Let’s see how long I last writing this article with Sheldon’s hypothetical stupidity head-chip.
There’s an open spot for tenure after “Dr. Tupperware…or, whatever-his-name-is,” tragically dies at his CalTech desk. To avoid Kripke earning the coveted position, Leonard, Raj, and Sheldon apply for the title. While Leonard thinks his and their work efforts can speak for themselves, albeit a bit naively, he realizes with a little scrutiny his friends and colleagues are gonna play more hardball.
“I’m like the sun. You can’t turn this off.”
-- Sheldon Cooper
Throughout the episode, the three consult their closest confidantes for tips and tricks on how to “schmooze” the tenure committee, including prominent (and recurring) employee Mrs. Davis. While Sheldon has some history with the committee member (“slave,” anyone?), all three try their hardest to learn her likes, dislikes, and figure out what makes her tick. Banana bread takes the cake, figuratively speaking, over Leonard’s elliptical effort, Raj’s spacey video, or Sheldon returning to his Roots.
The episode might have demoted to the archetypal friends > successes plotline, but not without some funny firsts on behalf of the Big Bang Theory cast. Sheldon picks up smack talk outside the dead professor’s memorial service very fast—much faster than he grasped the concept of sarcasm! But perhaps he could relate to its mal-effects, for how protective he is of his own mother (who stayed firmly planted at her house, and not with Raj, last night). He might have invited Amy along for moral support, but it was Leonard that thought to bring Penny for…less moral support. Though, to he credit, he caves first, citing friends are more important than tenure. And Sheldon stands to reason when Amy points out that he’d likely not make any other friends if he didn’t keep the ones he had.
By the end of the episode, Mrs. Davis nominates all three to the shortlist for tenure, despite their “quirks.” The decision remains pending. We’ll have to wait and see if Raj earns his seat-warmers in the end.