The Dependence Transcendence Season 10, Episode 3 -  Aired October 3, 2016

The Dependence Transcendence

When the guys work long hours to try finish their project for the military on time, Sheldon struggles to stay awake and turns to energy drinks to keep going.

Meanwhile, Penny and Amy attend a party being thrown by Bert, the geologist, who shocks them both by saying that Amy is popular. When Raj helps Bernadette prepare the house for the arrival of her baby, she admits that she doesn't feel ready to be a mother.

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Guest Stars: Brian George as Dr. Koothrappali, Dean Norris as Colonel Williams, Brian Posehn as Bert, Brandon Jones as The Flash

Writers: Steven Molaro (Story), Saladin K. Patterson (Story), Tara Hernandez (Story), Steve Holland (Teleplay), Maria Ferrari (Teleplay), Jeremy Howe (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 14.32 million Households Rating: 9.1/15 Adults 18-49 Rating: 3.5/13

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Sheldon's attempt to rise above his dependence on caffeinated beverages to work through the night.

Episode Quotes

Sheldon: No, I know, but plenty of things are addictive after a single exposure. I mean, crack cocaine, nicotine, Pringles. You know, once one pops one just can't stop.

Howard: It's pretty late. You think I've got time to run some more simulations on the cooling system?
Leonard: Sure, I'm still figuring out the thermo-acoustic expander.
Sheldon: Oh, while you do that I am going to pump cerebral spinal fluid through my brain cells to remove the metabolic by-products of the day's thoughts.
Howard: What?
Sheldon: It's called sleep and it's my bedtime. Nighty-night, y'all.

Penny: Now Sheldon's popular? What is happening?!

Howard: Sir, we've hit a bit of a snag. We're already behind schedule.
Sheldon: The computations required to overcome the deployability issues are more significant than we thought.
Leonard: I understand that we're under contract, and I don't know what the consequences of violating that are, but, uh we're not gonna be able to deliver in the time we promised.
Colonel Williams: (gets up and sighs) How long do you need?
Howard: We're thinking two years.
Colonel Williams: All right.
Howard: (chuckles) That's it? You're okay with that?
Colonel Williams: (scoffs) You think you're the first government contractor who isn't gonna deliver on time? We're still waiting for a big space laser Reagan ordered to beat the commies.

Bernadette: Sorry I flipped out on you. I think it's just hormones.
Raj: I think you were mean before you were pregnant, but it's fine.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
1003 'The Dependence Transcendence' Press Release September 26, 2016

CBS has issued the press release for next week's episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The Dependence Transcendence". Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) returns as Colonel Williams, the Air Force Representative who's liaising with the guys on their navigation project. Brian Posehn reprises his role as Bert, Amy's geologist colleague.  Full story


As Howard, Leonard and Sheldon work late into the night on their project for the military, Sheldon decides it’s past his bedtime. Howard and Leonard refuse to let Sheldon go home while they do the hard work, since he’s the one who landed them with unrealistic deadline. Sheldon doesn’t appreciate Howard’s suggestion that he tries caffeine to keep him away. After Leonard tells Sheldon to soldier on, minutes later Sheldon is asleep at his whiteboard.

The next morning in the apartment, Sheldon tells Leonard he had a bad dream that his best friend became a tyrant and forced him to work all night. Penny and Amy are there to make breakfast for the guys, since they didn’t get to see them last night and won’t see them today. After Leonard asks Amy what she’s planning today, Amy explains that she was supposed to go to a party with Sheldon. Penny offers to go instead, even after she finds out it’s actually a gathering of scientists.

In Howard and Bernadette’s kitchen, Howard gets to leave for another busy day of work. Raj has made breakfast for him, since they didn’t get to see each other the night before. Raj wants to spend the day with Bernadette and suggests they could shop for baby items. Bernadette tells him she’s not interested in shopping for baby items or getting the nursery ready. 

By a vending machine in the hallway outside the guys’ lab, Sheldon is asleep on the floor. He wakes up to find The Flash encouraging him to try an energy drink. Elsewhere, Amy and Penny arrive at Bert’s apartment for the party but there’s no one else there. Meanwhile, Bernadette is clearing out the baby’s future room with the help of Raj, but she doesn’t know where to begin with all the junk. When Bernadette finds her childhood doll house, she admits she didn’t dream of being a mother when she was a young girl. 

Back in the lab, Howard and Leonard wonder why it’s taking Sheldon so long to get a drink from the vending machine. A significantly reenergized Sheldon enters and gets to work, though Howard and Leonard wonder if Sheldon hopped up on caffeine is even worse than sleepy Sheldon. 

In Bert’s apartment, he is resigned to the party being a bust and tells Penny and Amy they don’t have to stay. After Bert asks Amy not tell anybody at the university about the party as it’s embarrassing because “you’re you”. When Penny wonders what Bert means, he explains that Amy’s the coolest girl on campus. 

Back in the lab, Howard and Leonard are struggling to work as Sheldon comes down from his caffeine high. The guys want Sheldon to work on, despite him saying more tired than ever. When Sheldon says he thinks he can carry on if he has another energy drink, he fears he’s become dependent on them. After the guys ask Sheldon to carry on working, he immediately gets twitchy as he displays symptoms of caffeine withdrawal. 

In her kitchen, Bernadette apologizes to Raj for being mean to him. Raj wants to discuss a theme for the nursery, but Bernadette is not interested. When Raj says he’s just trying to help, Bernadette tells him to drop it. She storms out of the kitchen upset, but wants Raj to follow her. 

Back at Bert’s, he tells Penny and Amy how she is the cool one at the university. Penny wants to hear about Leonard, but Bert doesn’t think he’s too cool - apart from tricking a hot girl into marrying him. Elsewhere, Leonard wants to grab a drink of coffee, but Sheldon doesn’t like the idea of caffeine being drunk in his presence when he’s trying to get his life back on track. Meanwhile, Bernadette is driving Raj - though she’s not sure where they should go. Bernadette admits she is worried that she doesn't care about anything baby related. 

In the lab, Sheldon wants to ask a question about his “caffeine problem”. Leonard is angry about Sheldon wasting their time because they’re waiting on him to do important calculations. Sheldon finally admits he can’t work because he can’t figure out the math. When Sheldon is upset because he’s not as smart as he thinks he is, Leonard comforts Sheldon who instantly falls asleep on his chest. Meanwhile, Amy and Penny thank Bert for a fun time as they leave the party.

Raj asks Bernadette to pull the car over while he calls someone. Raj’s phones his gynecologist father to give Bernadette advice on her pregnancy. Dr. Koothrappali tells her that not everybody gets the maternal feelings right away, and it doesn’t mean she won’t love her baby when it’s born. 

When the guys visit Colonel Williams to ask for more time to work on the project, he is not surprised or bothered by their request. He tells them they’re not the first government contractors to be late on a project. After the guys leave his office, they decide the pressure is off and they can go see a movie.