What happens when Sheldon finds himself lured down a scientific path that he’s not comfortable with? That’s exactly what happened on the latest episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory,” Season 11, titled “The Geology Methodology.”

The episode kicked off with the usual gang having lunch at work when their colleague, Bert, approaches Sheldon to ask if he’ll help him on an interesting-sounding geology project. Not believing geology to be a real science, Sheldon refuses to help telling him that he “doesn’t have time to play rocks” with him. However, he quickly changes his mind and approaches Bert in secret.

He quickly finds that he loves the geology work he’s doing, but gets a crushing dose of reality when Amy arrives with a surprise dinner. He manages to avoid telling her what he was really doing, but the close call prompts him to have a word with Penny.

After excusing Leonard from the room, he asks her for help.

“This is about my reputation, and somehow you hold your head high despite your checkered past,” he tells her.

Naturally, after that comment, she’s of little help. Meanwhile, Raj and Howard find themselves at a bar watching cricket. While Howard isn’t amused, Raj is in his element. That’s what makes it so easy for him to hit it off with Bernadette’s friend Ruchi, who happened to be there. The next day, Raj reveals that they slept together and are planning to keep their new relationship “casual.” Both Stuart and Penny scoff at the idea of him engaging in a casual relationship.

When they have their first date, Raj comes clean and she seems charmed by his honesty. The date continues and they get on the topic of soulmates. Needless to say, Raj is a believer, but Ruchi’s scientific mind breaks down the chemical reaction that people call “love.” With the help of Bernadette and Howard, he realizes that his relationship with Ruchi isn’t going anywhere romantic. Instead, they’ll just be two people who find each other attractive and have sex, which he’s not all that upset about.

Sheldon continues to contemplate his dip into geology after Bert realizes that he’s been bad-mouthing his life’s work the whole time. He asks Amy if she’d judge him for working on geology.

“Sheldon, you’ve never cared what people thought, even when you really, really should,” she says.  Oddly enough, this gives him the courage to pursue his work with Bert. The episode ends on a bad note with Sheldon going back to Bert’s office with his metaphorical hat-in-hand. Sadly, when he arrives he is struck to find that Leonard has taken his place.

“You were a jerk to Bert and he walked away,” Leonard says. “I feel like there’s a lot he could teach me.”