217 - The Terminator Decoupling
Aired March 9, 2009

The Terminator Decoupling

When the guys take a trip to San Francisco for a physics convention, they are stunned to discover Summer Glau is a passenger on the train. Leonard, Howard and Raj each take turns trying to impress the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chonricles star. Meanwhile, after Sheldon realizes he left an important flash drive at home, his disappointment soon turns to annoyance when he must contact Penny to retrieve a document on the flash drive.

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Guest Stars: Summer Glau as Herself, Dr. George Smoot as Himself

Writers: Bill Prady (Story), Dave Goetsch (Story), Tim Doyle (Teleplay), Stephen Engel (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 9.47 million Households Rating: 5.8/9 Adults 18-49 Rating: 3.6/10

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Episode Notes

  • The title references the Terminator star Summer Glau whom the Leonard, Howard and Raj each try and fail to "couple" with.
  • The episode features a cameo by Nobel Laureate Dr. George Smoot.

Quotes (16)

Sheldon: She calls me moon-pie because I'm nummy-nummy and she could just eat me up.

Leonard: Well, it looks like you're caught between a rock and a crazy place.
Sheldon: I hate when that happens.

Sheldon: No one calls me Moon Pie but Meemaw.

Penny: Hey Leonard, what's up with Dr Wackadoodle?

Penny: Okay, I got a box, but there's no key in here. Just letters.
Sheldon: That's the wrong box. Put it back.
Penny: Oh, Sheldon, are these letters from your grandmother?
Sheldon: Don't read those letters.
Penny: Oh, look, she calls you Moon Pie. That is so cute.
Sheldon: (shrieking) Put down the letters!


The guys are attending a physics conference in San Francisco and, after a vote in which only Sheldon supported going by train, they're taking the train. When the guys board the train, they notice Summer Glau, star of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, is on board. Raj, Howard and Leonard fight over who will be first to go chat to her. Meanwhile, Sheldon has bigger problems on his mind when he realizes he's left his flash drive, which contains a document he wants to present to Nobel prize winner George Smoot, at home.

Howard goes first to talk to Summer Glau but loses his nerve, so Raj swoops in and steals his pick-up line. After Leonard dismissed the idea of going back for the flash drive, Sheldon decides to call Penny to try get her to email him his document. Raj, with the help of liquid courage, is chatting to Summer Glau and, somewhat surprisingly, she seems charmed by him. When Howard discovers Raj is drinking non-alcoholic beer, he soon pops his friend's bubble and takes over the conversation.

Sheldon is struggling to convince Penny to help him out as she keeps putting him on hold. Sheldon then has to talk her through the process of retrieving his flash drive, which includes Penny going into his room. While in his room, Penny finds a bunch of letters from Sheldon's grandmother who refers to him as "Moon Pie". Back on the train, Howard's lost his way with Summer Glau and, after a boring conversation, he flatly asks her whether he has a chance. She lets him down gently, but Howard tries his luck at getting a photo with her and she breaks his phone.

Leonard, having witnessed his two friends crash and burn with Summer Glau, now sees his opportunity and goes over to talk with her. Unfortunately, the train just pulled into her stop and she quickly exits the train. Penny has emailed Sheldon his document. When Sheldon arrives at the conference, he discusses his paper with an annoyed and bemused George Smoot who asks whether Sheldon is on crack.

Comments (17)

Brian United States, 12:15 Jan 1 2015.
People questioning them taking 11 hours. Its reasonable however you cant take a direct train from Pasadena to San Francisco, but a bus/train transit trip depending what sort of options you take takes roughly 10 to 12 hours. Driving takes roughly half that.
Laetitia226 Germany, 10:44 Jan 9 2013.
I also was wondering about the train duration of 11 hours...I checked with google maps...it is really a 10:29 hours ride with bus/train from Passadena to San Francisco. Unbeliefable... :-)
Glenn Canada, 00:11 Sep 17 2012.
One interesting note about this episode that I found out, Summer Glau was in a show called Firefly, which was created by Josh Whedon. Joss was a producer for Roseanne for a while, the same show that starred Johnny Galacki, Sara Gilbert and Laurie Metcalf of BBT.
Glenn Canada, 17:57 Sep 1 2012.
It's funny, I have heard of George Smoot before Summer Glau. I didn't know her before the episode. Was never into Terminator. She is cute though.
Fernando Rocha Brazil, 21:19 Jan 18 2012.
Insightful and hillarious??? How can it be?
Deep Dasgupta India, 11:57 Jan 11 2012.
PERSON  Australia, 23:53 Jul 25 2010.
lol poor lol
Rodrique United States, 03:44 Mar 16 2009.
This was a good one, although it wasn't as Sheldon-centric as I usually like. I haven't taken the train from Pasadena or wherever to San Francisco, but 11 hours? Really?
Lord_Branius Mexico, 16:01 Mar 9 2009.
Wow that's gonna be cool
Anonymous Russia, 13:07 Mar 9 2009.
2Systemfilms Don't forget that some people are visiting shooting lot as guests. I knew some people(from Russia)who did it, I guess it happens with each episode.

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