The Collaboration Contamination Season 11, Episode 5 -  Aired October 23, 2017

The Collaboration Contamination

When Howard and Amy work together on a project, Sheldon and Raj struggle with feelings of jealousy and loneliness. Meanwhile, Penny and Leonard find a new way of dealing with Sheldon from an unlikely source.

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Guest Stars: Efrain Gomez as Employee

Writers: Steven Molaro (Story), Steve Holland (Story), Eric Kaplan (Story), Dave Goetsch (Teleplay), Maria Ferrari (Teleplay), Jeremy Howe (Teleplay)

Director: Nikki Lorre

Viewers: 13.2 million Households Rating: 8.8/14 Adults 18-49 Rating: 2.8/10

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Sheldon, Raj and Bernadette's negative feelings about Howard and Amy working together.

Episode Quotes

Penny: No, I've been reading Bernadette's parenting book. It's like the answer key to the Sheldon test.

Leonard: It's fine, I've been driving him for years. What's one more day?
Sheldon: Oh, and I've got a new car game we can play. It's called "What siren am I?"

Sheldon: She's going to be home at "eight-ish." Like, when is that? 8:01? 8:02? And what kind of scientist uses "-ish"?

Raj: This is great, the two of us hanging out. Why didn't we think of this earlier?
Sheldon: Agreed. I don't need Amy to watch a movie. I can not hold your hand just as easily.
(Sheldon starts the movie)
Sheldon: In the book this is based on, that man's the killer.

Sheldon: I got you a little something to help you relax.
Amy: Sheldon, that is the sweetest, most- What what is this?
Sheldon: The notes from our quantum cognition project. I thought we could spend the evening grinding away on it.
Amy: (sighs) I just got home, I'm tired.
Sheldon: Of Howard, I know. So how about you and me make some beautiful science together?
Amy: Sheldon, I want to work on this with you, just not tonight. What if we get up early and do it in the morning? I promise, I'll be way more into it.
Sheldon: You know what? There was a time that you would've been happy to stay up and collaborate all night with me. And then wake up in the morning and do it some more.
Amy: (sighs) Fine, but can we make it quick?
Sheldon: No. If you're just gonna make me do all the work, then go to bed. But don't be surprised if you walk out here and catch me doing it myself.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
1105 'The Collaboration Contamination' Press Release October 13, 2017

CBS has issued the press release for the October 23 episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The Collaboration Contamination".  Full story


As the gang eat dinner in the apartment, Bernadette returns to the living room after putting Halley to sleep in Leonard and Penny’s bedroom. When Amy mentions the research she’s been doing on neuroprosthetics, Howard offers a suggestion on how she could improve the detection of brain waves. After Amy says she could use an engineer on the project, Howard agrees to collaborate with her and is excited to work on a project to control prosthetics.

When Leonard goes to the kitchen, he is surprised to find Penny reading a book; a parenting book no less. Despite Leonard’s sudden fear that Penny was trying to break big news to him, Penny explains she was only reading it because Bernadette left it in their bedroom. Sheldon arrives to tell Leonard that Amy went to the lab early with Howard, so Leonard gets to drive him to work.

After Amy shows an excited Howard around her new high-tech lab, they turn their attention to the EEG cap which they want to improve so it can better detect brain waves that could control wheelchairs or robots. Meanwhile, Leonard is driving Sheldon to work as they play Sheldon’s new game, “What siren am I?”. After Leonard wants a break because he’s getting a headache, he asks Sheldon how Amy and Howard working together is going. Sheldon admits that he is excited that he’ll be able to gripe about Amy’s colleagues too, now that it’s Howard. When Leonard questions whether Sheldon is jealous of them, he rejects the accusation.

Back in Amy’s lab, Howard realizes he will have to rewrite her code to make it do what they want. When Sheldon arrives to see how they’re getting along, Amy says it’s going great. After Amy wonders why Sheldon is manically blinking at her, he explains he is trying to use morse code to talk about Howard without him understanding. Amy doesn’t know morse code, but Howard does and tells Sheldon to just say what he has to say to his face. After Sheldon blinks aggressively at Howard, Howard says his morse code is a little rusty and asks Sheldon to repeat his message.

