Big Bang Theory: Season 9, episode 13 – ‘The Empathy Optimization’

Continuing funny moments, sarcastic incidences, unusual acts and fun-filled adventures, Big Bang Theory returned with an entertaining episode.

While last episode of Big Bang Theory this season did not bring any significant development to the plot, depiction of Sheldon’s ill health and its subsequent drama during this one, ensured great fun and hilarious entertainment. Revolving around Sheldon’s fever, yet involving every single character in the story, this episode proved to be a total package of joy. With perfect doses of laughter and strong bond of friendship within the geek-gang, ‘The Big Bang theory’ has been able to maintain a huge and consistent fan-base, so far.

Opening with mention of Sheldon’s recovered health, the episode prompts us to wonder about the difficult times during this course. Known for displaying unusual, sensitive, extra-conscious, irritating and demanding behavior during flu, Sheldon must have troubled his friends to a great extent. As Amy was busy with her neurobiological conference, Sheldon’s friends had to ensure provision of care and comfort. Though each of them offered help in their best possible way, Sheldon’s expected rude conduct and ungrateful nature pushes them away.

Not excited about the news of Sheldon’s recovery, Leonard announces the plan of a road trip to Vegas. With an aim to take a break from Sheldon’s sickness schedule- Leonard, Penny, Howard, Bernadette, Raj and Emily look forward for this fun-filled vacation, leaving Sheldon alone. Upset about being ignored, Sheldon’s confused looks and concerned expressions were certainly the highlights of this episode.

Determined to ignore Sheldon for his rude behavior and non-appreciative attitude, Leonard’s harsh decision was truly surprising. Tolerating Sheldon’s unusual acts as a roommate all this while, Leonard’s firm stand gave hints about a change in his attitude. Displaying influence of married life, Leonard’s maturity may bring some differences in the conduct of an otherwise ungrateful Sheldon.

Reminding the viewers about strength in ‘Shamy’s union’, Amy’s eye-opening video chat with Sheldon provide insights into his behavior. Though Sheldon never seems to understand the logic behind feelings and emotions, his growing love for Amy may have sown some seeds of change. While talking about his ungrateful conduct, Amy is able to inspire him about the power of empathy. Giving title to this episode, Amy convinces him about the need for apology.
As Sheldon starts the apology tour, involvement of his typical, unusual tactics even for a simple job like this offer hilarious humor. While he meets each one individually and starts an apology and thank-you speech, preparation of t-shirts for such an occasion irritate his friends to no end. Though Leonard realizes the seriousness in attitude, his firm decision to exclude Sheldon exhibit the unusual side to an otherwise emotional and understanding room-mate.

While Howard, Bernadette and Raj accept his sorry with an aim to cut down the session, Sheldon’s apology note right during Penny’s shower makes her extremely furious! By thanking Stuart for his comic books during the sick-break, Sheldon drops the news of Vegas trip to a totally unaware and uninvited Stuart.

Displaying his typical difficult nature, Sheldon’s apology tour was totally hilarious. While each of his friends accept the sorry yet refuse to welcome him onboard for the trip, Sheldon agrees to their ignorance. Sheldon’s consistent rude conduct with Emily create rifts between Raj and his new found love. Commenting about her profession as a Dermatologist, and talking about significant differences between them and doctors, Sheldon manages to preserve troubles in the tale.

Even after all these personalized versions of apology, when the gang proceeds for their trip without Sheldon, he feels determined to find a solution. Managing to sneak inside the bus along with Stuart, Sheldon hopes for a last opportunity to clear things with Emily. Surprising everyone by hiding within the bus, Sheldon tries his luck once again! Left with no choice, Emily’s acceptance and Sheldon’s inclusion in the trip mark a great start to their most-awaited weekend.

Will Sheldon spoil the Vegas trip with his geeky acts?
Will Amy return back to find ‘transformed Sheldon’?
Will Sheldon display these good, empathic changes forever?
Will Leonard and Penny benefit from this changed version of Sheldon?

As this season develops further, we can expect more and more clear answers. Though Sheldon may not transform completely, step-by-step conversion of his geeky attitude into an emotional one appears to be the theme of this season.

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