Young Sheldon penultimate episode

The Big Bang Theory prequel

I find it weird that I’m musing about the television program Young Sheldon. It’s partly because it was not a show I watched. My wife saw a few episodes and liked them, and I’m sure they were fine, though a seven-year-old know-it-all wasn’t my thing.

I also didn’t watch The Big Bang Theory regularly. Several people I know IRL were SHOCKED by that fact. “But you worked in a comic book store!” A couple of them, actually, for collectively about a decade. And I collected funny books.

I have, I’m told, some geek/nerd credentials as a librarian! And I was on JEOPARDY! Surely, it was a show MADE for me. I saw a few episodes; most were entertaining. But there would be cringe-worthy elements involving socially awkward roommates Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) and their friends and colleagues.

I did watch the last two episodes of TBBT. I’d view the finale even for shows I had once watched but abandoned, such as Seinfeld. It was a satisfactory ending.

I recorded back-to-back episodes of TBBT prequel Young Sheldon, mistakenly believing they were the last two. One was about two of the 14-year-old’s teachers (Wallace Shawn and Ed Begley, Jr.) trying not to acknowledge that their student (Iain Armitage) was smarter than they were.

The antepenultimate episode involved young Sheldon’s dad George (Lance Barber), a high school football coach, getting a chance to work at the college level. As the rest of the family prepared for a photo shoot, two of George’s colleagues came to the Coopers’ door to inform them that George had died of a heart attack. If I had been seeped in TBBT lore, I might have known that George died when Sheldon was 14.


The following week was the last two episodes. Funeral was one of the most profoundly accurate portrayals of grief I’d ever seen, certainly on a network sitcom. Unlike TBBT, which was filmed before a live studio audience, Young Sheldon is a single-camera show.

This allowed the YS creators to repeat a ten-second snippet of dialogue between George and his wife Mary (Zoe Perry), the last time the family would see George alive. Young Sheldon imagined that he said, or could have, or should have said when his dad went out the door. This was astonishingly relatable.

It was compelling enough that I would recommend it to my buddies with Death Cafe. (There are snippets of the episode currently on YouTube, but I don’t expect them to survive. Paramount Plus does have the whole show.)

The Chuck Lorre vanity card at the show’s end reads: “Part of the heartache of this story is that it reminds me of how I took my dad for granted. How I was so wrapped up in myself, I didn’t see what was right in front of me.” Sounds a lot like young Sheldon, and maybe the older Sheldon as well.

I was amused by the discussion of how YS did or did not adhere to the timeline of TBBT. It reminded me of conversations  I’d listen to in comic book stores about whether a given funny book story was consistent with the continuity of an issue from a decade earlier.

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