Leonard Leakey Hofstadter, Ph.D., is a fictional character in the CBS television series The Big He is instantly captivated by Penny, and from the beginning sets out to date her. In early episodes, Leonard is reluctant to let Penny know about. At the end of the episode, Penny shows Leonard how much she he's ready to commit to an arranged marriage after a successful first date. "The Recombination Hypothesis" is the th episode of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory and the 13th episode of the series' fifth season. It premiered on CBS in the United States on January 19, In this episode, Leonard impulsively asks Penny out for dinner on a date.
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One of Leonard's former girlfriends who is mentioned on several occasions is Joyce Kim , who did not appear until the third season. Leonard's friends recalled on many occasions that they were together for only 27 days, after which Joyce, later revealed to be a spy, defected to North Korea. The first time Leonard asks Leslie out, she rejects him,  and his further relationships with her proved to be only short-lived casual sexual encounters that only happened to satisfy Leslie's libido.
In the second season, Leonard began a stable relationship with a physician named Stephanie Barnett. Elizabeth Plimpton Judy Greer , a physicist he admires, when Sheldon invited her to stay in their apartment for a brief visit.
This encounter causes some tension between Leonard and Penny, who is somewhat judgmental of Leonard's doing so. However, the two later resolve their feelings and their friendship continues. In the third-season finale, "The Lunar Excitation", after Penny's failed attempts to move on from her relationship with Leonard, she becomes intoxicated and has sex with him. In the morning, Leonard believes that their relationship has resumed, though Penny tells him that the previous night was a mistake.
This causes a strain on their friendship; at the end of the episode, Leonard becomes intoxicated and tries to have intercourse with her, prompting Penny to push him out of her apartment, to which Leonard suspects a double standard. He immediately makes the same advances towards Leslie Winkle, who replies, 'Let me think about it" and slams the door in his face.
It is unclear whether or not Leonard has noticed this, though he clearly is still interested in Penny. In "The Benefactor Factor", an older rich woman propositions Leonard in exchange for a large donation to the physics department; he initially resists and she admits that she planned to make the donation anyway, after which they engage in a one-night stand. Leonard arrives home the next morning, whereupon Penny recognizes his "walk of shame" and Sheldon thinks Leonard has a future in becoming a gigolo to rich ladies in exchange for donations.
Raj strongly opposes this, and Penny is secretly uncomfortable with Leonard dating someone else, eventually breaking down and crying while talking with her friend Amy Farrah Fowler. Once again, Leonard is unaware of Penny's true feelings. Subsequently, Priya pressures Leonard into ending his friendship with Penny, which he attempts with extreme reluctance.
Penny complies, though it is clear that she does not want Leonard out of her life. At the start of Season 5, Leonard and Priya are trying to maintain a long-distance relationship via Skype including a failed attempt at cybersex with Priya continuing to treat Leonard like a submissive partner.
Despite being the most eager to have sex, Leonard proves he is quite awkward in these situations. Leonard later goes to a wedding with Amy, and they seem to take a liking to each other, though Sheldon disapproves, karate-chopping Leonard and saying, "She's not for you The attraction is mutual, and they even share a kiss.
Right when they are about to have sex, however, he tells Alice that he has a girlfriend, thus ending the relationship. Leonard then decides to confess his behavior to Priya via Skype , but he is shocked to learn that Priya has also betrayed him, sleeping with her former boyfriend; Priya defends that they both slipped up a little, but Leonard corrects her saying that he slipped a little, while she slipped a lot, bringing the conversation to a strained end.
In the next episode, Leonard tells Sheldon that he is single, implying that he and Priya have broken up; his actions since then have confirmed their split occurred.
Through the fourth and fifth seasons, Penny was still single and dating, though when intoxicated, she has confessed that she regrets breaking up with Leonard. Leonard decides that since they are no longer dating, he can be honest and does not have to pay for everything or do whatever Penny wants. The two bicker all evening and sabotage each other's attempts to chat up people in the bar. Penny admits that she likes the new, more assertive Leonard.
