The Locomotive Manipulation Season 7, Episode 15 - Aired February 6, 2014
Amy surprises Sheldon with a romantic weekend that even he can't say no to: a weekend trip to Napa Valley aboard a vintage train with Howard and Bernadette. Meanwhile, when Leonard and Penny spend their Valentine's watching Raj's dog, their night ends with a journey to the vet.
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Director: Mark Cendrowski
Viewers: 17.53 million Households Rating: 11/17 Adults 18-49 Rating: 5.2/15
This episode won our Season 7 episode tournament in July 2014.
- The title refers to Sheldon feeling that Amy tried to manipulate him with the romantic trip aboard a vintage train.
Raj: I don't have (Valentine's) plans, which is why I booked time on the big telescope that night.
Amy: An evening looking at the stars, that's still kinda romantic.
Raj: Except I'd be alone.
Amy: I'm trying to put lipstick on a pig here. Work with me.
Sheldon: What is your problem?
Amy: It's Valentine's day. We're supposed to be having a romantic weekend.
Sheldon: Oh, really? 'cause I remember you saying this trip was going to be something we could both enjoy. Did you mean that or were you just trying to trick me?
Amy: Fine, it's true. I deserve romance and I didn't know how else to make it happen.
Sheldon: The conductor said if I come back to the engine room, he'd show me how to take the train through a crossing.
Amy: Okay. Have fun.
Sheldon: Do you want to come with me?
Amy: Really? I do!
Amy: I don't know what made me think tonight would be any different.
Bernadette: Well just the fact you got him up here says a lot. To be honest, I bet Howie $200 that it wasn't going to happen.
Howard: I'm going to the Lego Store to get a big-ass R2D2.
Bernadette: See, it's not just Sheldon, they're all idiots.
Howard: She's right.
Leonard: I'm not sure it's a good idea to take Penny to where wine comes from.
When Sheldon and Amy work through the order of business at their Annual State of the Relationship Summit, Amy presses Sheldon to settle on a pet name for her. Sheldon's previous suggestions of Gollum, Flakey, Princess Corncob and Fester were not acceptable to her. Amy then brings up the matter of Valentine's Day, telling Sheldon she has come up with a way for them both to celebrate the occasion in an enjoyable way. Amy tells him they will be spending a weekend at a bed-and-breakfast in Napa Valley, traveling there on a vintage train, and they will be joined by Howard and Bernadette.
Later, in the apartment, Bernadette asks Leonard and Penny if they are sure they don't want to join them in Napa Valley. Penny says they are just going to have a quiet weekend at home. Raj asks Leonard and Penny if they would look after Cinnamon as he'll be working on Valentine's night.
When Sheldon and Amy board the train, Sheldon tells her he's prepared to say he loves it - once he checks there's no hobos aboard. Back at the apartment, Penny presents Leonard with his Valentine's gift, flowers and chocolates. Leonard gives Penny a jewelry box containing Lakers tickets, though he insists she take somebody other than him to the game. After exchanging gifts, Leonard and Penny decide to take things to the bedroom. Meanwhile, when Sheldon bothers the waiter with questions about the vintage train they're traveling on, a man in the seat behinds jumps in with train trivia.
Back at the apartment, Penny and Leonard return from their amorous activities in the bedroom to find Cinnamon ate the chocolates Penny gave Leonard. The pair rush out of the apartment to get Cinnamon to a vet. Elsewhere, Sheldon has left Amy, Bernadette and Howard, to spend time with the fellow train aficionado. When Amy wonders why she even bothered with the romantic trip, Bernadette excuses herself to go talk some sense into Sheldon. When Bernadette tells Sheldon he should go back and spend time with Amy, he agrees - and then invites his train buddy along.
At a veterinary surgery, Leonard and Penny are scolded by the vet for not taking this issue seriously. When Raj arrives, he threatens Leonard and Penny if anything happens to Cinnamon. Yvette leaves to examine Cinnamon. Back on the train, while Sheldon is enjoying the train guy's endless stories of trains, the rest of the party are bored out of their minds. Meanwhile, the vet returns with good news for Raj, Cinnamon should be fine. Penny thinks there's something between Raj and Yvette.
When Amy feels bad because Sheldon has left her to explore the train with his new friend, Howard and Bernadette comfort her. Bernadette tells Amy it says a lot that she even got Sheldon up here, and that most guys are fixer-uppers, even Howard. Back at the vet's, Leonard and Penny are getting uncomfortable that Raj and Yvette have been gone for almost half an hour. As they are getting ready to leave, Raj and Yvette emerge, with Cinnamon allowed to go home. Meanwhile, Amy watches on as Howard and Bernadette kiss romantically. When Sheldon returns, Amy tells him she needs to speak to him in private. Sheldon feels Amy is being rude to his friend, but Amy tells him he's been rude this entire evening.
Amy tells Sheldon they're supposed to be having a romantic weekend, leading Sheldon to wonder whether she was trying to trick him when she said it would be a weekend they both enjoy. Amy admits she deserves romance and didn't know how else to make it happen. Sheldon tells Amy if it's romance she wants, they can romance. He drinks some wine - grape juice that burns. Then gazes into her eyes, until she blinks and he wins. Then he tells her kissing is romantic, so he leans in for a kiss. After their lips first touch, Sheldon lingers and then moves his body closer to Amy, seeming to enjoy the kiss he initiated to prove a point. When Amy tells him the kiss was nice, he says "Good." and then mentions how the conductor said he would show him how to bring the train through a crossing. When Amy tells Sheldon to have fun, Sheldon asks her if she wants to come with him. As the couple walk down the train, Sheldon's train buddy chases after them.
Home in his apartment, Raj opens the note the vet gave him, finding it includes Yvette's phone number. Later, in the apartment, Leonard welcomes Sheldon home, asking him about his trip. Sheldon recounts how he made a new friend, kissed on Amy on the lips, and had the conductor play his banjo for him. When Leonard asks for more information, Sheldon tells him his friend's name was Eric, Amy's lips tasted like the brownie they had for desert, and the banjo-playing conductor was missing a finger. Leonard asks Sheldon if all those things are equal to him. Sheldon ponders it, but thinks he would need to collect additional information - listening to other nine-fingered banjo players.