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"The Confirmation Polarization" is the thirteenth episode of the twelfth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Thursday, January 17, 2019.

Summary

When Sheldon and Amy's Super-Asymmetry theory is proven by two physicists, Dr. Pemberton and Dr. Campbell from Chicago, they're thrilled, until they try to kick Amy off the Nobel prize nomination. Also, Bernadette has a big success at work and Penny's going to be a part of it whether she wants to or not.[1]

Extended Plot

As Dr. Cooper and Dr. Fowler present a new episode of “Fun with Flags” where they are accepting viewers' emails, they receive an email from the Fermilab near Chicago. The email is about their research paper|paper on super-asymmetry and that work by Fermi-Lab employees have confirmed their theory. When Sheldon and Amy realize that their theory has been proven they start shouting “We did it!” over and over again. The rest of the gang are just coming up the stairs and hear their celebration thinking that the Coopers just had had sex again.

The rest of the gang is now in the Hofstadter’s apartment when Howard says that Bernadette has some exciting news. She says that she doesn’t want to brag, so nobody asks her about it which makes Bernadette angry. The drug that she has been working on for five years has been accepted by the FDA and can now be marketed. She has a new anti-inflammatory drug that has no side effects, but she doesn’t think is that effective. Now Bernadette wants Penny to head up her sales team, though Penny doesn’t think that she has enough experience. Penny wants to discuss it later while Bernie is determine that she takes the job. Sheldon and Amy burst in with their great news. First the gang think that they are still talking about sex. Two physicists at Fermi-Lab were conducting an experiment on kaon particle decay that actually supported their predictions on the higher order corrections pertaining to their asymmetry work. The sex topic Penny understood while the kaon thing she does not.
NB19

You'll be our 39th and 40th Nobel laureates.

Later Leonard tells his wife how proud he is of her being asked to head Bernadette’s sales team. Penny isn’t sure that it’s the right move for her since she has to be working for mean little Bernadette. Leonard knows that she can be difficult, but he is convinced that she can take anything Bernadette can dish out and give it back to her double.

In President Siebert’s office he happily greets Dr. Fowler and Dr. Cooper and wants to hug them. Sheldon doesn’t want to and that is fine with the President who only wants his star scientists happy. He tells them that the Fermi-Lab confirmation data makes their work a possible Nobel Prize winning effort. Fermi-Lab is sending out their two colleagues, Drs. Pemberton and Campbell, to meet with them. Sheldon thinks it’s wonderful that they are coming to LA to meet him. Sheldon and Amy would be Caltech’s 39th and 40th Nobel Laureates. Sheldon quickly take dibs on the number “39”.

In Bernadette’s office, she finishes up a call with someone that she plans on killing because he/she tried to steal her office while she was on maternity leave. Penny comes in with some bad news. Her boss can’t let her go to work on Bernadette’s project. Bernadette suggests that she could talk to her and rip her a new one. Penny doesn’t want Bernadette to intervene. "No ripping" and she doesn’t want to leave her supervisor shorthanded. Bernadette accepts her loyalty as Penny very quickly exits.
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Waiting for Penny. Two others think she lost her mommy.

Sheldon and Amy are having lunch, while Amy comments that they are back in the room that they were married in. Sheldon thought that it was much more impressive when Mark Hamill was in it. President Siebert brings in Drs. Pemberton and Campbell who conducted the kaon experiment. The Fermi-Lab scientists are excited to meet Amy and Sheldon. Amy replies that she and Sheldon thought it might be decades before their theory was confirmed. The Fermi-Lab scientists are more excited about seeing an episode of the “Ellen (TV Series)|Ellen” TV show. Amy wonders how they were able to design an experiment when the paper was only published a few months previously. The Fermi-Lab scientists’ confirmation was an accident since they were working with kaons for a long time and their data made no sense. Another colleague led then to the Cooper-Fowler paper which explained their data and proved the super-asymmetry theory. Instead of losing their jobs, they got a trip to LA. Also they don’t even understand the concept of super-asymmetry. And the four of them are changing the face of physics together.

