First, a couple non-spoilery notes:
Like I mentioned last night, it is now confirmed that Kevin Sussman has been upped to a regular on the show. But unlike Amy and Bernadette, who appear almost weekly, Stuart won't be popping up quite as often.
Second, I'm sure you've nearly all heard about Mayim Bialik's car accident from last week. Mayim still has a cast on her right hand, and between takes had that arm in a sling. But throughout the episode her injury was hidden - no sling, and the cast was kept out of sight.
SPOILER ALERT. Following is the taping report for "The Decoupling Fluctuation." Please credit me if you share this information anywhere.
Bernadette’s opening wedding presents at her apartment, with Penny and Amy also there. She opens up a gravy boat, and Penny makes a note of it on a pad of paper (“one gravy boat”). Amy says that’s from Sheldon, and he had it engraved on the bottom. Bernadette turns it over to read the engraving – in case of divorce, return to Sheldon Cooper. Penny modifies her note to “one inappropriate – yet I wish I’d thought of that – gravy boat.”
Amy says that when she gets married, she’s going to register with the UCLA cadaver lab. Penny says, ew, why? Amy says because she’s always wanted a full human skeleton, but they are pricey. As Penny gets up to get a drink, Bernadette asks Amy if she really thinks she’ll get married to Sheldon. Amy says yes, she’s got a five year plan. Bernadette says that they’ve been together for two years, and they’re only holding hands. Amy says she knows, she’s ahead of schedule. On the last couple of takes, Amy’s response to Bernadette’s initial marriage question was yes, in exactly four years, but don’t tell Sheldon cause he’s a flight risk.
As Penny comes back and sits down, Bernadette asks, “what about you?” Penny asks, about what? Bernadette asks if Penny thinks she and Leonard will get married. Penny says that Leonard’s a really great guy. Bernadette asks again, “but do you think you’ll get married?” Penny says he’s a real sweetie. Amy says she’s not answering the question, and asks if she loves him. Penny says of course she does. Bernadette says it doesn’t sound like it, but Penny says, well, she does. One of the girls asks if she tells him that, and Penny says no, he’d just take it the wrong way. They ask how, and she says that he’s special, and smart, and nice…
Bernadette asks if she’s going to break up with him, and Penny says “no, maybe, I don’t know what to do…” Then on the first take here, it’s supposed to be Bernadette’s line next, but Melissa wasn’t saying anything. Kaley asked, “Do you know what to do?” and Melissa was like, “I don’t know what to do!” But Bernadette’s next line was she didn’t know Penny was so unhappy. Penny says that’s the thing, she’s not unhappy! But she doesn’t know what she’s feeling. She’s been in love before, and it felt different. “Maybe this is a new, better, boring kind of love.”
Penny asks Bernadette if she ever feels like that with Howard, and Bernadette says no, but that’s not a fair question, since Howard’s like a sexy Buzz Lightyear. Penny asks Amy about Sheldon, and Amy says no, whenever she’s around him it feels like her loins are on fire – but in a good way, not a urinary tract infection way. On the last take, Amy said in a good way, not an I-need-cranberry-juice way.
Starts off PRE-TAPED at the guys' apartment, Leonard, Sheldon, and Raj are all crowded around Leonard’s laptop at his desk, and they’re talking to Howard via a video chat. Raj practically is yelling as he says hi to Howard, and Howard tells him there’s no need to yell, it’s not like he’s up in space hundreds of miles above the earth – oh wait, he is! They ask him how it’s going, and he says good, but then one of the other astronauts is reminding him that he needs to clean the toilet, and says if he does a good job, they’ll let him use a brush next time. Howard tells the guys that all the astronauts joke around and give each other a hard time.
At one point Sheldon says it’s his turn to talk to Howard, and he holds up his hand to his mouth like he’s speaking into a radio, and says something like, “Sheldon Cooper, 2311 Los Robles Pasadena, to Howard Wolowitz, International Space Station, do you copy, over.” Then he makes this sound into his hand that I can’t quite describe, but it’s sorta like static over a radio. Leonard asks him if he really needs the sound effects. Sheldon says that Howard is in space, without the sound effect, he might as well be at a coffee shop down the street. Someone calls Sheldon crazy, and he again says his mom had him tested. And there was a bit more to the whole conversation with Howard, but being pre-taped, I don’t remember it all… It ended pretty much though with one of the other astronauts again reminding Howard he needs to clean the toilet, but he tells the guys he’s gotta go cause there’s a meteor shower. One of the astronauts says right, meteors, you should see what someone left in the toilet.
