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108 - Cape Canaveral, Schrodinger's Cat, and Cyndi Lauper's Hair

Aired Thursday, December 14, 2017
Cape Canaveral, Schrodinger's Cat, and Cyndi Lauper's Hair

After Mary urges George Sr. to try bond with Sheldon, he takes the boys on a road trip to Florida to witness a space shuttle launch. Back home, Mary, Missy and Meemaw have a girls' weekend at the salon.

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Episode Notes

  • Title Reference: "Cape Canaveral" refers to the location of the space shuttle launch, "Schrodinger's Cat" refers to the thought experiment Sheldon mentioned in the car journey, and "Cyndi Lauper's Hair" refers to Missy's wish to have orange hair like the popstar.
  • Sheldon has referenced Schrödinger's cat a number of times on The Big Bang Theory. [117, 505, 820]
  • Sheldon liking spaghetti, particularly with little hot dogs cut up in it, has been mentioned on The Big Bang Theory. [320, 523, 823]
  • Sheldon's following of a rigid "bathroom schedule" has been mentioned multiple times on The Big Bang Theory. [211, 321, 615, 1005]
  • Mary referred to her brother Edward, later known as "Stumpy", in an episode of The Big Bang Theory. [403]


Quote from Adult Sheldon

Adult Sheldon: I didn't realize until years later that my father was only asking questions about lightning and thunder to cheer me up. In fact, he would often pretend to be dumb just to make me feel better.

Quote from Adult Sheldon

Adult Sheldon: I never did get to see a launch in person, but that was the best trip I ever had. I wish I had told my father while he was alive.

Quote from George Jr.

Mary: Wait, Georgie. Where's your bag?
George Jr.: Don't need one. Got my toothbrush right here.
Mary: What about clothes? A change of underwear?
George Jr.: Got it.
Mary: Georgie, you're gonna be gone for two days.
George Jr.: I'll turn them inside out.

Quote from Meemaw

Sheldon: I wonder if we'll get to meet an astronaut.
Meemaw: I remember when I was a teenager, I had the biggest crush on John Glenn. I would've given it up for him no problem.
Mary: Mom.
Missy: Given what up?
Mary: Her allowance. Just eat.

Quote from George Sr.

Mary: You're a good dad.
George Sr.: If I don't kill one of them before Sunday, I'm a good dad.

View more quotes from this episode

Featured Music

  • I Love The Night
    Daniel Braunstein & Edward Wohl

    I Love The Night Georgie listens to this song on his headphones during the car journey.

  • Back In Baby's Arms
    Patsy Cline

    Back In Baby's Arms Playing in the hair salon when Missy, Mary and Meemaw go for a girls' day out.

  • Thanks to Me
    The Mears Brothers

    Thanks to Me Playing in the car as George drives Sheldon and Georgie to Cape Canaveral.

Episode Recap

As Mary and George lie in bed after being intimate, he asks if they have any plans this weekend. When Mary says she wants to get started on the vegetable garden, George says he was thinking of going fishing with Georgie. Mary points out that he needs to think of Sheldon, too. George insists he’s not leaving Sheldon out, it’s just that he doesn’t enjoy fishing. Mary pushes George to make an effort to find something to do with Sheldon.

The next day, George goes to see Sheldon as he works on ballistic coefficients in the garage to ask about his plans for the weekend. Sheldon is worried that his dad wants to make him go fishing again, but George insists that they’ll do whatever Sheldon wants. As George leaves Sheldon to think about what he would like to do, Sheldon mentions that there’s a shuttle launch this weekend at Cape Canaveral. George is reluctant as it’s a 15 hour drive away, but he agrees when he sees how much it means to Sheldon.

At dinner, George tells the family that he, Sheldon and Georgie are going to take a trip to see the shuttle launch this weekend. George explains that they’ll leave early on Saturday, spend the night in a motel, and see the launch early on Sunday. When she sees how excited Sheldon is by the prospect, Mary commends George for doing a good job. When Missy wonders why she doesn’t get to go, Mary explains that they will be having their own fun this weekend with Meemaw.

That night as George packs a suitcase, Mary tells him he will have to accomodate Sheldon’s needs. After George insists he can take care of Sheldon, Mary is comforted that George knows all about Sheldon’s food requirements. The next morning, George gets up early and wakes up Georgie, but is surprised to find Sheldon isn’t in his bed. As George and Mary search the house for him, they are relieved when they notice he’s already standing by the car with his packed suitcase.

