What's more important, the idea or the execution? That's the central debate in Thursday's 'Big Bang' episode, which finds Leonard and Sheldon at odds. A science magazine covers a paper that the two friends wrote together, but only mentions Sheldon by name. Initially, Sheldon fails to see this as a big deal and it takes Amy for him to realize that Leonard may have his feelings hurt by the omission.
Once Sheldon breaks the news to Leonard he is predictably upset and is not comforted by Sheldon's offer to add his name to the cable bill. Penny offers to cheer him up the only way she knows how: shopping. A gift won't be quite enough to cheer up Leonard, especially after a run-in with Sheldon only ups the tension between the two friends. They each vent to their respective girlfriends, explaining their side of the argument. Leonard believes that since the basis of the paper was his idea in the first place, he should get the credit. Sheldon thinks that since he was the one who put in the abundance of work, he can rightfully be called the lead scientist.
The feud is briefly put to rest when Howard invites them all to his mother's house for dinner. He had been struggling to get rid of her things after her death and when a power outage caused all of the frozen food she had kept in her freezer to begin to defrost, he plans a last minute dinner party for his friends.
Howard's digging through the food is played for laughs, but there is one moment that stands out stands out. He may have trouble throwing away the ketchup packets she insisted on saving and sure, he's going to miss her cooking, but he's still struggling with knowing he will never talk to his mother again. He tears up as he says it and Bernadette promises she will stay strong if he does. The couple rebound from the tender moment, but Raj, who couldn't help but overhear, bursts into tears, allowing everyone to get in a good laugh.
Moments like that make Leonard and Sheldon's dinner table argument seem especially childish. The entire gang has gathered around the Wolowitz table, surrounded by candles and making conversation, but they just can't drop the feud. What starts as a friendly idea vs. execution debate launches into full on bickering between the duo. Finally Bernadette has enough and orders them to into the next room.
It's great to see the guys called out, but the highlight is allowing actress Melissa Rauch to do her spot on impression of the late Carol Ann Susi as Bernadette's voice slowly transforms into that of Mrs. Wolowitz. It's a sweet tribute that allows for plenty of laughs. It also happens to be exactly what the guys needed to bury the hatchet.
We don't get any resolution on the idea/execution debate. Instead we just find the crew laying around the Wolowitz living room, full from a good meal. It's there that Sheldon learns another science journal has covered the paper and that this one has used both their names. It inspires some cheers from the overstuffed crowd, but not nearly as loud as the cheers that come when Bernadette announces she's found a bottle of Tums.