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In “The 43 Peculiarity”, Raj and Howard investigate Sheldon’s afternoon disappearances, and Leonard is jealous of Penny’s new English friend.
The episode begins with Sheldon leaving the group at 2:45 exactly. Howard brings up that Sheldon disappears like this every day. They reference Sheldon’s public calendar and find that nothing is every scheduled during this 20 minute window everyday. This leads to Raj and Howard following Sheldon the next day when he leaves for his mysterious activities. Sheldon leads them to a supply closet. Later that night they go back to the supply closet and break in. It is pretty much empty except for a blackboard with the number 43 written on it. They then go back to Raj’s office and throw around possible meanings of the 43. They do this late into the night and cannot give up even when they become exhausted.
Howard then places a camera he borrowed from the Mars rover project (a million dollar camera with a ten dollar lock) in the closet. They watch as Sheldon takes out a device for trial 44 and creates a portal in the office. He then says that the previous 43 worlds he explored were empty and he did not expect this one to be any different. He puts his head in the portal and comes out screaming with something attached to his face. While watching, Howard and Raj are freaking out, and Sheldon appears behind them. He then throws the thing that had been on his face onto the laptop; it was a trick.
Sheldon is obviously upset that they have invaded his privacy. Howard and Raj ask Sheldon to just tell them what he is doing in there. Sheldon replies that he spends all day trying to act appropriately with other people when everyone knows he has a lot of difficulty with that. He goes in there for 20 minutes to recharge and the two of them do not deserve to know and never will know. The episode ends with Sheldon returning to the room and getting out a hacky sack. He spends his time in the room playing with the hacky sack and the highest number of bounces he got once was 43.
While all of this is going on, Leonard is getting jealous of the man Penny is doing a project with at school. Penny and he are texting while she and Leonard are hanging out at Penny’s place. Penny reveals that he is English, which just adds to Leonard’s jealousy. He spends some time trying to convince her the guy is hitting on her, but she maintains they are just friends. The next day, Leonard is trying to spy through his and Sheldon’s peephole in order to see the guy. He tries to talk the problem out with Sheldon, but Sheldon is just as helpful as usual. When the guy leaves, Leonard chases him down the stairs and tries to discourage him from hanging out with Penny. Leonard warns the guy that Penny’s boyfriend is in a gang. Penny had told him her boyfriend was a scientist and Leonard says that is the gang’s name. They are dangerous and crazy. The guy thanks him for the warning, not taking it seriously of course, and Leonard turns around to see Penny standing at the top of the stairs.
At work, Sheldon’s assistant Alex joins Leonard in the cafeteria, and Leonard shares his problems with Penny. She tells him that he must understand what Penny is going through, since he must get hit on all the time. Leonard denies it, but she persists since he probably gets hit on and does not know it. Of course, she is referring to herself the whole time. Leonard just laughs and thanks her for listening and cheering him up. As he walks away, he sarcastically says he hopes women do not just rip his clothes off. Back at the apartment, Leonard runs into Penny on her way to work and they talk about the problem again. Penny is upset that Leonard does not trust her, and Leonard assures her that he does and he knows this is his problem, not hers. She then tells him that he needs to stop worrying because he should know she loves him. They pause for a second and Leonard asks if they are going to act like her saying she loves him for the first time is no big deal. She tells him yes, since she is about to cry and if she cries then he will cry.
This episode was really good. The Sheldon story was cute and I liked seeing how he deals with the stress of trying to act appropriately. He tries really hard and I think people forget this sometimes. The best part, though, was Penny FINALLY telling Leonard she loves him! I will admit that I let out a lot of fan girl-esque squealing when that happened. I also hope there is some more of the British friend, since he is played by Ryan Cartwright, who used to be on Bones and is now Gary on Alphas.