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302 - A Broom Closet and Satan's Monopoly Board

Aired Thursday, October 3, 2019
A Broom Closet and Satan's Monopoly Board

No longer able to attend Dr. Sturgis' college lectures, Sheldon sets out to create his own space for higher learning. Eventually, Meemaw steps in and asks Dr. Linkletter to allow Sheldon to sit in on his classes.

Meanwhile, Pastor Jeff worries that things are heating up with his girlfriend, and George tries to improve his marriage to Mary after an argument.

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Episode Notes

  • Title Reference: "A Broom Closet" refers to Sheldon's secret study hall, and "Satan's Monopoly Board" refers to Pastor Jeff's description of a Ouija board.
  • Opening Credits Sequence: Sheldon is dressed as an astronaut as a cow approaches the family.

Quotes

Adult Sheldon: Since I no longer had a college class with Dr. Sturgis to stoke my intellectual fire, I needed to find someone else who was up to the task of being my mentor. A great mind. A once-in-a-generation thinker. Fortunately, my schedule was wide open.
Sheldon: School's in session.

George Sr.: Hey, Hubert. Was Sheldon in class today?
Mr. Givens: Nope. Haven't seen him all week.
George Sr.: Weren't you gonna say anything?
Mr. Givens: I didn't want to jinx it.

George Sr.: So he hasn't been in any of your classes?
Ms. Ingram: Mm-mm, not a one.
Ms. MacElroy: Nope.
George Sr.: But I bring him here, I take him home he's got to be somewhere in the building.
Ms. Ingram: Mm, I might've seen him in the library. But at this point, I sometimes think I see him when I'm alone in my house.
Ms. MacElroy: Like that creepy Chucky doll in the movies?
Ms. Ingram: [laughs] Exactly!

George Sr.: What do you think you're doing?
Sheldon: Exploring the impact of the French invasion on Imperial Russian society.
George Sr.: Well, get out of here. You're going back to class.
Sheldon: No, I'm not.
George Sr.: Excuse me?
Sheldon: I don't learn anything in class. But in here I've taught myself the applications of gravitational lensing, Faraday's law of magnetic induction, and how to whistle. [blows air] Well, sound came out yesterday.
George Sr.: You can't spend your day in a broom closet.
Sheldon: It's no longer a broom closet. It's now a citadel of higher learning.

[Sheldon is chuckling as he stares at a blank screen]
Missy: What are you doing?
Sheldon: Watching last week's Professor Proton in my mind.

Featured Music

  • Willow
    Baker & DeCocq

    Willow As George and Mary dine at a restaurant.

Episode Trivia

  • What Russian novel was Sheldon reading in his broom closet?
    • Crime and Punishment
    • War and Peace
    • Doctor Zhivago
    • The Brothers Karamazov

Episode Recap

As Ms. MacElroy takes attendance, she notices that Sheldon isn’t there and Georgie has no idea where he is either. Outside the class, we see Sheldon emerge from the bathrooms, stealthily move through the hallways, duck into the library, move a small bookcase, unlock a door which is partially hidden behind a pull-down poster, and crawl into a broom closet. Inside, Sheldon sits down at a desk, flicks on the table lamp, opens his briefcase, sharpens a pencil and declares that “School is in session”. Adult Sheldon explains that without his classes with Dr. Sturgis, he needed to find someone else who was up to the task of being his mentor. Thankfully, his own schedule was wide open.

When Mary goes to Pastor Jeff’s office to get his signature on something at the church, she is surprised that Jeff has a guest, police officer Robin, who was on her way out. After Robin leaves, Mary says it looks like things are going well. Mary is surprised when Jeff seems sad about the situation. He explains that when he’s around Robin, he’s been having “man thoughts” which a pastor can not act on. He knows he can’t engage in a physical relationship outside of holy matrimony.

Meanwhile, Sheldon is reading a book on “Gravitation and Spacetime” in his broom closet, while Mr. Givens teaches his science class. By the time of Ms. Ingram’s math class, Sheldon is reading Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”. When the bell rings at 3:00, Sheldon is sad that his school day has come to an end. Back home, as George barbecues meat in the back garden, Mary tells him that Pastor Jeff asked her to keep him accountable so he doesn’t succumb to temptation with Robin. George can’t see what the big deal is, especially since Pastor Jeff was married before, but Mary argues the bible is clear on this.

