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"The Citation Negation"[1] is the ninth episode of the twelfth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Thursday, November 15, 2018.

Summary

Leonard researches citations for Sheldon and Amy's research paper. He finds a Russian paper that basically discredits Super-Asymmetry. Bernadette tries to beat Howard and Raj at "Fortnite", and recruits help from Denise.

Extended Plot

Sheldon and Amy are competing their Super-Asymmetry paper by working on the footnotes for the appendix. Sheldon truly thinks that the paper is a product of both of them; his math and Amy’s sassy take on the fundamental nature of symmetry. He asked Amy to run down all the citations and notes which bothers Amy since there are hundreds of them. First they think about assigning it to a graduate student and then they decide to dump it on Leonard as long as they can trust him. Sheldon goes over to Leonard’s and tells him that he is having an affair and not to tell anyone. Leonard scoffs and later tells Penny that Sheldon is obviously testing whether he can keep a secret.
Neg13

Seeking Leonard's help.

Sheldon and Amy approach Leonard in the cafeteria telling him that he passed the secret loyalty test. Also Sheldon was never having an affair. They then ask Leonard to run down their paper’s citations. He first thinks that it was grad student work, but then agrees to help out.

Raj and Howard are playing "Fortnite" when Bernadette comes in and wants to join in. She plays her own games and those with Halley. Bernadette starts, parachutes in, lands and gets killed. You’re dead.

Raj is helping Leonard at the library. He did hear the rumor about Sheldon and the lunch lady (Sheldon's alleged affair) and he called her a floozy. Leonard splits the list of papers they want to find, while Raj is scared in the creepy dark library. On the other hand, Leonard has problems breathing because of the dust.

At work Bernadette is playing “Fortnite” to beat the guys. Penny comes in for lunch and wonders if Howard switch bodies with Bernadette in a “Freaky Friday” scenario. Bernadette quips that if that were true, she/he would be constantly staring at her own boobs. Bernie wants to beat Howard, but can’t kill anyone. Penny tries it once and kills someone instantly.

Back in the library, Raj and Leonard are looking through books that Leonard wants to finish before his inhaler runs out. Raj found a paper written by a Russian that has never been translated. They decide to have Howard look at it since Raj’s attempt at using Google Translation miserably fails.

Howard is reading the Russian paper in the cafeteria and admits that his Russian is rusty. The paper is a discussion of super-asymmetry. Sheldon and Amy weren’t the first to come up with the idea. Also, the paper states that the super-asymmetry model is flawed and not worth any further research. Both Raj and Howard want Leonard to break the bad news to Sheldon.

At the comic book store, Bernadette approaches Denise. Stuart is at the doctor’s, so Bernadette asks Denise why the two of them are together. Denise tells her that her parents own a funeral home, so she can read what she wants into that statement. Then Bernadette asks her to teach her how to play “Fortnite”. Denise accepts and returns Bernadette's question by asking about why she and Howard are together. Bernadette states Denise has eyes and she can understand.

Neg5

Competetive Bernadette on steroids.

Leonard approaches Sheldon’s door reluctantly. Penny comes up the stairs before he actually knocks. Leonard tells Penny what he found and that it will break Sheldon and Amy’s hearts and their chance for a Nobel Prize. Penny tells Leonard that he can do it while she runs for the safety of their apartment. Leonard knocks and is invited in. Sheldon wants to know how the work is coming. Leonard explains that Raj found a paper and that it disproves their work. Sheldon thanks him calmly, says that they no longer need his work on his whiteboard. After calmly starting to erase it he destroys the board, screams and runs into the bedroom.

Denise is at Bernadette’s teaching her the game. She is being as hard on Bernadette calling her a baby and unintelligent much like Bernadette treats other people.

