The Big Bang Theory (2007–…): Season 8, Episode 21 - The Communication Deterioration - full transcript

When Raj is asked to create a message on the off chance a NASA mission discovers alien life, the guys fight over what he should do, while Penny contemplates returning to acting.

Hey, would you like
to hear some songs

I've rewritten to get children
interested in the hard sciences?


Yeah. Well, I like
music, I like science,

I like making fun
of Sheldon. Hit it.

♪ There was a scientist
who had a theory ♪

♪ And James Clerk Maxwell
was his name-o ♪

♪ J-A-M-E-S ♪

♪ C-L-E-R-K ♪

♪ Space M-A-X-W-E-L-L ♪

♪ And James Clerk Maxwell
was his name-o ♪

♪ There was a scientist
who had a theory ♪

♪ And James Clerk Maxwell
was his name-o ♪

♪ A-M-E-S ♪

Uh, okay, okay.
Uh, we-we get it.

Perhaps you'd prefer this one.
(clears throat)

♪ The itsy bitsy spider
is not an insect at all ♪

♪ Because it has
eight legs ♪

♪ And two body parts ♪

That's pretty cool, Sheldon.
Thank you.

Do either of you know Beyoncé?

I'd love her to get behind it.



You guys know the new
Discovery class missions

that NASA's been
working on?

Well, they're looking
to include a message from Earth

in case one of them
is encountered by alien life.

When I encountered alien life,
I-I discovered

that the key thing
was not to sit in its spot.

All right, you can't breathe
our air without an inhaler,

he's allergic
to Earth nuts,

but I'm the alien.


I'm among a handful
of scientists

that have been asked to submit
a design proposal

for the message
and its delivery system.

Good for you.

And I was wondering
if any of you guys

would like
to help me do it.

Are you kidding? Yes.
What did you have in mind?

I'll tell you exactly what you
should do: avoid the presumption

of the Terran sensory
input paradigm.
WOLOWITZ: Yeah, absolutely.

You need a device capable
of delivering information

across a wide range
of perceptual modalities.

Any intelligent organism
would at the very least need

the ability to locate the
position of objects in space.

So the ideal interstellar
lingua franca would be haptic.

Ooh, how about a 3-D
tactile communicator rigged

for cross-sensory transposition?

Exactly what I expected.

Two people
forcing their ideas on me

and only one gentleman
who could be bothered

to ask me what my thoughts were.

You two are out.
Congratulations, Leonard,

you're on the team.

My mommy raised a gentleman.

♪ Our whole universe
was in a hot, dense state ♪

♪ Then nearly 14 billion years
ago expansion started... Wait! ♪

♪ The Earth began to cool ♪

♪ The autotrophs began to drool,
Neanderthals developed tools ♪

♪ We built the Wall ♪
♪ We built the pyramids ♪

♪ Math, Science, History,
unraveling the mystery ♪

♪ That all started
with a big bang ♪

♪ Bang! ♪

Hey. Thanks
for coming by.

Yeah. I'm excited to help.

I would have included
the others, but...

you know exactly
what would've happened.

They would've taken over the
project and bossed us around.

I get it.

Uh, just this morning, Sheldon
wouldn't let me put almond milk

on my Grape-Nuts because he said

it was
a theoretical nut conflict.

You should have told him
to mind his own business.

Yeah. That's better
than what I did say, which was,

"Fine, I'll eat them
with club soda."

What makes them think they're
always in charge of everything?

Mmm, they're alpha males.

What does that make us?

We could be betas.
They're second in charge.

Okay, that sounds good.

Or we could be omegas.

They get pushed around
by the alphas and the betas.

Okay, that sounds like us.

Whatever. There's
no alphas here,

and this is
your project.

You're in charge.
How do you want to start?

I don't know.
How do you want to start?

I don't know.


Should we call Sheldon
and Howard?

No. We can do this by ourselves.

Okay. Great.
How do you want to start?

I don't know.
How do you want to start?

Sheldon. Sheldon.


I bet that started off
as a joke,

but by the third one
you realized

there was something
strangely enjoyable about it.

Yeah, I kind of want
to do it again.

I don't recommend it. You'll be
doing it the rest of your life.

Anyway, if you're looking for
Leonard, he's with Koothrappali.

Uh, no, I actually came
to talk to you.

How nice.

Here are some topics
that interest me:

quantum mechanics,
trains, flags...
No, no.

It's about my acting career.
Oh, sorry.

That's not on the list.

Oh, wait. No.

How about
we split

the difference
and discuss why Austria

was an archduchy
and not just a regular duchy.

Okay, look, here's the thing.
I like pharmaceutical sales--

it's going great-- but I have
an audition for a movie,

and if I get it,
it could screw everything up.

Hmm. I know
exactly what you should do.

I cannot tell you.

Well, why?

I'm attempting
to turn over a new leaf.

Earlier today,
it was pointed out to me

that I tend to force my ideas
on people.

You're really
not gonna tell me?

No, that train has left
the station.

