1009 - The Geology Elevation
Aired November 17, 2016

The Geology Elevation

Sheldon struggles with feelings of jealousy when geologist Bert wins a MacArthur Genius fellowship and is celebrated at the university. Meanwhile, Howard finds an old remote control Stephen Hawking toy he made, which receives negative feedback from his friends.

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Guest Stars: John Ross Bowie as Barry Kripke, Brian Posehn as Bert, Stephen Hawking as Himself, Kunal Dudheker as Tour Guide

Writers: Chuck Lorre (Story), Eric Kaplan (Story), Maria Ferrari (Story), Steve Holland (Teleplay), Jim Reynolds (Teleplay), Jeremy Howe (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

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Episode Notes

  • The title refers to geologist Bert winning an award and being showered with praise, much to Sheldon's consternation.

> Sheldon's Knock

Sheldon uses the knock when he goes to Bert's office to talk about his feelings of jealousy over Bert's recent success.

Quotes

Amy: Bert is studying the way microbes in rocks can survive in extreme environmental conditions.
Leonard: They say it could be a potential indicator of life on other planets.
Penny: You know what, I've met Bert. Isn't he an indicator of life on other planets?
Sheldon: You used to make those jokes about me. Now everything's Bert, Bert, Bert.

Raj: Well, I'm glad to see you moving forward.
Sheldon: Bert did quality research. And he deserves whatever accolades he receives.
Howard: What is going on? (To Leonard) Did you upgrade his software last night?
Leonard: I think he might be learning on his own.
Raj: Then the robot uprising has begun.

Sheldon: I admire you, Leonard.
Leonard: Really, why?
Sheldon: You're happy with who you are. You don't get jealous of other people. Instead of being weighed down by ambition, you just float along like a dead body in a river.
Leonard: I couldn't just take the compliment. I had to ask why.

Howard: What do you think?
Barry Kripke: That ... is ... hilarious! Give me the remote control. I want to drive him into the girls' restroom.
Howard: All right, we're done. It's offensive.

Sheldon: I am not proud of this. But I have been envious of your recent success.
Bert: Wow, I won the MacArthur Grant, everyone's jealous of me. Once I get LASIK, I'll be out of things to wish for.

Recap

In the university cafeteria, the guys watch on as geologist Bert is congratulated by his colleagues for winning a MacArthur fellowship. Sheldon is jealous of Bert’s success so when he comes over to their table, Leonard tells Sheldon to be polite. As the guys congratulate Bert, Sheldon zings him with sarcasm which he didn’t even notice. 

Sheldon carries food up the stairs with Leonard, Penny and Amy. When Sheldon gets annoyed by bike in the hallway, Leonard explains that Sheldon is just annoyed by Bert’s success. Amy tells Sheldon that if he read Bert’s research he might be less bitter about his success. As Bernadette uses her laptop in the kitchen, Howard knocks to introduce her to “remote control Stephen Hawking”, a toy he made when he was younger. Bernadette thinks it’s in poor taste, but Howard doesn’t see the problem. 

In the apartment, Sheldon is reading Bert’s paper. Leonard, Amy and Penny watch him from the kitchen, and notice Sheldon giving disparaging looks about the content of the paper. After reading more of the paper, Sheldon admits Bert’s work is remarkable, but he’s now more upset than ever. Leonard suggests they go for a walk so he can calm down. Meanwhile, in Howard and Bernadette’s kitchen, Howard demonstrates RC Stephen Hawking to Raj to get his opinion on whether it’s offensive. When Howard defends the toy as something Stephen Hawking would like, Bernadette dares Howard to call him and get his opinion. Howard agrees but then backs off. 

In a park, Sheldon tells Leonard he admires him because he’s happy with who he is. Leonard says he understands Sheldon’s feelings because the accomplishments of his brother and sister have always been held over his head. When Sheldon picks up a rock to complain about being surpassed by a geologist, Leonard suggests he throw it as a visualisation of his anger leaving him. 

Cut to Sheldon shrieking in agony as Leonard helps him back into the apartment. Sheldon dropped the rock on his foot and then kicked it with the other one. Leonard didn’t escape unscathed either, he’s got tissue up his nose because he burst a blood vessel laughing at Sheldon. Amy and Penny tend to Sheldon and his injuries. After Amy’s attempt to help Sheldon see past his jealousy fails, Penny tries some tough love and gets Sheldon to see he’s acting like a big baby. 

Howard goes with Raj to Amy’s lab to get her opinion on his Stephen Hawking toy. Amy thinks it’s in poor taste. In the cafeteria, Leonard also thinks it’s in poor taste. Finally, Howard shows the toy to Barry Kripke, who loves it. Howard finally sees that it’s offensive. 

When Sheldon limps into the cafeteria and sits with the guys, they can tell he’s in a better mood. He’s decided to stop thinking about other people and focus on himself, recognising that Bert did quality work and deserves the accolades. When Sheldon goes over to Bert to pay him proper congratulations, Sheldon is surprised to learn that Bert gets to nominate someone for the MacArthur grant next year. He is outraged when Bert wants to nominate an “overlooked” engineer, namely Howard. Sheldon walks out of the cafeteria and soon shouts out in pain that he has hurt himself again. 

When the gang gathers in the apartment, Amy says she can’t believe Sheldon headbutted a water fountain. Sheldon is disappointed in himself as jealousy is completely illogical. Raj tells Sheldon that everyone feels jealousy. For instance, Raj is jealous of Leonard & Penny and Howard & Bernadette for their great relationships. Leonard admits he’s jealous of Raj’s family’s wealth, while Amy says she’s jealous of Penny’s good looks - except for when she cut her hair off. As it turns out, nobody liked her short hair. 

When Leonard walks with Sheldon through the halls of the university, Sheldon is moving a lot more slowly given his injuries. Sheldon is shocked to find a plaque commemorating Bert’s award outside his office. After Sheldon knocks on Bert’s office and goes in to challenge him, Sheldon finally admits to Bert that he’s been envious of his recent success. Sheldon hoped admitting it would unburden him, but now he hates Bert more than ever. Sheldon thinks it through and realizes that if Bert’s his enemy, and he is his own worst enemy, then Bert must be a friend. As a friend, Bert invites him to see a taping of Ellen. When Bert tells Sheldon he’s got a lot to be happy about - including a girlfriend, Sheldon tries to lord Amy over him but Bert says he’s no longer jealous because he’s rich and could “do better”. 

Back in the apartment, Penny, Leonard and Amy can’t believe that Sheldon punched Bert. Sheldon didn’t punch Bert, he gave Bert a karate chop and he’s not even sure Bert noticed. After Leonard brings out his laptop so Stephen Hawking can talk to Sheldon, Hawking says he also has had feelings of professional jealousy over having never won a Nobel prize. Hawking tells Sheldon not to waste his time on jealousy. When Sheldon says there should be a statue of Hawking, he admits he always thought a motorized toy of him would be cool - something Leonard and Amy don’t want Howard to know.

At a recording of the Ellen show, Sheldon and Bert sit the audience together. Sheldon wonders if other people know about Ellen because, as he says, she’s delightful.