This week on "The Big Bang Theory" season 9 begins to wind down with an episode titled, "The Fermentation Bifurcation." It's a night of odd pairings and unexpected outcomes on the show this time around. While Howard and Amy have their first awkward scene alone in what they claim is 3 years, it becomes apparent they have nothing to say to each other. When their time alone quickly comes to an end it brings great joy to Amy, who is relieved that her best friend Penny and the rest of the gang showed up just in time.

Meanwhile, their partners have a less awkward time together back at Sheldon and Leonard's apartment, where Bernadette gets more than she bargained for out of the night.

Zack flirts with Claire at the wine tasting party

While Bernadette, pregnant and unable to drink wine, hangs out with Sheldon, who has no interest in wine, Leonard, Penny, Amy, Howard, Raj and one of his two girlfriends, Claire, go to taste some wine and relax.

Raj is on edge that someone is going to bring up his other girlfriend, Emily, so he asks the group to play it cool because he and Claire are casual. It turns out that Zack, ex-boyfriend of Penny, is also at the wine tasting, but didn't get the memo about Claire. At first Zack hits on Claire and flirts, and later he upsets Raj when he makes him look bad in front of Claire for being more masculine. In the end it's Claire that tricks Raj into divulging the secret that he's dating multiple women, and he's going to have some explaining to do in upcoming episodes.

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Zack makes Howard and Leonard rethink their invention

Zack, not the brightest bulb on the tree, shockingly brings the obvious to the party when he speaks to Howard and Leonard about their guidance system and infers the military implications. The two begin to have second thoughts about their project because the fact is it's way better than what the military currently uses for guidance, and it's possible their invention could end up in the right hands for the wrong reasons.

Howard, stressed about the baby, decides he wants to push forward with the prototype guidance system because he needs a way to ensure the future of his new baby and family.

Bernadette and Sheldon play D&D and talk trains

When Bernadette arrives at Sheldon's apartment and he explains the plans for the evening, which include trains and toast, she's less than thrilled at her decision to break from the group and hang out with the self proclaimed genius.

Her attitude changes slightly when Sheldon tells her why trains comfort him, and it all goes back to his childhood and having some small bit of control over his life, despite an overbearing father and religious mother. When Sheldon breaks out his Dungeons and Dragons game, prepared specifically for a pregnant Bernadette, she begins to fall in love with the story that Sheldon has prepared for her and ends up having a far more spectacular night than anyone who went to the wine tasting party.

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