‘Young Sheldon’ delivers long-awaited shock as CBS show nears end

Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for the May 9 episode of “Young Sheldon.”

Anyone who watched “The Big Bang Theory” with any regularity over its 12 seasons knew what was coming as its prequel “Young Sheldon” draws to a close, but the knock on the door that ended the episode the newer still felt like a punch in the gut. .

Like young Sheldon Cooper (Iain Armitage) ready to head off to college, he and his family learned that his father (Lance Barber) had died of a heart attack, the aftermath of which will be addressed in the two-part series finale on May 16.

The timing seemed particularly cruel, as the father, George Sr., had just been offered a long-sought opportunity to move from coaching high school football to the college ranks, receiving an offer from Rice in Houston.

“We always knew there were a few big moments in Sheldon’s life: his father passed away and he’s going to Caltech,” the executive producer said. Steve Holland told CNN, adding that the decision was made for this to happen now – rather than in the last two episodes – so the characters could deal with its consequences in the finale.

According to Holland, series co-creator Chuck Lorre suggested this timeline of events, saying that after seven seasons of comedy (allowing for occasional poignant moments), “Maybe we don’t want to let the audience wallow in sorrow at the end. »

The elder Sheldon (Jim Parsons) had made reference to his father’s death, and when it happened, during “The Big Bang Theory,” although in hindsight he wasn’t always the narrator most reliable regarding his father and his perceived flaws – at least, based on how they played out in the second series.

Although “Young Sheldon” is ending, CBS viewers haven’t seen the last of the Coopers: the network has ordered another spin-off, featuring the characters of Georgie (Montana Jordan) and Mandy (Emily Osment) for the 2024-25 television season. – “Georgie and Mandy’s First Wedding” – which only adds to the needle-threading act performed by the producers.

Still, concerns about setting up what comes next didn’t play into the ending of “Young Sheldon,” Holland said, noting, “We were really just focused on ending this series as hard as possible .”

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