Last night’s episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ had its moments, but it definitely felt like the show lost its footing a bit, especially after the past couple of stellar episodes.

The episode begins with Raj announcing he’s been asking to help implement a message to aliens on the new Discovery mission NASA is planning. While Sheldon and Howard begin tossing ideas back and forth, assuming they would be leading the team in the assignment, Raj instead ejects them from his team, choosing to work with Leonard who was not being pushy.

So Leonard and Raj get together at Raj’s apartment and begin working out their system on how to communicate with extraterrestrials, realizing early on that Howard and Sheldon are the alpha males of their group, which is why they jumped on the project and attempted to take charge. (leaving Leonard and Raj as either the beta or omega males). After hours of work and an exciting breakthrough, Leonard realizes they’ve arrived at the same idea that Sheldon and Howard proposed earlier that day, and they admit they need the alpha males back.

Meanwhile, Howard decides to try his hand at molecular mixology as a way to get back at Raj, who had been looking forward to trying out the hobby with Howard. Bernadette enters and notices all the drinks, and Howard explains to her his plan, taking a snap shot of them holding their drinks and concoctions and then posting it to the internet to make his other wife (Raj) jealous. Bernadette laughs when Howard explains Raj’s anger at him and Sheldon for being “alpha males,” and then she supervises Howard’s kitchen clean-up and sends him off to bed. We know who’s the alpha male in that marriage.

Sheldon is visited by Penny, who wants career advice on whether or not she should quit pharmaceuticals and audition for the Kevin Smith movie she had been told about in last week’s episode. After convincing Sheldon to get off the topic of trains and actually offer her his opinion, he tells Penny not to make a decision until after the audition, as it would be pointless to quit her job without knowing how the audition goes. Penny agrees, and goes to the audition, belatedly realizing why she hates acting so much. After blowing the interview, she decides she’s happier in her new job, and decides to take Bernadette out to thank her for helping her get the job in the first place (an idea pushed on her by Bernadette, who felt she was never properly thanked for the opportunity). And since Amy overheard the conversation and would be crushed to be left out, she goes along for the dinner as well.

The guys all get together to work on the message, and while they discuss sharing ideas and not rolling over other people’s suggestions, Sheldon realizes that when he’s in charge, the gang has amazing adventures, such as his and Howard’s trip to Texas, or his and Leonard’s visit to Skywalker Ranch. While he places himself in charge once more, Raj realizes that in a way they are all in charge, as they are the ones who allow someone else to take control. (or whatever.) At the end of the episode, we see the completed message (starring Sheldon), telling the aliens where to find earth, with helpful directions like “Just take a left at Alpha Centauri, you can’t miss us.”


LEONARD: When I encountered alien life I discovered that the key thing was not to sit in its spot.

HOWARD: So I have a dominant personality, we all know that.
BERNADETTE: I’m sorry, what do we know?
HOWARD: In social groupings I’m just naturally in charge.
BERNADETTE: Don’t take this the wrong way, but how many of these little booze balls have you had?

PENNY:[knock, knock, knock] Sheldon [knock, knock, knock] Sheldon [knock, knock, knock] Sheldon!

SHELDON: I bet that started off as a joke, but by the last one, you realized there’s something strangely enjoyable about it.
PENNY: Yeah, I kind of want to do it again.
SHELDON: I don’t recommend it. You’ll be doing it the rest of your life.

RAJ: Oh you mean passive-aggressive like posting pictures of you and your wife eating cosmopolitan balls that you know belong in my mouth?

Hopefully this was nothing more than a filler episode, as nothing really important happened aside from Penny deciding she liked her new job, and I think we all knew that was the decision she would end up making. Here’s hoping next week gets the show back on track, especially as there’s only a handful of episodes left this season!