|Writers||Bill Prady (Story), Dave Goetsch (Story), Tim Doyle (Teleplay), Stephen Engel (Teleplay)|
|Starring||Summer Glau as Herself, Dr. George Smoot as Himself|
|Air Date||9 March 2009|
Season 2, Episode 17 (0217)
The guys are going to a physics conference in San Francisco. Penny drops by to lend Leonard a small suitcase and exclaims how jealous she is of the trip. After all, she loves San Francisco, where she typically gets hammered and rides the cable cars. She tells them to have a good flight, and they explain that, due to Sheldon's obsession with trains, they're taking the railroad, even though it takes "seven times as long" and costs a lot more.
Aboard the train, Raj notices that the actress Summer Glau is sitting in the same car they are. Howard gears himself up to go over and hit on her, but while he's working on a pick-up line ("It's hot in here, it must be summer"), Raj goes to the bar car, drinks a beer so he can get over his shyness, and starts talking to Summer. Howard is very put out, but notices that Raj is drinking non-alcoholic beer without realising it.
Sheldon, meanwhile, discovers that he's forgotten his flash drive and therefore won't have a copy of a paper he wrote which he was hoping to give to Dr George Smoot, the Nobel prize laureate who is headlining the conference. He calls Penny and gives her directions to go into his room (just this once) and retrieve the flash drive from its hiding place. While following his instructions, Penny discovers a box of letters from Sheldon's grandma and starts reading them, much to his horror, learning from them that his grandmother calls him "Moonpie".
Summer seems rather taken with Raj, but Howard drops by and points out to Raj that he's been drinking non-alcoholic beer. Raj's shyness kicks in and he can't talk anymore. He leaves, flustered, and Howard takes his place. He proceeds to bore Summer with weird tales of his dreams about her, then asks if there's any way he might be able to ask her out and she'd say yes. She says no, there isn't. Defeated, he asks if he can get a cell phone picture of the two of them and she agrees, but when he then asks if he can get a picture where they look like they're making out, she breaks his phone.
Sheldon has instructed Penny how to get his flash drive and she emails him his paper. At the conference, he tries to give it to Dr Smoot, then suggests that Smoot might avoid the "What has George Smoot done lately?" syndrome by teaming up with Sheldon to win another Nobel prize. Smoot asks him, "with all due respect", if he's on crack.
I. Living room
Titles and opening themes
III. Train to San Francisco
- The guys are lectured by Sheldon about how to chose the perfect seat.
- Rajesh spots Summer Glau on the train. Rajesh, Howard and Leonard start to argue who gets to hit on her first.
- Sheldon realises he forgot his flashdrive with a paper he wanted to give to Nobel prize winner George Smoot at the conference.
- Howard tries to approach Summer Glau.
- Leonard argues with Sheldon about the best way to get his flashdrive.
- Rajesh starts to chat with Summer Glau.
V. Train to San Francisco
VII. Train to San Francisco
IX. Train to San Francisco
[Still to come: Wikipedia episode guide]
This episode covers the events of four days, most likely consecutive days. It starts with the guys preparing the computer and continues on another day when Sheldon labels his clothes. We then see the day the guys spend in the train to San Francisco. The episode finishes at the conference.
The two terms in the title refer to the two guest stars, but also to the events on board the train.
- Terminator: a powerful robot in a series of films and television shows. Actress Summer Glau played Cameron, a Terminator, in the television series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
- Decoupling: disconnecting things, uncoupling them. This term is used to describe disconnecting railway cars. It is also used to describe part of the development of the early universe after the Big Bang.
- "Term that describes the event 300,000 years after the Big Bang where the Universe had finally cooled enough so that ordinary matter could form and photons could travel in a free path. During decoupling the Universe goes from opaque to transparent." (definition from Western Washington University Planetarium)
On board the train, Raj and Howard try to chat up Summer Glau, but they both fail ("de-couple").