Now, we can
play this

one of two ways.

You can say,
"Trains, tell me more,"


you can just look at me
like that

and I'll start.

What's going on
in here?

I am making molecular cocktails.

This sphere is actually
a cosmopolitan.


How do you drink it?

Oh, just put it in your
mouth and pop it like a zit.

I think I'll have a beer.

First take a
picture with me.

Well, Raj and I always
talked about learning

how to make cocktails like this
together, so I taught myself

and I'm putting this on
Instagram so he can see it

and feel like a turd.
Say cheese.

Is this about the space probe
he's working on without you?

You betcha. The very one.

Howard, you're grown men.

You guys don't have
to do everything together.

I know. That's why I'm
spending tonight with you.

Trying to hurt Raj's feelings.

With my honeybunch.

You're being childish.

No. He is.

So I have a dominant

We all know that.

I'm sorry. What do we know?

In social groupings,

I just naturally wind up
in charge.

Don't take this the wrong way,
but how many

of these little booze balls
have you had?

You don't think I'm a leader?

I was kidding.
Of course you are.

Right. I couldn't change
if I wanted to.

You better not change,
because I love who you are.

Now, will you need help cleaning
all this up when you're done

or can you do it
all by yourself?

All by myself.

There's my big boss man.

So, often on the front
of the locomotive

is a large iron wedge

for clearing objects
off the tracks.

Now, while commonly
known as a cowcatcher,

I prefer the more
accurate "cow exploder."

Okay. Sheldon,
let me ask you a question.

If I was
at a train station

and one train could take me
to my current job

and the other train could take
me to an audition for a movie,

which train should I get on?

Are you using trains to trick me
into giving you advice?


All right, then.

You should take a third train

where you audition
for the movie

but hold off
on making a career decision

until you have more information.

Oh. You're right.

I'm worried about something
that hasn't even happened yet.


You are a wise man.

Well, Penny, who's smarter:
the wise man

or the person who comes to him
for advice?

Oh, I guess you're right.

Maybe it is the person who asks.

No, it's the wise man.

That's why he's called
the wise man.

You know how I know that?

I'm the wise man.

I'm sorry. What was I thinking?

Uh, just out
of curiosity,

why didn't you ask Leonard
for advice about this?

'Cause I already know
what he'll say.

(whining voice):
"Wah, wah, wah,
you shouldn't do it."

It's just like he's here!

Okay, so we know
that previous attempts

to send a message into space,
like the Golden Record

on Voyager,
were heavily criticized.

Well, aliens could only play
the Golden Record

if they figured out
how to build a record player.

Eh. Although, to be fair,
I watched E.T. build a telephone

out of a Speak & Spell
and an umbrella.

Dude was like
a little brown MacGyver.

That would be more helpful
if E.T. were real.

Well, my feelings were real
when he was about to die.

My God, when he's on the table
and they use the paddles on him.

And he's all white.

They zip him up in that bag.

And Gertie can't stop crying.

The flower dies.

Okay, let's talk
about something else.

All right, all right.
So it-it sounds

like we need a way
to communicate that's simple.

And doesn't require
outside machinery

to be built to access it.

It's also a problem
because we don't even know

if the aliens
who find this can see.

I mean, they might

in a totally
different way than us.

Like when my dog is mad at me,

she tells me
by peeing in my slippers.

That's actually a valid example.

Animals do deliver messages
through scent.

Bees talk to each other
by dancing.

Whales have their songs.

Penny has about 20 different
ways of rolling her eyes

that each mean
something different.

Okay, so, what it
sounds like is,

what we want is a device

that can deliver a message
through not only sight,

but other senses, as well.

The most basic sense that any
space-faring civilization

would have to possess is touch.

Ooh. Ooh, ooh!

We could make
a video-playing device

that simultaneously translates
the information

into a tactile medium.

All we have to do is rig up
a 3-D communication system!

We-we can totally do that!

I know!
This is great!

Yeah, you know what else it is?

Exactly what Sheldon
and Howard said.

Well, thank you
for peeing in my slippers.

♪ It's the eye of the tiger ♪

♪ It's the ear of the bat ♪

♪ It's the whiskers
of the catfish ♪

♪ And the walrus... ♪

Hang on. Not that your song
isn't terrible-- it is...

...but how do you mention bats
and leave out sonar?

You didn't let me finish.

♪ And also regarding the bat ♪

♪ It has sonar. ♪




I know you guys are upset,
but we've talked about it,

and we think it'd be beneficial

for you to be part
of the project.

Well, well, well,
did you hear that, Sheldon?

I'm sorry. I was trying
to think of what rhymes

with "nose of the aardvark."

We want you

back on the project with us.

Well, well, well, did
you hear that, Howard?

Look, we admit it.

The idea that you guys came
up with was really good,

and I'd love
your help.

I suppose it couldn't have been
easy for you to say that.

It wasn't, so...
are you in?


Now that we're all
on the same page,

let's get together tonight
and work on it.

"Get together tonight"?

