“Young Sheldon ”Merges the Present with the Past in Poignant Series Finale: How It Ended After 7 Seasons

The CBS comedy came to an end on May 16, offering closure to the Cooper family during a difficult time while looking towards the future

<p>CBS</p> Iain Armitage (left) and Jim Parsons on


Iain Armitage (left) and Jim Parsons on 'Young Sheldon'

Warning: This post contains spoilers from the two-part series finale of Young Sheldon.

After seven seasons with the Cooper family, Young Sheldon finally came to an end on May 16 with a series finale that was the perfect send-off to a cast of characters audiences have grown to love.

During the two-part finale, the Cooper family tried to process the death of George (Lance Barber), who had unexpectedly died from a heart attack. Sheldon (Iain Armitage), in particular, wished he'd done things differently in the final moments the day before his dad went off to work. The second-part of the finale, meanwhile, came full circle, as Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik reprised their Big Bang Theory roles as adult Sheldon and his wife Amy.

The first part opened with 14-year-old Sheldon discussing how "flummoxed" he was by the way his family dealt with their grief. His mother threw herself into religion; Meemaw turned to alcohol. Georgie tried to fill the vacuum created by his father’s death, while friends and neighbors, including Reba McEntire reprising June, dropped by the Cooper house with food.

Sheldon, the devoted, longtime Star Trek fan he is, found himself replaying a scene in his head from the 1982 sci-fi sequel Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. In the film's most poignant scene, Spock (Leonard Nimoy) is at death’s door and tells James T. Kirk (William Shatner) the classic line, “I have been and always shall be… your friend.”

<p>CBS Broadcasting</p> Iain Armitage in 'Young Sheldon.'

CBS Broadcasting

Iain Armitage in 'Young Sheldon.'

Related: Sheldon Cooper's 9 Best Moments: How The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon Character Gave Us All the Feels

That's when Sheldon recalled the last time he saw his Dad as he was heading out the door to work and imagined how he could have done things differently.

Missy (Raegan Revord), for her part, processed her father’s death by lashing out at Sheldon and telling Dale (Craig T. Nelson) not to sit in her father’s leather chair in the living room. Billy (Wyatt McClure) tried to comfort her on the front porch, telling her they now have something in common: both of their dads are “gone.” Missy rightly pointed out Billy’s dad is technically still alive — he’s just moved to New Jersey and never coming back. (Sorry, Billy. Not quite the same thing.)

Eventually, Sheldon tried coping with his grief in a different fashion by “completely” avoiding it and anyone who tried to offer their condolences, including Dr. Sturgis (Wallace Shawn).

As for Mary (Zoe Perry), the family matriarch found herself having a difficult time writing his eulogy. Meemaw (Annie Potts) offered some advice to keep it "short and sweet" and “leave them wanting more."

Mary later admitted she was mad at George for “leaving” her. When Meemaw told her she’s “still young" and could find love again one day, Mary responded, “That’s it for me. I’m done."

<p>Bill Inoshita/CBS</p> Annie Potts in 'Young Sheldon.'

Bill Inoshita/CBS

Annie Potts in 'Young Sheldon.'

Related: Young Sheldon Boss Says the Show's Young Stars 'Opened Up' Storytelling Opportunities as They Grew Up (Exclusive)

At the funeral, Missy, George and Mary each took turns approaching their dad’s casket and saying goodbye. Missy recalled a tender moment they once shared when she was younger, Georgie told his dad he’s got “everything under control” and won’t let him down, and Mary quietly joked George had found an unconventional way to avoid taking their upcoming family portrait.

The family also gave respective eulogies, each touching in their own way. Missy and Sheldon passed on saying a few words, but Sheldon imagined what he would have said, if he'd felt emboldened at the time.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about the last moments I had with my Dad. It was morning, and he was leaving for work," he said. "He said, ‘See y’all later,’ and I said nothing. I regret that. I could have said ‘bye’ or asked him for a ride or told him that I loved him, but I didn’t. I barely noticed he left. So many times that I didn’t notice my father. I hope he knew how much I loved him.”

In a voiceover, Sheldon added he wished he had said all those things. He also reflected on his dad’s legacy. “For a long time, I focused on my dad’s shortcomings. Now that I’m his age and have kids of my own, I realize he was just a person doing the best he could — and he did a lot. I didn’t say it at his funeral, but I can say it now. I love my father. I will miss him forever," he said.

<p>Bill Inoshita / Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.</p> Mayim Bialik and Jim Parsons in 'Young Sheldon's' series finale.

