The Tesla Recoil is the eighth episode of the eleventh season of The Big Bang Theory.
Sheldon secretly works with the Air Force on a communication system based on his, Leonard, and Howard's guidance system, much to their outrage, while Bernadette is suspicious that Ruchi wants her job, and asks Raj to find out what she's up to.
Leonard, Penny, Howard, and Raj wait for Sheldon and Amy to arrive so they can watch a movie involving the feud between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison; Sheldon arrives after Amy helps him get his shoe tied. Penny makes a joke about Tesla and tells Sheldon that he saw the film IT, because he thought it was about information technology rather than a supernatural horror film.
The next day, Sheldon asks Leonard to give him a ride to work, but doesn't tell him why. Leonard concludes it has something to do with the military and starts to get suspicious that he's working on the gyroscope that the Air Force took from them.
At the Wolowitz house, Bernadette gets a visit from Raj and Ruchi, who bring her a plant, to which she says none of her other colleagues are ever this nice to her. Ruchi nicely tells Bernadette to take as much time as she needs. Bernadette angrily gets the impression that Ruchi wants her job.
In their lab, Howard is overwhelmed by the news that Sheldon is working with the military again, and he and Leonard decide to speak with Colonel Williams to find out what Sheldon is up to; contacting him on Skype, the colonel explains that Sheldon came up with the idea of a new communication system utilizing their guidance system, adding that Sheldon said he was the leader of their team. He then hangs up on them as they voice their disapproval.
Asking Raj to come over, Bernadette requests that he find out if Ruchi is trying to take her job. Raj naively disagrees, adding that he is sleeping with her, to which Bernadette says they should have a chat about boundaries. In Apartment 4B, Sheldon and Amy are trying to decide what to watch excluding comedy or drama. Howard and Leonard show up to confront Sheldon, arguing that Sheldon is like Edison and they are more like Tesla. Amy agrees with them, leading Sheldon to ask what that makes her.
After having sex with Ruchi, Raj feels that Bernadette's suspicions are correct, and he speaks with Penny about it. Meanwhile, Leonard and Howard come up with a way to make the communication system even better. All they need now is someone other than Sheldon to help with the math. Raj tells Bernadette that it already seems as though Ruchi is replacing her, which infuriates her. Raj points out she would do the same thing, to which Bernadette states that the cat incident was just so she could get a corner office.
Howard and Leonard have enlisted Barry Kripke to help them with the math. Sheldon enters and, seeing them working with his fre-nemy, finds out what they're attempting, claims that their calculations have a gap in them, and erases some of them.
In bed together again, Ruchi and Raj have an argument, which leads to Ruchi dumping Raj. Bernadette feels his pain, not only because he's alone, but because she no longer has a spy.
Howard and Leonard finish their project, to which Sheldon commends them, saying that the Air Force is even more impressed with their version of the project. This surprises them, because they had yet to present it to Colonel Williams; confronting Kripke, they ask if he sold them out, only for him to tell them that it's classified.
In Apartment 4A, Howard and Leonard admonish Sheldon, saying that he should have come to them first, leading Amy to admonish the three of them. Sheldon retorts that Amy's social skills are poor. Penny claims that maybe they're all like Tesla. Amy states that he died broke and insane, making Howard agree with Sheldon about Amy's social skills.
- Johnny Galecki as Leonard Hofstadter
- Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper
- Kaley Cuoco as Penny Hofstadter
- Simon Helberg as Howard Wolowitz
- Kunal Nayyar as Raj Koothrappali
- Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler
- Melissa Rauch as Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz
- John Ross Bowie as Barry Kripke
- Dean Norris as Colonel Richard Williams
- Swati Kapila as Ruchi