May 4 2012 6:01pm

Sweet Nerdy Love: The Big Bang Theory Season 5, Episode 23 Special Recap

The Big Bang Theory posterAre you feeling the Big Bang Theory love? H&H blogger Anna Bowling is, and especially about last night’s episode, Season 5’s episode 23, “The Launch Accelerator.” Read on for a special reaction piece to the shippy moments that went down last night:


Who’d have thought a show about a quartet of nerds would prove to be chockablock full of romance? Raj still can’t talk to girls unless he’s drunk, but never fear, Howard, Leonard, and even Sheldon provide plenty of romantic interest. Surprises abound as Big Bang Theory barrels into the penultimate episode of the season.

Former would-be ladies’ man, Howard, seems to have it all; he’s weeks away from wedding his perfect match, the brainy and beautiful Bernadette, and he’s slated to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut. That is, until NASA calls to scrub the mission. Howard is jubilant. Now he’s not going to die in space, as he’d feared, but as God intended, in his early fifties, with a heart full of pastrami.

Inspired by preparations for Howard’s wedding, Leonard makes a bold move with on-again, off-again (currently on) girlfriend, Penny, who is ready to take things a little faster. Leonard takes this as a cue to go for the gusto and proposes during sex. Penny freaks; she’s not ready for this. Leonard tries to play it for laughs, but she knows him too well to believe he was joking.

 Even Sheldon, he who wears long johns to a tux fitting for fear of getting stranger germs from previous renters, isn’t immune to romantic foibles. Amy knows the best way to a man’s heart is science, so she proposes an experiment; can she transfer Sheldon’s attachment from things he already loves to her if she’s the one presenting them?

Sheldon finds this interesting, so he agrees, and the hits keep on coming. The romantic dinner music is the theme from Super Mario Brothers, the entrée is spaghetti with cut-up hot dogs, and that’s enough for Sheldon to suggest they do this more often. Uh-oh. What did he just say?

 Howard has no need to worry about breaking the scrubbed mission news to Bernadette, as a second call from NASA says the mission is back on…and rescheduled for the same week as their wedding. There’s no way Howard can make both, so he gallantly chooses love over duty, only to find that Bernadette refuses to stand in his way; they’ll postpone the wedding so Howard can make the launch. Cue cold sweats for Howard. 

Over a game of 3-D chess, Leonard and Sheldon observe the social convention of bellyaching about their old ladies. Sheldon complains that Amy is trying to make him happy, and he’s having strange thoughts about her at inappropriate times. Leonard guesses Sheldon means in bed or the shower, but this is Sheldon, after all. He means work.

Howard appeals to Bernadette’s dad, a retired homicide cop. If Mr. Rostenkowski won’t budge on the already-paid-for wedding preparations, what recourse will Howard have? He can stay safe on the ground and it won’t be his fault. No luck here, as Howard being an astronaut is the magic key to gaining his future father-in-law’s approval. Besides, if Howard does die in space, a pretty girl like Bernadette can find another guy soon enough.

In the hallway between their apartments, Leonard reminds Penny that she never answered his proposal. She does so now, with a deep, passionate kiss before telling him no. Leonard is confused. Are they still dating? Yes. Is it weird because he proposed during sex? Yes again. 

Leonard heads inside to ponder this, only to witness Sheldon, lying perfectly still on the couch while Amy, dressed as Nurse Chapel, scans his supine form with her tricorder. Amy jubilantly announces that they’re playing doctor…Star Trek style, while Sheldon turns deer in the headlights eyes to Leonard and begs for help, because he’s in hell. 

For viewers, however, it’s a delightful free-for-all. Will Howard come home alive and get the girl? Can Leonard turn a botched proposal around? Can Sheldon break out of Amy’s web? Is Raj’s selective mutism ensuring he’s the only sane man in this bunch? Only the finale will tell. What’s your hypothesis?


Anna C. Bowling considers writing historical romance the best way to travel through time and make the voices in her head pay rent. She welcomes visitors to her blog, Typing with Wet Nails and to follow her at Twitter.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Brittany Melson
1. BrittanyMelson
I love Big Bang Theory SO MUCH. I discovered it recently and have been watching all the episodes from the previous seasons. This season, I particularly love the relationship between Amy and Sheldon. Amy is so perfect for him. I'm laughing just thinking about the scene with Amy playing doctor. I'm just sad the season is almost over:(
Anna Bowling
2. AnnaBowling
@BrittanyMelson - Amy is absolutely perfect for Sheldon, isn't she? If any woman can get to him, she's the gal for the job. There has to be a gif of that out there somewhere. Classic!
Stephanie Treanor
3. Streanor
I LOVE Big Bang Theory!! Truly one of the best Sitcoms out there. I feel like its a homage to the early 90's sitcoms great characters, very funny dialogue and not to mention the very clever episode titles.

Amy's seduction of Sheldon was brilliant!! I'm waiting for TBS to get the rights to season 4/5.. I myself have been trying to play catch up. I only recently discovered the show and i missed the entire introduction of Amy . They are by far my favorite relationship.

Bernadette and Howard are a very close second. Especially episode "The Love Car Displacement" the scene where the group participates on a panel discussion, if you haven't seen it you must.
Nicole Neal
4. icecharm
I don't think I've laughed so hard at this show in a while. I about died laughing at the "playing Doctor, Star Trek style"!
Anna Bowling
5. AnnaBowling
@Streanor - Big Bang Theory is a classic, that's for sure, and the introduction of Amy took things to a whole new level. If any woman can land Sheldon, Amy's the one; her seduction experiment looks honed to perfection. I can't wait for Howard and Bernadette's wedding, either. Sounds like it's primed for the most delightful chaos. I also second the recommendation of "The Love Car Displacement." Anybody who's been on a road trip, a professional conference or a panel discussion -or in the audience- can relate.

@icecharm - Hubby and I are pretty sure there's never been a bad epsiode of this show, but this one has got to be in the top five. I think my desire for a gif of Amy's "playing Doctor, Star Trek style" announcement is verging on need.

Well looky there. Here's one:
6. Stephen.
Amy is my all time favorite BBT character.

She's just so amazing (I want an Amy for my girlfriend), and Mayim plays the part to perfection.

Mayim Bialik deserves that Emmy she keeps missing.
Post a comment