Bill Inoshita / Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Mayim Bialik and Jim Parsons in 'Young Sheldon's' series finale.

Related: Young Sheldon's Cast Says Filming Series Finale Is 'Bittersweet': 'It Very Much Comes Full Circle' (Exclusive)

When the second part of Young Sheldon’s finale began, adult Sheldon was writing his memoir on a laptop in his home office, as Amy second-guessed some of his work. Sheldon and Amy exchanged comical barbs and Amy jokingly still empahsizes how self-centered he can be.

“I would love to dissect your brain to see which part of your brain is missing," she exclaimed.

“Or you’ll find an all-new structure that no one’s ever seen before — an evolutionary leap forward,” he replied, adding as she leaves the room in a huff, “All these years, and the passion is still there."

In another scene, Sheldon pulled out his first-ever laptop from 1994 — a black, chunky block of metal and plastic — and informed Amy he was not going to his son Leonard's hockey game. When she asked him why he was missing the game, Sheldon wondered aloud why he’d want to watch “children on skates hitting a rubber puck with a stick.”

“Because Leonard is your son, and he is one of those children,” Amy replied, to which Sheldon quipped, "This is why I wanted to wait until cloning was possible, because the old-fashioned way [of having children] got us a hockey player."

<p>Bill Inoshita / Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.</p> Jim Parsons in 'Young Sheldon's series finale.

Bill Inoshita / Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Jim Parsons in 'Young Sheldon's series finale.

Related: Inside Young Sheldon’s Wrap Party: Boss Steve Holland Says 'Final Goodbye' to the Cast Was 'Upbeat' (Exclusive)

The scene then cut back to the past as Meemaw walked in on Dale playing the guitar in the living room. She was concerned that Mary was “hitting the Bible hard” and pushing away her children. During a family dinner that night, Mary said she wanted Sheldon and Missy to get baptized, which didn't go over well. Sheldon questioned the merits of getting baptized with Mary as he was packing his things for college at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

“[Mary] drove me to church three times this week,” Missy told Mandy. “Do you even know who goes to church on Thursday? Losers.”

In the present, Amy tried convincing Sheldon once more to go to Leonard’s hockey game, but Sheldon explained it didn't really matter if he attended. “He knows I love him, despite his foolish and embarrassing hobby,” Sheldon added.

Back in the past, Meemaw tried convincing a reluctant Sheldon and Missy to get baptized, if not for themselves, then for their mother who “needs this.” Sheldon finally agreed to do it, but Missy had second thoughts at the church minutes before her baptism happened, and stormed off.

<p>CBS</p> Mayim Bialik and Jim Parsons in 'Young Sheldon's series finale.


Mayim Bialik and Jim Parsons in 'Young Sheldon's series finale.

Related: Young Sheldon's Iain Armitage Shares His 'Massive Nerd' Habit Between Takes (Exclusive)

During Sheldon’s baptism ceremony, he entered the church covered from head to toe in a makeshift scuba diving outfit with rubber globes, a snorkeling mask and rainboots. For adult Sheldon, the baptism was the “ultimate gift” to his mother, and that’s when Amy “draws a parallel” to Leonard’s hockey game: Sheldon’s presence at Leonard’s hockey game would be a meaningful gift to his son.

It's then that Amy also dropped a small bomb, revealing to Sheldon that their daughter wanted to take acting classes. “I told you we never should have let Penny babysit!” he said exasperatedly, referring to Kaley Cuoco's character in The Big Bang Theory.

As the finale came to a close, adult Sheldon envisioned himself walking through his childhood home. Eventually, everything would be "gone," and his mom would sell the house and things like his dad’s favorite leather chair, the living room sofa where Sheldon loved to sit and the dining table, which hosted countless family dinners.

<p>CBS Broadcasting</p> Iain Armitage in 'Young Sheldon.'

CBS Broadcasting

Iain Armitage in 'Young Sheldon.'

Related: Jim Parsons Says Reprising His Big Bang Theory Role for Young Sheldon Finale Was 'a Gift' (Exclusive)

In the past, Missy found Sheldon late at night looking at the dining table. He said he was “taking it all in” one last time “so I’ll remember it when I’m older."

When Missy asked if he would remember her, he deadpanned, "I have an eidetic memory. I have no choice."

During the episode's final moments, Sheldon stood on Caltech’s campus, quietly taking in the college's sign. Then, a faculty member approached him and asked if he was lost.

“No, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be,” he proudly replied, before the camera pulls out to show more of the campus and Sheldon walking confidently towards a bright future.

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Seasons 1 to 6 of Young Sheldon are available to stream on Netflix.

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