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Episode 13: The Recombination Hypothesis



The Recombination HypothesisDream date with Penny.InformationSeriesThe Big Bang TheorySeason no.5Episode no.13AirdateJanuary 19, 2012DirectorMark CendrowskiEpisode GuidePrevious EpisodeThe Shiny Trinket ManeuverNext EpisodeThe Beta Test Initiation"The Recombination Hypothesis" is the thirteenth episode of the fifth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This was the show's 100th episode, and first aired on Thursday, January 19, 2012.[1]




Episode 13: The Recombination Hypothesis



"The Recombination Hypothesis" is the 100th episode of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory and the 13th episode of the series' fifth season.[1] It premiered on CBS in the United States on January 19, 2012.[2] In this episode, Leonard impulsively asks Penny out for dinner on a date.


The episode begins with Sheldon receiving a cardboard cut-out of Spock he ordered, however is dismayed to find it is not the Spock played by Leonard Nimoy but rather Zachary Quinto. While Sheldon complains, Leonard sees Penny and they exchange smiles. Leonard walks over asking her if she has any plans for dinner. Penny looks surprised about being asked out on a date and accepts. As Penny nervously tries on clothes with Amy and Bernadette, Bernadette assures her that everything will work out since Leonard is crazy about her. Whilst playing Settlers of Catan, Sheldon, Howard and Raj ask Leonard why he is putting himself through another relationship with Penny, as they had broken up two years ago when things got too serious for her.


"The Recombination Hypothesis" is the first episode of a two episode arc featuring Leonard and Penny attempting to restart their relationship that has been one of the major plot lines and driving forces of the series. The arc concludes with the next episode "The Beta Test Initiation" where Penny and Leonard return from their date. The first scene is a salute to the original pilot where Leonard and Sheldon climb the stairs wearing similar outfits and they spot Penny through her apartment door wearing the same shirt from the pilot.[6] Sheldon is disappointed to discover that a Mr. Spock cardboard stand-up he ordered is a portrayal of Zachary Quinto's Spock not Leonard Nimoy's Spock. According to Bill Prady, the co-creator of The Big Bang Theory, approval from Paramount, J. J. Abrams (producer of the new Star Trek series) and Zachary Quinto was required in order to mock Spock.[6] Also, this is the first time that an entire episode is a "dream-sequence", a unique style of storytelling,[6] and is the second Chuck Lorre show to achieve the "dream-sequence" story, after Two and a Half Men in the episode "Frodo's Headshots".


The Recombination Hypothesis is the 13th episode of the 5th season of The Big Bang Theory. In this episode Leonard asks Penny out on a spur-of-the-moment romantic dinner for two, as they contemplate renewing their relationship after their breakup.


  • All Just a Dream: Turns out the entire episode is an extended Imagine Spot where Leonard asks Penny out again but they start bickering and covering up their problems with sex. Just before being snapped out of his dream. Penny tells him that he always overthinks things, and the first thing he does exiting the dream is ask her out despite the "Bad Ending" he conceived. Penny even asks if he thought this through and he replies with an exasperated nod "Yes, and I think we should go, anyways."

  • Big Damn Kiss: Penny gives one to Leonard before having sex with him in the daydream.

  • Daydream Surprise: The main plot turns out to be Leonard thinking though whether he should start dating Penny again.

  • The Stinger is Leonard and Penny's wedding, where Penny is heavily pregnant. That turns out to be Penny's own Imagine Spot, after which she says she has to go to the drug store.

  • Foreshadowing: There are signs it was all a daydream: Leonard was uncharacteristically confident when asking out Penny.

  • Daydream-Bernadette is socially inconsiderate when suggesting double-dating with Leonard and Penny in front of Amy. When the scene repeats back in the real world, Amy is the one carelessly suggesting double-dating in fron of Bernadette.

  • Daydream-Penny is really nervous for the daydream-date and doesn't know whether to wear a shiny dress with a navel-deep neckline or an outfit that would be suitable on a conservative religous lady.

  • In the past when Leonard tries to initiate sex after a fight with Penny he got rebuffed, this time she accepted.

