WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the latest episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The Inspiration Deprivation," which aired Thursday on CBS.
The Big Bang Theory may be a show based on introducing new and silly situations every week, but over the past two seasons, there's been an overarching storyline hiding in plain sight. Like its title characters, the hit CBS comedy was smart about it, too; it was hidden in complicated science talk that was easy to overlook.
It all started when Sheldon Cooper changed his field of study from String Theory to Dark Matter. This began an elaborate storyline that would see him shift back to String Theory, and later work with Amy on the theory of Super Asymmetry. Now, the couple's theory has been proven, and their discovery has them on track for a highly-coveted Nobel Prize in physics.
There's only one problem: Two other scientists may prevent them from getting the award. However, in the series' latest episode, "The Inspiration Deprivation," Amy firmly decides to fight back and go after what is theirs.
"The Inspiration Deprivation" picks up where the previous episode, "The Laureate Accumulation," left off. After Amy's meltdown in front of a gathering of Nobel Prize winners, she gets called into Caltech's Human Resources department. There, she and Sheldon are informed that, because of the scene she caused, the couple will have to take a backseat in the campaign for their Nobel Prize. No more interviews, no more social events, nothing -- just silence.
But while Sheldon uncharacteristically accepts these terms, Amy takes issue with it. After learning that she would be only the fourth woman in history to win a Nobel Prize in physics, something that would make her a role model for female scientists everywhere, she feels an enormous amount of pressure, and for the better part of the episode, Amy tries to come to grips with HR's instructions. She even tries to calm down in a sensory deprivation tank, but it only leads to disastrous results. Thankfully, a bit of reassuring help, and a sweet rendition of Soft Kitty, calms Amy down.
But it only strengthens her resolve.
As the episode comes to a close, Amy walks back into HR and refuses to abide by the department's decision. Instead, she wants to fight for the Nobel Prize. She puts her foot down, and says that she needs to be seen so that she may be the inspiration she is meant to be.
With only five episodes left, the battle for Amy and Sheldon's Nobel Prize can only intensify. In a final season that is already filled with characters getting what they deserve, we certainly hope that the couple will get their prestigious award. However, over the years, The Big Bang Theory has also shown that it's not always about getting a prize -- sometimes, the contribution to science itself is all that matters.
But that doesn't mean you don't have to fight for what's rightfully yours.
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8 pm ET/PT on CBS, and will conclude with an hour-long series finale on May 16. The series stars Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Mayim Bialik, Kunal Nayyar, Simon Helberg and Melissa Rauch.