The Confirmation Polarization Season 12, Episode 13 -  Aired January 17, 2019

The Confirmation Polarization

Sheldon and Amy are thrilled when two physicists from Fermilab prove their theory of super asymmetry, but their joy dissipates when Doctors Pemberton and Campbell try to take credit for the work. Meanwhile, Bernadette offers Penny the chance to head up the sales team for a drug she developed.

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Guest Stars: Joshua Malina as President Siebert, Sean Astin as Dr. Pemberton, Kal Penn as Dr. Campbell, Caleb Pierce as Jess

Writers: Eric Kaplan (Story), Andy Gordon (Story), Anthony Del Broccolo (Story), Steve Holland (Teleplay), Maria Ferrari (Teleplay), Tara Hernandez (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to the two physicists, Dr. Pemberton and Dr. Campbell, confirming Sheldon and Amy's theory and then trying to take credit.

> Fun with Flags

Sheldon and Amy start an episode of Fun with Flags with two apologies about the previous week's show.

Sheldon: I'd like to start this episode by apologizing on behalf of Dr. Fowler, who made the wild claim last week that there was no national tricolored flag with a purple stripe, when, in fact, the Estonian governorate inside the Russian Empire had a purple stripe on their flag from 1721 to 1917. See? Right there in the middle.
Amy: And I'd like to apologize on behalf of Dr. Cooper for having his zipper down for the entire segment on the flags of East Africa.
Sheldon: Sorry, Tanzania, you deserve better.

Episode Quotes

Sheldon: Oh, but don't worry. I won't do that to you.
Amy: Maybe you should.
Sheldon: What?
Amy: This has been your lifelong dream. And you may not get another chance. I don't want to be the reason that you don't win a Nobel.
Sheldon: You're the only reason I deserve one.

Penny: No, it's not that.
Bernadette: Then why?
Penny: Honestly, I don't know if I'm up to it. You know, the last project I managed was my high school yearbook.
Bernadette: And?
Penny: And that was the year we didn't have one. - And? And that was the year we didn't have one. Apparently, the printers won't make them without getting paid.
Bernadette: What happened to the money?
Penny: Uh, if I didn't know then, I'm not going to magically know now.

Bernadette: Look at Howard. He was a disaster when I met him. Now he's a foxy astronaut with a hot wife.
Raj: Wait, he always wanted to be an astronaut.
Bernadette: He thinks that, too. That's how good I am.

Bernadette: Penny, everybody feels like you do. Like they're not good enough, not smart enough.
Penny: What, even you?
Bernadette: Of course.
Jess: Dr. Rostenkowski, you wanted me-
Bernadette: Hey, did they not teach knocking at Stanford? Get out! (chuckles) I love that kid.

Bernadette: Why don't you want to work with me? I know I can be tough, but that's just 'cause I'm surrounded by useless idiots.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
1213 'The Confirmation Polarization' Press Release January 8, 2019

CBS has released the synopsis for next week's episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The Confirmation Polarization".  Full story


When Sheldon and Amy start a Fun with Flags podcast in their apartment, they begin with two apologies for last week’s episode. After Amy checks her emails for messages from their viewers, she finds a message from Fermilab, whose scientists have proved their theory of super-asymmetry. When the rest of the group reach Apartment 4A, they can hear Sheldon and Amy celebrating “doing it.”

As the group eat dinner in Leonard and Penny’s apartment, Howard says Bernadette has some amazing news. A drug she’s been working on for five years was just approved by the FDA. When Bernadette asks Penny to be in charge of the sales team for the drug, Penny wonders if she wouldn’t prefer someone more experienced. After Penny says she would like to chat about it at work, Bernie tells her they can chat all she wants but she’s doing it. When Sheldon and Amy join the group, they explain the good news about their theory being proven.

Later that night, Leonard tells Penny he’s proud of how well she’s doing at work, but she admits she’s not sure whether take Bernadette’s job offer. She recognises it would be a promotion, but Penny reminds Leonard that he often says it’s about the work at hand and not the money or job title. Penny wonders whether working for Bernadette would be a good idea, Leonard assures her she can handle whatever Bernadette dishes out.

When Sheldon and Amy go to see President Siebert in his office, he says that the new data supporting their theory means they could be looking at a Nobel winning achievement. President Siebert tells them the two scientists from Chicago are flying in and are eager to meet them.

In her office, Bernadette takes a call from a colleague congratulating her on her recent breakthrough. Bernadette reminds her coworker that he tried to take her office when she was on maternity leave. Penny arrives with bad news, explaining that her supervisor says she can’t afford to lose her right now. After Bernadette offers to call her supervisor and rip her a new one, Penny says she doesn’t want to leave her boss shorthanded. When Penny says it’s such a bummer, Bernadette understands but wants to make absolutely sure Penny is doesn’t want her to intervene.

