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"The Decision Reverberation" is the twentieth episode of the twelfth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Thursday, April 25, 2019.

Summary

Koothrappali is worried people won't take him seriously in his own field after publishing a paper that suggests he may have discovered alien life. Also, Leonard wants to be the principal investigator on a plasma physics study.[1]

Extended Plot

The gang is in apartment 4A discussing dinner and seeing the latest Avengers movie. Sheldon doesn’t want to eat at 10 PM which leads into a discussion of Hemingway’s dinner habits and his six-toe cats. The decision has to be made whether to see the film in 2D or 3D. Three-D makes Leonard queasy though he gives in to go with the crowd. Sheldon calls him a satisficer, though there is a question whether that is a word. It is pointed out that Leonard accepts what is satisfactory to everyone without even considering what would make him happy.

After the movie Leonard is home with a headache having missed the last part of the movie due to his queasiness. According to Leonard, the group sat too close to the screen. Penny wants him to stand up for himself more.

Raj takes Anu into his telescope lab to show her where he works. She wonders where the telescope is. Hawaii. Raj is observing optical flashes on a distant planet that might be reflections off objects that indicate an alien presence. Anu finds that work exciting.
Verb20

The audience thinks that Raj discovered alien life.

Amy comes up the stairs finding Leonard sitting on a step. Penny wants him to decide what they are doing that night without taking her feelings into consideration. Amy is going to get a 25-minute lecture from Sheldon on what it would be like if the Hulk were made of metal. Leonard admits that he was always a people-pleaser; however, he doesn’t want to pick something that she doesn’t want to do or he’ll disappoint her. Amy then reminds Leonard that he went after Penny because he wanted her despite what others wanted including Penny.

Leonard then charges into his apartment determined to do something that doesn’t take Penny’s feelings into consideration at all. What he wants is sex! And then afterwards they are going to watch "Star Trek: Discovery". Penny doesn’t think he set a very high bar since he wants sex with his wife, though she is game; however, she may be on the phone while they watch television.
Verb21

Leonard is submitting a proposal to the university.

Raj finishes his planetarium lecture and has Howard and Bernadette ready to ask questions. Howard asks how far away the star he was talking was and whether he planted friends to ask questions. A woman complemented him on his paper about solar reflections and asks whether he meant that he found intelligent life in the universe. Raj replies that as a scientist, he can’t rule that out. Howard then has a question about the aliens he found which Raj tries to deny. Another person had had a sister that had been abducted by aliens. Finally the whole audience gets excited thinking that Raj had found alien life out there.

Getting dinner ready, Sheldon thinks that the Chinese food smells funny. It’s barbeque because that what the new Leonard wanted. Sheldon claims to be flexible until Leonard claims the right to sit in Sheldon's Spot on the couch. Sheldon blames Penny and then goes to his place in a huff. Both Leonard and Penny agrees that watching Sheldon leave was more exciting that the sex they had just had.

Driving Sheldon to work leads the new Leonard to take a different route. Sheldon warns him that if they cross the county line, it’s kidnapping. Sheldon claims that he has changed and now gives knowing winks with his condescending remarks. Leonard wants to be the principle investigator on a plasma physics study and he was determined to have the university fund it. If the university doesn’t accept his proposal, he plans to look elsewhere. “Sure you are,” Sheldon says giving him a knowing wink.

Raj is finding himself getting notoriety on the Internet for claiming to have found alien life. He is on a conspiracy theory website and is getting kidded by his fellow colleagues. Howard tells him to not worry about it since people are just having fun with him. Then Raj finds his office full of aliens and UFO blow-up dolls and alien cardboard cutouts.

Amy is again walking up the stairs and finds Sheldon sitting on a step. Sheldon asks Amy how do determine of his actions are for a noble reason or a selfish reason. Amy suggests that he adds the final comment, “That’ll show ‘em,” and see how it sounds. Sheldon doesn’t want Leonard to demand a new job because he doesn’t think that he’ll succeed. Amy adds that since he is worried about his friend, it shows that he cares. Sheldon thanks her and tells Amy that she earned a sponge Hulk lecture. After Sheldon leaves she tells herself that “That’ll show me.”

Leonard shows Penny the proposal that he put together, which Penny thinks looks great. She hasn’t even read it. Penny can tell by the weight of the science-y heft of the paper that it's great. Sheldon comes in and tells Leonard that he doesn’t think that he should demand that the university fund his project while threatening to leave. Penny is shocked that he is willing to quit. Leonard counters that there are plenty of other universities in the world. Penny cracks that she can’t get him to the beach and now he wants to move to the world? Penny felt that he should run it by her before he is planning on quitting his job. Leonard still thinks that he has a strong proposal. Unfortunately President Siebert turns him down.

At the planetarium Raj is commenting on the buzz about him claiming to have found alien life. He compares it to other science fiction concepts that eventually became fact and that scientists must keep an open mind on things like a round earth, germs, sub-atomic particles colonies on Mars, matter transporters, the Loch Ness monster, etc.

Next Howard is checking his computer and finds the news that a Caltech scientist claims that the Loch Ness monster is real.
Reverb15

Sarah keeps finding stair sitters.

