Not the best episode of the season, but definitely a step up from last week, and with lots of funny moments. To me, the gang is at its best putting their intellect against some form of modern technology (i.e. space toilets, Raj dating Siri, Howard and the robot hand, Leonard and Sheldon versus internet commentaries).

Jumping in, the episode opens with the gang having dinner, and discussing Leonard’s trip back to his old high school, where he has been asked to make the commencement speech. Penny is accompanying him, and being Penny, she still has not packed, even though they leave in a hour. Sheldon warns Leonard about being blinded by tossed graduation caps, while the gang revels that Leonard will be able to go back to his old stomping grounds (where he was literally stomped on) as a successful scientist and with a beautiful girl on his arm.

On their way out the door, Leonard gets notified on his phone that his flight is cancelled, as a huge storm has hit the east coast. He tells Penny they won’t be able to get another flight, which is a shame as I wanted to see the pair visit Leonard’s mom and see his old digs in New Jersey. To cheer him up, Penny speaks to his old high school and gets them to agree to let Leonard give the speech via Skype, presenting him with a costume for a “short and sexy” graduation outfit that he can wear during the speech. (Leonard: “Short and sexy? That’s right in my wheelhouse!”) The speech is a bit boring, with even Penny falling asleep on the counter next to Leonard while he is making it, so Leonard cuts himself off, and instead speaks to the “invisible” kids graduating, telling them there is hope in the future, and their lives will only get better post high school, and telling all the popular kids that this was it for them. (I’m surprised Penny did not take offense to that, as she was clearly one of those popular kids).

Howard and Sheldon meanwhile, are attempting to get Raj’s state of the art helicopter drone to work, with Howard confident that with his engineering degree, he can fix it himself. After dropping off the drone, Raj receives a phone call from his father, angry that Raj spent an entire month of rent on the drone. He cuts him off, causing Raj to head back to Sheldon’s apartment to grab the drone and return it. He arrives to find the entire drone taken apart, as Howard wants to look inside to see what was wrong. Raj calls his mom and persuades her to give him money, so the drone is no longer an issue. Sheldon wants Howard to look at his train next, as it no longer emits smokes while running, but Howard says he can only work on one toy at a time. Howard works with Sheldon, Bernadette (who dropped by with Howard’s tools) and Raj who manage to piece the drone back together, but when they test it, it sparks and smokes (SHELDON: “Hey! That’s what my train used to do!”) They decide to finally make the dreaded decision to call tech support (HOWARD: (to Bernie) “There are two types of people in this world, those who call tech support and those who make fun of those who call tech support”), but they are left on hold. Raj speaks to his father, and convinces him to restore his allowance, so he now has double the allowance from both parents. Eventually, the drone starts to work, but the gang is not controlling it, and the the helicopter attacks the group and wrecks the apartment.

At the end of the episode, Penny and Leonard are walking back to Leonard’s apartment, Penny assuring Leonard that the speech was great, when the door flies opens and the crazed drone flies out, causing them to dodge the toy and fall to the ground. Sheldon assures them that everyone inside the apartment is ok, and then slams the door in their face.

QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:

SHELDON: (after warning Leonard of the dangers of the ceremonial graduation cap toss accidentally blinding him)”I wonder if they make ‘I Told You So’ cards in Braille.”

PENNY: (after their flight has been cancelled) Well you could tell it to me.
LEONARD: Thank you, I’m ok.
PENNY: Are you sure? I could pretend I’m a high school cheerleader that can’t control herself around esteemed alumni.

HOWARD (trying to prove to Sheldon he knows what all the pieces to Raj’s drone are): How familiar are you with miniaturized integrated logic circuits?
SHELDON: Not very-
HOWARD: -That right there is a miniaturized integrated logic circuit.

RAJ: Time for me to step up and take responsibility for my life. Be a man. (dials his phone). Hello Mommy!

SHELDON: (when Howard doesn’t have time to fix the smoke stack on his toy train) Maybe it’s for the best, I hear train smoke is the second leading cause of death among train aficionados.
RAJ: Whats the first one?
HOWARD: Suicide.

BERNADETTE: Ready to call tech support?
HOWARD: (pulling out his phone) Probably end up talking to some foreign guy who’s reading from the same manual I have.
(he dials, and Raj’s phone starts ringing, to everyone’s amazement)
RAJ: (also confused, answers his phone) It’s my father you jerks!

Much stronger episode than last week, though I did miss Amy, as she is one of my favorite characters, though I’m not sure where she would fit in either of these story lines, especially as they were barely able to squeeze Bernadette into the episode. In light of that, it almost felt like an old school ‘Big Bang Theory’ episode from season 1 or 2, as it was dominated by the four guys and Penny.