The Big Bang Theory: Season 5, Episode 23

The Launch Acceleration (3 May 2012)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Comedy
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 1,327 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

NASA cancel, and later reinstate Howard's mission into space, coinciding with his wedding. Leonard inadvertently jeopardizes his relationship with Penny.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Dave Roeger (voice)


With only a few weeks until the launch, Howard's space mission is scrapped due to technical difficulties. Rather than be disappointed, Howard is relieved, since he had always been scared of dying in space, something that he doesn't mention to anyone. However, NASA decides they do want him to go after all, instead sending him on an earlier mission... one that is scheduled to launch two days before his and Bernadette's wedding. He is hoping that Bernadette or Bernadette's tough as nails father will demand that he not go. Meanwhile, Penny decides that she wants to speed things up with Leonard, which Leonard is more than happy to do. But Leonard accidentally speeds things up just a little too much. And Amy does some speeding up of her own regarding her and Sheldon's relationship, regardless of if Sheldon likes it or not. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis







Release Date:

3 May 2012 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Raj claims that Natasha and Boris from "Rocky and Bullwinkle" came from the Soviet Union, while their country of origin was the fictional Pottsylvania. See more »


At the rental suit shop Sheldon explains that he is wearing long underwear in order to avoid coming in touch with someone else's sweat when trying the suit. Raj then says that his reaction is not as entertaining as when he rents bowling shoes. But in "The Wheaton Rucurrence" we learn that Sheldon actually has his own bowling shoes which he disinfects before wearing them anyway. See more »


[first lines]
Howard Wolowitz: [phone rings, Howard presses speaker-phone] Howard Wolowitz.
Dave Roeger: Hey, Howard. Dave Roeger here at NASA. We need to talk about your upcoming mission.
Howard Wolowitz: Yes, yes! I've been doing my pushups. I'm still stuck at nine, but... that's going all the way down with no-one holding me.
Dave Roeger: That's great, uh, but that's not why I called. We've run into a bit of a snafu. Your Soyuz capsule failed the pressurization test, so, bottom line, mission's been scrubbed.
Howard Wolowitz: [picks up handset] You're kidding. So what ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #387 He appeared normal. He spoke and behaved just like anyone else. The fact that he had no heart was very well concealed. Well, that's not entirely true. He did have one. It was just not in his possession at the moment. And this is where the story gets complicated. The woman who had the darn thing was blithely unaware of the fact. Well, that's not entirely true either. She knew that she'd left the relationship with more stuff than when she entered it, she just hadn't bothered to do a proper inventory. (Had she done so, she would have found several other hearts, as well as a few sets of balls.) Regardless, his dilemma remained the same. A woman had absconded with a vital organ and the gnawing emptiness he felt was a direct reflection of that vacancy. Well, that's not entirely true either. The gnawing thing had actually been with him since he was a child. He just liked to assign blame for the condition. See more »


References Dirty Dancing (1987) See more »


The Big Bang Theory Theme (Instrumental)
Composed and Performed by Barenaked Ladies
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best episodes
4 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode had a lot going for it and I enjoyed it so much. I am absolutely obsessed with this show, so I really can't rate it badly or find much wrong with it, but this episode blew me away. I am a person who likes huge surprises and this one contained a huge one. I knew before watching that Leonard would say something in bed, but I had no idea of the magnitude! I literally screamed at the television OMG when they came out of the bedroom. I was so upset because I knew it would ruin the relationship, but luckily it didn't. The end was a little weird but I was happy that it worked out (for how long I don't know). I also loved that she said no after kissing him, that was a surprise. From her first reaction I thought she'd say yes. They cannot get married YET, the show must go on and all shows end soon after the main character gets married. I think the dynamic between Penny and Leonard needs to build up more like it did in this episode. it has been a little bland with the whole "beta test" so this spice up was excellent! As for the Sheldon Amy Dynamic, I absolutely loved it. I thought she really got to him and some of the references were great. I love how she's changing Sheldon as a character. He, while probably one of the greatest characters of all time, is gaining even more depth and I really like that. He's clearly not INCAPABLE of feelings and social interactions. I love Amy's desire, needs, perversion and just altogether awesomeness. She really adds to the show and they need more of her. I also love her dynamic with Penny, even if that wasn't so much in this episode.

I think Howard has some really great qualities, but the focus on him was a little too much, that story line is a little dull, but his reactions were awesome. The writers did a much better job with his story in the previous episode though.

Raj is so funny and playing up the gay thing has really been funny, I wish they had done more of that in this episode.

overall this episode ROCKED and so has the whole season with a few exceptions.

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