In the cafeteria the guys try to talk about "Star Trek: Discovery", "Walking Dead" and "Black Mirror", but someone is behind in watching each of the series and they don’t want to hear any spoilers. Raj mentions the video of his dog barking at a pinecone he sent out, but Howard denies that he has seen it yet. Sheldon complains that Pemberton and Campbell and on a press tour taking credit for his and Amy’s work. Raj retorts that no one gets credit for finding something accidentally, though Howard mentions that Christopher Columbus|Columbus was looking for India not America. Leonard adds that the Nobel Prize board sometimes gives out the award to the experimentalist over the theoreticians. The Nobel Prize for The Big Bang Theory went to the scientists who first thought their sensors needed cleaning until it was pointed out that they were picking up the background radiation from the big bang. It did not go to the ones who came up with the theory.

Penny was called into Bernadette’s office to let her know that Bernie spoke to her supervisor who knew nothing about Penny’s sales team offer. Penny counters that she had been taking the new anti-depressant and that one of the side effects is lying. Bernadette wants to know why Penny doesn’t want to work with her. She knows that she is tough, but that’s because she is surrounded by useless idiots. Penny doesn’t think that she is up to the project since her last one was for her high school yearbook which never got published. Also she’d be in charge of people who had college educations unlike herself. Bernie just wants her to be mean to them like she taught her.
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Bernadette making Penny tough.

Sheldon finds Pemberton and Campbell having dinner and confronts them about trying to steal his Nobel Prize. They tell Sheldon that super-asymmetry is the breakthrough that will give them all a Nobel Prize and that they have to work together. Since only three names can be on the Nobel Prize submission, Fermi-Lab is going to submit Sheldon, Pemberton and Campbell names and leave Amy out. The prize is for physics so they plan on leaving out the neuroscientist. Fermi-Lab is submitting those three names and they have the best chance if Caltech submits the same names. Sheldon leaves hoping that he is not the kind of guy that would sell out his partner/wife for a Nobel Prize.

Discussing Penny’s new job, Bernadette doesn’t take kindly to Raj’s comment that it’s Penny's decision. Bernadette believes in Penny and wants to improve her even if it’s against her will. Look what she did for Howard. He went from a disaster to a sexy astronaut with a sexy|hot wife. She thinks she’s really good at changing people minds while her targets think that it was all their idea.

While have dinner, Amy keeps asking Sheldon what was on his mind since he is not eating and keep making clicking sounds with his tongue. He finally admits that Fermi-Lab wants to drop her name off the Nobel Prize submission and that if both organizations provide the same team, they have a much better chance of winning the award. After an initial, “Oh!”, she says that that makes sense. Sheldon still objects; however, Amy loves Sheldon and doesn’t want to be in the way of something that her husband really wants. Amy just wants Sheldon to be happy.

Coming up the stairs Penny finds Bernie waiting for her. Penny asks her how long she had been sitting there. Long enough for two people to ask if she was looking for her mother. Bernadette apologizes for trying to push her friend. She has chosen her colleague Karen who is stronger and more confident. And she steals Penny’s yogurt! Penny admits that she is nervous about though she sees what Bernadette is doing and still agrees to take the job starting Monday morning. As Bernie heads back down the stairs she says to herself that she could make that girl President of the USA|president.

Sheldon comes into the President’s office to discuss their Nobel Prize submission. Sheldon insists that Caltech include Amy in their submission or not bother writing one at all. Siebert says that that will start a fight with Fermi-Labs; however, he respects Sheldon’s decision and that Amy will be included. Sheldon is surprised, but Siebert tells him that he is there to serve their needs both academically and personally. Now Sheldon is filled with a lot of nervous energy, so Siebert shows him where the new gymnasium is.

Monday morning at the first sales team meeting, Penny describes herself as friends with Dr. Rostenkowski, Miss Cornhusker of 2001, still fits in the same jeans she did in 2001 and is the best damn salesperson there. She wants everyone to familiarize themselves with the specifications and marketing strategy for the new drug Inflamminex. She then tells them to memorize everything and then move on out. Go! Go! Go! Bernadette was very impressed. Penny replies that she was damn right that she was impressive. Bernie tells her to not use that tone with her. Right, Boss.

