The Skank Reflex Analysis Season 5, Episode 1 -  Aired September 22, 2011

The Skank Reflex Analysis

The group dynamic is thrown after the relevation of Raj and Penny spending the night together. Penny wonders whether she's permanently ruined things with her friends, especially Leonard. Meanwhile, Sheldon assumes control of their paintball team.

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Guest Stars: Christine Baranski as Beverly Hofstadter, Stacey Travis as Sandy

Writers: Eric Kaplan (Story), Maria Ferrari (Story), Anthony Del Broccolo (Story), Chuck Lorre (Teleplay), Bill Prady (Teleplay), Steven Molaro (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 14.06 million Households Rating: 8.5/14 Adults 18-49 Rating: 4.8/15

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Amy's hypothesised "Skank Reflex", which is what neurobiologists call promiscious behavior. 

Episode Quotes

Leonard: Well, uh, okay, um, I dont want to get back together with Penny. We tried it, it was crazy, it didn't work, but I can't deal with the fact that she slept with my friend Raj. And then I find out that Raj's sister Priya, who I've been going out with for eight months, is moving back to India. So I'm just completely confused and alone.
Beverly Hofstadter: I understand.
Leonard: Got any advice?
Beverly Hofstadter: Yes. Buck up.
Leonard: Excuse me. You're a world-renowned expert in parenting and child development, and all you've got is buck up?
Beverly Hofstadter: Sorry. Buck up, sissy pants.

Sheldon: For the record, I do have genitals. They're functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Amy: A guest in my trundle bed and a boy at my door. I wish I could tell thirteen-year-old me it does get better.

Sheldon: If it's good enough for Kirk, Crunch, and Kangaroo it's good enough for me.

Amy: You can't blame yourself. When your pre-frontal cortex fails to make you happy, promiscuity rewards you with the needed flood of Dopamine. We neurobiologists refer to it as the skank reflex.

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In the university cafeteria a few hours after Raj and Penny were found to have spent the night together, Sheldon is still trying to decode what Penny meant by "it's not what it looks like". His best guess is she was checking Raj for pin worms. When Howard arrives and changes the subject to the upcoming university interdepartmental paintball tournament, Sheldon ponders what his official rank within the group should be, settling on captain.

Amy arrives at Penny's apartment having heard about her dalliance with Raj. Meanwhile, Bernadette confronts Raj in his apartment about revealing his crush on Bernadette. Just as Penny is about to leave her apartment with Amy, she sees Leonard and Sheldon walk into the hallway, causing Penny to slam the door shut. Penny asks to stay over at Amy's apartment while the excitement dies down. Sheldon is showing off his paintball camouflage to an unimpressed Leonard when Sheldon starts a video chat for Leonard with his mother, Dr. Beverly Hofstadter. Beverly tries to comfort Leonard over Priya and Penny, but her only advice is to "Buck up, sissy pants".

Amy is brushing Penny's hair, as is customary on girlfriend sleepovers, when Raj arrives at Amy's apartment to talk to Penny. Raj asks Penny out on a date, but she rejects this saying their spending the night together was a mistake. Penny wants them to go back to just being friends. As Penny's friend, Raj comes clean and admits they didn't actually have sex in the "conventional sense". Raj explains that as Penny was attempting to outfit him with a prophylactic, the curtains came down early on that particular performance.

The guys are holed up in a shed on the paintball range as team captain Sheldon attempts to guide his troops with a Google Earth view of the battlefield. Leonard, Howard and Raj aren't in the mood to play games today and want to go home. Sheldon won't allow this and instead decides to leave the shed and face his opponents. Declaring "Geology isn't a real science!", Sheldon gets gunned down by an array of paintballs. Pumped up by Sheldon's bravery, the guys charge out to avenge Sheldon's death.

Back at the apartment, in honor of their victory the guys toast their noble captain, Sheldon, although he's now a Major after awarding himself a battlefield promotion with his dying breath. Penny arrives at the apartment to apologize to the rest of the group for what happened between her and Raj. Penny has decided to stop kidding herself about becoming an actress and will instead move back to Nebraska. That is until her phone rings and she's offered a haemorrhoid commercial.