'Big Bang Theory' recap: Howard and Bernadette learn the gender of their baby

The gang on “The Big Bang Theory” continues to mature and grow during Season 11. In the latest episode, “The Explosion Implosion,” they branch out of their comfort zones in order to accommodate family.

[SPOILER ALERT: The remainder of this article will discuss the latest episode of “The Big Bang Theory.”]

The episode opened with Howard and Bernadette learning that their unexpected second child will be a boy. This comes as unwelcome news to Howard, who didn’t have a strong father-figure growing up to emulate.

“I barely know how to be a man myself, now I have to teach one?” he says, prompting Sheldon to bring up the old adage about those that can’t do.

One thing that Howard did have growing up was model rockets, which he and Sheldon bond over. They agree to test launch an old rocket in the desert.

Meanwhile, Leonard ducks out of the apartment just in time to miss a call from his mother, Beverly. Rather than let it ring, Penny answers and finds herself in a deeply personal conversation with her mother-in-law about what she did the night before.

“I had Cuban food at the home of a man I shared unsatisfying intercourse,” she reveals.

Uncomfortable but undeterred, Penny engages in the conversation. This prompts Beverly to continue reaching out to her daughter-in-law after confessing that she doesn’t have a lot of female friends of her own. When he hears the news, Leonard is worried at first that his mother will manipulate her for a case study as she often did with him. However, when Penny reveals that she’s been getting support from Beverly, he starts to wonder why she received more pride from her in a few days than he did all his life.

He seeks advice from Amy, but the two end up ranting at each other in tandem over separate issues. Finally, he calls up his mother, who is very disappointed to hear from him, to ask if she’s proud of him. That’s when she reveals that, out of all her children’s spouses, Penny is her favorite and that she’s proud of her son for marrying well. The conversation ends abruptly as Leonard begins to cry.

The episode ends with Sheldon and Howard, packing it in and driving back to the city after a failed rocket launch. Howard is down on himself because the one thing that he thought he could teach a boy to do failed. Not wanting him to drive in this emotional state, Sheldon asks if he can take the wheel. It turns out he got his driver’s license a few years ago when he was “on a license kick,” but he only barely passed.

Once behind the wheel with Howard, he admits that he’s having fun thanks to the patience and teaching of the dad-to-be.

“Your son is going to be lucky to have you as his father,” Sheldon tells him in earnest.

The episode ends with Sheldon getting carried away with the joy he feels behind the wheel and ultimately getting pulled over for going 112 mph. It looks like he won’t have that license much longer.