The Separation Agitation Season 10, Episode 21 -  Aired April 13, 2017

The Separation Agitation

Howard and Bernadette struggle to leave Halley in day care when Bernadette's maternity leave is over. Meanwhile, when Bert introduces the guys to his new girlfriend, Rebecca, they question her motives.

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Guest Stars: Kevin Sussman as Stuart, Brian Posehn as Bert, April Bowlby as Rebecca

Writers: Steven Molaro (Story), Jim Reynolds (Story), Maria Ferrari (Story), Steve Holland (Teleplay), Tara Hernandez (Teleplay), Jeremy Howe (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 11.89 million Households Rating: 8.3/14 Adults 18-49 Rating: 2.5/12

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Howard and Bernadette's difficulty leaving their child in day care, along with the gang breaking up Bert and his gold-digging girlfriend.

> Fun with Flags

Sheldon and Amy hosted a live behind-the-scenes special of Fun with Flags, "Fun with Flags: Behind the Flags - A Retrospective", which interviewed people connected with the show (namely Leonard and Penny). Raj and Howard's Footprints on the Moon were once again the live house band for the show. Bert, Amy's geologist colleague, called during the phone-in section of the show, but he did not have a flag-related comment or query.

Later in the episode, Sheldon and Amy hosted a behind-the-scenes special on the behind-the-scenes special, what they called "Fun with Flags: Behind the Behind the Flags - A Retrospective Retrospective". Bert once again called in to comment on his love life.

> Footprints on the Moon

Howard and Raj are the house band for a retrospective episode of Fun with Flags.

Episode Quotes

Sheldon: Who's ready to laugh? [Leonard groans] Okay. So Feynman, Einstein and Schrodinger walk into a bar. Feynman says, "It appears we're inside a joke." Einstein replies, "But only to an observer who saw us walk in simultaneously." To which Schrodinger says, "If someone's looking in the window, I'm leaving."
Leonard: [chuckles] That's actually funny.
Raj: You should send that to Jimmy Fallon.

Raj: Sheldon, what did Amy have that attracted you?
Sheldon: Oh, so many things. Her mind, her kindness, and especially her body.
Raj: Really?
Amy: Relax. We're the same blood type. He knew he could harvest an organ.

Penny: So, Bert, you were telling us how you updated your profile?
Bert: Right. I wasn't getting any responses, and then I added, "Recent $625,000 MacArthur grant winner", and five minutes later, I met my soul mate.
*Amy goes to the hallway*
Amy: I was wrong. You can come back in.

Sheldon: Where's Howard?
Raj: He took the day off.
Sheldon: Oh, let's take advantage of his absence and tell the kinds of jokes only physicists get. I'll go first.
Okay, here. Uh, Heisenberg is pulled over by a police officer. And the policeman says, "Did you know you were going 85 miles per hour?" And Heisenberg says, "Darn it, now I don't know where I am."

Sheldon: Hello, I'm Dr. Sheldon Cooper.
Amy: And I'm Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler.
Sheldon: And welcome to a special retrospective, where we will take a look back at the history of Fun with Flags on an episode we're calling,
Both: "Fun with Flags - Behind the Flags: A Retrospective."

News Stories

Title Date Posted
1021 'The Separation Agitation' Press Release April 8, 2017

CBS has issued the press release for the next episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The Separation Agitation", which airs this Thursday, April 13. Brian Posehn reprises his role as Bert, while April Bowlby (Two and a Half Men) guest stars as Bert's girlfriend.  Full story


In their apartment, Sheldon and Amy are getting ready for a live broadcast of Fun with Flags, with Howard and Raj’s Footprints on the Moon again being the house band. After Sheldon and Amy explain it’s a retrospective episode, they cut to interviewing people who were there at the start: namely Leonard and Penny. Leonard honestly doesn’t remember the start of FwF, but Penny remembers being bored by Sheldon’s flag-related trivia and telling him to find somebody who cares. When Sheldon and Amy turn the show over to the viewers to share their favorite fun with flags moments, nobody calls in. When the phone finally rings, it’s Bert, the geologist, who tells the audience has has a girlfriend. Sheldon cuts Bert off for tying up the line because he doesn’t have a flag-related comment or query, but Bert calls right back to tell everybody the name of his new girlfriend.

As Howard drives Bernadette, Halley and Stuart to the zoo with Halley, he wonders if they should get lunch first or eat at the zoo. Bernadette and Stuart are both too busy staring at their phones to answer. After Howard wonders what’s so important on her phone, Bernadette explains she’s looking at the day care center’s website. Howard insists it’s great. It’s on campus only two minutes away from his office; but Bernadette is worried about leaving their baby with people they don’t know.