Then starting here the scene was LIVE, as the guys say bye to Howard, then Stuart walks into the apartment. Sheldon asks what he’s doing there, and he says that Raj invited him to come to the movies with him. Sheldon says he didn’t authorize that, and Leonard says he’s not in charge of everyone. Sheldon says that’s pretty sassy for someone who has a roommate evaluation coming up. Raj says that the others would have their girlfriends, and he didn’t want to sit alone. Sheldon says that their intimate group of five has now turned into a faceless mass of six.
Leonard tells Sheldon to just pretend that Stuart is Howard. Sheldon considers this, then tells Stuart that Howard eats Raisinetts, and asks Stuart if he likes Raisinettes. I think Stuart asks if it’s a requirement or something for him to eat them. Sheldon says he doesn’t care what Stuart eats, so long as it doesn’t crunch, and it’s Raisinettes. Sheldon also says that if he’ll be replacing Howard, Sheldon will need to know more about him, so he asks for Stuart’s educational background, and says Howard went to MIT. Stuart says he went to art school. Sheldon says that’s equally as ridiculous, and is satisfied.
From right to left, we see the group sitting in a row – Penny, Leonard, Raj, Stuart, Sheldon, and Amy. Amy holds out her hand, face up, and gives Sheldon a pointed look (and on the first take a small cough), and he takes her hand and holds it. Sheldon says he still thinks the hand holding is ridiculous. Amy says she likes it, and Sheldon says, “you’re a girl, you like hippie dippy things.” Sheldon looks down the row, and tells Amy it’s not fair, Penny’s not making Leonard hold her hand. Amy says Penny has her reasons. Sheldon asks what – sweaty? Germs? It looks ridiculous?
Amy says that Penny’s thinking of ending things with Leonard. Sheldon looks down again, and tells Amy she’s wrong. Amy asks why. Sheldon says that Penny just took a drink from Leonard’s diet Dr. Pepper – if she was thinking of ending things, why would she drink from the witches brew of his soda and spit? Amy says it’s complicated. Sheldon says no, string theory is complicated, this is yucky. Then he asks, for the sake of argument, if Penny is planning on breaking up with Leonard, why hasn’t she yet? Amy says that Penny’s still trying to figure out how she feels. Sheldon thinks that’s silly, because he knows how he feels about topics – “Trains, good. Swordfish, good. They have a sword on their nose!”
Amy says just don’t tell Leonard anything, or Penny will kill her. Sheldon says fine, but FYI, he doesn’t like secret keeping. Also, hand holding, not a fan. But hammerhead sharks, good! “Another fish with a tool on it’s head.” Stuart then offers Sheldon some Raisinetts – Sheldon’s annoyed and says no, and tells him they’re trying to watch the movie. On the last take, Sheldon also then told Amy that it wasn’t working out well with Stuart.
Between scenes Johnny, Kaley, and Kunal were all eating a lot of the popcorn in the big paper bucket that Johnny was holding, and Johnny and Kaley were talking a lot, whispering a little in each other’s ears at times.
Scene 4 (PRE-TAPED)
Bernadette’s on her computer, talking to Howard. She asks how everything’s going, and he says good, but it’s clear something’s bothering him. So she asks what’s wrong, and he says that the other astronauts are being mean to him. Among other things, they glued a mask to the outside of his window – he screamed for nine minutes. He tells her she can even watch on youtube, it’s called “astronaut screams for nine minutes.” Bernadette suggests talking to them, but Howard doesn’t know what to say. Bernadette says, “Being mean is lame. Being nice is cool.” Howard says sure, the next time he wants to be the first person in space to get a wedgie. Bernadette asks if she should call the people at NASA. Howard says no, his mom already tried, it just made things worse.
Leonard and Sheldon are on their laptops at their desks. Sheldon’s making these noises with his mouth, and sort of making little faces, and says he thinks he has plaque buildup – his tongue won’t go as far forward as it used to. Leonard asks if maybe his tongue is shrinking. Sheldon holds out his forefinger and thumb a specific distance apart, sticks out his tongue a little and measures the distance from the tip of his tongue down to his chin, then says “nope.”
He keeps making the noise, then says, “you have no idea how annoying this is.” Leonard says he’s starting to get an idea, but then says he’ll take Sheldon to the dentist tomorrow. Sheldon thanks him, and says, “you’re good people, Leonard.” Sheldon stands and is going to go to bed, but before he gets to the hallway he stops, and turns to face Leonard again, and is debating saying something (and the audience awww’d here at Sheldon’s obvious concern for Leonard).
