Wil Wheaton’s (Wil Wheaton) tenure as “Professor Proton” has finally commenced, and Sheldon begrudgingly tunes in for the first episode with Amy (Mayim Bialik), only to be completely sucked in. After learning how to make a hovercraft at home (Wanna try it? See video below!), and enjoying a terrific science joke (Why can you not trust atoms? Because they make up everything!), Sheldon has been lulled into enjoying himself when astronaut Howard (Simon Helberg) appears as a special guest on the program.
Sheldon doesn’t understand why Howard would have kept his appearance on the show a secret, so Amy tentatively explains that it was probably out of concern that Sheldon would be a big baby about it. This is the first in a series of revelations to Sheldon that everyone modifies their behavior around him to avoid his reactions to the myriad things he dislikes. Discovering how far-reaching this is (although, how could he possibly be surprised??) is devastating to Sheldon, and he is determined to prove to everyone, especially Amy, that he can change.
His resolve to grow is tested when he goes to Wil Wheaton’s house to apologize for having been so unkind when Wil got the job, and to ask him to please consider fulfilling Sheldon’s childhood dream by inviting him on the show. Wil throws him a curveball by saying he’d really like to have Amy on instead, in an effort to promote women in the sciences.
Sheldon pushes down his jealousy and encourages Amy to appear on the show, which she loves. She also loves him enough to know he needs to retreat to the rooftop to scream after suppressing his feelings for long enough to watch her episode and share her moment of joy.
Meanwhile, Leonard has been working on a novel about a crime-solving physicist. When he shares it with Bernadette (Melissa Rauch), she points out to him that he’s based the mean boss / love interest character on Penny (Kaley Cuoco). When he shares it with Penny, she sees the mean boss as an obvious Bernadette. It doesn’t take long for Howard to figure out that neither is true. He has unconsciously based the woman on his mother (Christine Baranski). This both makes everyone uncomfortable and clarifies to those in the audience who hadn’t already picked up on it that his mommy issues explain a lot of his relationship with Penny.
Raj (Kunal Nayyar) is there the whole time, but he doesn’t have a lot to do in this episode.
Stuart (Kevin Sussman) also appears as the sad-sack janitor in dramatizations of Leonard’s novel.
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