Warning: Spoilers ahead for the Season 3 premiere of Young Sheldon. Be sure to come back once you've caught up!
By now, we all know that Sheldon and his mother Mary butt heads on lots of different things. But, the Young Sheldon Season 3 premiere just led to the two getting a bit closer for a very weird and unexpected reason: both thought that the other was going crazy. Fun! Let's dig into the details, shall we?
First, as a refresher, last season's finale saw Meemaw's sorta boyfriend (and fellow physics genius) Dr. John Sturgis suffer a nervous breakdown and engage in some very dangerous rooftop behavior when hearing the Nobel Prize winners in his field led to him realizing that his work would never be recognized with the award. And, when Mary finds Sheldon sitting on his bed wearing an eye mask, nose plugs, fluffy ear muffs and mittens in an attempt to do a sensory deprivation experiment to try and move sub-atomic particles around, she begins to worry he'll suffer the same fate.
Of course, Mary can't just tell Sheldon this, because she and Meemaw have failed to tell him that Dr. Sturgis is under observation in a psychiatric facility after his antics last season. Sheldon thinks he's just at a regular hospital, and Mary doesn't want to tell him otherwise. When Mary asks Meemaw if she saw signs that John was losing his grip on reality, she answers that she figured "he was just another quirky egghead like Sheldon," and Mary looks way more nervous than before.
So, whatever is Mary to do? Well, she heads to the book store and picks up a tome called The Complete Guide To Your Child's Mental Health, that's what. And, while she tries to hide it amongst a stack of other (less ominous sounding) books, the guy at the register still calls it out as a "crazy kid book" loud enough for everyone else in line to hear. I would have gotten that man fired, so he's lucky Mary is quite a bit kinder.
That night, while she's reading in bed, she tells George why she's worried about Sheldon, but he's not buying that it's an issue. As he tells her, "Just 'cause they're both super smart doesn't mean they're the same person. He was also in love with your mom." Ah, George, just...go to sleep already.
The next morning, Mary decides to drive Sheldon to school by himself, so that they can chat. She's trying to get to the bottom of whether or not he sees and hears things that no one else can, but Sheldon just gives her science-based and philosophical answers. Mary realizes she has to take a different tack, so she asks Sheldon if he's been paranoid or thinks that people are out to get him, but he answers that as a 10-year-old in high school "people are out to get me."
What's even better? When Sheldon gets to school, he asks the librarian for a book on mental health because he thinks his "mother is unraveling." Yay!
After Mary and Sheldon both get a chance to dig into their books and find troubling things, the family sits down for dinner. While some good-natured ribbing goes on because of Georgie's inability to sell off a bunch of snow globes he thought would be a great money-maker, Mary announces that the dinner table should be a place where they can talk about anything and not get made fun of. When she says grace, she makes a special point of asking for all of them to stay healthy while eyeballing Sheldon, which he, of course, notices.
Sheldon never takes anything lying down, and when he can't sleep because he's worried about Mary, he walks into the kitchen and finds that she had the same trouble from worrying about him. Mary does tell him that she's scared for his future if he's trying to do things like move sub-atomic particles with his hands, and he gets defensive, noting that "she talks to a man in the sky." Mary tells him that that was over the line and says to apologize, and when he says "No" it's a good thing that George has found them to defuse the situation.
The next morning at breakfast, Sheldon is still poking at Mary for thinking he might be going insane, with things almost getting to a fever pitch between the two, and George having to stop them again. Later, Mary drags Sheldon to a therapist so they can talk out the issue, but when Sheldon asks why she's suddenly so worried about him, Mary has to come clean about John.
Sheldon is pretty good at putting things together, and makes the connection that since he and John are both "gifted" his mom is afraid he'll end up like him. When Mary says that she can't help it because he's her baby, Sheldon actually apologizes (I'm sure Leonard would have loved to hear that) for causing so much concern and the two hug. So heartwarming...until the therapist starts to note how good communication is and Mary snaps at him, "You do not take credit for this!" Gotta love that Mary Cooper.