Later, George loads Sheldon’s heavy suitcase into the trunk as Georgie leaves the house without even a bag. When Mary reminds him he’ll be gone for the whole weekend, Georgie remarks that he’s got a pair of underpants and a toothbrush in his pockets. When Georgie calls shotgun, his mother insists that Sheldon sits up front even though he thinks it’s safer to be in the back. At Mary’s insistence, George flips a coin to see who will sit up front with him. Georgie calls “heads” and loses, or at least that’s what his dad tells him. After Mary says goodbye to her family and wishes them a fun and safe trip, she tries to reassure herself this was a good idea.

As Mary, Missy and Meemaw sit at the kitchen table, Missy wonders what they’re going to do this weekend. After Mary asks if she would like to go to the beauty salon and get all done up, Missy asks if she can have orange hair like Cyndi Lauper. Mary is offended when Meemaw tells Missy her mom is no fun for saying no.

As George drives Sheldon and Georgie to Florida, Georgie is listening to music while they sit quietly. When Sheldon breaks the silence to ask if his dad would like to have a conversation, George asks him about his career plans. Sheldon mentions being a scientist if he leaves Texas, a cattle baron if not. Sheldon then asks George if he always wanted to be a football coach. George says he always wanted to play until he got hurt, but admits he wasn’t the greatest player. After Sheldon comments on his “mediocrity”, George starts to think it’s going to be a long journey. They are both disquieted when Georgie warns them to crack open a window.

At the beauty salon, Missy is having fun as she sits beneath one of the large hairdryers. Mary is cold with her mother after her earlier comment, saying she doesn’t like Meemaw insinuating she’s the bad guy for not letting her daughter do whatever she wants. Meemaw argues she gave Mary a lot of freedom and she turned out well. Mary thinks Meemaw was perpetually absent, leaving her to raise her brother and sister. Meemaw says she was busy working two jobs because of her father’s failed business.

Back in the car, Georgie is counting roadkill as part of a driving game. When George asks if it’s roadkill if it’s still twitching, Sheldon talks about Schrödinger's cat. After George asks Sheldon whether he thinks the cat is dead or alive, Sheldon says there’s no way of knowing but optimistically he would assume the cat is alive.

At the motel, Sheldon is happy that the toilet was sanitized for his protection, while Georgie looks at brochures for local attractions. After George says they should get some sleep as they’ll need to be up early to get to Cape Canaveral for lift-off, the boys are upset to learn they’re going to have to share a bed. When George says they can flip a coin for the bed, Georgie calls “heads” and loses again, or so his dad says.

Back at home, Mary is tucking Missy into bed, making sure her hair will look as good after a night’s sleep. Mary is happy to hear that Missy no longer wants orange hair, though is worried by her desire to be more like Madonna instead. In the kitchen, when Meemaw asks Mary if she wants to finish their conversation, Mary says there’s nothing to finish. Mary insists she raised herself, but Meemaw thinks she’s being dramatic. Meemaw admits she feels bad for not being around enough for her kids, saying that’s why she encouraged Mary and George to move back to Medford. Mary isn’t convinced when Meemaw says she raised herself better than she could have, but she gives up the battle after Meemaw cutely tells her hair looks nice.

Back at the motel, Sheldon wakes his father up in the middle of the night to say Georgie keeps kicking him. After George moves over and lets Sheldon sleep in his bed,  Sheldon is worried as they hear the sounds of rain, thunder and lightning. George tells him it’ll pass and he should get some sleep.

The next morning, the weather did not pass and George and Sheldon realize there won’t be a shuttle launch today. After George says he’s sorry for Sheldon, he starts asking him about the science of how thunder and lightning works. Adult Sheldon says he didn’t realize until years later that his father was only asking him about lightning and thunder to cheer him up, and that he often pretended to be dumb to make him feel better.

Later, outside the motel as the rain keeps pouring down, George tells the kids they’ll run to the car on the count of three. When his father and brother run, Sheldon stays by the door, afraid of getting wet. George comes back and carries a screaming Sheldon to the car. As they drive home, Adult Sheldon says he never did get to see a launch in person, but that was the best trip he ever had. He only wishes he told his dad while he was still alive.

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