The Big Bang Theory: Season 5, Episode 5

The Russian Rocket Reaction (13 Oct. 2011)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
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Sheldon takes offense when Leonard wants to attend a party with Wil Wheaton, while Bernadette tries to block Howard's opportunity to go into outer space.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Mrs. Wolowitz (voice)


Since they are in the comic book store when he stops in, Leonard and Sheldon are invited by Wil Wheaton to a party at his house. Leonard has every intention of going, which may place his and Sheldon's friendship on shaky ground as Wil is still on Sheldon's arch enemy list. Can anything convince Sheldon to attend the party himself? If so, he may end up meeting more arch enemies. Meanwhile, Howard, whose project has been chosen by NASA for the International Space Station, has been asked by them to go on a three week mission to the station. He believes that all his friends will be as happy for him as he is excited about it. But one person who isn't excited at all is Bernadette, who doesn't want him to go. Bernadette uses a tactic to convince Howard not to go, but that tactic may actually paint Bernadette as the bad guy. Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

13 October 2011 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


There's a second reference that Howard may travel into space for a piece of equipment he has designed. In "The Porkchop Indeterminacy", Howard remarks, "I'm working on a project that may take me up on the next Space Shuttle." That project is possibly the deep field space telescope he designed and certainly would require years to complete. Note that his statement was uttered before the retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet and NASA's reliance on the Russian Soyuz rocket. See more »


Howard refers to residents of Kazakhstan as Kazakhi, but the correct demonym is Kazakh. See more »


Amy Farrah Fowler: I don't understand. What difference does it make if Leonard goes to Will Wheaton's party?
Penny: Will Wheaton is Sheldon's mortal enemy.
Amy Farrah Fowler: Mortal enemy? Sheldon, I know you're a bit of a left handed monkey wrench, but you really have a mortal enemy?
Sheldon Cooper: In fact, I have 61 of them. Would you like to see the list?
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Crazy Credits

CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #359 Okay, I'm just gonna say it out loud. There are times when going crazy looks attractive. And I'm not talking about becoming charmingly eccentric. I've already got that covered nine ways to Sunday. No, I'm talking about purposely emigrating to the land of lunacy. That special psychological zip code where The Ancient Laws of Behave Yourself no longer apply. My "reasoning" is simple. It takes a great deal of effort to sustain a conservative, trustworthy persona. Surrendering that effort would involve, from a Freudian perspective, a conscious dismantling of the super ego - that part of the psyche entrusted with enforcing parental and socially approved actions. And therein lies the allure of going full frontal wack-a-doodle. The constant energy required to pass as normal would suddenly become available for doing and saying whatever pleases me in the moment. Imagine it. The id and libido completely unbound by any and all moral or cultural restrictions. Hmm... Probably won't need the shrink anymore... might need a lawyer. See more »


References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »


The Big Bang Theory Theme (Instrumental)
Composed and Performed by Barenaked Ladies
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1 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Even Amy Farrah Fowler finds Sheldon's dislike of Wil Wheaton rather infantile, not that the ongoing feud wasn't one of the most enjoyable ones on recent television. And while Wheaton seemed to enjoy needling Sheldon in his last appearance and he was willing to go to sinister lengths to beat him at bowling and Mystic Lords of Ka'a (not above playing the dead grandmother card), we see that the feeling is not completely mutual. And in a fitting comic irony, another Star Trek: The Next Generation cast member supplants Wheaton as one of Sheldon's mortal enemy. "Don't worry. It doesn't take up too much of your time." A more curious is this episode is titled after a subplot not alluded to in the CBS trailer, but is worth mentioning as it is the start of things to come. After Bernadette can't dissuade Howard from going into space, she tells his mother on him, leading some more amusing lines from the unseen Mrs. Wolowitz. It was both clever and despicable at the same time. That Penny still finds Howard repulsive is amusing, while Amy more effectively gets her point across, even before having more self-serving motives for supporting the coming Wolowitz-Rostenkowski nuptials.

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