415 - The Benefactor Factor
Aired February 10, 2011

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The guys attend a university fundraiser where a wealthy donor takes an intimate interest in Leonard, forcing him to consider far he is willing to go for science.

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Guest Stars: Jessica Walter as Mrs. Latham, Joshua Malina as President Siebert

Writers: Bill Prady (Story), Lee Aronsohn (Story), Dave Goetsch (Story), Chuck Lorre (Teleplay), Eric Kaplan (Teleplay), Steve Holland (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 12.78 million Households Rating: 7.6/12 Adults 18-49 Rating: 3.9/11

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Notes

  • The title refers to the factor that influences the university benefactor, Mrs. Latham's decision to donate money to Leonard's cause.

Quotes (10)

Penny: Good morning, slut!
Leonard: What?
Penny: Oh, please! I recognise the walk of shame when I see it. All you're missing is a little smeared mascara and a purse with panties wadded up in it!

Sheldon: Given how much time you spend engaging in pointless self-abuse, you might consider, just this once, using your genitalia to actually accomplish something.

Sheldon: You seem to have forgotten the reason we live together is that we're best friends. And I've got your back, Jack.

Sheldon: An entire dinner to talk about your research? Where you going? The drive thru at Jack In The Box?

Amy: Well then, prepare to be terrified. If your friends are unconvincing, this year's donations might go to, say, the Geology department.
Sheldon: Oh no. Not the dirt people!
Amy: Or, worse still, it could go to the liberal arts.
Sheldon: No!
Amy: Millions of dollars being showered on poets, literary theorists and students of gender studies.
Sheldon: Oh, the humanities!

News Stories

Title Date Posted
Episode 4.15 Ratings February 11 2011

The ratings for the February 10th episode of The Big Bang Theory are out.  Full story

CBS Announces Episode 4.15 January 26 2011

CBS has announced the details for the February 10th episode of The Big Bang Theory.  Full story

Recap

While the guys are eating at the cafeteria, the president of the university, President Siebert, comes over and asks them to attend a university fund-raiser. Sheldon is reluctant to attend, but Siebert is particularly aggressive at demanding Sheldon's presence. On the night of the event, Sheldon is still unwilling to attend so the guys leave without him.

At the fund-raiser, President Siebert introduces the trio to Mrs. Latham, a wealthy benefactor. Mrs. Latham's superior attitude intimidates the guys, though she still takes a particular interest in Leonard. Meanwhile, when Sheldon is chatting with Amy via webcam, she suggests he should attend the fund-raiser or else other departments (including geology and liberal arts) may get the money instead. Later, Mrs. Latham confesses to Leonard that she only attends these fund-raisers to make smart people feel ill at ease. Sheldon turns up but is unwilling to shake anybody's "germy" hands.

The next morning, Sheldon receives a phone call from President Siebert telling him not to attend the fund-raisers in future. Next, Leonard receives a call from Mrs. Latham inviting him out for dinner. After the dinner, as Leonard is telling her how she reminds him of his mother, Mrs. Latham kisses Leonard. When Leonard arrives home, he tells the guys what happened. Sheldon implores Leonard to have relations with Mrs. Latham as the science department really needs a centrifugal pump.

The following evening, Sheldon is still pushing Leonard towards sleeping with Mrs. Latham and provides him a package of goods to help with the evening, including condoms and baby oil. When Leonard goes on the date, Mrs. Latham apologizes for making him uncomfortable and assures him there's no "quid pro quo", and that the science department will be receiving money either way. Without the fear he's prostituting himself for science, Leonard kisses Mrs. Latham.

The next morning, Penny catches Leonard in the "walk of shame" as he heads back to his apartment. Sheldon and Penny joke about Leonard's dalliance. When he goes back to the university, President Siebert leads a round of applause for Leonard.

Comments (55)

Xavi Spain, 08:55 May 24 2014.
Good news! TBBT is funny but intelligent too, because it shows and criticizes the reality of research in science, suffering from finding founds. The topic is, if goverments don't fund scientific research, then who and how and what for? This question must to be answered. There's only one story in the chapter --not two, as usual--, and jokes about prostitution are constant and very dark. In additions, the final scene is not comic, but very serious (not laugh at all), because all the chapter has a sad cloud flying around. I'm happy writers dared to write something beyond hahaha. Knowing about scientific theories is fine, but knowing about real science and its problemes it's needed.
HeWolf United States, 13:16 Apr 27 2012.
Fantastic episode. Lot of great jokes. Very funny!
Sanjana India, 06:00 Mar 6 2012.
Wats wrong writers?
Nitish India, 09:43 Mar 2 2012.
Please back to science
Andres Colombia, 13:10 Apr 1 2011.
I didnt like it either , OMG what a bad episode, sheldon saves the day
Vancouverfan Canada, 13:34 Feb 18 2011.
After watching this episode, one of my sons gave up on BBT and won't be watching any more. He says the show has lost its heart and most of the geeky science. Personally, I found the "older woman is ugly" theme offensive and overstretched. We all love the Sheldon-Leonard relationship, and the friends, especially Raj. Please, back to science and awkward friendships.
Miguel Peru, 00:24 Feb 17 2011.
to be honest...i didn't like this episode that much....i've seen better....anyway...looking forward to the next episode
Sam Bernando United States, 20:44 Feb 14 2011.
Much better than the previous episode... I love the show, and hope to see more centering around Amy. Also, more featuring Will Wheaton. Until then, I hope Sheldon is successful crusading against the 'dirt people' lolz
Glenn G Philippines, 00:48 Feb 13 2011.
more shows and more science stuff :D wish there's also another episode in astronomy@
Sandra Canada, 14:26 Feb 12 2011.
Good episode....but looking forward to the next one, that one looks juicy :)

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