'Big Bang Theory' Season 11, episode 3 recap: Sheldon meets a new part of himself

With “The Big Bang Theory” Season 11 hanging a lantern on the upcoming wedding between Sheldon and Amy, it seems the stress of planning the big event is already starting to get to them. In episode 3, “The Relaxation Integration,” Sheldon had to confront a brand new version of himself.

The episode opens with the gang having dinner, and Sheldon is more high strung than usual as he attempts to pick the perfect date for their wedding. He insists that he is smart enough to solve the problem of a perfect wedding date, but his friends balk when they hear that he’s issued save-the-dates for 80 dates. Later that night, the stress takes its toll as he has a dream featuring a more laid-back version of himself. This Sheldon goes with the flow, doesn’t have a care in the world and says things like “whatevs.” Amy hears him talking in his sleep and gets worried that wedding planning is too much for him.

Meanwhile, Bernadette tells Howard that she’s going out for drinks with a new co-worker. He immediately suggests setting her up with either Raj or Stewart. However, she insists that she just wants to make a work friend. If she grows not to like her, then she’ll “ruin her life with Stewart or Raj.”

Unfortunately, Howard wants his friends fixed up more than he wants his wife not to be mad at him. Raj and Stewart crash the meet up to fight for the single friend’s affection.

Meanwhile, Amy has recorded another session of laid-back Sheldon, which he isn’t happy to learn. He’s clearly upset at her for recording him in his sleep and capturing this new personality that his brain seems to be keeping from him without his consent. She explains that she’s just worried about him and tries to break down the psychology of what his dreams could mean.

“Don’t try to put science lipstick on your new-age pig!” he retorts.

Later, he confesses to Penny that he wants to try and adopt this laid-back Sheldon if his subconscious is clearly trying to bring it to the forefront.

Elsewhere, Raj and Stewart go out again with Bernadette’s friend, but come on just a bit too strong. She reveals that she’s not looking to date either of them and really just wants to make friends in a new city. Raj presses her for which one she would have chosen, while Stewart seizes the high-road and agrees to see her again just as friends. When she agrees, he immediately rubs victory in Raj’s face.

The episode ends with a disheveled and filthy Sheldon returning home to Amy. He shares a story that begins with him buying flip-flops only to lose one in a sewer grate. Being the new laid-back Sheldon, he attempted to retrieve it when he touched something furry, and things devolved from there. The ordeal helped him draw a conclusion - he needs her to plan the whole wedding. With that, an overjoyed Amy admits that she’s always wanted a June wedding, on a cliff, overlooking the sunset. Sheldon agrees, but privately mocks her decision.

In the post-credits scene, a gathering of Sheldon’s different personalities meet in, presumably, his imagination. Fanboy Sheldon, Humorous Sheldon, Texas Sheldon, Science Sheldon and Germaphobe Sheldon all vote on whether or not to admit Laid-back Sheldon into the group, which they shoot down unanimously.