While this week’s episode of The Big Bang Theory lacked in solid jokes, it made for it with an uncharacteristically tender moment. Sheldon (Jim Parsons) has a song stuck in his head and can’t figure out what it is, while Raj (Kunal Nayyar) and Howard (Simon Helberg) set up a Facebook page for their band Footprints on The Moon and have their first run in with a fan.

‘The Big Bang Theory’ Season 9, Episode 9 Recap: ‘The Beach Boys’

Sheldon wakes up tormented in the middle of the night, unable to recognize the song wormed into his brain. He hums it incessantly, much to the chagrin of Polly (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki), as you’ll see in the clip above, plays it on the keyboard till all hours of the night, switches to the tuba when an irritated Polly removes it and even calls the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to help him identify the catchy melody. It’s a great montage and a comedic highlight of the episode.

Meanwhile Amy (Mayim Bialik), who Sheldon gave the boot to a few episodes back, has decided to move on and arranges a date with Dave (Stephen Merchant). Amy plans for them to have dinner and spend some alone time in her apartment.

Raj sets up a Facebook page for he and Howard’s band, Footprints On The Moon, and when they receive their first (and only) follower they cyber-creep the fan to track him down. They locate their admirer, a young hip DJ called Trent, but before they introduce themselves they witness him picking his nose and bail. The entire subplot had built up to Trent’s reveal and the fact that nose-picking became the punchline was dully juvenile and entirely unfunny.

Sheldon eventually recognizes the earworm melody as The Beach Boys “Darlin.” “It’s about Amy,” he tells Penny and Leonard. “It’s about how she made my life better.”

He heads straight to Amy’s apartment where things are just starting to heat up between her and Dave. In a sweetly tender moment Sheldon begs Amy’s forgiveness and implores her to take him back. She agrees.

Season 9 had really been playing the long game with this reunion and its payoff in this episode made up for some decidedly uninspired comedy writing.

Catch the next episode Thursday at 8:00 pm on CBS.

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