When Sheldon sits down with Raj and Leonard in the university cafeteria, they explain Howard has the day off. Sheldon takes advantage of Howard’s absence by telling jokes only physicists will get, which receive a chilly reaction from Leonard and Raj. After Bert comes over to talk to the guys, Leonard invites him to sit down. Leonard brings up the topic of Bert’s girlfriend and invites them both to join the gang for dinner that night. When Sheldon finds out the woman is not a geologist, he’s okay with them joining the group for dinner.

At the zoo, Howard, Bernadette, Stuart and Halley go into the sloth exhibit. As Bernadette looks at the information card, she feels bad when she reads that sloths take care of their young for a whole year, while she’s returning to work after four months. Elsewhere, Sheldon, Leonard, Penny and Amy are unboxing food and setting the table in the apartment. When Bert arrives with Rebecca, Raj lets them in and Bert introduces her to everyone. Sheldon indelicately observes that Rebecca is much younger and more attractive than Bert, and says they’re copying Leonard and Penny.

In Howard and Bernadette’s kitchen, Stuart is making chicken for dinner as Howard sets the table. When Bernadette comes in after finally getting Halley down to sleep, Howard says if she’s not ready to go back to work, they could try figure something out. Bernadette insists she’ll be fine, while Stuart thinks it’ll be good for Halley. As he points out, they don’t want her to turn out like Mama’s Boy Howard.

Back in the apartment, Penny asks if it’s Rebecca’s first time dating a scientist. After Sheldon returns with Amy from a time out, he apologizes to Bert and Rebecca. When Raj asks them how they met, she tells them it was through a dating website. When Sheldon is rude to Bert again, Amy sends him out into the hallway for another time-out. Bert mentions that after he put that he was the winner of a substantial cash grant from the MacArthur foundation on his dating profile, Rebecca contacted him. When Rebecca goes to the bathroom, Amy asks Bert if he’s worried she’s only with him for his money. Bert says he hopes so, as he has bought her a huge flat-screen TV on their first date.

When Bernadette goes into her kitchen, Howard wishes her a great first day back at work as Stuart prepares Halley’s bag for daycare. When Bernadette says goodbye to Halley, Stuart starts tearing up and Bernadette and Howard soon follow. Later, Leonard, Raj and Sheldon sit down at the university cafeteria where Sheldon tells them another physics joke. After Bert joins them, Raj apologizes for last night being awkward. Bert says they got him thinking, and that he’s realized shouldn’t flaunt his money to find love. When Bert mentions he might break up with Rebecca, Leonard and Raj are impressed. Bert tells them he’ll hold out for a hot blonde who loves him for being himself.

At the day care center, Howard watches Halley while he video chats with Bernadette in her office. Howard tries to show Bernie that Halley is settling in okay. After they say goodbye, Howard keeps watching Halley. Howard jumps when Stuart sneaks up on him and starts talking. They know they should go as it would be weird to stand there and stare all day. When Stuart suggests they could take Halley to the aquarium instead, Howard goes to get her out.

As the gang eats dinner in the apartment, Sheldon tells them he’s reading comments on their Fun with Flags retrospective. When Bert arrives, he says he misses Rebecca and doesn’t know why he listened to them. After Sheldon is insulting again, Amy tells him to raise his hand before he speaks. Penny tells Bert that he’s a good guy and he deserves a woman who’s interested in more than just his money. When Bert still misses her, Leonard tells him if he’s so upset he should go get her back. Bert explains that he’s tried but Rebecca isn’t answering his calls.

In their kitchen, Howard and Stuart arrive home with Halley as Bernadette is making a drink. When Stuart and Howard insist they’ve just come from daycare, Bernadette tells them the nursery called her when they took Halley out. Back in the apartment, Bert leaves and apologizes barging in on their evening. Bert says he’s going to buy Rebecca a jet ski to see if that gets her back. Raj feels bad for Bert, but Sheldon doesn’t see a problem with Bert using what he has - his money - to attract a mate. When they start talking about what made Amy so attractive to Sheldon, he says it was her mind, her kindness, and especially her body. Amy makes clear that Sheldon is just happy that they’re the same blood group, so he could one day harvest an organ.

As Howard, Bernadette and Stuart watch Halley through the glass screen at the day care center, she insists daycare is best for Halley. Before they leave, Bernadette tries to get Halley’s attention to have her say goodbye. When Halley doesn’t pay any attention, Bernadette pounds on the glass and shouts for Halley, causing the other children to cry and Bernadette to decide they can finally go.

Sheldon and Amy introduce another Fun with Flags episode. This time, it’s a retrospective on the retrospective. When they take their first call, it’s Bert calling to say the jet ski worked.