Credits

Notes

  • Title Reference: The title deals with the super-asymmetry theory being confirmed and the conflict with Fermi-Lab when their colleagues want Amy dropped off the Nobel Prize submission.
  • Taping date: January 8, 2019
  • This episode was watched by 13.32 million people with a rating of 2.3 (adults 18-49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 17.78 million.
  • This episode aired in Canada on Thursday, January 17, 2019.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card. [1]

Critics

  • Nicholas Graff at Science Fiction.com - It also once again throws doubt on what the heck the show is going to do in its finale. It was confusing for Raj to announce a Valentine’s Day wedding date since he removed the nuptials from the running, and Penny also took a pregnancy off the table.Or did she? Zach’s request for Leonard to be he and his wife’s sperm donor is one of the weirdest storylines the show has ever done and yet feels like the perfect thing for these last few episodes to grapple with. There’s huge potential for humour, if not just because Zach is hilarious and an easy nostalgia point, and it puts Penny and Leonard back in the spotlight for a change. It’s bizarre, but I love it. [2]
  • IMDb user review [3]

Trivia

  • Two Fermilab physicists', Drs. Pemberton (Sean Astin) and Campbell's (Kal Penn), experiment on kaon decay supported Sheldon and Amy's predictions on the perturbation theory (quantum mechanics)|higher order corrections pertaining to super-asymmetry.
  • The Fermi-lab scientists want to remove Amy from their Nobel Prize submission since only three contributors can be submitted.
  • President Siebert and the university supports Dr. Fowler in this disagreement with Fermi-lab.


Quotes

Sheldon and Amy: We did it! We did it! We did it! We did it! We did it! We did it! We did it!
Penny: (With the gang in the hallway) Ahhhh, remember when they only did it on her birthday?

Sheldon: So you weren’t even thinking about super-asymmetry?
Campbell: Thinking about it? We don’t even understand it.

Sheldon: There you are.
Campbell: Dr. Cooper, hello.
Sheldon: Hello to you to. Now stop trying to stealing our Nobel Prize. You come up with your own idea.
Campbell: That’s not gonna to happen.
Pemberton: Wouldn’t that be something though?
Campbell: Well, too bad.
Sheldon: That discovery belongs to Amy and me.
Pemberton: Look, Dr. Cooper. We all want a Nobel Prize. Super-asymmetry could be the breakthrough that gets us there.
Campbell: But we can’t fight over credit; we have to work together.
Sheldon: So you’re saying the four of us should agree to share this discovery?
Pemberton: Well, no unfortunately only three people can share a Nobel.
Sheldon: Oh, that’s right. (To Pemberton) So he’s out?
Campbell: No, I’m not out.
Sheldon: (To Campbell) So he’s out?
Pemberton: Neither of us is out. We think that the three physicists should be the ones who win the Nobel Prize for physics.
Sheldon: Wait. So you want to cut Amy out?
Campbell: No, of course not.
Pemberton: : We don’t want to, but we’re going to.
Sheldon: But she’s my wife.
Pemberton: Yes, exactly. She’s your wife. And she’s a neuroscientist. It’s like, what’s she even doing on this paper? It just raises questions.
Campbell: Look Fermilab is going to recommend the three of us to the Nobel committee. The best chance we have is if your university does the same.
Sheldon: I see. So you really think that I’m the kind of man who would sell out his partner of a chance of winning a Nobel Prize?
Pemberton: Are you?
Sheldon: Boy, I hope not!

Amy: Maybe you should.
Sheldon: What?
Amy: This has been your lifelong dream. And you may not get another chance. I don;’t want to be the reason that you don’t win a Nobel.
Sheldon: You’re the only reason I deserve one.
Amy: But if your best shot is with them I think you should take it.
Sheldon: Is this what you really want me to do?
Amy: I want you to be happy.
Sheldon: Thank you. (Hugs.)

Penny: Hey, how long have you been sitting here?
Bernadette: Long enough for two of your neighbors to ask of I was lost and looking for my mother.

References

Gallery

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