The Big Bang Theory Recap: Child’s Play

The Big Bang Theory

The Conference Valuation
Season 12 Episode 17
Editor’s Rating 4 stars

The Big Bang Theory

The Conference Valuation
Season 12 Episode 17
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
Photo: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros.

Well played, Amy Farrah Fowler. The genius neurobiologist who waited so patiently for Sheldon to take a walk down the aisle has decided to speed things up when it comes to Cooper offspring.

After all, there are only seven episodes remaining in the series. And we know from the Young Sheldon prequel that Sheldon does become a daddy. Will the Coopers announce an impending bundle of joy in the next few episodes?  Will there be a flash-forward to end the series? Amy is doing her best to make it so, cleverly sparking Sheldon’s excitement about the prospect of fatherhood.

She blinded him, with science.

Penny and Bernadette are headed to San Diego for a drug conference, which means Howard is alone with the babies for the weekend. He calls for reinforcements, convincing his friends to come over for a game night (which they, of course, realize means he really wants babysitting backup).

Amy and Sheldon make a detour in route to Casa Wolowitz, to a bookstore, where Amy makes sure Sheldon’s eye lands on a book about fun experiments to perform with babies. When he convinces his fellow scientists that these are fun, not creepy, experiments, he, Raj, and Howard spend a fun afternoon testing Halley and Michael’s hand coordination and responsiveness to adult voices.

Raj notes that it sure is a coincidence that Sheldon happened upon this book on the very day he was going to spend a day with Howard’s kids.

“Yep, don’t overthink it,” Amy says.

Raj: “You really think you can trick Sheldon into liking babies?”

Amy: “I slept with him, I married him … you want to bet against me?”

Leonard has a less entertaining day, as the language of the experiments remind him of his childhood, and he slowly realizes his entire younger years were one big experiment led by his mother. When he confronts her about it via FaceTime, she confirms it’s true, but can’t share the results with him. The experiment isn’t complete.

Back to Sheldon, the babysitting day he had dreaded turns out to be a big hit, and he even wants to return later and take the Wolowitz kiddos to the park.

Later, as she and Sheldon are getting ready for bed, Amy learns her plan might have worked too well. Sheldon loves experiments, and he loves having a wide variety of test subjects. He tells Amy their day with Michael and Halley has him thinking about their own children.

“What an interesting and completely unforeseen development,” Amy says. “What are you thinking?”

Sheldon: “Either five sets of triplets or three sets of quintuplets … you know what? It doesn’t matter as long as they’re healthy. And divisible by three.”

Down in San Diego, a city Sheldon thinks of only as the host of Comic Con (which is why he asks Penny to look for the neck pillow he left in Hall H last summer), Penny wows a rival drug company with her sales pitch for Bernadette’s new anti-inflammation drug, Inflaminex.

The job Penny never wanted to take continues to be one she excels at, and she’s worked especially hard to lead the sales team for Bernie’s big project. But when executive Danny tries to woo Penny away from Zangen, he, and Penny, incur Bernie’s wrath.

Penny’s ungrateful, Bernadette says. Penny only has her promotion to sales team lead because of their friendship, and even considering taking a meeting with Danny is a lousy way to say thank you!

“I thanked you by thanking you!” Penny yells, and goes to the hotel bar to meet with Jason. He’s wooing her to jump to his company, and she’s flattered by this vote of confidence that’s coming from someone who isn’t throwing friendship or a favor in her face.

Just when Bernadette’s really looking like the worst friend ever, she interrupts Penny’s meeting. Danny has written a salary offer on a napkin, per Penny’s request, but Bernie intercepts it and tells him it’s not enough for the very talented salesperson Penny is.

Penny’s happy enough to have gotten outside confirmation of her skills that she turns down Jason’s offer. Though it feels like maybe we haven’t seen the end of this particular story, either.


• That book that got Sheldon so excited about babies is a real book: Experimenting With Babies: 50 Amazing Science Projects You Can Perform on Your Kid.

• Penny, after Bernadette tells her she’s doing a good job at the conference: “Yeah, mediocre actress, great drug pusher, who knew?”

• Penny wonders what’s causing the hubbub at a booth near hers at the convention. Turns out Ray Liotta is at the Chantix booth, signing autographs. If only there had been a cameo.

• Leonard, as he continues to realize how much of his childhood was the handiwork of his therapist mother: “Oh, my God, at sleepaway camp, my cabin was called ‘Control Group!’”

The Big Bang Theory Recap: Child’s Play