The Young Sheldon Series Finale Ending is a Major Tearjerker

After seven seasons of Big Bang Theory prequel storytelling, here is how Young Sheldon ends.

“Funeral” and “Memoir” – YOUNG SHELDON ends its seven-year run with a must-see two-episode series finale. Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik reprise their roles as Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler in an unforgettable hour of television, on the series finale of YOUNG SHELDON, Thursday, May 16 (8:00-8:30 PM, ET/PT and 8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on-demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on-demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the episode airs)*. Pictured (L-R): Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler and Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper
Photo: Bill Inoshita | Warner Bros. Entertainment

This article contains spoilers for the YOUNG SHELDON series finale.

After witnessing George Sr.’s (Lance Barber) death in the last moments of the penultimate episode, fans knew that the Young Sheldon finale was going to hurt. However, this two-part finale is also by far the most well-written and beautiful hour of the series. 

It’s a showcase of grief and healing, featuring each family member dealing with this monumental loss in a different way with Sheldon (Iain Armitage) at the center of it all as we say goodbye to the Cooper family. Ending a series is never an easy task, especially when it includes a fan-favorite character’s death, but somehow, the writers have made sure the story ends on a hopeful note. 

Sheldon’s Regret

Sheldon finds himself bewildered by his family’s different avenues of grief: his mother (Zoe Perry) throwing herself into religion, Meemaw (Annie Potts) drinking, Georgie (Montana Jordan) attempting to fill the void his father left in their family, and Missy (Raegan Revord) lashing out. Friends and neighbors such as June (Reba McEntire) and Peg (Nancy Linehan Charles) stop by to bring food. As for Sheldon, he thinks about Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, specifically the death of Spock. It is a very spot-on way to show him trying to cope with this huge loss. 

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Throughout the episode, Sheldon keeps reimagining the moment his father left and how he did not even acknowledge his dad let alone say a proper goodbye. He thinks about the many different things he could have said or done, ranging from “I have been and always shall be your friend” to “I love you.” While everyone else is being comforted in some way, Sheldon wants to ignore his grief completely, unwilling to even speak with Dr. Sturgis (Wallace Shawn) when the older man and mentor tries to offer his condolences. 

Brenda, Dr. Linkletter, and Dr. Sturgis Return for George Sr.’s Funeral

Mary finds herself struggling to write her speech for the funeral, explaining that she’s angry at her late husband for leaving her and Connie says she felt the same way when her husband passed. Later at the funeral, we see many familiar faces that guest starred throughout the series as a wonderful way to show how many people loved George including Brenda (Melissa Peterman), Jim (Will Sasso), Audrey (Rachel Bay Jones), and Mr. Givens (Brian Stepanek). When Mary shares that her son is not really talking to anyone, Dr. Linkletter (Ed Begley Jr.) and Dr. Sturgis volunteer to keep him company and try to distract him. 

Before they close the casket, Missy, Georgie, and Mary go say their goodbyes. During Missy’s turn, we see a flashback of her and George at Red Lobster from a season one episode. In the scene, she’s wearing the princess tiara that we saw her holding previously in the episode, meaning this is not the first time she is remembering this moment. She thanks her father for that experience as well as everything else, saying she loves him before heading back to her seat. Georgie takes the opportunity to promise his father that he doesn’t need to worry because he has everything under control, wanting to make him proud. Mary kisses her hand and puts it on his forehead before promising to see him later. Sheldon chooses not to go up. 

Georgie is the first to speak, expressing that his dad always had his back no matter how badly he messed up. Mary is next, but she cannot get through her speech, breaking down and leading to Connie coming up to take over. She makes some jokes before mentioning that George only had eyes for her daughter and that he has earned her respect over the years but what will truly get you though is her saying, “I will always be proud to call him my son.” Wayne (Doc Farrow) and Principal Petersen (Rex Linn), who delivered the news of George’s passing, also speak before Pastor Jeff (Matt Hobby) asks if anyone else wants to say a few words. 

A narration from Jim Parsons reflects on how Sheldon wishes he got up and said something, which was presented in the episode by him continually wishing he could change his final moments with his father before he left that day. Unfortunately, he didn’t, but despite not saying it then, older Sheldon can confidently say he loved his father and will miss him forever. 

27 Days Later

Mary is putting her all into the church and forcing her kids to go with her, which they’re not happy about. It’s causing tension and Connie is worried, but there’s not much she can do. At their next family dinner, Sheldon can’t comprehend why George’s placemat is still there despite Mary saying he’s still there in spirit, but that’s not the big topic of conversation. Instead, it’s Mary dropping the bomb that she wants the twins to get baptized to save their souls. Connie isn’t the only one worried, which is shown by George calling his grandmother up to express that same concern. 

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While Sheldon is packing away his stuff for college, we hear a different version of the show’s theme song, signaling this change in his life as he closes this chapter to move on to bigger things. At the cemetery, Connie tries to see what’s going on with Mary and asks why she’s not spending time with her kids, who are not doing well with the loss. Mary doesn’t back down, saying she needs to make sure her kids are safe in this life and the next. The twins do agree to get baptized after a visit from Meemaw, who tells them that their mother is falling apart and needs this. 

They are about to go through with it, but Pastor Jeff sets Missy off by mentioning her father and she storms out. Sheldon, recycling a line from the earlier seasons, says he will still go through with it because he believes in his mother. He comes out in a scuba outfit, much to everyone’s amusement, but does get baptized. Our final moment of “Memoir” is Sheldon arriving at Caltech, ready to start this next chapter.

How Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik Return

In the future, we see that Sheldon is writing his memoir and that’s what Young Sheldon has been this entire time; him recalling his childhood memories. Amy (Mayim Bialik) is trying to make Sheldon get ready for their son’s hockey game, which proves to be quite the fight when her husband insists that he’s too busy. The two go back and forth, Amy eventually winning as she gets him to at least take a shower. 

While he’s gone, she reads about him being baptized, and as an explanation as to why he did it, he explains that even though his mother may not have understood him or the things he cared about, she did everything she could for him, as did his father. It’s the perfect way to convince Sheldon to go to his son’s game, even putting on the hockey jersey Amy got for him. Before they leave, Amy adds that their daughter wants to take acting classes, leading him to blame Penny, whom they allowed to babysit. 

We then have a scene with Parsons going through his childhood home as older Sheldon to share that despite his mother eventually selling the house, he still remembers it exactly as it was before he left for Caltech. There’s an amazing transition from older to younger Sheldon taking in all of the details before being interrupted by Missy. 

For these last two episodes and The Big Bang Theory’s finale, the creators leaned into Sheldon’s emotions, which turned out to be a secret weapon, even if it was shown in different ways due to them being at two different points of his life. While goodbyes always hurt, there was no better way to end the series and at least we can look forward to seeing Georgie and Mandy’s story continuing in Georgie & Mandy’s First Marriage.

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