The Apology Insufficiency is the seventh episode of the fourth season of The Big Bang Theory. In this episode, Sheldon accidentally ruins Howard's chance to work on the DoD project and feels guilty for it.
Howard tells the guys about his new project at the Department of Defense which requires him to have a top-level security clearance. Howard uses Sheldon, Leonard and Raj as references to be interviewed by the FBI.
Raj is at home reading "New Moon" before he is visited by FBI Special Agent Angela Page. Because of his selective mutism, Raj eats some rum cake and starts talking about Howard who he has known for seven years, never committed a felony, and his only known foreign contact is Raj. Raj is immediately paranoid that she would have him deported back to India. He goes on of how he loves America which confuses Agent Page (and later, it was mentioned that he threw up on her shoes).
Next, Leonard is visited in his lab by Agent Page, but he decides to come on her due to her attractiveness. During the interview, he inadvertently hits on her.
When she visits Sheldon at the apartment, he naturally doesn't trust her, despite Agent Page showing her badge as proof of identity. Sheldon begins to explains Howard's misdeeds to him: damaging one of the plastic retention hubs in the 9-disc Blu-ray edition of Lord of the Rings, changed one of his World of Warcraft characters from "Sheldor" to "Smelldor", insisted Sheldon to see the third Matrix movie, and lets slip of the incident of the Mars Rover. However, Agent Page took notes for the last one that Sheldon mentioned, during which Sheldon reveals much of the incident under pressure.
The next day, Howard is furious that he has been denied security clearance and chastises the guys out for failing on the interviews. Raj confesses he was drunk on rum cake and Leonard admitted to hitting on her. After Howard storms off, feeling hurt and betrayed, Leonard and Raj feel bad for what they did, and so does Sheldon who doesn't say a word.
After a nightmare of discussing the topic with Leonard and seeing the Gorn creature on the couch, Sheldon attempts to retract the comment from Agent Page, but he is refused, and is being asked by Agent Page about Leonard's involvement with the North Korean spy. Sheldon visits Howard to apologize, but Howard is greatly offended since his career was set back at least two years and refuses to accept his apology.
Sheldon goes to the Cheesecake Factory to pour out his troubles to Penny, who is a barkeep. During Sheldon and Penny's conversation about what happened and Sheldon drinking some alcohol, Penny inspires him to reprogram Howard.
In the cafeteria, Sheldon tries to convince Howard to accept his apology using neuro-linguistic programming, but Howard still refuses. Then, Sheldon bribes him with the cushion from the couch. Knowing how much it means to Sheldon and with Raj starting to feel tear-jerking emotional, Howard finally accepts his apology. Later, Howard compliments about the spot on the couch, before Sheldon immediately takes it back. According to Leonard, that was only 94 seconds.
- Title Reference: The title refers to Sheldon's first apology to Howard about his comments to the F.B.I . that he considered insufficient.
- Penny does return in the episode, but because of her actress, Kaley Cuoco's broken leg, she plays the barkeep in this episode to disguise the injury. She even appears at the end, but she does not move.