Sheldon says he has to tell Leonard something. Leonard asks what it is, and Sheldon says he can’t say. Leonard asks why not, and Sheldon says he can’t say that either – “so there’s two things I can’t tell you.” Leonard mutters “I wish there was more” and turns back to his laptop. Sheldon almost leaves again, but then comes back and sits down again and moves his chair closer to Leonard, saying they need to talk. Leonard says okay, and Sheldon goes, “I like the Transformers. Do you like the Transformers?” Leonard asks where exactly Sheldon’s mother had him tested.
Sheldon says that he likes the Transformers because it shows that things aren’t always as they appear. A semi-truck could actually be a robotic alien. Someone who’s in a relationship might not actually feel towards the other person like they seem to. This conversation about the Transformers might actually be about someone in this room. Sheldon gestures a little with his hand as he says that, then after a few seconds says, “I’m going to pause now to let that sink in.”
Leonard says he thinks he knows what’s going on: the seemingly emotionless robot is Sheldon, but thanks to his relationship with Amy, he is transforming into a warm blooded male who desires sex. Sheldon says, “That is literally the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” and stands to put his chair back and go to bed.
Starts with a short (PRETAPED) scene of Sheldon knocking on Leonard’s bedroom door, late at night. Sheldon asks if Leonard’s awake. I couldn’t hear Leonard’s initial response over the audience laughing, but then Leonard asks, what do you want? Sheldon says never mind and leaves.
Cut to (LIVE) Sheldon in Penny’s bedroom, standing watching her sleep, knocking quietly on the wall and then saying “Penny.” He does it again, a little louder, and on the third knock Penny wakes up and freaks out. Sheldon jumps back, and tells Penny she scared him. She asks why he’s in her bedroom, and he says he knocked at her front door, but she didn’t hear. She asks him how he got in, "you weirdo," and he says something like, “I’ve seen strange men come in and out of here for years, but when I do it it’s weird?”
Penny asks what he wants. He says that he couldn’t sleep, and since she was up, thought they could talk. She asks about what. On the first take, he said something like, “Clean water, nature’s dwindling recourse. Yogurt, fun snack, or creature in a cup? Leonard’s attractiveness as a boyfriend – oh, that’s a meaty topic I just thought of from the top of my head.” Then it was changed to, “The weather, fish you can use as tools, Leonard’s attractiveness as a boyfriend, your pick.”
Sheldon asks Penny if she knew that Leonard has a perfect driving record, and enjoys all the benefits that go along with it, “hubba hubba!” Penny turns off her lamp to go back to sleep, but Sheldon turns it back on, and continues with saying that although Leonard is short here, in modern North Korea he is a perfectly average height. Penny asks Sheldon what Amy told him. Sheldon says alright, he couldn’t keep up this clever charade for much longer anyways.
Penny tells Sheldon to listen closely, it’s nice that he’s looking out for his friend, but this isn’t any of his business, and he needs to stay out of it. (On the first take here, Jim started in with his next line a little too early, and then said, “God damn it!”) Sheldon says that it’s not out of concern for Leonard at all, and asks Penny if she knows what homeostasis is. Penny, annoyed, says of course not. Sheldon explains that it’s a system that maintains and controls all of its internal factors, such as temperature and pH. Penny says “worst bedtime story ever.” Sheldon tells her that, regardless of her feelings for Leonard, she needs to keep dating him. And while he’s on the topic, Sheldon says she’s recently changed her shampoo, and he can’t get on board with the new scent – she needs to go back to green apple.
Penny tells him she just needs to think things through, and in the meantime, not a word to Leonard. Sheldon confirms that they’re clear on the shampoo issue. Penny then turns her light off again and rolls over, but before Sheldon leaves, by the door he quietly says, “Don’t hurt my friend.” And Penny tells him, honestly, “That’s the last thing I want to do.” (I rarely get emotional to the point of tears with this show, but I very nearly teared up at those two lines.) Then Sheldon gets a whiff of her shampoo, and says honestly, coconut, what was she thinking?
PRE-TAPED - Amy wakes up in the middle of her night to her phone ringing. She answers, and it’s Penny, asking her what she told Sheldon, and “do you know the situation this puts me in?” Amy tells her to hold on, she has another call coming in. It’s Sheldon on the other line, telling Amy he just wanted to let her know that Penny knows that Amy told him about Leonard. Amy says she knows, Penny’s yelling at her right now. Sheldon says good, he's glad they're on the same page.
