‘Young Sheldon’ Boss on ‘Big Bang’ Easter Eggs, Sheldon’s Nightmare & Season 6
[Spoiler Alert: Do not read ahead unless you’ve watched the Season 5 finale episode, “A Clogged Pore, a Little Spanish and the Future.” Major plot points discussed in this interview.]
Television’s #1 comedy, Young Sheldon, takes its season finales very seriously, and the final installment of Season 5 is no exception. The CBS series’ fifth season finale wrapped with a flurry of cliffhangers and some delicious Easter Eggs for fans of the sitcom’s mothership, The Big Bang Theory.
The latest episode of the Big Bang Theory prequel have followed Sheldon Cooper’s (Iain Armitage) life as a 12-year-old genius attending East Texas Tech college, confronting puberty and family changes amid marital strife between his parents, George (Lance Barber) and Mary (Zoe Perry). Not to mention there are more complications via his newly-single MeeMaw (Annie Potts), 17-year-old brother and father-to-be Georgie (Montana Jordan), and shifting dynamics with Sheldon’s twin, Missy (Raegan Revord).
To get the lowdown on the finale and what we can expect in the sixth season this fall, TV Insider spoke with executive producer Steve Molaro after getting an early peek at the episode. Here’s what he had to say:
I’m going to jump right to Iain playing all his co-stars because that was so fun and he did such a great job. How did you all land on this dream of Sheldon’s and having Iain do so much in one scene?
Steve Molaro: We had been kicking around a couple of different dream sequences. The first idea on the table was sort of a werewolf-like transformation into being a teenager, which was fun but it didn’t feel like it was quite telling enough of the story. So this version is really the weight of becoming an adult and turning into his parents, and dealing with all the adult problems that he’s seeing around him is weighing on him. And that felt more like the stuff of a good nightmare.
How did Iain prepare for all this?
We asked the actors who play those characters to run the lines on the set for him. And we recorded it on our iPhones and we cut it together so Iain could have a reference point. And then we kind of built varying levels of performance based on that.
What did Iain think when he looked in the mirror and saw himself as Meemaw and as George Sr.?
He was so game for all of this. He loved it. We presented him with a real challenge here and he just stepped up and was such a trooper about all of it. It could have not turned out as well as it did. As soon as I saw the first makeup test of Iain in the George prosthetics, I was blown away. I couldn’t believe how good it looked. And I started to get hopeful that this was going to turn out great.
Did you shoot that dream sequence in one day or was it more extensive than that?
It was spread over two days. We spread over two days because the prosthetics, especially for George, took quite a while for him in the makeup chair. When it was just the dress and the makeup and the weight, that went quicker for him but the [George] prosthetics was its own day.
Let’s run through all these cliffhangers in the episode. The fact that Mary is going to be working with Brenda (Melissa Peterman) is kind of huge because it seems this love triangle is going to explode next season. Is that the plan?
I don’t have a clear plan that I can tell you but we are fully aware of the tension that exists now with Mary working with Brenda every day. And you can see it on George’s face when he hears the news that he’s not comfortable with this at all.
I like that Georgie is really stepping up and wanting to do something knowing this baby with Mandy is on the way.
It is so lovable. It’s charming. It’s a mess. And like all of these characters, he’s doing his best. And it may not be the best, but it’s his best.
With Emily Osment as a full-time cast member next season, how will that relationship unfold?
Georgie’s going to keep trying and be there for Mandy and we’ll see how this goes. I mean, there’s an obvious sizable age and maturity difference. But we’ll see. They’re in each other’s lives, like it or not.
Meemaw and Georgie end up in jail at the end. Do we know if they’re on the U.S. side or the Mexico side?
We definitely kept that vague so we’ll explore that at the top of next season.
So that makes me wonder if they actually get what they needed or did they not even get that far?
To be answered.
I really love seeing the Missy and Sheldon scenes where they actually are helping each other and being siblings, and it’s always so sweet. Missy doesn’t have a big cliffhanger in this, but what are your thoughts for her?
She had a lot to do in Episode 21 (which aired on May 12). But there’s a little bit of an Easter egg in that scene [in the finale] as well. When Sheldon is talking about when Missy asks him, “Well, what are things that you would like to see happen in the future?” Everything he lists are things we know he did. Meet Stephen Hawking, win a Nobel prize, meet Professor Proton (Bob Newhart), get his PhD. He does all those things we know on Big Bang.
I noticed in talking to Iain a few times this season how his voice has gotten lower. Like Sheldon, he’s also hit puberty!
Yeah, that’s why it was easy to tap into that for the finale episode.
Sheldon puts on that iconic Flash t-shirt for the first time in the final moments of the episode. Was that something you have been holding onto for a while as a nod to Big Bang?
We’ve been thinking about it for a while. Just kind of wondering when and how that style of wardrobe might be introduced. Missy had suggested that he pursue being a teenager, an experiment and the idea presented itself. It’s not a permanent change, but it is an addition to his wardrobe. (Watch that scene from the finale above).
Young Sheldon, Thursdays, 8/7c, CBS