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Young Sheldon’s Cliffhanger Secretly Sets Up George’s Downfall
Young Sheldon season 5 penultimate episode featured a small but consequential cliffhanger, setting up George's (Lance Barber) eventual downfall.

Young Sheldon’s Cliffhanger Secretly Sets Up George’s Downfall

Warning! Spoilers ahead for Young Sheldon season 5.

George’s (Lance Barber) downfall has been secretly set up by Young Sheldon season 5, episode 21’s cliffhanger. The future of Sheldon’s (Iain Armitage) has long been revealed thanks to the events of The Big Bang Theory. There has always been anticipation to see how Young Sheldon would tackle George’s affair and death. After almost five years, it seems like the CBS sitcom is finally setting the groundwork for those tragedies. 

By the time of the events of The Big Bang Theory, George Cooper was already long dead. Thanks to Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) penchant for talking about his childhood and mother Mary’s (Laurie Metcalf) occasional visits to Pasadena, the geek-centric sitcom painted an unflattering picture of the Cooper patriarch. CBS finally got the chance to properly introduce Sheldon’s dad in the prequel, Young Sheldon, and it portrayed him as a much more decent, hardworking man. There have been notable differences between the two show’s versions of the character, something that has created several plot inconsistencies between the shows. As Young Sheldon‘s storytelling progresses, however, it is becoming clear that it is finally reconciling its iteration of George with The Big Bang Theory‘s. 

The Coopers have been busy dealing with Georgie’s (Montana Jordan) Young Sheldon season 5 story, and things are getting worse for everyone, including Mary and George. In Young Sheldon season 5’s penultimate episode, the involvement of Pastor Rob (Dan Byrd) in their family affairs has started to really upset George. Finally, he doesn’t come home for dinner after learning that Mary’s co-worker paid her a visit. The show doesn’t reveal his whereabouts, but it also subtly suggests where he might have gone. Before the episode, George had already confided in his friends, who didn’t do anything but poke fun at his situation, so there’s a slim chance that he would reunite with them. That leaves him with no choice but to visit Brenda (Melissa Peterman), who is really the only person he feels like he can be comfortable around. The problem here is that it’s no secret that they are also attracted to each other. With Mary’s continued closeness with Rob in Young Sheldon, George might finally decide to give in to her impulses and start an affair with Brenda. 

The start of Young Sheldon season 5 heavily hinted at George cheating with Brenda. Coming off of the season 4 cliffhanger where the pair met at the local bar and became a little bit too flirty with each other, The Big Bang Theory spinoff continued to pair them up. They would meet up with each other secretly, and while technically, they haven’t done anything wrong, they have been both aware that there’s a mutual attraction between them. Meemaw (Annie Potts) was once suspicious that her son-in-law was fooling around behind Mary’s back, but it’s safe to say that she didn’t find any shred of evidence, or otherwise, she would have said something about it already. As the sitcom progressed, however, George and Brenda’s Young Sheldon season 5 plotline was shelved for a while to give way to other narratives. Unfortunately, Georgie’s current predicament has forced Mary and George to revisit their own relationship, including how it started and how it is going on right now. 

Regardless of whether or not George and Brenda’s potential affair has actually started, it’s safe to assume that the Coopers’ marriage is only going to get worse from here on out. Unless Young Sheldon decides to explicitly contradict what was established in The Big Bang Theory, George’s cheating scandal and eventual death need to happen. Given where the prequel is at in terms of the timeline, it needs to set those tragedies up immediately, otherwise, it risks failing the execution of these pivotal moments in Sheldon’s life. 

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