Leonard, stop trying
to control everything,

and give poor Raj a chance to
come up with what we should do.

Go ahead, Raj.

Okay, I think
we should do it right now.

Tonight works better for me.



Okay, it's just an audition.

Why am I nervous?

Maybe it's a good thing.

Just means I want it.

And I can have it.

This feels right.

Why did I ever give this up?

I'm starting to remember.

So, I'd like
to try a technique

where no one gets steamrolled.

When you talk,

instead of bringing up
a new idea, respect what was

just said by building on it.

Uh, building on that...

...we should order dinner.

How is that building
on what he just said?

Building on what Sheldon said,
I could go for Chinese.

Hang on.
Building on what Leonard said,

no one built on what I said.

Building on "building on that,"

there's a new build-your-own
pizza place on Colorado.

Building on that,
I'd like to remind you,

I'm lactose intolerant.

I saw the menu.
They have soy cheese.

Ha, ha! You didn't say
"building on." You're out!

It's not Simon Says.

Yeah, you're missing
the point, Sheldon.
You're out, and you're out.

I win! Who wants pizza?


Oh, hey.

I haven't seen you
auditioning in a while.

Yeah, uh, I got a job
as a pharmaceutical sales rep.

You quit acting?
Well, kind of.

But now I get to act like

inflamed heart is only
a "mild side effect." (laughs)

I heard you can make
good money doing that.

Yeah, it's going okay,
but I do miss this sometimes.


'Cause I got to tell
you, I am so sick

of the humiliation and being
treated like a piece of meat.

Wish me luck. (laughs)

They're gonna
love you.

I heard she's pushing 40
and everything's fake.

Yeah. I started
that rumor.

Okay, since we agree
on the delivery system

for the message,
maybe we should talk

about what the message could be.

Well, I think we should show
what earthlings look like.

The plaque they sent up on the
Pioneer probe had a drawing

of a naked man
and woman on it.

Yeah, I never cared for that.

It's advertising
to predator races

just how soft
and squishy we are.

Squeeze yourself!

Oh, don't be offended.

You know, of
the four of us,

you have the most
veal-like consistency.

Well, maybe there's a way
to appear nonaggressive,

but also be able to protect
ourselves if necessary.

Like smiling and waving
with one hand,

but the other hand holding
the severed head of a tiger.

You want to send
a passive-aggressive message

out into the universe?

That's ridiculous.

Oh, you mean passive-aggressive

like posting pictures
of you and your wife

eating cosmopolitan balls

that you know belong
in my mouth?

Perhaps Howard meant

like asking our group
to help on your project,

and then only
choosing Leonard.

(sighs) Look, I'm sorry
I hurt your feelings,

but you do have
strong personalities

and always end up taking over.

It's not always.

What about when we went
to Comic-Con

and dressed like Jabba the Hutt?

You got to be Jabba's head,
and I got to be

his fat slug butt.

We looked great.

You let a guy sit on me.

He was dressed as Princess Leia.

It made a nice picture.

I'm just saying, sometimes Raj
and I feel pushed aside.

Yeah. Like when you
took Sheldon to Texas

and showed him all around NASA--

you didn't even think
to ask me and Leonard.

You know what?
You're right.

I should have asked you.

Yeah, and if he does
ask you, go.

It's amazing.

Okay, and if
we're talking

about being left
out of things,

you guys went to Skywalker
Ranch without us.

Oh, I recommend that, too.

That was a magical

Wait a minute.

Sheldon spent a whole day
with James Earl Jones

and never told any of us.

I sure did.

Oh, my goodness!

Well, from Jabba's head
to ice cream with Darth Vader,

I'm having a heck of a ride.

Yeah, look,

clearly, good
things happen

when I'm in charge.

Now, why don't

you boys step aside,
let me knock this project out?


you're not in charge.

Raj is in charge.

Leonard, who's
really in charge?

The person in charge, or
those who put him in charge?

He's right.

If you think about it,
we're all in charge.

No, the guy in charge is in...

Why is everyone so bad
at these?!

I mean, the whole experience
reminded me

about how much
I hated about that world.

You-you know, the anxiety,
the depression, the negativity.

I don't want
to feel those things.

I want to sell drugs to people
who feel those things.

I can't believe you got up
and walked out

of an audition for a big movie.

I did.

I-I mean, I walked in,
read for the part,

then stunk up the place,
but then I walked right out.

Well, I'm glad

you have a new
appreciation for your job.

I do, and you know,
I don't think

I've ever thanked you properly
for helping me get it.

Properly, at all.

It's just words
I've never heard.

Well, thank you.

You're a good friend,
and you changed my life.

You're welcome.

Hey, now that
you're making some real money,

maybe you can take your friend
out for a nice thank-you dinner.


And you probably have
to invite your other friend

'cause she overheard you
talking about it,

and it would be awkward
to exclude her.


How about now?

All right.

Don't forget your wallet.

I... (groans)

Greetings from planet Earth.

Just turn left
at Alpha Centauri.

You can't miss it.