Young Sheldon Finale’s Most Unexpected Arc Was A Pilot Callback, Producer Reveals


Showrunner Steve Molaro explains the origins of the Young Sheldon finale’s most unexpected plot, revealing that it was a callback to the pilot episode. When Young Sheldon started in 2017, it aired after The Big Bang Theory and was primarily about Sheldon and his childhood in Texas. Through the years, it evolved to be a true family dramedy, which was highlighted in the emotional Young Sheldon finale. While it was dominated by the death of George, the final half hour of the series shifted its focus back to transitioning Sheldon to his life in California.

Before he leaves Texas, however, Sheldon indulges his mother’s request for him to get baptized in YoungSheldon season 7, episode 14, “Memoir.” Convinced that her children would go to hell if they didn’t get baptized, Mary almost coerced the twins to do it. But while Missy backs out at the last minute, Sheldon surprisingly pushes through. According to Holland in an interview with Variety, it is a reference to the pilot episode. Read the full quote below:

We were talking about after the funeral what happens. We know from “Big Bang Theory” that Mary is even more religious than her younger self, who was already pretty religious. So it felt like after the funeral, it would be very natural for Mary to throw herself into church even more. And that was sort of the beginning of her road to “Big Bang Theory” Mary. When we were talking about what could happen in the episode involving Sheldon getting ready to go [to Caltech], it felt really real that Mary was dragging her kids to church and in the wake of George Sr.’s death, was really worrying about their souls and their family.

And Connor Kilpatrick, one of our writers, had pitched that, because in the Baptist church you don’t get baptized until you’re a teenager and can choose it for yourself. That would be very important to Mary especially before she sent Sheldon off to college knowing that his soul was safe. It felt like a really believable drive to her. It felt like it gave you a moment at the end where Sheldon could echo the pilot or the early episodes where he said, “I don’t believe in God, but I do believe in you.” And Missy’s anger and disillusionment at Dad dying, leaving her in a slightly more broken place, which is also a thing we know is true from “Big Bang Theory.”


Sheldon & Mary’s Young Sheldon Relationship Honors TBBT

The Big Bang Theory Long Established Sheldon & Mary’s Dynamic.

Sheldon has a very close relationship with his mom — something that was established in The Big Bang Theory early on. This was the foundation of the earlier seasons of the prequel, with the boy genius often paired with his mom, while the rest of the kids feel left out. This particular issue was brought up a couple of times, with both George and Meemaw stepping up to make up for Mary putting her primary focus on Sheldon. This also highlighted the relationship between Georgie and Missy, which became one of the best pairings in Young Sheldon.

However, calling back to the very first sweet interaction between Sheldon and Mary in the pilot highlighted just how important their relationship is in the overall franchise.

On the heels of George’s unexpected death and subsequent funeral, all Coopers dealt with the incident differently. Unfortunately, with the limited screen time left, the Young Sheldon finale had a couple of plots that were left lingering. However, calling back to the very first sweet interaction between Sheldon and Mary in the pilot highlighted just how important their relationship is in the overall franchise. While the pair didn’t have an on-screen goodbye as Sheldon left for Texas and moved to California, the baptism arc established that their relationship remains strong despite many life changes and eventual separation.

While Young Sheldon ended with Mary and Sheldon on great terms, the same cannot be said when it came to Missy. George’s daughter reverted to lashing out and nobody seemed to get through to her. As heartbreaking as this was, it accurately depicted Mary’s relationships with her twins decades into the future, as seen in The Big Bang Theory.