There is no turning back now. Thursday Young Sheldon took advantage of the arrival of Georgie and Mandy’s daughter to bring George and Brenda, and Mary and Rob, all into the same room. The result: an explosion between husband and wife that resulted in Mary’s decision to stay with her mother.
The implosion of George and Mary’s relationship comes at an interesting time in the The Big Bang Theory prequel timeline. Sheldon is now 13 – which, according to the Mothership, is the age Sheldon meets his father having sex with another woman. Does this latest development pave the way for this painful childhood memory?
Below, Young Sheldon executive producer Steve Holland unpacks the dramatic episode and the state of the Coopers’ union.
TVLINE | You slowed down George and Mary’s issues, and their respective relationships with Brenda and Rob, for the better part of two seasons. Why was now the time to blow up their marriage?
We knew those fuses had been burning for a long time and we were talking about the episode where the baby was born. We didn’t want to do the traditional “you’re in the delivery room and she’s gasping” episode. This episode has been done a thousand times, and this show is such an ensemble, so we were talking about, “What would make this the most exciting episode that’s not just about the baby being born?” It seemed like a great way to make these stories all crash together.
TVLINE | This feels like a real turning point for the show. There’s no way for Mary to unlearn that George is Brenda’s “mystery man”. Did you hesitate to move forward?
No hesitation, but there is always a concern. We want to protect these characters and we want to make sure that we don’t do anything that betrays them or makes people turn against them, but this was a story that had been simmering in the background for a long time, and we wanted to honor the reality of that. And you’re right, it’s a turning point. The rest of the season (deals with) the fallout.
TVLINE | There was a period, at the start of Season 6, when it seemed like maybe, just maybe, George and Mary had taken a turn – that their respective feelings for Brenda and Rob would actually bring them together….
It was fun to write them in a better place. Personally, I think they were a little better off because they didn’t address any of their issues. They temporarily swept them under the rug, but these issues were still simmering in the background, and they explode here. But we also know that we have at least one more season to come, so this is our chance to blow things up and allow for a rebuild.
TVLINE | After Brenda denies giving George a heart attack in the Season 5 premiere, George hints that she gave him “somethingtonight. How much should we read in that ‘something’? Is it just playful banter, or is there something the audience doesn’t know?
I think you can read there as you wish. I think it’s playful banter, but there’s definitely another layer there. We’ve also talked a lot internally about how these are stories told by an adult Sheldon. He doesn’t have to say each history. It’s a story that Sheldon, who now has kids of his own, tells, and maybe he doesn’t understand (everything), and he looks at his parents in a different light. He doesn’t have to tell all the heartbreaking stories… He can choose to omit certain things or put a positive spin on certain things.
TVLINE | Let’s dive in there. Because 13-year-old Sheldon is probably weeks away from spring break — which would take place when he comes home from college and catches George cheating on Mary. I don’t expect you to reveal to me how you will fix it, but can you say if this moment will be addressed this season?
Not in Season 6, but it’s possible it will be addressed in the future. But again, without saying that didn’t happen, we don’t have to tell all the stories Sheldon told about big Bang. So I’m not saying we are or not, but it’s not happening in season 6. It could potentially happen in season 7, and it’s a possibility that we’ve talked about a lot, so it’s on Table. But just because it happened doesn’t mean it’s a story (our narrator) has to tell.
TVLINE | But the show still has to adhere to the canon set forth by big BangLAW?
Absolutely. It’s tricky, because we were writing big Bang for 10 seasons before Young Sheldon was on the air and one thing we had to worry about. If you go back and look, there are things in big Bang that contradict his own canon. I’m not trying to get away with it. There are definitely canon things that are very important to Sheldon’s character, and there are a lot of little things that we don’t say. doesn’t happen, but were just jokes when we said them on big Bangand you don’t necessarily feel the need to be handcuffed by a joke in the stories you have to tell because you told a joke eight years ago. So, again, we’re not trying to downplay these things, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we feel compelled to tell them all as story elements. I mean, in big Bang, George drags plates like skeet out the window and Mary puts crushed glass in her soup. Obviously, those aren’t stories you could tell on this show. I don’t think they would fit or make sense. But we feel responsible for the character and the canon…. Our main canon is that Sheldon on big Bang told much harsher versions of his father’s stories. And those might not have been entirely accurate either. They were certainly of his view, but that view has changed.
TVLINE | What can you tease about the immediate fallout from George and Mary’s fight?
The next episode (airing Thursday, March 9) picks up where this one leaves off. Mary does not go home. She uses the new grandchild as an excuse, but she stays at Meemaw’s.
TVLINE | Could time away from George bring Mary closer to Rob?
I don’t want to say too much about what’s to come, but the intention has always been to let those fuses blow and then let George and Mary start rebuilding.
What did you think of Young Sheldon Season 6, episode 14: “A launch party and a whole human being”? Sound off in the comments.