  • Sheldon goes to the toilet in the middle of the night.

  • Innocent Innuendo: Sheldon when playing a board game with Howard and Raj, much to their amusement.Sheldon: And now that I have my wood, I'm going to begin the erection of my settlement. Raj: He's got to be doing this on purpose.

  • Insult Backfire: Howard tries to insult Leonard over coming back early from his bad date. Leonard just retorts "You're thirty years old and you live with your mother" which immediately shuts Howard up.

  • Longing Look: Penny gives one to Leonard at the start of the episode when smiling at him.

  • Relationship Revolving Door: After breaking up and agonising over their feelings for each other throughout Season 4, Leonard and Penny finally begin dating again.

  • Shout-Out: Sheldon ordered a cardboard cutout of Mr. Spock, but is disappointed that it's the movie reboot version rather than the original.Sheldon: Live long and suck it, Zachary Quinto!

  • The guys are playing Settlers of Catan. The episode gets a lot of laugh mileage out of the game's memetic "wood for sheep".

  • On his date with Penny, Leonard mentions that he used his grant money to build his own Bat-Signal.

  • When She Smiles: Two examples. Penny just smiles when she sees Leonard at the start of the episode, it shows she still cares about him a lot and is happy to see him.

  • The next one happens after Leonard finally asks Penny out, it's the first time Penny has been happy in a year when Leonard asks her out again.



Nonreciprocal homoeologous recombination (NRHR) events mapped onto a simplified Gossypium allotetraploid phylogeny. Some contigs putatively contain multiple events. The total number of events is indicated in the upper value, while the aggregate number of affected contigs is indicated as the lower value (in bold). Values at the base of the phylogeny are those events shared by both species, which likely occurred in a common ancestor (although parallel mutation remains a possibility).


Our results reveal an increased rate of nucleotide substitution in both polyploid lineages, though this increase only impacts the nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution ratio in G. hirsutum. We also uncover a surprising level of nonreciprocal homoeologous recombination (NRHR) between the allotetraploid A- and D-genomes. From these two findings we can conclude that genome duplication has impacted the mutation rate, and through long-term co-residency between the cotton A- and D-genomes, resulted in frequent illegitimate contact, resulting in homoeologous sequence conversion through nonreciprocal exchange.


The Big Bang Theory returns tomorrow night with its 100th episode, and Penny and Leonard (Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki) go on a *gasp* date! Tune in to CBS at 8 PM ET/PT on January 19 for The Recombination Hypothesis, the first of six new episodes of our favorite nerdy sitcom.


Next Thursday the hit CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory will air its 100th episode. Over the years the show about a group of nerdy scientists had often used Star Trek to play into the humor and they will again in this milestone episode with another Sheldon/Trek subplot. Details and photo preview below (spoilers). [UPDATED]


Original Air Date: 19 January 2012 Storyline: Leonard and Penny contemplate reviving their romantic relationship. Sheldon's attempt to order Star Trek memorabilia doesn't go as planned.Trivia: The opening scene is nearly identical to the opening scene of the pilot episode: Leonard and Sheldon arrive at their apartment and spot Penny doing something in her apartment through her open door, and Leonard goes to talk to her. The characters are even dressed similarly, with Leonard wearing a crimson shirt with a hoodie, Sheldon in a superhero T-shirt and checked pants, and Penny in a light blue short-sleeve shirt (but long pants instead of shorts).


Review: I was happy to see that The Big Bang Theory's 100th episode brought back the relationship between Leonard and Penny and made them the focus of the story. I'm one of those people who really like Johnny Galecki's performance and would love to see more of him than just the lovable sidekick to Sheldon's prominent role. And if we go back to that first episode, you will see that the way the pilot and this week's installment begin is almost similar, with Leonard contemplating dating the girl next door. But neither Leonard nor Penny are the same people they were five years ago and, while he has more confidence, she has learned to appreciate her geeky neighbor and has grown into a less judgmental and shallow person.


And also I think it was the first time that they showed Penny in a bra which for some reason caught my eye! Think the only other time she was in a bra was with Sheldon in the laundry room in the "The Cooper Extraction" Christmas episode 041b061a72


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