‘The Big Bang Theory’ Season Finale: How That Shamy Shocker Came to Be

Spoiler Alert
Michael Yarish/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. ©2017 WBEI.
(L-R): Kunal Nayyar, Simon Helberg, Riki Lindhome, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco in "The Long Distance Dissonance," the Season 10 finale of The Big Bang Theory

[Spoiler Alert: Do not read ahead unless you’ve watched “The Long Distance Dissonance,” the Season 10 finale episode of The Big Bang Theory.]

Did you see that coming?

While most of the Season 10 finale of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory was about the return of Ramona Nowitzki (Riki Lindhome) and whether her intentions for Sheldon (Jim Parsons) were strictly professional or, like everyone else suspected, of a more romantic nature, the answer to that question prompted a big move from Dr. Cooper.

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Yes, Sheldon proposed to his girlfriend, Amy (Mayim Bialik)!

To get more insight into how the writers came to this conclusion and how they executed it so beautifully, executive producer Steve Molaro talked to TV Insider about the big episode.

Safe to say there were some emotional reactions at the table read for the finale?
Steve Molaro: From the table read, I think we all got teary-eyed when we hit the end of it, and then when we shot it, even more so. Kaley couldn’t stop crying; it was the sweetest thing. Just that imagery. That door opened, and I can start tearing up right now thinking about it. I love it.

Sheldon proposing to Amy is a big step, and you have hit those big moments throughout the series, but what were the challenges of coming to this point and making sure you did it right?
It’s always stressful when we hit these major milestone moments in the series. I think, even this deep into the brunt of the show, the cast cares as much as ever, the writers care as much as ever. These moments can get a little tension-filled in the writers room because we all feel an obligation to get it right. I’m really happy with how it turned out. I love that he walks out of his office and just gets into a cab.

“That door opened, and I can start tearing up right now thinking about it,” says executive producer Steve Molaro (Michael Yarish/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

We talked about having music for it, and then we watched the whole sequence without music, and I thought it more compelling to just wonder, “What is he doing? Where is he going? What is this leading to?” Then the simplicity of her opening that door was so sweet and honest.

Was it always going to be SpongeBob or was there a lot of debate about what he’d even be watching?
I think that decision took one-and-a-half seconds, and it was SpongeBob. [laughs].

Was there ever talk that Sheldon might be tempted with Ramona? I wondered briefly if we were heading into Friends’ territory, where Ross sleeps with somebody else when Rachel asks to take a break.
We took great pains to make sure that Sheldon was sincerely oblivious and innocent, and I’d like to say, it was on purpose in that another innocent character, say, SpongeBob, was something he was attracted to on a plane. I’m not going to take credit for that, but while I’m thinking about it, I’m going, “Well, sure, of course he likes SpongeBob,” whose entire character is based on innocence.

It was important to us that Sheldon just honestly consider her as a friend, so after that kiss, there’s a moment where you can see Jim sort of process, and I think he’s thinking, “Oh! Well, all right, everybody was right. Penny was right. This is not OK. What is my next move? Excuse me a moment.” [laughs] He gets on a plane, so I don’t know if my heart could’ve handled Sheldon actually being tempted.

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When the rest of the group is worried about Sheldon and what he might be doing with Ramona, it really instilled the fact that this is a family of friends, and I just love that you guys instill that so well throughout the series.
That’s really one of the core tenets of the show, is that these people are a family and not necessarily by blood—but as good as, at this point. They’re very protective of each other, but also like family, they will give each other a hard time and goof on each other and have fights, but when push comes to shove, they have each other’s back. I think it’s very comforting to watch, and I think it’s part of the charm of what’s gotten us this far.

The Big Bang Theory, Thursdays, 8/7c, CBS.