Another week of one of the funniest shows nowadays (Probably just behind How I Met Your Mother and 30 Rock)
In a post filled with The Big Bang Theory Spoilers… And remember The Big Bang Theory is renewed for two more seasons

Complete Recap and Spoilers of The Big Bang Theory 2×23 – The Monopolar Expedition

Wow, how can Leonard get something so elementary wrong in his formulas? However, the apartment agreement CLEARLY forbids Sheldon from criticizing Leonard, so Leonard is forced to find his error and correct it. Sheldon observes, “You actually had it right in the first place. Once again, you’ve fallen for one of my classic pranks. BAZINGA!” Sheldon becomes concerned when the president of the university emails him and tells him to meet at 8AM tomorrow. That’s going to put 8AM breakfast (and the 8:20 bowel movement) in a bit of a quandary. As the president didn’t say what the meeting was about in the email, Sheldon has 14 hours (840 minutes!) to contemplate what the president wants. He has this annoying thing over his head now, but at least Leonard knows what he means by having annoying things buzzing about his head.

Give Sheldon credit for waiting 8 hours before disturbing Leonard’s sleep with the standard “3 knock-Leonard-repeat” cadence, although the same can’t be said for the president of the university, his wife, and their sullen teenage daughter. Sheldon apparently went there when the president didn’t reply back and his phone number was unlisted. (Gee, can’t imagine why.) However, a theory arises: Sheldon had sent a grant to the National Science Foundation to study slow-moving monopoles at the magnetic North Pole? (which seems to have moved a couple of times this decade for some reason). The NSF’s expedition suddenly got an opening or two, so Sheldon thinks that’s why the president was emailing him. This is enough to get Leonard out of the bathroom.

LEONARD: “Wait a minute. He offered to send you to the North Pole?”

SHELDON: “In fact, he was quite enthusiastic. He said ‘quite frankly, if I could send you tonight, I would’.”

It’s possible for Sheldon confirm his ideas of String Theory if all goes well, but there is one problem: it’s too cold up there. Heck, he has to leave the theatre if his Icee gives him brain freeze. But he can’t pass up such a phenomenal opportunity…

LEONARD: “Sheldon, what words are there that I can say right now so I can end this conversation and go back to sleep?!?!?”

SHELDON: “Odd, President Seibert posed the exact same question.” Pity that Leonard doesn’t have any dogs to set on Sheldon.

The next day, Leonard, Raj, and Wolowitz contemplate the possibility of 3 months without Sheldon. They could go outside, sit on the left side of the couch, go to the bathroom at 8:20. (Even they realize they have small goals.) Sheldon gives them the news that he has tentatively accepted (YEAH!!!!!!!!!!) the invitation to attend the Arctic Expedition. Sheldon proposes the three of them join him as support staff. The boys discuss it. It’s certainly hard to tell the National Science Foundation “no,” but maybe they could say they don’t want to spend three months with an “anal nut bag,” as Howard puts it. But it is a phenomenal opportunity that could get them on magazines, and Raj figures that putting up with Sheldon for 3 months in a subzero cabin will result in a karmic payback of a “well-hung billionaire with wings” in the next life. They tell Sheldon they’re in. Of course, since Sheldon is the team leader, he expects everyone to call him “sir,” but there will be a briefing on that later. Maybe Howard can still get on a magazine as the guy who killed Sheldon with a crossbow. (This sounds remarkably like a shotgun for some reason.)

Here’s the good news: the way to counter the “3 knock – Penny – repeat” cadence is to “3 knock – Sheldon – repeat” in reply. 5 rounds of knocking and 4 Tylenol later, Sheldon requests access to the Cheesecake Factory freezer (“Honey, I already told you the hamburger meat is fresh and stored at a safe temperature.”), so they may practice acclimating themselves to the cold for their expedition to the North Pole. Needless to say, Penny is shocked and promptly goes to Leonard. She questions when Leonard was going to tell her, but Leonard tells her the guys were too busy getting physicals, buying thermal underwear, and studying snow. Penny blows it off, trying to act nonchalant about it. But she does agree to let them stay in the freezer. After she leaves, Leonard wonders if Penny was upset about them leaving. Sheldon correctly guesses that she didn’t look upset, and Leonard was a little upset.

