Leave it to a homeless guy who likes to rub his genitals on things to broker peace between a pair of warring pals. Taxi and Back to the Future star Christopher Lloyd is that guy, or rather, plays that guy, Theodore, a man who’s given the chance to rent Sheldon’s room in Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment for a mere one dollar a night. And when … wait, let’s go back.
Leonard decides to take the official flag of apartment 4A — the one with a “gold lion rampant on a field of azure,” as Sheldon described it in season three’s “The Staircase Implementation” — to spite Sheldon, after Sheldon … okay, back a little further.
When Amy asks Sheldon if he’d like to redecorate Penny’s apartment now that Shamy is making the place their official cohabitation nest, Sheldon suggests replacing all the things currently in Penny’s décor with all the stuff from his old apartment with Leonard. Because he’s Sheldon, he means all his old stuff. When he and Amy head next door to divvy up everything from a Game of Thrones sword to a mercifully one-of-a-kind Mr. Spock cuckoo clock, there’s little actual divvying being done; Sheldon wants it all. The 3-D Star Trek chess set? Sheldon wants it, and tries to assure Leonard it would be the kind thing for him to take it, since Leonard’s possession of the game would be nothing but a reminder that he could never win while playing it.
That’s why he feels he should take all the other games, too. He’s willing to let Leonard keep the avocado plant, the one they’re growing from something they got out of the garbage. Actually, Sheldon wants that, too — plants make a lovely housewarming gift for new roommates like him and Amy.
Cue Leonard losing it. It’s not that he even truly wants any of their shared … uh, treasures? It’s that he knows Sheldon “is just going to come up with some reason why everything should be his.” Sheldon’s response: “For a man so good at predicting my moves, how come you stink at 3-D chess?”
And thus begins a game of one-upmanship. Leonard says the only thing he really wants to keep is the apartment flag, the one that flag expert Sheldon personally designed but Leonard had to order, because Sheldon is too well known in the flag community to get a good deal. Sheldon gets back at him by changing the password to the Wi-Fi the two apartments share. Leonard retaliates by draping himself in the 4A flag and making sure his genitals rub against the cloth. The next day, he and Penny return home to find a strange man, Theodore, living in their home. Sheldon’s rent is paid up for the rest of the month, he points out, so he’s renting his room to Theodore for a buck a night. Theodore’s loving the sweet deal he’s getting, but when he hears Sheldon and Leonard tearing their friendship apart during a fight in the hallway, he intervenes.
“It sounds like a lot of this anger is coming from love,” Theodore says. “Seems like with Sheldon moving out, you’re in a new phase of your lives. And it’s easier to fight than to face the feelings that you two have for one another.” Thank you, Doc Brown … or is that Doc Exposition?
Sheldon and Leonard admit Theodore’s right, and Sheldon even offers to seal the truce by letting Leonard keep the apartment flag and add a rubbing of his genitals against it. Theodore wants in on that. “Well, if we’re rubbing genitals on things, that’s where I shine,” he brags.
In the less weird B-story, Stuart offers to help Bernie and Howard out around the house — especially with Baby Wolowitz on the way — if they’ll let him crash at the house. Why? The answer comes via one of the coupons for various favors he’ll perform, which is written on the back of an eviction notice.
Stuart’s new position as butler of the house of Wolowitz ruffles the feathers of Raj, who saw himself as the main guy who helps Bernadette and gets taken advantage of by lazy Howard. But there’s going to be plenty of opportunities for them both to help very soon; the episode ends with Bernadette going into labor.
- Theodore, describing Sheldon: “Tall guy, dressed like a little boy?”
- Leonard: “You’re good at revenge. How do we get them back?”
Penny: “My go-to move is to sleep with the person’s boyfriend. But I feel like I’m already doing that.”
- TBBT has gotten a lot of play out of that hideous painting of Amy Farrah Fowler and her “bestie,” Penny, the one Amy gifted to a horrified Penny in “The Rothman Disintegration.” It’s been in Penny’s apartment, but Amy thinks it should go where Penny goes, so she re-gifts it to her for her new home with Leonard in 4A. Penny is just as happy to get it now as she was back in season five.
- Theodore, when Leonard asks him how long he’ll be renting Sheldon’s room: “Thanks to the coins I found in your couch, a day longer than I thought.”
- Leonard, attempting to head off the possessions tiff with Sheldon, and failing: “All right, I tried.”
Sheldon: “‘All right, I tried?’ That should be the title of your autobiography.”
- The name of the new network Sheldon creates to cut off Penny and Leonard from Wi-Fi access: “Hahaha, now I’ve got you.” Leonard’s sure Sheldon is behind it … or “Gargamel from The Smurfs.”