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217 - Albert Einstein and the Story of Another Mary

Aired Thursday, March 7, 2019
Albert Einstein and the Story of Another Mary

Sheldon takes inspiration from the rock star he admires the most, Albert Einstein, and decides to learn to play the violin. Meanwhile, Mary seeks guidance when she thinks she may be pregnant.

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Episode Notes

  • Title Reference: "Albert Einstein" refers to Sheldon taking inspiration from his idol and attempting to play the violin, and "the Story of Another Mary" refers to Pastor Jeff's comment as he talked to Mary about her pregnancy.


Quote from George Sr.

George Sr.: What's going on? You all right?
Mary: I'm not feeling great.
George Sr.: Is it a pregnant thing? 'Cause I got some good news on that. I got a decent raise.
Mary: It doesn't matter.
George Sr.: What do you mean it doesn't matter? We can pull this off now.
Mary: I lost the baby.
George Sr.: Oh.
Mary: You're probably relieved, huh?
George Sr.: Actually no. I love the first three. Fourth one's a charm, right?

Quote from Sheldon

Sheldon: Sorry I'm late. Shalom.

Quote from George Sr.

George Sr.: What the hell is that?
Mary: Sheldon's learning to play the violin.
George Sr.: Oh. Well, that's unfortunate.

Quote from Sheldon

Sheldon: Hello.
Ms. Fenley: Hi, Sheldon.
Sheldon: I'd like to learn to play the violin.
Ms. Fenley: Really? Well, that's terrific. Do you have any experience with stringed instruments?
Sheldon: Stringed instruments, no. String theory, yes. That was a joke. I'm a joker.

Quote from Billy Sparks

Billy Sparks: Hi, Mrs. Cooper!
Mary: [whispers:] Hi, Billy.
Billy Sparks: Are you playing hide-and-seek?
Mary: Um, yeah. Don't tell anybody. Shh.
Billy Sparks: Bye, Mrs. Cooper!

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Featured Music

Episode Trivia

  • What cartoon was Missy planning on watching when Sheldon was watching TV?
    • DuckTales
    • The Flintstones
    • Ghostbusters
    • Scooby Doo

Episode Recap

Adult Sheldon explains it was typical for young children to admire rock stars. For his sister it was Cyndi Lauper and for his brother it was Bon Jovi. For Sheldon, however, the rockstar he admired the most was Albert Einstein.

As Sheldon reads a book about Albert Einstein at the kitchen table, he tells Missy that Einstein loved playing the violin and thought music aided his discoveries. Sheldon posits that if music helped Einstein, one of the great minds of the twentieth century, maybe it could help him too. Mary comes out to tell George that she’s got to go talk to her mother, who is going through some personal problems. When Mary gets over to Meemaw’s house, her mother is unhappy to have been woken up and wants Mary to spit out whatever’s bothering her. After Mary says she’s pregnant, Meemaw admits she’s awake now.

As Meemaw pours Mary a drink of coffee, she asks if she’s sure she’s pregnant. Mary says she is two days late. Meemaw thinks two days is nothing, but Mary points out the last time she was two days late she had the twins. When Meemaw questions whether Mary has reason to think she might be pregnant, she admits they try to be safe but sometimes the heat of the moment strikes. Meemaw thinks Mary might be getting ahead of herself, but Mary insists she knows.

At school, Sheldon goes to his music teacher, Ms. Fenley, to say he would like to learn the violin. When she asks if he has any experience with stringed instruments, Sheldon says no but jokes that he does know string theory. As Ms. Fenley offers him an old violin he can take home and get the hang of, she warns him it can be a frustrating instrument to learn. Sheldon thinks that if she can play it, he will be fine.

As Meemaw walks the aisles at the drugstore in search of pregnancy tests, Mary tries to avoid being seen. When Mary can’t find the pregnancy tests, Meemaw asks a store employee where they keep them. Mary would appreciate a little more discretion. When they walk over to the pharmacy counter, Mary is uncomfortable as the pharmacist has a daughter at Missy’s school. Meemaw thinks Mary is being ridiculous, but Mary says she doesn’t need the world knowing her business.

After Meemaw asks the pharmacist for a pregnancy test, she is interrupted by Brenda Sparks. While Mary ducks behind a shelf, Brenda notices Meemaw is shopping for a pregnancy test. Meemaw insists it’s for her but Brenda doesn’t buy it. As Meemaw insists her getting pregnant by Dr. Sturgis is a real concern, Billy Sparks finds Mary hiding in the aisle. When Mary whispers hello, Billy wonders whether she’s playing hide and seek. Mary agrees and asks him not to tell anyone, before running out of the store. Pregnancy test in hand, Meemaw asks Brenda to wish her luck.

Back at school, Ms. Fenley tells Sheldon the violin is a bit worn, but it’s fine for a beginner. The sound is unpleasant when Sheldon tries to play it, but she tells him it just takes some practice. When Sheldon asks when his first lesson is, Ms. Fenley says she’s pretty busy right now. Instead, she gives him a video tape called “Anyone Can Play Violin”.

Back at Meemaw’s house, Meemaw stands outside the bathroom and asks Mary whether she knows what she needs to do with the test. Mary says it would be a lot easier to pee if she would stop talking. After Mary finds the silence even more awkward, Meemaw promises to be there for her if she is pregnant. Mary admits it’s George she’s worried about. Meemaw thinks he would be shocked at first but would get over it, perhaps with some beers or malt liquor. Mary admits they were both freaked out about having twins, but now she can’t imagine life without them. When Meemaw asks Mary what the test says, she decides to go buy that malt liquor now.