Leonard arrives home with Sheldon, who is mad that Amy is working late. When Penny invites Sheldon for dinner, he says he’s not in the mood. After Penny discusses Sheldon’s feelings of frustration, he starts to calm down. After Penny sends Sheldon away to wash up before dinner, Leonard wonders how she managed to pacify Sheldon. Penny reveals that she is using Bernadette’s parenting book to deal with him.

When Raj goes to see Bernadette in her kitchen, she tells him Howard is not there. Raj admits he knows as Howard has been working late at the lab all week. Raj says he came to see how she’s doing and whether she needs help with anything. When Bernadette mentions that the smoke detectors need checking,  Raj says he was only interested in how she was doing emotionally. Bernadette says everything’s fine but after Raj presses her, she says she has a lot  on her plate and no time to comfort Raj for missing her husband.

Sheldon warmly greets Amy when she arrives home, but he’s not interested in hearing about her day. Sheldon tells Amy he got her something to help her relax, Amy is disappointed to see that it’s the notes on their collaboration together. A flirty Sheldon wants to work on it now, but Amy is tired. Amy would rather work with him in the morning, but Sheldon warns her she might find him out here doing it by himself.

Leonard is annoyed when he gets a text from Sheldon asking to be driven to Bernadette’s house. After Penny has the idea to look in the parenting book, she advises Leonard to use a technique from the book to make Sheldon choose from options acceptable to them. When Leonard offers to drive Sheldon there in two hour or take an Uber now, Sheldon opts for the Uber.

In Bernadette’s kitchen, Sheldon is ranting about Amy and Howard working on a Saturday. After Bernadette tells Sheldon she is too busy to listen to him complain, she asks what he wants. When Sheldon says he wants a way to make Howard as angry as he is, Bernadette asks him if he’s read Tom Sawyer. When Sheldon answers no, Bernadette tells him that Howard likes chores and it would annoy him off if Sheldon did them.

In her lab, Howard is impressing Amy with his magic tricks. As Howard’s code is being compiled, they decide to take a break and listen to some Neil Sedaka. As they start dancing, Raj interrupts them to asks Howard if he wants to go to the movies. When Howard says he doesn’t have the time, Raj claims Bernadette has been feeling abandoned, but Amy points out that Raj just asked him to go to the movies.

Sheldon returns Bernadette’s kitchen, where she’s sitting with her feet up eating ice cream, after he finished the chores: replaced the batteries in the smoke detectors, did the laundry and even steamed Howard’s shirts. After Bernadette says Howard can at least still clean the oven, Sheldon thinks not and gets to work with Bernadette quickly handing him the steel wool. When an angry Raj arrives to tell them that Howard and Amy were having fun, Sheldon says Howard won’t be having fun when he comes home to find his favorite chores done. After Raj reveals that Howard hates chores, Sheldon is disappointed with Bernadette but still looking forward to cleaning the oven.

Sheldon is back in Leonard and Penny’s apartment telling them how Bernadette tricked him. After Leonard bluntly tells Sheldon to get over Howard and Amy working together, Penny is still trying to use techniques from the parenting book on Sheldon. When Leonard tells Penny that it’s not the right time to validate Sheldon’s feelings, Penny tries to use the book on him, too. After Sheldon overhears their conversation and learns that Penny has been using parenting techniques on him, he storms off back to his apartment.

When Raj goes to talk to Bernadette in the kitchen again, she can’t believe he’s still there. Elsewhere, Leonard and Penny are arguing over their “parenting” styles as she wonders if Leonard would just throw her under the bus if they had kids. Leonard claims he would if she spoils their kids like she was spoiling Sheldon, but Penny argues her way was working. Meanwhile, in the lab, Howard says once they get the EEG brain cap operational they could look at making it wireless. Amy gets angry texts from Sheldon, who is mad at Leonard, Penny, Bernadette, and Mark Twain. Howard mentions that Bernadette text him earlier to say Raj was getting on her nerves. Admitting that they’ve been working late a lot recently, Amy wonders whether they should go home. Howard suggests they brew another pot of coffee and power through, before stunning Amy with another magic trick.

In Sheldon’s apartment, Sheldon and Raj wonder why they didn’t think of spending time together sooner. As they sit down to watch a movie, Sheldon spoils the film for Raj by revealing the murderer.