The Russian Rocket Reaction Season 5, Episode 5 -  Aired October 13, 2011

The Russian Rocket Reaction

When Sheldon's nemesis Wil Wheaton invites him and Leonard to a party at his house, Sheldon is unhappy that his friend is going to the party. Meanwhile, Howard and Bernadette argue when Howard is offered an incredible opportunity to go to scape.

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Guest Stars: Carol Ann Susi as Mrs. Wolowitz, Kevin Sussman as Stuart, Wil Wheaton as Himself, Brent Spiner as Himself

Writers: Bill Prady (Story), Steven Molaro (Story), Jim Reynolds (Story), Chuck Lorre (Teleplay), Eric Kaplan (Teleplay), Maria Ferrari (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 13.58 million Households Rating: 8.3/14 Adults 18-49 Rating: 4.6/14

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title references Bernadette's reaction to the news Howard is going to travel to space in a Russian rocket.

> Sheldon Cooper's Mortal Enemies List

Discussing his feud with Wil Wheaton, Sheldon reveals that he maintains a list of 61 mortal enemies on a five and quarter inch floppy. When the floppy fails, Sheldon adds the person in charge of quality control at the Verbatim Corporation in 1989 to his list.

When Sheldon reluctantly attends Wil Wheaton's party, Wil makes a peace offering with a signed Wesley Crusher action figure, getting him off Sheldon's mortal enemies list. Brent Spiner finds himself added to the list after he rips open Wil's gift to Sheldon.

Episode Quotes

Penny: Wait, what is going on?
Sheldon: In case you have forgotten, Schrodinger's cat is a thought experiment.
Penny: No, no, no, no, I didn't forget. Um, there's this cat in a box and until you open it, it's either dead or alive or both. Although, back in Nebraska, our cat got stuck in my brother's camp trunk, and we did not need to open it to know there was all kinds of dead cat in there.
Amy: Homespun stories, knowledge of physics and a bosom that defies it. You're the whole package, aren't you?

Amy: It's not for us to judge. We're just here to provide comfort and support while you come to grips with what a despicable thing you've done.

Amy: Now Sheldon, I know you're a left handed monkey wrench but you seriously have a mortal enemy
Sheldon: Yes, in fact I have 61. Would you like to see the list?

Sheldon: This will just take a moment, it's on a five and a quarter inch floppy.
Amy: A floppy disk?
Sheldon: Well, I started the list when I was nine.

Sheldon: [to Brent Spiner] You are now my mortal enemy.
Wil Wheaton: Don't worry it doesn't take up too much of your time.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
Episode 5.05 Ratings October 14, 2011

The October 13, 2011, episode of The Big Bang Theory was the night's number one show in viewers and key demographics for the fourth consecutive week.  Full story

CBS Announces Episode 5.05 September 20, 2011

CBS has announced the October 13th episode of The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon's nemesis Wil Wheaton returns in the episode. Wheaton's Star Trek: Next Generation co-star Brent Spiner guest stars as himself in the episode.  Full story


Leonard and Sheldon are shopping at Stuart's comic book store where they see a Game of Thrones replica sword. Sheldon is impressed when Leonard uses his street smarts to haggle Stuart down from $250 to $210. Wil Wheaton arrives to pick up a comic book and tell Stuart he's throwing a house party. Having evidently moved past his animosity with Sheldon, Wil invites Sheldon and Leonard to his party. Leonard accepts Wil's invitation and plans to take Raj and Howard, though Sheldon is still only looking for a way to get one over on his nemesis.

While the gang eat dinner in Sheldon and Leonard's apartment, Sheldon compares his friendship with Leonard to Schrodinger's Cat, positing that their friendship currently exists in two contradictory states. Howard arrives with news that he's been selected as a payload specialist for a NASA mission to the International Space Station. Bernadette is concerned about the safety of the space capsule and the training Howard will have to endure.

On the car ride home, Bernadette is unhappy that Howard didn't discuss the space mission with her first. When Howard tries to discuss it with Bernadette, she rejects it. Bernadette tells Howard how her father was a cop and she used to worry every night whether he would make it home safely. Howard mentions how his father walked out on him and his mother, though Bernadette offers no sympathy and insists he's still not going to space. Back at the apartment, Amy is surprised to learn Sheldon keeps a mortal enemies list. Sheldon explains to Amy how Wil Wheaton made his mortal enemies list and plans to show Amy the full list, which Sheldon started in 1989, but the floppy disk the list is stored on fails.

In Howard's bedroom, Bernadette apologizes to Howard and says she doesn't want to be the person to stand in the way of his dreams. Howard and Bernadette make up and plan to get intimate, but first Bernadette must brush her teeth. When Bernadette leaves the room, Howard's mother is soon heard yelling "Over my dead body my son goes into outer space!" The next day in the university cafeteria, Howard explains to the guys how he made Bernadette leave in the middle of the night. The guys congratulate him on being the first of them to kick a girl out of bed.

Amy and Bernadette are with Penny in her apartment as Bernadette defends her actions. Amy and Penny are surprised Bernadette betrayed Howard that way and can't offer her much support. Bernadette realizes she needs to apologize for throwing their love under Howard's bus-sized mother. In Sheldon and Leonard's apartment, Leonard is ready to go to Wil Wheaton's party when Sheldon offers him one last chance to back out. Leonard ignores Sheldon's request and gets ready to go to the party with Raj. Leonard receives a text from Stuart to say Brent Spiner is at Wil Wheaton's party. Sheldon feigns disinterest at Mr. Data being at the party and lets Leonard leave without him.

Bernadette shows up at Howard's house to apologize to him. Howard explains how if Bernadette loves him, she has to love the whole package - including the crazy daredevil. Bernadette says she only did it because she loves him so much and the thought of losing Howard is more than she can handle. Howard and Bernadette make up, though Mrs. Wolowitz is insistent Howard's tuchus is not leaving the planet.

Sheldon shows up at Wil Wheaton's party, claiming to be fighting for his and Leonard's friendship, though he seems more interested in meeting Brent Spiner. Wil Wheaton gives Sheldon an original mint-in-package Wesley Crusher action figure to make up for the Star Trek convention he missed in the '90s. Brent Spiner comes over and opens Sheldon's action figure, earning him a place on Sheldon's list of mortal enemies.