Leonard, Raj, Stuart, and Sheldon are playing Ka’a at Leonard and Sheldon's. Leonard plays a card, then Raj, then Stuart. Sheldon tells Stuart that Howard wouldn’t play that card, and hands it back. Stuart asks which card Howard would play. Sheldon takes a look at Stuart’s hand, and points at one. Stuart says but then he’d lose. Sheldon asks, “Do you want to win, or do you want to be cool?” Then it was changed so after Sheldon points at a card, Stuart just asks, really? And then it was changed again, so Stuart just picks a different card to play on his own. But on all three versions, after Stuart’s new card, Sheldon plays his card and wins the game, and tells Stuart “your eagerness for friends makes you weak.”
Raj asks Sheldon and Leonard if they have plans for later, and says he and Stuart are going out for drinks. Stuart says yeah, they’re planning on hitting on women – coffee and cream are coming! He and Raj do a fist bump, then Raj tells the others, in case they weren’t following, he’s coffee.
Sheldon tells Leonard he should go. Leonard asks why, and says he has Penny. Sheldon says that she has a death wish – she talks to strangers, pets dogs she doesn’t know, and her apartment is ridiculously easy to break into. He says Leonard needs to have a backup. Leonard says you can’t just replace someone you care about with a random person. Stuart says, “please don’t ruin this for me.” Sheldon asks Leonard if he remembers how he was upset when Edward Norton was replaced as The Hulk, and Leonard says yes, Sheldon went around for a week saying “Sheldon upset about casting choices” (in a Hulk voice). Sheldon says but then Mark Ruffalso was in The Avengers, and he was even better. He tells Leonard, “I still think your Mark Ruffalo is out there somewhere.”
Leonard ignores him and asks if they’re going to play cards. Stuart tells Sheldon that he likes Mark Ruffalo, but Sheldon tells him that no one likes a suck up.
Leonard and Penny are sitting on her couch, eating. Leonard says that he took Sheldon to the dentist that morning, and promised him ice cream if he didn’t bite the hygienist. He didn’t have to take him for ice cream. Penny’s not really paying attention, only muttering mmms and uh-huhs as response. Leonard asks if everything’s okay, cause she seems distracted. Penny says there’s something she needs to tell him. Penny says she’s not really sure how to say it, but Leonard tells her to just say it. (At this point, I half-thought they were going to pull a twist, and have her say that she loves him. But that was partially due to my wishful thinking.)
So she’s sitting facing him, and suddenly he has the saddest, biggest, puppy dog eyes you’ve ever seen. Absolutely adorable. And the camera zooms in really close on his face too, to exaggerate it even more. (My interpretation of this is Leonard wasn't ACTUALLY making a face that extreme, but that's just how Penny interpreted it, as she was worried about hurting his feelings.)
On the second take, after Penny says, “I need to tell you something,” Johnny asked, “is it about the helicopter landing on the roof?” (Because there was something flying over the studio that they could hear.) Then as they were resetting, Johnny asked, with a slight British accent, if he could get another napkin. Then Kaley said, “You and your big production for your napkin!” After the first take of Leonard’s puppy dog eyes, I’m pretty sure Kaley was laughing. Then after they cut for the last one, she leaned over and gave him a big hug.
Then cut to Bernadette’s apartment, where Penny’s with the other two girls, and Amy asks in shock, you slept with him? Penny says he was just looking at her with those big eyes, and she didn’t know what to say. And she demonstrates, “it was like this,” only her imitation is much more humorous. Amy says if that’s all it takes, it’s a good thing she doesn’t have a dog. Bernadette tells Penny that she’ll have plenty more chances to break up with Leonard – their wedding night, their honeymoon, their fiftieth anniversary… Penny says it’s not like they’re getting married, they’re keeping things homeostasis. On the first take, Amy and Bernadette look at each other, and Amy says “close enough.” On the second take, Amy says, “it’s so cute when she tries.”
Penny gets a text from Leonard that she reads out loud, “Last night was amazing. You’re amazing. I’m so lucky to have you in my life.” She looks up at Amy and Bernadette, and they’re both giving her puppy dog eyes too (Amy’s a pretty good imitation of what Penny’s were like).
PRE-TAPED - Bernadette’s talking to Howard on video chat again. Howard’s telling her that it worked, he talked to the guys, and everything’s great now, they’re not being mean to him anymore, and something about how he finally got some really good sleep the previous night. But Bernadette’s kinda distracted, cause she sees that Howard has “Fruit loops” written across his forehead, and there are big circles drawn around his eyes, and he also has a black nose, and whiskers. He asks her if something’s wrong, and she says no, everything’s fine.