The next school day, Sheldon once again scurries through the hallways, into the library and back to his clandestine study room in the broom closet. Meanwhile, in their office, Coach Wilkins asks George if everything’s alright with Sheldon as he hasn’t been in P.E. since Monday. Later, George flags down Mr. Givens to ask if Sheldon was in his class today. Hubert admits he hasn’t seen him all week and didn’t want to say anything that might jinx it. When George goes to the teachers’ lounge, Ms. Macelroy and Ms. Ingram say they haven’t seen Sheldon in their classes either. George is puzzled as he brings Sheldon to school in the morning and takes him home at night, so he must be in the building somewhere.

After leaving the teachers’ lounge, George finds Tam at his locker and explains he’s looking for Sheldon. Tam says he promised not to say, but luckily for George, he’s weak. When George opens the door to Sheldon’s secret study hall, Sheldon says he knew Tam was weak. After George asks what he’s doing, Sheldon explains he’s exploring the impact of the French invasion on Imperial Russian society. When George tells him he’s going back to class, Sheldon insists he’s not, arguing he doesn’t learn anything in class. George insists he can’t spend all day in a broom closet, but Sheldon says it’s a citadel of higher learning.

At the church, as Mary helps Jeff pick out an appropriate outfit for his date, she gets a call from George. After George explains the situation with Sheldon, Mary wonders what he wants her to do about it. George says he wants her to handle it, but Mary points out he’s right there so why can’t he handle it? After George says it’s because he’s at work, Mary is upset that he doesn’t respect that she also has a job. In the school library, a girl catches George seemingly yelling to nobody as he stands outside the broom closet and blames Sheldon for his argument with Mary.

When George and the kids arrive home, he sends Sheldon to his room. Sheldon doesn’t have any complaints about the punishment, so Missy suggests he take away Professor Proton too. George doesn’t welcome the advice from his daughter, but he does take it anyway. Later that evening, Mary tells George she can’t believe he didn’t make Sheldon go to class. George says she told him to handle it so he took care of it, but Mary argues he didn’t do anything. George insists Sheldon was safe in the building and was learning, but Mary worries he’ll never improve his social skills if he’s not around people. George tells her she should fix it since she seems to know what Sheldon needs, but Mary is fed up of having to do everything. Meemaw says Sheldon might just be acting out because he doesn’t have his college classes with Dr. Sturgis anymore. She says she could ask John’s professor friend if Sheldon could sit in on his class.

When Meemaw phones Dr. Linkletter to ask for a favor, he’s pleased to her from her and offers to do anything, suggesting they talk about it over dinner. Meemaw says she’ll take a rain check on dinner, before explaining she was hoping that her grandson could join in his physics class until John is back. As Dr. Linkletter talks about how John is in a mental hospital and didn’t tell her about his history, Meemaw cuts to the chase and asks if Sheldon can take the class or not. Dr. Linkletter agrees, although he’s never taught a child before and wonders whether Sheldon is potty-trained.

In their bedroom, Missy wonders what Sheldon’s doing as he chuckles while staring at a black screen. Sheldon explains he’s rewatching last week’s Professor Proton in his mind. Meemaw arrives to tell Sheldon the news that he can begin taking his college classes again. Sheldon wonders if Dr. Sturgis is back, but Meemaw explains he can sit in with Dr. Linkletter instead. Sheldon says he takes Dr. Sturgis’s class and likes the way he teaches, but Meemaw argues he might like the way Dr. Linkletter teachers better. After Sheldon peppers her with questions about Dr. Linkletter’s teaching style, Meemaw tells him to shut up and say thank you.

As Mary enters the kitchen with a laundry basket, she notices that a garbage bag is still sitting by the door. When she mentions to George that she thought he was going to take out the trash, George says he was under the impression she did everything around here. George says he contributes plenty around the house and it wouldn’t hurt her to show a little appreciation. Mary says she’ll be sure to do that when she finishes the laundry, the dishes, vacuuming, grocery shopping and helping Missy with her homework. George argues his wage pays for all the bills, prompting Mary to tell him to stop pretending he’s the only one with a job.

