Spoilers below for the Season 2 finale for Young Sheldon.
It's understandable if some Big Bang Theory fans spent the majority of Young Sheldon's runtime fondly reminiscing about the doubled-up series finale they'd just watched. Hopefully everyone stayed until the end, though, because Chuck Lorre and Steve Molaro's spinoff had some Big Bang surprises up its short and ironed sleeves.
Though Young Sheldon obviously keeps its focus central on the titular character, played by Iain Armitage in youth, the Season 2 finale introduced younger versions of everyone else in The Big Bang Theory's cast of characters. The episode was all about Sheldon's attempt to listen to a radio broadcast of the 1990 Nobel Prize dedication. (A not-so-hidden connection to The Big Bang Theory's final season, of course, which saw Sheldon and Amy's attempt to earn the highly coveted science achievement.)
Even though no one showed up to Sheldon's 5 a.m. listening party, the episode ended with a montage showing audiences what all the other Big Bang characters were doing at daybreak.
Leonard: Unsurprisingly, Leonard was just as up and at 'em as Sheldon was, though he was sitting at his bedroom desk while listening to the announcement. That desk had a rocket ship on it, a robot model, an adding machine, and an inhaler, among other items. (A civics book was up there, too.) His mother Beverly's voice chimed in, telling him he should be in bed.
Penny: Also unsurprisingly, Young Penny was not even close to listening to any broadcasts from Sweden, and also wouldn't have been eating any Swedish breakfast balls. She was passed out in bed, arms and legs spread all over. In the background, one could see her name spelled out on the wall in decorative letters – though not her last name, naturally – as well as a cowgirl hat, some kind of a trophy for horse-riding, and a hobby horse. Sounds a little like actress Kaley Cuoco herself.
Raj: No, Young Raj wasn't sneaking any girls out of his room at 5 in the morning, though he also wasn't listening to the Nobel Prize announcement. Rather, he was doing some homework in a super-neat room that had some sweet windows. The first thing to pop up in Raj's shot was a telescope, and his desk and night table were decorated with rockets and spaceships. But seriously, who wears a vest before breakfast?
Howard: Young Howard's flashback was pretty awesome. For one, he had a stool topped with magic kit items, such as a faux rabbit and hat, and he was sitting on a big paint-splotched beanbag stop a leopard-skin rub, complete with leopard-y pillow. As well, fans got to hear a familiar sound in Howard's mother hollering for him to stop playing "that fakakta game" and to go to sleep. (It was actually archival footage of actress Carol Ann Susi, too!) Guess what, guys? Howard. Kept. Playing. Oh, and he also had a rocket or two in his room.
Bernadette: Tipping a hat to her microbiology interests, Young Bernadette's flashback first shows audiences a microscope...in front of an extremely colorful feather boa. On the sleeping Bernadette's night table was her glasses and a picture of her holding a pageant trophy...right next to the pageant trophy she was holding in the photo. It was a lovely touch, as was the giant Miss Yorba Linda sash hanging off of Bernadette's bed.
Amy: The simplest flashback of the bunch was Amy's, although the actress playing her could have passed for Mayim Bialik to someone who wasn't looking hard enough. Amy was just as awake as all the guys, though she was reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie, and not listening to any Nobel Prize announcements. Fans didn't even get to see much of her childhood bedroom, beyond her bed's wicker headboard, and flowery pillowcases that seemingly matched her nightgown.
The episode wasn't the most fun and joyful affair, to be sure, largely because John's mental difficulties came to light, and it became clear that he shouldn't be allowed out in public by himself anymore. Meemaw caught John standing on the roof of the apartment building doing Tai chi. He didn't get to make it to Sheldon's Nobel announcement party, but he obviously wasn't alone in missing out. Not that he didn't have bigger issues to attend to.
Unfortunately for anyone who doesn't already have plan for what to watch next Thursday night, Young Sheldon is done with Season 2. The spinoff won't return to CBS until the fall, when it will take over The Big Bang Theory's time slot at 8:00 p.m. ET, to be followed by Walton Goggins' new comedy The Unicorn, which got some pretty noteworthy ad-play during both Sheldon-centric finales.
Let us know below what you guys thought about the episode!