The Procreation Calculation Season 12, Episode 3 - Aired October 4, 2018
Leonard and Penny don't see eye-to-eye when they discuss starting a family. Howard and Bernadette's home life is disturbed when Stuart starts bringing his girlfriend, Denise, home.
Meanwhile, Raj goes on his first date with Anu, the woman his father set him up with, to discuss an arranged marriage.
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Director: Mark Cendrowski
- The title refers to Leonard and Penny's discussion about starting a family.
Sheldon: You're awfully quiet.
Sheldon: No, I like it.
Leonard: Got a lot on my mind.
Sheldon: Would you like to talk about it?
Leonard: Not really.
Sheldon: Grape Nuts for breakfast, quiet car ride, things are really breaking my way today.
Amy: Hey. Wait a minute, what about us? I mean, we're married now. Maybe we want to buy the house next door.
Sheldon: Well, Amy, we can't move. I'd have to change all the tags in my underwear.
Amy: You can buy new ones.
Sheldon: New house, new underwear. What am I, in the Witness Protection Program?
Amy: You're really letting your father pick out a wife?
Raj: Why not? Arranged marriages have been working for thousands of years. Anu and I come from similar backgrounds, our families get along and we each filled out questionnaires, so we know we're not wasting our time with someone who's not compatible.
Penny: Oh, that sounds so dry and clinical.
Sheldon: You lucky duck.
Howard: Enjoying your book?
Bernadette: So much.
Howard: Why do you keep poking at it?
Bernadette: Fine, I'm shopping on my phone.
Howard: You're the one who said you wanted to read more.
Bernadette: Yes, I also tell people I only feed the kids organic. It's just stuff you say.
Leonard: Next question. Uh, "how close are you with your family?"
Penny: Pretty close.
Leonard: I'm gonna say not too close, but I'm hoping to get farther.
As the whole gang eats dinner in the apartment, Bernadette mentions that their neighbors are planning to move. After they ask if Leonard and Penny would be interested in the house, Leonard says they’re pretty happy in the apartment, while Penny thinks if they did move they would probably get a loft downtown. Leonard is surprised as he always imagined they would find a place with a lawn. Raj says they should have talked about this stuff while they were dating, mentioning that he and Anu know a lot about each other from the Indian marriage questionnaire they filled out.
In their living room, Howard and Bernadette are both reading when Stuart and Denise arrive home from their date. After Stuart and Denise go back to his room, Bernadette worries about them doing stuff in there. Howard doesn’t imagine they’ll do anything with them sitting outside, until they hear “Smooth Operator” playing.
In the apartment, Leonard is painting Penny’s nails when he gets a text from Raj with the Indian marriage questionnaire. After Penny asks Leonard to read one of the questions, he asks “How religious are you?” Leonard thinks both of them would say “Not at all”, but Penny points out she is pretty spiritual, she does yoga after all. After a question about being close to their families, they get to one which asks how they feel about children. Penny is not enthusiastic. When Leonard points out it’s about whether they want kids. He answers positively, while Penny talks about wanting kids “someday”.
At a restaurant, Raj tells Anu that after reading her questionnaire he feels like he already knows her. Anu takes charge with the waiter, slightly intimidating Raj. When she says he’s not very good at making small talk on a date, Raj points out that if he was good at it, he wouldn’t need his father to set up him with someone. Anu admits she never thought she’d want her family to set up, but she’s thirty-four, she wants kids soon and it’s hard to date when she works so much. Anu tells him she doesn’t have time for his “sweet, insecure thing” and wants to make sure he’s serious. When Raj assures her he’s serious, Anu thinks she might just be the future Mrs. Koothrappali.
When Penny stops by Bernadette’s office to see if she wants to get lunch, Bernadette says she can’t as Halley and Michael were up all night and she’s now behind on her work. As Bernadette complains about motherhood, Penny admits she doesn’t know if she wants children. Now, Bernadette can’t oversell it enough and thinks Penny’s crazy for not wanting to start a family. After Penny questions why it’s crazy for her not to want kids, Bernadette argues that’s just how you feel until you have them. Bernadette tells Penny she’d be a great mother, but she is not open to the possibility.