When Sheldon and Amy find a table in the Athenaeum, she reminds him that the last time they were in that room they were getting married. President Siebert walks over with Drs. Pemberton and Campbell and introduces them to Sheldon and Amy. After they get past the pleasantries, Amy asks how they managed to design an experiment to prove a paper that was only published a couple of months ago. The pair admit they stumbled upon this by accident. Not only were they not thinking about super-asymmetry, they don’t even understand it.

As the guys eat lunch in the university cafeteria, Raj, Leonard and Howard struggle to talk about what they’ve been watching on TV as they’re all at different points in each series. Absent from that conversation, Sheldon finally speaks to ask his friends if they can believe how Pemberton and Campbell have been doing a press tour taking credit for super asymmetry. Raj tries to assure Sheldon that his paper came first and nobody’s going to give them credit for accidentally discovering something. Howard sarcastically mentions that nobody remembers the guy who was looking for India and discovered America. Leonard is the bearer of bad news when he mentions that the Nobel committee has sometimes favored experimentalists who proved a theory over theoreticians who developed it.

When Penny goes to Bernadette’s office, Bernadette tells a reluctant Penny to close the door and take a seat. Bernadette reveals that she spoke to Penny’s supervisor, who said Penny had never talked to her about changing jobs. When Bernadette asks Penny why she doesn’t want to work for her, Penny admits she doesn't know whether she’s up to it. Penny explains she didn’t go to college and would be in charge of people with far more education and experience than her.

When Sheldon goes to see Drs. Pemberton and Campbell as they dine in the Athenaeum, he tells them to stop trying to steal his and Amy’s idea and come up with their own idea. The pair argue this gives them all a chance of getting a Nobel prize, but they have to work together instead of fighting over credit. Sheldon wonders if they’re saying the four of them should agree to share credit, but they point out that only three people can be named on a Nobel prize. Dr. Pemberton says they and their university think the three physicists should be the ones to win the prize in physics, cutting Amy out. Sheldon questions whether they think he’s the type of person to sell out his wife just to get a Nobel.

As Raj joins Howard and Bernadette for dinner in their kitchen, Bernie mentions she can’t believe Penny doesn’t want to head up her sales team. She believes in Penny and making people better is what she does, even if it’s against their will. Bernadette argues she turned Howard from a “disaster” into a “foxy astronaut”.

After watching a nervous Sheldon avoid eating his dinner, Amy finally asks him what’s up. Sheldon explains that he talked to Pemberton and Campbell, who reminded him that only three people can share a Nobel. He tells her their university is nominating the three physicists to the Nobel committee and want Caltech to do the same, arguing that if they present a united front they have a better shot at winning the prize. Although surprised and upset, Amy admits that makes sense. After Sheldon tells her he wouldn’t do that to her, Amy says maybe he should as this has been his life-long dream and he may not get another chance. Amy doesn’t want to be the reason he doesn’t get a Nobel, but Sheldon says she’s the only reason he deserves one. Amy insists if his best shot is with them, he should take it as she just wants him to be happy.

When Penny walks up the stairs to her apartment, Bernadette is sitting there waiting for her. Penny insists she’s not changing her mind, but Bernadette apologizes for badgering her into doing something that made her uncomfortable. Bernadette says she needs someone strong and confident to head up her sales team, so she’s handing it to Karen. Penny doesn’t like the sound of that, but Bernadette argues Karen is smart and went to college. When Penny defiantly claims she’s smarter than Karen, Bernadette wonders why Penny’s upset when she’s just trying to find someone who’s up to the job. Penny argues she is up to it, she’s just nervous about it. After Bernadette says she doesn’t want to pressure her into doing something she doesn’t want to do, Penny tells her she knows what she’s up to and it’s working. Penny agrees to see her Monday morning at work.

When Sheldon goes to see President Siebert in his office, Sheldon says he and Amy did the work together and he will not be part of an award that does not recognise her contributions. Siebert warns him that invite conflict with Fermilab, but Sheldon is undeterred. When Dr. Siebert gives them his full backing, Sheldon is a little startled as he expected more push back. Sheldon explains he’s filled with nervous energy and doesn’t know what to do with it now. Siebert offers to take Sheldon to the university’s fully equipped gymnasium.

Bernadette observes as Penny talks to her new sales team at Zangen. She introduces herself and tells them she didn’t get the job because she’s Bernie’s friend, but because she’s the best salesperson there. After Penny sends her new subordinates on their way, Bernadette tells her that was really impressive.