Sheldon is looking over their paper as Amy comes into the bedroom. Does he want a cup of tea or hear “Soft Kitty”? No. Sheldon thinks that Amy should be more upset. She was just trying to hold herself together for him. Sheldon doesn’t want her to pretend that everything’s all right. Then Amy blows up that they had started it on the day of their wedding, months were spent on it and she thought they were changing the frontiers of science. NO, she is devastated. Sheldon then complains that that doesn’t help him at all and she should return to happy.

Bernadette finds Howard and Raj playing “Fortnite” and she asks if she could try it again. They are reluctant so she grabs Raj’s laptop from him. She finds Howard and still quickly gets killed by him. She runs out of the room telling her husband that she makes more money than him. Raj then adds sarcastically that Howard has a good woman there.
Neg8

Sheldon and Amy depressed.

Leonard and Penny are climbing the stairs hoping that the Coopers are all right. Leonard asked them if they wanted to see a movie. No. Penny wonders if they are already dead. Sheldon tells them to come in and both are still in their pajamas with trash thrown everywhere. They didn’t even know what day it was and they keep counting the number of things they are wrong about. Penny wants them to get back try even harder. Leonard tells them that together they can solve anything. Amy shoots back that if they think a pep talk can solve this, then Leonard and Penny don’t know how much their theory meant to them. Sheldon sees their Chinese dinner and Leonard offers it to them; however, it’s still not what Sheldon likes. Another thing that’s wrong.

Penny and Bernadette are in 4A as Bernadette is still playing “Fortnite”. Bernadette beats Penny who doesn’t really care while Bernadette is hyped on steroids. They get ready to go eat when Leonard comes in with a water bottle that Bernadette knocks out of his hand. Boom! Penny grabs her keys and says that she is going to drive.

Credits

Notes

  • Title Reference: The title refers to the Russian paper citation that disproves Sheldon and Amy's super-asymmetry theory.
  • Taping date: November 6, 2018
  • This episode was watched by 12.56 million people with a rating of 2.3 (adults 18-49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 17.35 million.
  • This episode aired in Canada on November 15, 2018.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card. [1]

Critics

  • Nicholas Graff at Sciencefiction.com - ...this week, I think this episode falls in the “meh” category. It’s unfortunate because it felt like they had all the ingredients this week for a solid ‘A’ story, especially since it seemed to revolve around Sheldon and Amy, but it just did not seem to come together...Never a good sign when the ‘B’ story has more comedy than the ‘A’ story, made all the worse by the fact that Sheldon and Amy are usually the comedy gold these days. Not to mention the fact that writing their latest scientist theory out like this kind of ruins a piece of their wedding...And as always, they need to find ways to give more members of the cast storylines in every episode. [2]
  • IMDb user review [3]

Trivia

  • The Russian paper, published in 1978, is called "Examinations of a Super-Asymmetric Model of the Universe" by Dr. Vasily Gregora-poli-popivich. It purports "the super-asymmetric model" is inherently flawed and does not bear the weight of further examination.
  • While playing the "Fortnite" video game Bernadette shouts "Weee!" like Sheldon noted she did while riding the land rover in the Star Wars online game in season 4.
  • Sheldon gave up too fast accepting a 40 year old paper that might have been disproven or was worth studying to see if it had any flaws or was even still valid. Science is always evolving.
  • Sheldon tells Leonard and Penny that a pep talk will not help him; however, in the next episode, watching his father give his high school football team half-time pep talk helps him and inspires him to continue.

Quotes

Sheldon: There’s only one woman allowed to touch my “no-no region.” (Amy puts her hand on his shoulder, and Sheldon ducks away) No, no.

Denise: Walk up to that chest and push “X.”
Bernadette: Which one’s “X?”
Denise: The one with the “X” on it!”
Bernadette: Take it easy I’m new at this!
Denise: The alphabet?

Sheldon: I don’t understand why you’re not more upset, this is your paper too.
Amy: I am upset Sheldon! I’m just trying to hold it together for you! Like when that goose wouldn’t leave us alone at brunch!
Sheldon: That thing scared you too?
Amy: Well of course it did! I was wearing a down jacket!

References

Gallery

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