Young Sheldon has at last confirmed a childhood tragedy is on the not-so-far-off horizon.
In Season 4’s penultimate episode, which aired Thursday, Adult Sheldon — voiced by Jim Parsons, who has narrated the Big Bang Theory prequel since Season 1 — acknowledged the untimely death of his father, George Sr.
The melancholy moment followed a family dinner where Dr. Sturgis and the boy genius engaged the Coopers in a conversation about alternate universes.
“We often regret the things we don’t say,” Parsons’ omniscient narrator began. “There’s a lot of things I wish I had said to my dad while he was around — that I appreciated him, that I loved him — which is why I am grateful for the times I did tell him how I felt” — and this was one of those times. Shelly turned to his father and told him how much he enjoyed their lively discussion at supper. George concurred, and father and son exchanged smiles.
According to Big Bang Theory lore, Sheldon is accepted into CalTech at age 14. That same year, George dies. Considering 11-year-old Sheldon began his undergraduate studies at East Texas Tech last fall, both events would hypothetically coincide with the prequel’s seventh season, assuming each of its next three seasons spans one full calendar year. (TVLine has kept a running tally of every Big Bang Theory Easter egg, cameo and future reveal, which you can see here.)
George Sr.’s predestined fate has loomed large over Young Sheldon since Season 1. In fact, his mortality cast a shadow over the series’ third episode, when Mary escorted her husband to the emergency room after he began complaining of chest pain. What was ultimately diagnosed as a minor heart attack gave the entire family a major scare, and served as a red herring for the inevitable devastation that will befall the Coopers.