Last Thursday night on 'TheBig Bang Theory'ona new episode titled, 'The Empathy Optimization', everyone's favorite theoretical physicist(Sheldon Cooper),displayed a miraculous amount of growth regarding his understanding ofhumility and empathy. It's only taken him nine seasons to get there, but it appears the socially awkward Cooper is willing, for the greater good of his group, to change some of his ways, as long as it benefits him. Sheldon's girlfriend, the tolerant but needy Amy Farrah Fowler, was missing in person, but did have some screen time through video chatting. Amy decided to extend her stay in Detroit at the neurobiology conference because, as it turns out, no one wants to deal with Sheldon when he's sick (and for good reason).

Sheldon is at his worst when sick

In past episodes, the group has done whatever possible to avoid Sheldon when he's sick because he turns into an intolerable monster who demands chicken soup, vapor rub, and to be sung 'Soft Kitty' to ease his sickness. But the group has grown stronger and now they simply try to work with his demands, with Emily offering to check him out, Penny cooking him meals, and Bernadette providing free drugs from work. Despite the group effort, Sheldon remained intolerable during this last sickness, and when he announced he was finally recovering it only elicited groans instead of a group cheer, which Sheldon honestly expected of his cohorts. There's a bit of a mutiny and everyone besides Sheldon decides it's time for a quick Vegas getaway so they can get some recovery time in.

Everyone gets an apology t-shirt from Sheldon

After some advice from Amy that Sheldon should apologize to all of his friends for being so miserable to them, Leonard is the first to get an apology. It's not enough to earn a spot on the trip to Vegas in the party bus, so Sheldon continues to apologize to everyone in the group, and gift them with a t-shirt that commemorates the experience.

Sheldon hits a snag when it comes to Raj's girlfriend Emily, because while he grasps the basics of empathy and humility, Sheldon stops short of full realization. Sheldon has the opinion that Emily is not a real doctor and begins a tirade of insults that she finds intolerable. Emily declares that she won't go to Vegas if Sheldon comes along which makes Raj furious that Sheldon is so inflexible in his opinions.

Sheldon comes around to the idea of tolerance

Everyone besides Sheldon gets aboard the party bus to Vegas, or so it seems. While everyone gets settled in to the bus, Sheldon, along with Stuart, pops out of the bathroom and surprises the group with a final attempt at an apology to Emily. Sheldon admits that he will most likely unintentionally offend Emily in the future because that's his nature. Emily finds a way to be touched by the apology because of it's genuine nature and reluctantly accepts that Sheldon is who he is. There's a bonding moment that happens that may bring Emily a bit closer into the group than she has been in past episodes. In the end, everyone rides the bus to Las Vegas, even Stuart, who was never invited in the first place.

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