The Big Bang Theory: Season 2, Episode 15

The Maternal Capacitance (9 Feb. 2009)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Comedy
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 2,005 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

Sheldon hits it off with Leonard's psychoanalyst mother, but she drives Leonard and Penny to the bottle.



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Leonard is dreading a visit from his mother, famed scientific psychoanalyst Beverly Hofstadter. She has always driven Leonard crazy, much like Sheldon does now. It isn't surprising as Beverly and Sheldon are very much alike. Because of their similarities, Sheldon and Beverly hit it off. Beverly, however, extends her scientific psychoanalytical criticisms toward Howard, Raj and Penny, in addition to her son, the latter two who are driven to drink. In drowning their self-doubt in alcohol, Leonard and Penny have a special connection. Sheldon and Beverly also contemplate having a special connection. Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

9 February 2009 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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Did You Know?


Title Reference: Leonard's inability to handle his mother while she is visiting. See more »


As Leonard and Penny are doing tequila shots, the lime moves from Penny's hand to her mouth, without her making a move. See more »


[first lines]
Raj Koothrappali: [the boys are playing Rock Band]
Raj Koothrappali: I don't ever wanna feel / Like I did that day / Take me to the place I love / Take me all the way /
Raj Koothrappali: I don't ever wanna feel / Like I did that day / Take me to the place I lo-
[sees Penny in the doorway]
Penny: Fellas, please.
Howard Wolowitz: Penny, come on, we were just finding our sound.
Penny: You found it. It's the sound of a cat being run over by a lawnmower.
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Crazy Credits

CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #240 A wise man once told me that we are all God in drag. I like that. Sometimes when I'm in a public place or sitting at a stop light, I'll watch people walking by and I'll silently say to myself, "He's God. She's God. He's God. She's God." Before long I always find myself feeling a warm sense of affinity for these strangers. The experience is even more powerful when I do this while observing a person who is clearly suffering. On occasion I'll test my little spiritual practice by turning on Fox News. Within minutes I become an atheist. See more »


Featured in The 61st Primetime Emmy Awards (2009) See more »


Big Bang Theory Theme
Composed and Performed by Barenaked Ladies
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User Reviews

The Laugh Frequency
18 January 2010 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

This is easily the funniest episode yet. The LPM (laughs per minute) number is astonishing, boosted greatly by a masterclass stone-face performance by veteran comedienne Christine Baranski, whom most may remember for her role of Maryann Thorpe in "Cybill". The years have not dulled her talent of delivering absolute killer dialog while maintaining a twitch-less face world class poker players would envy. She interacts with the younger talent seamlessly, and together, they create magic. However, after the first ten minutes had passed in a breeze and the commercial break (we only have one during "half-hour" shows here in Finland) started, I began fearing the second half would not be able to maintain the LPM of the first half...

Guess what? It doesn't. And that is not the only problem. This *could* have been a full 10/10, but falls 1 point short because of not only the LPM dropping during the second half, but also for the sequence that starts with Leonard and Penny talking in private, and from there onwards sadly follows every cliché involving main characters whom the viewers want to see ending up together, but the writers keep coming up with excuses to postpone said event in the fear that with "the tension" gone, the show would be ruined. Hasn't anybody seen "Mad About You"? That show lasted 7 seasons (161 episodes) without loosing quality, for crying out loud!

People who rated this 10/10 then don't seem to realize the episode could be better and therefore does not deserve a 10/10. It is *very* hard to pull off a true 10/10 sitcom episode, but it is possible. Perhaps the greatest sitcom ever, the British "Coupling" (of which a limp American remake was made and it predictably failed) managed to pull of more of those than any other show. For peerless, inventive writing and masterful comedic performances, see episodes like "Sex, Death & Nudity" (1.3), "Inferno" (1.4), and "The Cupboard of Patrick's Love" (1.6) - and that's just examples from the *first* season out of four!

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