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Battle of the Bulbs - Recap

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Ted is talking to the team about his long-life light bulbs and Dr. Bhamba steals Lem's doughnut, coffee, and doughnut again. Ted breaks up the resulting slapfight and the meeting ends on a high note. Afterward, Veronica wants Ted to recruit top scientist Stella Clifton. Lem overhears them and protests. After he leaves, Ted explains to Veronica that Stella is Lem's mother, and he's always felt overshadowed by her. Ted suggests that they not hire Stella and Veronica agrees.



Lem arrives at the lab the next day and Phil comments that he's late. He explains that he couldn't sleep because his mother was making love to a man in the next room. Dr. Bhamba comes in and announces that he had glorious sex… with Stella.

Linda goes to see Ted and explains how a fly landed on her light bulb and died, and she sprayed the bulb with perfume to cover the smell. Now she wants to develop scented light-bulbs. Ted reluctantly tells her to let her go, saying he doesn't want to distract the company from his idea. Linda reluctantly agrees but as she goes, Veronica notices her and ends up learning about her idea. Veronica convinces her that what other people think doesn't matter, and you have to have confidence in yourself first and foremost. Linda agrees and Veronica takes it to her boss. She then tells Linda and Ted that they'll be co-running the light bulb project together. Rather than hurt Linda's feelings, Ted agrees, but is unhappy when he learns his long-life bulb has been shelved.



Lem talks to Stella at home, and she makes it clear that she doesn't like him wasting his God-given talent to make useless gadgets. She refuses to stop seeing Dr. Bhamba, who comes out from the next room in a very very short robe.

The next day, Ted tries to get through to Veronica that he feels jealous and abandoned by the company. While they talk, Lem and Phil spot Dr. Bhamba demonstrating his sexual moves for the other employees. Lem figures that the company will soon start considering him only as "Stella's son." Sure enough, Chet welcomes him to the company as Mrs. Clifton's boy and doesn't remember Lem has been there for eleven years. Phil insists that Stella is being unfair.

Phil and Lem meet with Ted and Linda, and Linda starts taking over. The two researchers wisely stay out of it once they've turned over a prototype scented bulb. Afterward, Ted tries to convince Linda to let him run the meetings, but Chet comes by and dotes on Linda. However, when Linda casually says that she "hopes" the project will go well, Chet begins to have second thoughts. Veronica convinces him Linda is rehearsing a new comedy routine, and then tells Linda privately that she has to project confidence no matter what. She warns Linda that there'll be a departmental meeting the next night and she has to be at the top of her game. Veronica has Linda practice giving meaningless orders to an employee to get him to do whatever she wants, and it works.



Lem vows to have revenge sex with Dr. Bhamba's mother, until he learns she's in a coma. Dr. Bhamba finds out and admits that he feels intimidated by Stella's superior intelligence. They decide to work together on an actual scientific problem to prove to her that they're her equals.

At home, Ted is distracted trying to come up with a way to please his superiors. Rose suggests that he finds out what they want, and he realizes that what they want is Stella. Meanwhile, Lem and Dr. Bhamba work through the night without success to solve Stella's unsolvable equation. Phil comes in the next morning and finds them totally exhausted. He tells Lem that he doesn't have to prove anything to his mother… even if Phil finds her incredibly sexy.



That night, Linda learns that Ted has disappeared. Worse, her scented light bulbs smell like rotting meat after three days. Veronica tells her that she has to show confidence no matter what, and if she fails then Veronica fails. Linda goes in and demolishes one of the departmental heads when he mentions the rotting meat problem. She intimidates him into leaving and Chet orders the man out of the room.

Ted gets Phil to come along for the science explanations when he takes Stella to dinner to recruit her. She doesn't want to sell out, but Phil, who has been drinking too much, leaps in and accuses her of treating Lem badly. She insists she does it to make him better but Phil gets on a roll and angrily tells her to praise Lem occasionally. He then attacks Ted for recruiting Stella even though he knows it would destroy Lem. Finally, Phil declares his lust for Stella and staggers off.



Later that night, Ted drops Phil off and then goes to Linda's home to apologize. She apologizes, admitting that she feels guilty for destroying a man with her crazy confidence. The two of them resolve their differences.

In the lab, Dr. Bhamba has passed out and Lem is trying to finish is mother's equation. Stella comes in and says it isn't important, and asks what he is working on. Lem shyly shows her his popcorn that pops in the mouth, and she admits that she likes it. When Dr. Bhamba wakes up, Stella tells him that his intelligence doesn't matter to her: it's how good he is in the sack that's important.



Working together for real, Ted and Linda solve the rotting meat problem. Linda admits to Veronica that being crazy confident was driving her crazy, and Veronica is happy that Linda will never rise up to be her rival. Ted admits that he's learned a lesson about not depending on the praise of others… until Chet praises him for the new light bulb.

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Warning: Better Off Ted season 2 episode 3 guide may contain spoilers
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