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Young Sheldon fans will need to have their tissues handy for the show’s upcoming series finale on May 16. The CBS sitcom is closing out its seven-season run with back-to-back episodes. The first, titled “Funeral,” will see the Cooper family in mourning after the sudden death of family patriarch George Sr. (Lance Barber) in last week’s episode. 

The Cooper family mourns a devastating loss in the ‘Young Sheldon’ finale 

Sheldon looks at his mother Mary, who is holding his arm. Both are dressed in black.
(L-R): Zoe Perry as Mary and Iain Armitage as Sheldon in ‘Young Sheldon’ | Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Fans of Young Sheldon‘s parent series The Big Bang Theory knew that George Sr.’s death was looming on the horizon. But that didn’t make the moment any easier to stomach when it finally arrived in May 9’s “A New Home and Traditional Texas Torture.” 

In Young Sheldon’s third-to-last episode, George Sr. died after experiencing a heart attack at work. While the tragic moment wasn’t depicted on screen, viewers did see his family get the horrible news in the episode’s final moments. His wife Missy (Zoe Perry), daughter Missy (Raegan Reveord), and mother-in-law Meemaw (Annie Potts) all burst into tears, while Sheldon (Iain Armitage) was stunned into silence. 

George Sr.’s death was particularly devastating because he’d just been offered his dream job as a football coach for Rice University. His relationship with Mary was also looking up. Meanwhile, Sheldon is about to leave for college at CalTech. 

How will the Coopers grieve George Sr.’s death? 

Iain Armitage as Sheldon leaning against a wall next to a larger portrait of his father in 'Young Sheldon' series finale
Iain Armitage as Sheldon in ‘Young Sheldon’ | Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

In the first of May 16’s back-to-back episodes, the Coopers will say goodbye to George for the final time. Photos from “Funeral” show Sheldon, Mary, Meemaw, and other members of the family grieving his death. 

In one image, a distraught Mary sits in front of her late husband’s headstone. In another, a somber Sheldon leans against the wall of a church next to a large portrait of his dad. 

Perry has said that the dark storyline was especially challenging since it came as the cast was preparing for the show to end for good. Those emotions will be reflected on screen, she told TV Line.

“It was difficult to grieve the loss of this character and the ending of this run, and these things were happening simultaneously,” she said. “I think audiences will see a very kind of real reaction.”

Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper looking at his laptop screen in the 'Young Sheldon' series finale
Pictured: Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita / 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

While Young Sheldon’s swan song will undoubtedly include some somber notes, viewers can also look forward to a few special moments. “Memoir,” which will follow “Funeral,” will see the return of The Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler and Jim Parsons as adult Sheldon.  It’s the first time they’ve appeared onscreen together as those characters since TBBT ended its run in 2019.

The two-part Young Sheldon series finale airs Thursday, May 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. It streams live and on-demand for Paramount+ with Showtime subscribers and on-demand the next day for Paramount+ Essential subscribers. 

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