penny says she would have figured at a miniature horse show. Amy says that’s good – she panicked and said at Woodstock. Penny says that Sheldon was a jerk, but he’s not really the party kind of guy, he’s more the why’s this weird guy at the party kind of guy.
Amy says she really wanted to show Sheldon off to her family. Penny says sure, because he’s her first boyfriend. Amy says not just her first, but the best – “I’m dating Sheldon Cooper.” Penny says yes, on purpose. Amy says he’s just so tall, and smart, and lanky, and his skin has that pale waxy look to it. On the first take, Penny says yes, like a talking candlestick. Then her line was changed to sickly is the new sexy. Amy agrees.
Penny says that the sucky part of being in a relationship with someone you really care about is you open yourself up to being hurt. Amy asks if she’s ever worried that Leonard will do that to her. Penny laughs a little and says no, that’s ridiculous.
The guys and Bernadette are all on their laptops (Bernadette’s got a cute little pink one), Bernadette says to “shoot them!” then points her fingers like a gun at the screen and goes “Pew! Pew! Pew!” Sheldon tells her, Dr. Rostenkowski, saying “pew” is not as effective as using your blaster button, just like saying “weee!” doesn’t make the land cruiser move. Bernadette points her fingers at Sheldon and says “pew!” again.
Leonard tells Raj to watch out for the troopers on his tail, and Raj gets them, and says that when Gandhi spoke against violence, he must not have known how fun it was to kill things. They get the last of the enemy, so Leonard says lets split up the loot.
Bernadette’s excited about a purple dress, and says she’s going to put it on. Howard says that what her character’s already wearing offers more protection. Bernadette says, but it makes her look hippie. Then Bernadette says Howard should put on his purple robe so they’ll match. (Melissa tripped up over “purple” here. When they got ready to do it again, she apologized to the others, and Johnny told her “it was adorable.” Then she messed up “purple robe,” and everyone laughed.) Howard says he worked hard to earn his armor. Bernadette says she just thought it’d be nice if everyone knew they were a couple. Howard says fine, he’ll change.
On the last take or two, it was shortened a bit, so Bernadette just says she’s going to change into the purple robe she found, and encourages Howard to change too. Then it’s the same for the last few lines. Sheldon pulls out his phone and makes the whipped sound again.
Scene 8 (pre-taped)
Penny and Amy at Penny’s couch, a few red cups with beer set in front of them, plus an empty cup in the middle. Since the guys are playing the video game, they’re playing they’re own game. Penny explains that they’ll take turns bouncing quarters off the table and try to land in the middle cup, and if they do – Amy bounces one straight into the cup. Penny says that’s great beginners luck, and now she’ll drink one of her cups, and Amy can go again.
Before Penny finishes, Amy bounces a second quarter in. Penny says, well now I’ll drink all of this one, plus one more, and tells her to slow down – but a third quarter goes in. Amy says she used to toss a lot of coins in wishing wells asking for friends. Then there was too much laugher over her next line, but I think it was something about how she started aiming in cups for a challenge.
There’s a loud cheer they overhear from the guys’ apartment, and Amy comments about how Sheldon is over there playing that Star Trek game. Penny corrects Star Wars, the guys get mad at you when you mix them up. Amy asks what the difference is, and Penny says there is no difference.
They get talking about what Amy should to do regarding Sheldon, and Penny says her first approach would be withholding sex, but that will work better after Sheldon hits puberty. So Penny starts to suggest the silent treatment, but Amy says Sheldon would like that, sometimes they’ll see how long they can be in the same room without talking – once it was over 6 hours, it was a magical evening. Then Penny suggests that Amy make a scene. Amy says she doesn’t know if she can do that, but Penny says she’ll help her –back in Nebraska there are two restaurants she’s not allowed back into.
Everyone’s still on their laptops, Leonard says they’re almost done, so let’s finish quickly – he spilled Red Bull on his lap, and it’s turning into the swamp of Dagobah. Raj reminds Bernadette that she’s the healer in the group, so she needs to heal all of them, not just Howard. Bernadette says she just can’t help it, when Howie-wowie has an owie. Sheldon says that’s the most sickening sweet thing he’s experienced, and he’s drinking Kool-Aid from a Red Vine.
Amy and Penny burst in, and Amy says that she’s got a bone to pick with Sheldon, and she’s going to do it in front of all of his friends. Penny (who’s a little drunk), says, pick that bone clean! Amy says that she’s going to publically shame him, then watch as social pressure forces him to change his ways. Penny says, burn! Sheldon asks if this is about her forgetting to bring him back some birthday cake. Amy tells Penny she’s changing tactics, then tells Sheldon that she’s going to leave him for Arman the miniature horse breeder. (On later takes, they cut Sheldon’s line about the cake, and the changing tactics bit, and Amy just continues through with the line about Arman.)
Sheldon asks, Arman who? Amy says Arman… dammit. Penny steps in and tells Sheldon that Amy was wanting to show him off, but he ditched her, and look at her face, her smudgy face… Penny grabs the bottom of Amy’s face as she talks, and sort of pinches it, until Amy says she’s hurting her. Penny says no, Sheldon hurt her. Amy says Sheldon hurt her before, Penny’s hurting her now.
Penny lets go, and Sheldon says he understands, Amy is the one person in the world who can say that Sheldon Cooper is her boyfriend, but that’s hollow if Sheldon’s not there in the flesh. So he says he is sincerely sorry, and to help make up for it, offers her Cooper’s Coupons. Penny starts to say that Amy’s not interested in his stupid coupons, but Amy’s excited by the California Science Center one, and pulls it out to redeem now. Sheldon says well played, and he’ll be ready to go once he grabs his coat. Somewhere in here, Leonard pulled out his phone and made the whipped sound effect.
Raj stands and says he’d like to say something… He was really looking forward to his weekend, where it’d be just the guys, playing video games like it used to be, before the rest of them all got girlfriends. And do they know how hard it is for him to be the only one without a girlfriend? Even if he eventually gets a girl, he’ll be the guy who got one after Sheldon Cooper!
Penny says quietly to Amy, that’s how a girl makes a scene. Then she says to Raj, sorry sweetie, and says they’ll leave. Amy asks what about the science center, and Penny says she can hold back her hair whole she throws up instead. So Amy tells Sheldon rain check, and they leave. Bernadette tells Howard she’ll leave too, and they go back a couple times about “I’ll miss you,” “I’ll miss you more,” until Raj gets frustrated and tells Bernadette to just leave.
So it’s just the guys left, and Raj says this is how it’s supposed to be, the men teaming together to fight evil. Then he sits and picks up his beer, and says he can’t believe it’s only got X carbs.
Next morning, Howard and Raj are passed out sprawled on the floor, Leonard’s curled up in the armchair, and Sheldon’s sitting asleep in his spot. There’s knocking at the door, waking them up, and Mrs. Wolowitz yells, I know you’re in there Howard, and you turned off your phone! She says she’s been worried sick the past two days, and she went to the morgue, and the hospital, and just spent 30 minutes climbing up those stairs!
Howard sits and says that’s his ride, better go. And Sheldon makes the whipped noise with his phone again.