LEONARD: “I know she’s not my girlfriend or anything, but don’t you think she’d feel a little bad that I’d be gone for the whole summer?”

SHELDON: “That sounds like a bonus question. I’m going to stop here and say I’ve had a great time.”

The big test for the guys: survival in the Cheesecake Factory freezer. The guys must practice using tools in the extreme cold. Without the actual equipment, Sheldon has to improvise. Leonard must do complex calculations using an old calculator watch, while Raj paints sideburns and a Van Dyke beard (a goatee with no mustache) on a six-inch replica of Legolas the Elf, and Howard must do a series of delicate surgical features…using an Operation board. (start with the Funny Bone for $200) Raj chokes on the paint, Leonard tries to operate the watch without gloves and instantly gets frosbite, and you can guess what happened with Howard. Of course, assembling the equipment while still in the warm cabin then taking it outside never really occurred to Sheldon. (“I guess we’re done here.”)

As Wolowitz and Leonard enjoy a hot chocolate with a stick of butter (a stick of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” for the lactose-intolerant Leonard), Raj is in a videoconference argument with his parents about going on the trip. They don’t want him to go, but Howard tries to convince them it is safe to go and that his mother agreed to it. In fact, Howard will put his mother on with Raj’s parents to discuss going to the Arctic. (“ARCTIC??? I THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO ARKANSAS!!!”) Leonard is more than thrilled that Penny wants to see him in the hall so he can get away from the arguing and guilt. Penny bought him a blanket…with sleeves (yeah, that thing in the infomercials). It allows him to be all snoodled up while doing his “science stuff.” Penny gives him a hug. He hugs back. He stops hugging her. She DOESN’T stop hugging him. He starts hugging her again. They finally break up. Penny returns to her apartment, leaving Leonard very confused (and snoodled) in the hall. He returns to find Mrs. Wolowitz being shocked at the fact that, in the whole of India, there’s not a single Outback Steakhouse. Hope she never goes to Sydney; she’ll be REALLY disappointed.

Late at night, Leonard wakes Sheldon. No, you read that right, although Sheldon’s mad because Mee Maw was about to give him a cookie. Leonard doesn’t think he can go to the North Pole. Although Leonard shouldn’t worry because Sheldon’s expectations for Leonard are low, he thinks that Penny might miss him and he shouldn’t go in case she move on to someone else in the interim. “She does have a short attention span,” Sheldon concedes. But Sheldon agrees he can’t go, because Penny would seem to want to have an intimate and carnal relationship with Leonard.

LEONARD: “You really think so?”

SHELDON: “Of course not. Even in my sleep-deprived state, I managed to pull of one of my classic pranks. BAZINGA!”

Leonard has to wake Penny before he leaves to talk to her. He asks about the “you’ll miss me,” the blanket with sleeves, and the long hug. It means she’ll miss him, wine, a credit card and late-night TV is a bad combo, and it was just a hug. There was no meaning behind it. Leonard is clearly disappointed, but at least things are cleared up. He bids her goodbye.

PENNY: “Have a safe trip. Goodbye. (closing the door) It means I wish you weren’t going.”

At the North Pole, things are already bleak: they ran out of ice. But on the good side, they should realize they’re on the top of the world, a place so few people in human history will ever see. They celebrate with reconstituted Thai food, including dehydrated low sodium soy sauce, freeze-dried spicy mustard, and flash-frozen brown rice. Everything will be fine…when Howard gets out of Sheldon’s spot.

HOWARD: “There’s no time for a crossbow. Get me an icicle.”

Author: murphtones for IMDB