Leonard returns home and Penny asks him how it went. Leonard claims that it went great. He didn’t get the project. Penny injects that doesn’t want to move because she just bought a membership to SoulCycle. Leoanrd did threaten to quit, but after leaving the President’s office, Siebert told him that he didn’t want to lose Leonard and that he offered him a co-lead on another project. Penny is happy for him and wants to celebrate. Leonard really doesn’t want to make another decision that night.

Sheldon climbing the stairs with Amy tells her that he knows that she thinks that Broccoli Hulk was just another Jolly Green Giant. They both find Leonard sitting on a step. This time after going to SoulCycle, he can’t make it up the steps. Amy suggests that Sheldon keep him company. Sheldon then asks Leonard about how the Hulk would be if he were made out of sherbet. Leonard gives up. He would be delicious.

Credits

Notes

  • Title Reference: The title refers to what happens to Leonard after he decides to stand up for himself.
  • Taping date: March 19, 2019
  • This episode was watched by 11.84 million people with a rating of 1.8 (adults 18-49).
  • This episode aired in Canada on April 25, 2019.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card. [1]

Critics

  • To be entered.
  • IMDb user review - [2]

Trivia

  • Sixth episode of the last ten episodes.
  • Bernadette wants to see the new Avengers movie in 3D because she wants to feel close enough that she can lick Thor's abs. She will be disappointed because after five years in a gloomy underpopulated world where the Avengers lost, Thor has put on a lot weight while feeling sorry for himself and loving his beer. All the girls and Stuart have had a genuine appreciation for the handsome Thor throughout the series.
  • Sheldon gets notes in his lunch that he believed were left in there by Leonard, until it's revealed that Amy does that.

Quotes

Bernadette: 3-D. If I’m gonna see Thor, I want to feel like I could lick those abs.

Sheldon: Leonard, I don't mean to alarm you, but the Chinese food smells funny.
Penny: That's because it's barbecue.
Sheldon: But, it's Chinese food night.
Leonard: I picked it. You're the one who told me to stop being such a satisficer all the time.
Sheldon: What? I did not. I just pointed out that you were one. It's what I liked best about you. Well, that and those little notes you leave in my lunch.
Amy: (angry and annoyed) I LEAVE THOSE!
Sheldon: Well, that's disappointing. I already know that you heart me, now I don't know if Leonard does.
Leonard: This is what we're having for dinner. You can eat it or not. I don't care.
Sheldon: I guess that answers the heart question.

Sheldon: He is a textbook satisficer.
Leonard: That’s not even a word.
Sheldon: Uh, yes it is. According to Nobel-Prize winning economist Herbert Simon, satisficing is the decision-making strategy whereby a person accepts wherever available option is satisfactory rather than seeking out the action that would make him happiest as I just did when I explained what satisficing is.

Amy: Look, when you wanted Penny you didn’t care what anyone else thought or wanted, including Penny.

Raj: With apologies to Lady Gaga, that is how a star is born.

Maritza: I read your paper on specular reflections. It was great.
Raj: Thank you very much.
Maritza: In your conclusion, you said you couldn’t rule out the light flashes could be evidence of an alien civilization. So does that mean you think its aliens?
Raj: I was just illustrating that there are many unknowns, and as scientists, we can’t preemptively rule out possibilities.
Maritza: So you think its aliens?
Raj: Actually, no, that’s….
Howard: I have a question about the aliens you found.

Penny: Well, this looks great.
Leonard: You didn’t even open it.
Penny: Well, no. It has a nice, you know, science-y heft to it.

Howard:: Cal Tech astronomer claims Loch Ness Monster is real.

Penny: Hey, how did it go?
Leonard: Great.
Penny: What? So did you get the job?
Leonard: I did not.
Penny: So did you quit? Leonard, I can’t move. I just bought a six-month membership to SoulCycle.
Leonard: Well, I didn’t quit. I was going to. I walk out of the door and started crying. You know: Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. What’d I do? And then he called me back in.
Penny: Then he changed his mind?
Leonard: He did not.
Penny: I’m really confused how to react to this story.
Leonard: President Siebert didn’t want to lose me. Even though they couldn’t make me a lead investigator on a plasma team, there was an opening for a co-lead on a photon entanglement team. How cool was that?
Penny: You’re gonna have to tell me.
Leonard: It’s really cool.
Penny: Yay. Oh, I am so happy for you.
Leonard: I almost got what I wanted, it would never had happened if you hadn’t almost believed in me.
Penny: Oh, let’s celebrate. What do you want to do?
Leonard: Oh, please don’t make me make decide thing.
Penny: Hey, do you want to go to SoulCycle with me?
Leonard: Give me a minute, I’ll think of something.

Sheldon: If this is what he wants, he should ask for it. I mean, what’s the worst that happens? They say no.
Leonard: Well, I’m not going to let them say no. If they don’t want me to quit, this is what it’s gonna take.
Penny: Wait, you’re gonna quit.
Leonard:: Yeah, it’s like you said, I have to go after what I want, and if I can’t get that at Caltech, there are plenty of other universities in the world.
Penny: Wh..In the world? I can’t even get you to the beach and now you want to move to the world?
Leonard:: Well I don’t want to, if that’s what I have to do.
Penny: Okay, don’t you think threatening to quit your job is something you should run by me first?
Leonard: You said I shouldn’t worry about your feelings.
Penny: I meant feelings about things that I don’t care about.

References

Gallery

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