The Big Bang Theory took a wide detour during the episode entitled "The Cooper/Kripke Inversion".
While Howard and Raj played with creating action figures in their own likenesses, Sheldon came to a fork in the road.
His superiority complex was shattered by the man with the bad lisp, Barry Kripke, or as he would say it, "Kwipke".
On top of that, Dr. Sheldon Cooper had to face his phobia about physical touching and closeness.
When Sheldon and Kripke were forced to pool their research on the same topic at the insistence of the university, viewers learned along with Sheldon that the emperor had no clothes.
Sheldon cried to Amy. "I read his research and it's leaps and bounds ahead of mine." He was in such a bad way that when Amy offered a "consoling hug", he accepted it as he wept and said, "There's nothing left to lose."
Kripke gloated but it didn't last long and Sheldon took shelter under the umbrella provided by his arch enemy.
Barry couldn't fathom Sheldon's failure without it relating to something Kripke only wished he had as an excuse.
It was that hot and steaming sex with Amy that sapped his brain cells of their real ability, right?
"My work would suffer if I was getting 'waid' all the time," Kripke said. The relief flooded Sheldon and he began a dialogue with his fellow scientist that he couldn't master.
"Yes, that is the reason. My work is suffering because of how laid I'm getting," was his retort.
He continued. "What can I say? She enjoys my genitals. I am giving them to her on a nightly basis."
Sheldon's pathetic attempts at playing along made Kripke hungry for more and Dr. Cooper ran out of words to characterize his amorous adventures.
While it was creepy, the stronger impression left on this viewer was one of sadness, that Sheldon's bubble burst. Vulnerable Sheldon isn't a happy Sheldon.
It certainly didn't rise to the level of Manti Te'o discomfort, but it was uncomfortable being forced to watch the serious side of Sheldon the sociopath.
It's comical to watch his phobias at work when the writers aim it in that direction. It's a whole other thing to get serious about it.
He discussed his dilemma with Penny and Leonard while ensconced in his place on the coach, eating Chinese food from the containers.
"The truth made me look bad," he told Penny. She took that as a green light to lobby for her friend Amy and her physical desires.
It got so deep that Sheldon finally admitted his touching phobia, but left open the possibility that sex might come Amy's way....at some point.
The Howard-Raj plot line was much lighter and outright funny. Can we only hope to return there next week?
CBS airs new episodes of The Big Bang Theory Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET. Image CBS/The Big Bang Theory