After Raj sits down to eat with the guys in the university cafeteria, Howard asks how his date went. When Raj responds with a question, “How would you like to be my best man?”, Howard can’t believe Raj is seriously considering marrying a woman he met once. Howard accuses Raj of being dumb and knowing nothing about his future wife, but Raj doesn’t see why he should be the only one who isn’t happily married. Raj accuses Howard of insulting him, his family and Anu, and then storms off.
When Howard returns home, Bernadette asks how his day was. Howard explains that Raj is mad at him for telling him how he felt about Raj’s deciding to marry a woman he met once. Bernadette says the same thing happened to her with Penny, who’s mad at her for suggesting she was being silly for not wanting kids. They can’t see why their friends won’t listen to them when they obviously know what they’re talking about. They have great kids, great jobs, and a great house - filled by the sound of “Smooth Operator” emanating from Stuart’s room.
In the apartment, Penny asks Leonard if he remembers talking about having kids someday. After she wonders how he’d feel if it wasn’t “someday”, he’s temporarily excited by the prospect she’s pregnant. Instead, Penny explains that she might never want to start a family as she thinks their life is so great already. Upset that she’s never mentioned feeling this way before, Leonard quickly grabs his keys and leaves.
As Leonard drives him to work, Sheldon notices that his pal is being quiet. Leonard initially says he doesn’t want to talk about it, but he goes on to explain that Penny hit him with some pretty big news and he’s having trouble processing it. When Sheldon wonders if Leonard wants to have children, Leonard says he always just assumed they would.
In the university cafeteria, Howard goes over to Raj’s table with a cinnamon roll as Raj eats his blueberry muffin. Raj bitterly asks if Howard came to criticize him over his choice of dessert, too. After Howard sits down and splits his roll with Raj, he apologizes for the things he said yesterday. Howard argues that he’s known Raj a long time, and knows he believes in romance and it’s hard to see him give up on that.
After Amy rushes into the apartment to accost Penny for choosing not to have kids, Penny wonders why it’s any of her business. Amy argues Penny’s kids were supposed to be friends with her kids, as her and Sheldon’s offspring are unlikely to be very sociable. Amy is also upset that Penny is depriving her of the opportunity to be pregnant at the same time as her. Penny assures Amy that she will still be there when Amy has kids to be “fun Aunt Penny”.
When an amorous Howard comes out of the ensuite bathroom to ask Bernadette what she’d say if he was totally naked under his bathrobe, Bernadette says she would say that sounds pretty good. Howard wasn’t expecting that, so he has to shuffle his underwear off. Just as Howard climbs onto the bed and starts kissing Bernadette, “Smooth Operator” starts playing again. Bernadette is annoyed, but Howard has an idea: he starts playing their own music to drown out the noise. Unfortunately the extra noise disturbs the kids, so Howard gets up to go check on them.
When Leonard arrives back in the apartment, Penny says she made him dinner - well, she got him take-out and served it up on a plate. Leonard says she doesn’t have to try make things up to him as he’s fine, but it’s clear he’s still depressed by the situation. After Penny apologizes for dropping all of this on him, Leonard says it took him by surprise as he always imagined having kids. Then again, he imagined getting a lot of things he’s never going to get: a Nobel Prize, a working Batmobile. Leonard recognises he has a lot he never thought he’d have, like Penny, and he thinks that’s enough. When Penny gets a phone call, it’s her irate father who heard from Leonard that he’s not going to get grandbabies.
At a bar, Anu tells Raj her parents were very excited that their first date went well. When they sit down at a table, Anu thinks since they’re going through with the wedding, they should start talking about the next steps: finances and taxes. As she discusses fiscal matters, Raj looks uncomfortable and says he can’t go through with this. He admits he’s a hopeless romantic, telling Anu she seems great but this isn’t the story he wants to tell his grandkids. After Raj apologizes for wasting her time, he gets up to leave. Before he goes, Anu tells him she thinks this is worth fighting for and gets down on one knee. When Anu proposes to him, Raj excitedly says yes.
As they walk down the street, Leonard wonders if Penny is going to tell them where they’re going. Penny mentions that Leonard talking about all the things he would never have made her want to get him one. She leads him to a parked Batmobile that she rented for a day and hands him the keys. Leonard thinks it’s amazing and jumps in, quickly driving away without Penny. Leonard reverses back and shouts “Come on, Robin!”