As Sheldon watches the violin training video and tries to follow the instructions, Missy comes to ask what he’s doing. Missy had planned on watching DuckTales, but as she watches her brother try follow along with the video, she thinks this is funnier. When Georgie comes and joins Missy on the couch, Sheldon explains he’s learning to play the violin. Missy says it’s her new favorite show.

At the church, Peg tells Mary that Pastor Jeff will be with her in a minute. Mary tries to avoid inhaling any of Peg’s cigarette smoke. When Mary goes into Pastor Jeff’s office, she says she could use some guidance on some news she got today. After Mary tells him she is with child, he thinks it’s wonderful and loudly congratulates her. Mary asks him to keep it down as she hasn’t told George yet. When Pastor Jeff asks why not, Mary admits it wasn’t part of their plan. Pastor Jeff says luckily it was part of God’s plan and goes on to tell Mary about the story of another Mary, whose story is way weirder than hers.

Back home, Sheldon is still following the violin tutorial as Missy and Georgie watch along. When Sheldon tries to play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, the noise is extremely grating. Still, Sheldon claims he did it and wonders how much it will help his science. But when he goes over to his chalkboard, he has nothing. Sheldon decides he needs more “Twinkle Twinkle”.

When George returns home, Sheldon is making a racket with the violin. After George says he’s going to go change, Mary follows him into the bedroom and tells him there’s something she’s been meaning to talk to him about. Mary says she wants to start by telling him the story of another Mary. Back outside, as Sheldon waits expectantly at his chalkboard, he overhears his father shout “Are you kidding me?”

Back in the bedroom, Mary tells George to keep his voice down. Mary admits she was thrown too, until she talked to Pastor Jeff. George is stunned to learn that Pastor Jeff found out before he did. After Mary mentions she spoke to Meemaw as well, George wonders whether the whole town knows. Mary reckons Brenda Sparks might know. And probably Peg. And whoever she told. But Mary insists that’s it. After Sheldon comes to talk to them, he tells them the great news: he figured out why the violin worked for Einstein but not for him. Sheldon declares he needs to become a Jewish person.

After Mary calls Sheldon to dinner, he arrives wearing a yarmulke. Well, a coaster Mary crocheted at bible camp. Mary wonders if George is going to say anything to him, but George points out he has bigger problems right now. Before Mary says grace, Sheldon wonders whether the hot dogs are kosher.

Adult Sheldon explains that over the new few days he continued to play the violin to try replicate the mental prowess of Einstein. At his family’s insistence, his practice was confined to the garage. Out on the porch, when Hershel comes over to talk to George, he says he hears congratulations are in order. After Herschel notices George doesn’t seem enthusiastic about his situation, George admits it’s the money that’s bothering him. Herschel says there’s only one solution to that: earn more money.

In Principal Petersen’s office, George says he doesn’t want to get into the reasons why but admits he could do with a raise. After Petersen makes clear he already knows Mary is pregnant, George wonders if everyone in town knows. When Petersen asks if he’s threatening to quit if he doesn’t get a raise, George says he’s threatening to rob a bank. In order to avoid that, Petersen offers him a $100 week raise. George quickly accepts the other and excuses himself.

When Sheldon calls Temple Judea in Houston to ask how he can become Jewish, the receptionist puts him through to Rabbi Schneiderman. Sheldon explains he wants to become Jewish because it’s his intention to become a great scientist and he noticed most of the great scientists are Jewish. After Rabbi Schneiderman asks what his parents think about this, Sheldon admits the words “over my dead body” were used. When the Rabbi advises him to read his bible, Sheldon says he already has, cover-to-cover. Rabbi Schneiderman’s advice is to stay with the faith of his parents. When it’s clear Sheldon wants more, the Rabbi tells him to be his own man. After Sheldon argues he wants to be a great scientist like Einstein, Rabbi Schneiderman tells him that when his days are over, God will never ask him “Why weren’t you Einstein?” but he may ask him “Why weren’t you Sheldon?”

When George comes home from work, he finds Mary curled up on the bed. After she says she’s not feeling great, George wonders if it’s the pregnancy thing. He tells her he’s got some good news on that front: he got a decent raise. George is puzzled when Mary says it doesn’t matter. Mary explains that she lost the baby. When Mary asks George whether he’s relieved, George says no. He loves the first three and the fourth one would be the charm. After Sheldon knocks on the door, he tells them he’s not going to be Jewish and will remain the atheist Baptist they’ve come to love. After Sheldon notices Mary crying, she says everything’s going to be okay.

As Principal Petersen plays golf in his office, George arrives to see him. George tells Petersen he doesn’t need the raise after all. When Principal Petersen realizes what happened, he tells George he is so sorry. Tom argues he has already cleared the wage, so he suggests George just keep the money. George doesn’t think he could do that, but Tom insists it’s his to keep. George is clearly moved as he says “Thanks” and leaves Tom’s office.

When Sheldon returns the violin to Ms. Fenley, she is surprised he’s giving up so soon. Sheldon says he’s just following the wise advice of Rabbi Schneiderman at Temple Judea in Houston.

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