Remember that big question Marissa (Lindsey Kraft) and Zack (Brian Thomas Smith) asked Leonard (Johnny Galecki) a while back? On tonight’s Big Bang Theory, “The Donation Oscillation,” it’s time for him to make his contribution.

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The weekend before Leonard’s date with a plastic cup coincides with a visit from Penny’s (Kaley Cuoco) dad, Wyatt (Keith Carradine). Before he walks in the door, Penny gives Leonard a short list of things to avoid discussing: why she isn’t pregnant, that he’s donating sperm to Zack and Marissa and the Cornhuskers. 

Unfortunately, Wyatt’s first words when we walks in the door are about Penny’s non-pregnancy, so she throws Leonard under the bus by revealing his plans with her ex-boyfriend. Wyatt may have a gruff exterior, but he’s a marshmallow inside. He engages in a thoughtful conversation with them, respectful of his son-in-law’s decision and of Zack’s choice of this particular “prize stud.”

Perhaps because her daddy doesn’t step up to stop Leonard, Penny attempts to seduce him during the days of his mandatory pre-donation sex fast. He uses the spare key to Amy (Mayim Bialik) and Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) apartment to escape her advances, which include the wearing of sexy lingerie and reading aloud of Batman comics. 

When Sheldon finds Leonard asleep on his sofa in the morning, he and Amy wake him up and suggest that although Penny’s words may be saying that she’s on board with the sperm donation, her actions don’t. They also point out that leaving behind his genetic signature in someone else’d child won’t make him a dad. 

Leonard goes home to find Penny and Wyatt in the kitchen, where Wyatt has just explained that he doesn’t want Penny to miss out on parenting because having her has been the best part of his life. He’s also assured her that he will support her no matter how she chooses to go forward regarding children. Leonard adds to the emotional charge of the moment by telling Penny he has decided he won’t go through with the donation because he’d be heartbroken to know that he had a child in the world that he wasn’t the dad of. She hugs him, and she tells him she knows. 

Leonard calls Zack to give him the bad news, and he recommends that they try Sheldon instead, as he obviously wants the job. When Zack asks him, though, Amy absolutely forbids it.

While the Hofstadters are working out their family planning, Howard (Simon Helberg) and Raj (Kunal Nayyar) decide not to let the bachelor party Howard planned go to waste. After all, if Raj and Anu (Rati Gupta) hadn’t canceled their wedding, it would be happening in India next week– and the Wolowitzes have their non-refundable, $3000 plane tickets to remind them of this. 

Leonard and Sheldon opt out of the trip in the “Vomit Comet” (a reduced gravity aircraft that flies straight up and down to create periods of weightlessness for passengers), so Raj suggests that they bring Anu and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and make it a couples’ trip instead. 

Howard is sure Bernie won’t like it, so he invites Bert and Stuart before even telling her about it. His mismanagement of the situation gets her dander up, so she insists on going just to prove that he doesn’t know her as well as he thinks he does. 

When they get to the airfield, Bernie is a little shaken by the lengthy waiver they have to sign, absolving the company of any liability in case of injury or death. She decides that it’s irresponsible for both her and Howard to go up together, in case something happens that leaves their babies without parents. 

Howard tries to call her bluff by offering to let her be the one to go, and her stubbornness makes her take him up on it. A while later, Bernadette is floating weightless and hating it while Anu and Raj revel in the experience and Howard waits on the ground.

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Leona Laurie