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‘The Big Bang Theory’ Recap and Reaction: “The Dependence Transcendence”

The third episode of season 10 of The Big Bang Theory aired Monday night with “The Dependence Transcendence.” While it had its usual sparks of comedy the series is known for, this episode was full of heartfelt doses of reality.

Men at Work

Howard, Sheldon and Leonard in the lab in The Big Bang Theory episode "The Dependence Transcendence"

In this episode, Howard, Sheldon, and Leonard officially begin work on the guidance system for the military. With the two-month deadline Sheldon promised, that means there’s plenty of long nights ahead. Only Sheldon can’t stay up that late, so Howard and Leonard suggest caffeine – which he objects to.

However, the next day he’s found asleep in front of the vending machine, which leads to a hilarious dream sequence. He wakes up to find the Flash standing there, offering him an energy drink. Sheldon eventually succumbs to peer pressure (all the superheroes take performance-enhancing chemicals!) and takes the drink. This scene was by far the funniest of the night.

Eventually, after struggling through a fake caffeine addiction problem, Sheldon admits the real reason he’s been stalling on working: he can’t do the math. He admits that he tried but he’s not as smart as he thought to figure it out. This leads to a very touching moment where he cries on Leonard’s shoulder, who reassures him.

The boys’ storyline ends with them asking Colonel Williams for an extension from two months to two years. He easily grants it, citing that they’re not the first to miss a government deadline. There are two things to take from this. One, while being an adult can be terrifying, it’s okay to admit our shortfalls because life can be more lenient than we give it credit for. And two, with the new two-year deadline, is there a better chance we might get a season 11?

Where’s the Excitement?

howard, bernadette and Raj standing in kitchen in Big Bang Theory season 10 episode 3

The B-plot for this episode involves Raj and Bernadette, who is starting to show her baby bump. Raj wants to spend the day with her doing baby stuff like getting the nursery ready. Bernadette, however, is worried because she doesn’t care about all that baby stuff like other moms do. She reiterates from earlier seasons that she never expected to be pregnant.

While it’s sad to see Bernadette upset, it’s a nice change of pace to see a character not be thrilled about having kids for once. Not everybody wants kids in real life, and for the writers to include that is a sobering, yet realistic choice.

It’s also sweet to see Raj make her feel better by calling his dad to give her some advice. Raj’s dad tells her that it’s normal not to feel excited and that you’ll never know how things might turn out. He then gives the example of how Raj’s mom loved him so much growing up, only for him to move halfway across the world and break her heart. Bernadette says she feels better (but Raj doesn’t), ending a very comforting, reassuring scene.

Look Who’s Popular

The third, smaller storyline revolves around Penny and Amy. Amy brings Penny to a “party” (aka a gathering for scientists to share ideas) at Bert’s place. In a previous episode, Bert, a geologist, revealed he had a crush on Amy. The girls arrive an hour late, only to find that no other guests showed up. The party ends up a bust, and Bert asks Amy not to tell anyone at work because, as it turns out, she’s the most popular girl at Caltech.

Penny and Amy stay to find out more about Amy’s popularity. Apparently, she became a trendsetter for cleaning her equipment a new way, and Sheldon’s only popular because he’s dating her. It was fantastic to see Amy so happy and excited about her newfound popularity, and for Penny to be happy for her. She truly deserves more moments like this.

“The Dependence Transcendence” was a good, wholesome episode overall. It was welcoming to see the characters face some real-life challenges and get past them despite the possible consequences life can throw in sometimes. And now that the boys can relax with their project, it will be interesting to see what new challenges will come their way next episode.


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