Nobel Watch 2019 continued on The Big Bang Theory this week as Amy and Sheldon were forced to do damage control following their outburst (well, Amy’s) in front of laureates, peers, and imposters (Pemberton and Campbell, for those keeping track). It’s no Game of Thrones cliffhanger, but it’ll do, especially since we’re down to the last five episodes. Shamy has to win the Nobel eventually, right?
If it’s going to happen, President Siebert and Ms. Davis (Oscar winner Regina King, praise be) tell Sheldon and Amy that they’re going to have to run a near flawless campaign the rest of the way. That means keeping their mouth shut and not throwing accusations at anyone. “The science world is a small community. People talk,” Siebert says. The only thing to do is lay low and cancel all further speaking engagements.
But then, as if Sheldon and Amy don’t already know this (I mean, why do you think Amy had her outburst?), Ms. Davis says that “winning the Nobel is very important to us, and not just the university. Dr. Fowler, you would only be the fourth woman to win a Nobel prize in physics.” I have trouble believing that Amy isn’t aware of this, but apparently it’s news to her. Ms. Davis piles on the pressure by also pointing out that a win for Amy would be inspirational to an entire generation of young women. Hey, Ms. Davis and President Siebert, here’s a news flash: Why don’t you tell that to the fellow Nobel winners voting for them? Amy already knows she has to be on her best behavior, so what’s this added pressure going to do?
Well, for the sake of the next 18 minutes of the episode, it drives the story forward. Amy is so overwhelmed by potentially being only the fourth woman to win a Nobel in physics that she goes through an entire stick of antiperspirant in an hour. Leonard—clearly worried about the amount of sweat that Amy is producing—suggests that she and Sheldon (who’s also panicking) self-soothe in a sensory deprivation tank.
Shamy decides that self-care can’t be that bad and end up soaking in a tank that looks more like the egg-shaped vessel that Lady Gaga rode in on at the 2011 Grammys than anything else. I’m claustrophobic just looking at it.
Anyway, while Amy’s inside the vessel she sees an image of Ms. Davis talking to her and reiterating the dismal stats of female Nobel winners. That’s followed by images of young women blaming Amy for ruining their chances to win a Nobel. “I was going to be a scientist, but since you lost, I’m just going to have to give makeup tutorials on YouTube!” says one young woman. “Thanks for letting us down,” says another. “You’re such a disappointment!” adds someone else. Maybe this should be the punishment for all the parents involved in Operation Varsity Blues, but what on earth did Amy do to deserve this?
When the hour is up, Sheldon is calm as can be while Amy panics and calls herself a failure.
That afternoon, Amy’s more anxious than ever. She tells Sheldon it was bad enough when she was letting the two of them down; now if she doesn’t win the Nobel she’ll be letting all women down. Sheldon doesn’t know what to do except to Google “what to do when someone’s freaking out.” It says a walk can be calming, so Sheldon does that. It’s rude, but funny.
When he gets back, Amy is still upset so Sheldon asks Leonard and Penny for some advice. Leonard says the only thing he can do is just be there for Amy, but Sheldon doesn’t seem to know what that means. Penny points out that Amy’s always taking care of him, so perhaps that’s why it’s so hard with the roles being reversed. I don’t agree. Even though Sheldon will always think about Sheldon, he’s grown a lot in this area over the last few years. He knows what to do. The whole thing is kind of been there, done that.