Mary and George’s argument is interrupted when Georgie shouts to tell her that Pastor Jeff’s on the phone. After Mary insists she has to take it, George gets up, grabs the car keys and heads out the door, leaving the garbage bag right where it was. On the phone, Pastor Jeff feels he’s in trouble as Robin just showed up and smells better than ever. Mary tries to keep him on the right path by reminding him nothing smells nicer than eternal salvation.

At a bar, George tells Coach Wilkins he feels he can’t win with Mary as she yells at him when he doesn’t step in, and thinks he’s doing it wrong when he does. After Wayne says he and his wife aren’t like that, George wonders what they do fight about. Wayne says just the normal stuff: who loves the other one more, whose turn it is for a foot rub, and, the other day, which way the toilet paper should hang. Wayne asks George when he last took Mary out on a date, and George can’t even remember.

When George arrives home to find Mary knitting in bed, he tries to talk to her but she gives him the silent treatment. When George asks if she’d like to go out for dinner on Friday, just the two of them, Mary wonders why. George says because she’s his wife, but Mary points out she was his wife last Friday and they didn’t go out to dinner. After George says he’s asking her out on a date, Mary says okay but she warns him if he’s done something stupid, she’s going to find out.

When Meemaw drops Sheldon off at the lecture hall, she introduces Dr. Linkletter to Sheldon. Dr. Linkletter says he’s heard so much about him, but Sheldon notices he must not have heard how he feels about shaking hands. After Meemaw leaves, Dr. Linkletter warns Sheldon today’s lecture is quite advanced. Sheldon says not to worry as he’ll be right there in the front row if Dr. Linkletter gets confused.

At a restaurant, Mary and George struggle to make conversation.After Mary remarks that it’s nice to not have to worry about what Sheldon won’t eat, George says it’s just the two of them so they don’t need to talk about the kids. Mary agrees, before going on to ask whether he thinks Georgie and Missy are doing anything stupid right now. Back home, George unpacks a Oujia board and explains how it works to Missy. Missy is nervous as Pastor Jeff described them as “Satan’s Monopoly Board”. Georgie encourages Missy to go for it, but she backs out when the phone rings. It’s Pastor Jeff who wants to know if Mary’s home. After Missy explains it’s just her and Georgie at home, Jeff says he hopes they’re behaving themselves. Missy lies and says they’re just watching TV. After she hangs up, Missy tells Georgie she’s worried that she’s going to hell.

Back in the lecture hall, Sheldon takes issue with Dr. Linkletter’s interpretation of superstring theory. When Sheldon puts forward what he was taught by John, Dr. Linkletter says that’s an older model of thinking. Sheldon argue that just because it’s older doesn’t mean it's worse, giving the example of Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

As they tuck into their food at the restaurant, George apologizes to Mary that she’s not having a good time. Mary insists she is, describing it as lovely, but wonders what prompted it. George says hearing about how good Wayne’s marriage was made him want to work more at theirs. Mary thinks that’s sweet and wonders whether Wayne and his wife go on dinner dates like this. George says they do all kinds of stuff, prompting Mary to ask how they find the time. As George explains that Wayne and Darlene don’t have any kids, he suddenly realizes that’s why they are so happy. George says he and Mary used to have a lot more fun before the kids. Mary reluctantly accepts there is a challenging aspect to having kids.
Just as Pastor Jeff and Robin lean in for a kiss, the phone rings. Pastor Jeff answers the phone to Missy, who admits she lied and was actually playing with a ouija board. Missy explains she’s worried she’s going to hell. Pastor Jeff tries to assure her that’s not true, but Missy points out God knows what she did as he sees everything. Jeff admits that’s true, but he says God also saw her being a good Christian by telling the truth. When he gets off the phone, Jeff tells Robin that the Lord just sent him a message: he can’t be in a physical relationship outside of marriage. Robin says she respects that and then asks when they’re getting married.

As the lecture hall clears out, Sheldon is still debating string theory with Dr. Linkletter. After  Meemaw collects Sheldon and tells Dr. Linkletter they’ll see him next week, Dr. Linkletter says it’s no wonder Sturgis went crazy.

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