Leonard sees this as another opportunity to grovel and try to get Penny to sleep with him, so she leaves. On the spur of the moment in "The Recombination Hypothesis", Leonard asks Penny out on a date after he imagines what getting back with her might be like. Their real date ends successfully and they agree to take their relationship slow in "The Beta Test Initiation. After Penny suggested having sex in "The Launch Acceleration", Leonard breaks the mood by proposing to her accidentally.
They later meet and Penny does have the courage to tell him "no" and not break up with him as she did two years previously when he told her that he loved her. However, their relationship is still obviously strained. In season 5, Leonard and Penny watch Howard being launched into space while holding hands to comfort each other.
With the start of season 6, he wants a reluctant Penny to define their relationship in "The Date Night Variable". Penny acts nervous and Bernadette tells her that everything will work out great since Leonard is crazy about her. Whilst playing Settlers of Catan , Sheldon keeps asking for "wood" to build a road causing Howard and Raj to laugh at him not realizing the sexual innuendo.
The gang asks Leonard why he is putting himself through another relationship with Penny. During dinner Leonard asks Penny whether there is a name for a first-date with someone you used to date and Penny replies "awkward. Leonard tells Penny about his work and that he built a Bat-Signal. Penny laughs and asks him if he is some kind of nerd. Leonard says that he is the "King of the Nerds". If anyone displeases him, he will not help them set-up their printer.
Leonard then asks Penny whether they are going to get back together. Shocked Penny confesses that she will always have feelings for him and that he always over thinks everything. Back at the apartment, Leonard charges in as his buddies tease him about his date ending at 8: Later Leonard is asleep and awakened by a text from Penny who meets him in the hallway, kisses him, takes him into her apartment and tells him to be quiet.
Leonard wonders how a bad date ended in sex. Penny thought that things were great until he asked if they were getting back together. Leonard suggests that they treat their relationship like a new version of software, a "Penny and Leonard 2. They could try being together and not tell their friends until they know it is working. Despite each of them pursuing other relationships, Leonard continues to have feelings for Penny.
This must make it very difficult for him to comfort her while she is upset about another man. While Leonard should be commended for sticking to his friendship with Penny, this part of their relationship makes little sense.
While this is a very admirable quality, it must have been incredibly frustrating for Leonard. However, one thing was missing from their relationship - Penny had not said "I love you" to Leonard. In spite of him very quickly spilling his feelings for her, Penny was reluctant to let him know her true feelings.
Perhaps Penny was too scared to let him know how she really felt? Or did Penny need more time to fall fully in love with him? Thankfully she forgave him before they finally got married. While Leonard's indiscretion was out in the open, Penny's came to light in a much more public way. While this is not infidelity, since she and Leonard were not together, what happened next impacted their relationship in a big way. During their inebriated time in Vegas, Zack and Penny had a drive-thru wedding which they thought was not real.
Leonard may have been unfaithful, but Penny was already married! Her career as an aspiring actress and full-time Cheesecake Factory waitress did not leave her with much stability. This would explain the fact that she has alluded to hiding credit card debt from Leonard. While discussing their upcoming marriage, Penny makes several comments about multiple maxed-out credit cards, as well as moving debt under her new Hofstader name.
Each time Leonard overhears this, she replies with "Nothing! Given Penny's past , it is incredibly likely that she has closets full of debt. The sad part is that Leonard would be happy to clean it up for her.
After finally tying the knot, the Hofstaders come to the conclusion that their relationship has changed. Penny does not feel that Leonard is romancing her enough, and Leonard does not feel she is communicating well enough. They are both more than happy to sign it, even though it will surely cause them problems down the road. However, fans were happy that the agreement stated that Leonard could no longer play video games in his underpants while Penny was home.
In fact, Sheldon once hypothesized that she had dated " men. Leonard is much less experienced in the realm of dating. During the series, he has had two serious girlfriends, and is shown to be very inexperienced with casual dating and flirtation. Meanwhile, Penny speaks both of these languages fluently.
The Recombination Hypothesis
She easily manipulates Penny and makes her cry within moments of meeting her. However, even though she and Raj both agree to be friends, they get drunk and wake up in bed together, apparently both naked, the next morning.