The Big Bang Theory, the end of innocence for Sheldon (VIDEO)

Sheldon almost lost his ability to play make believe, until the girls found the magic of comic books, on The Big Bang Theory.

The Big Bang Theory hit a new high with the latest episode "The Bakersfield Expedition" and hinted at maturity arriving for Sheldon, Leonard and the comic book crazed scientists.

Perfect makeup and costuming turned the four guys into replicas of the main characters of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

On the way to a comic book convention in Bakersfield, a lesser version of San Diego's Comic Con the guys decided to take photos of their awesome selves.

When they passed a stretch of freeway that went through countryside that could have passed for a barren planet, the photo shoot was on.

They posed in various ways, except for Sheldon who tried to stay true to his belief that as Mr. Data, he couldn't do much more than look like he was deep in thought.

The hilarious scenes were quickly brought to a halt when someone stole their car, stranding them on a lonely stretch of road with nothing in sight.

Not only had the key been left in the vehicle but all their real world possessions. Star Trek characters have no pockets for cell phones or wallets, right?

Sheldon rallied the troops.

"Gentlemen, we're Star Fleet officers and members of the collective. Look at us, right now we're a Star Trek landing party, stranded in an alien and unforgiving environment, relying only on our wits and fortitude. As long as we have those things we....."

Splat was the next sound heard as Sheldon was pummeled with a slushy thrown from a passing car.

They trudged to a diner miles away where the magic was broken. Sheldon cracked after a cop came to take their statement about the car theft and couldn't suppress ridiculing them.

Leonard realized how it looked to the average person as did Howard, who hilariously leaned over to one diner patron to say, "I'm not with them."

The end of innocence came when Sheldon sided with them against Raj and said they needed to go home after the thrill was gone.

Raj asked Sheldon, 'What about the mission?"

Sheldon responded "We're an imaginary landing party. We had garbage thrown at us. Real life strangers think we're idiots. I'm telling you the truth, I'm starting to feel like one."

A hush came over the audience when the importance of this sank in.

A bit of pride and fun was saved when they finally arrived home, disheveled and broken. They heard the girls arguing about plot points in a Thor comic book.

They had tried to learn why their men could sit around and hash out obtuse questions about superheroes. They were hooked.

When the guys realized they weren't dreaming and their ladies had jumped into their world, it gave them a way to save face with some role playing. In they went to see if aliens had overtaken the human bodies of Penny, Bernadette and Amy.

CBS airs episodes of The Big Bang Theory on Thursday nights starting at 8ET/7CT. Catch video clips and full episodes at the website. Image: CBS/The Big Bang Theory

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