Young Sheldon has put in a lot of work to set up George’s eventual affair and divorce from Mary, but there’s an even bigger story yet to be told.
Young Sheldon has spent a lot of time setting up George cheating on Mary, but there’s a much bigger story from The Big Bang Theory that has yet to be told. Many stories in Young Sheldon have been in service of fleshing out elements of The Big Bang Theory, like how Sheldon got into comic books or how he adopted his signature catchphrase “Bazinga.” It’s a practice very typical of prequel stories, but the show has yet to do that with one crucial part of Sheldon’s history.
One aspect about Sheldon’s childhood that was brought up often in The Big Bang Theory was George and Mary divorcing after George had an affair, and Young Sheldon has slowly been building up to showing this happen. From the very start of the show, George and Mary have been shown getting into fights that are increasingly worse and worse. Starting from the season 4 finale, the show has been setting up a budding attraction between George and Brenda Sparks. Sheldon was implied to be fairly young when his father had his affair, so the show is likely gearing up to make it happen soon.
That being said, there’s a bigger story than George’s affair that the show needs to tell: the story of George’s death. In The Big Bang Theory, George was stated to have died when Sheldon was either fourteen or fifteen, so with Sheldon now being around thirteen years old, that means that George’s death will likely be happening soon. George’s health issues have been brought up since season 1, and episode 8, “Cape Canaveral, Schrödinger’s Cat, and Cyndi Lauper’s Hair,” directly references his death when Sheldon narrates that he wishes he had told his father how great a time he had in Florida before he died. It’s a story that has to be told, but the show hasn’t put a lot of focus on it, especially compared to the cheating plotline.
It makes sense that they would be putting it off, of course. George is one of the main characters of CBS’ Young Sheldon, and since his death is the end of his character, the show gets the most out of him by waiting to kill him off until it absolutely has to happen. George’s affair is likely taking so long to happen for similar reasons. Once George cheats on Mary, it adds a black mark to his character that can’t easily be removed in-universe or out. With how much depth the show’s given George compared to the brief mentions of him in The Big Bang Theory, there likely isn’t a rush to do something that unambiguously paints him in a negative light.
Nevertheless, CBS’ Young Sheldon is going to have to tackle George’s death soon to line up with The Big Bang Theory, and the ongoing buildup to his affair will likely lead into that. It would make sense for George cheating on Mary, and later divorcing her, to bring him to his lowest point which, in turn, could lead to his health problems worsening to the point that it kills him. As bad as the affair will be, George’s death will undoubtedly be far more tragic a story, if only because of how it will bring an end to his character.
Young Sheldon releases new episodes Thursdays on CBS.
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