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Young Sheldon - A Launch Party and a Whole Human Being - Review

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The newest Cooper finally arrived in a jam-packed half hour that was about far more than the birth of the baby. Instead of a traditional birth episode filled with labour pains and oohs and aahs over a brand new baby, viewers watched as Mandy and George’s marriage imploded right in the hospital waiting room. This storyline has been simmering in the background all season, so it was bound to come to a head sooner or later. However, I don’t think anyone expected it to overshadow the birth of Georgie and Mandy’s baby. It was a bold move for the writer’s but it may have paid off as this was definitely one of the strongest episodes yet this season. 

Although Mary and George never physically cheated on one another, both have been emotionally cheating for quite some time and in a small town like Medford, it was only a matter of time before it all came to a head. It’s ironic that a momentous occasion that should have brought the family together, ended up driving them further apart. As Mandy went into labour, the Coopers were nowhere to be found. Sheldon was the only one available to help and since he was unable to drive, he had to ask Brenda for help with getting Mandy to the hospital. George arrived at the hospital and Brenda wanted to leave, but he asked her to stay and keep him company. Meanwhile, Mary was out for lunch with Pastor Rob who had wanted to meet with her to ask for her advice. He had been offered a job in Little Rock, Arkansas and was fishing to see if she thought he should take it or not. The truth was, he wanted to know if Mary would give him a reason to stay. Mary was obviously upset at the thought that Rob may leave, but she urged him to follow his heart. Whether she realizes it or not, Rob’s heart is telling him to follow Mary. News of the baby being born interrupted their lunch, but sent them both straight to the hospital where Mary discovered George and Brenda looking awfully cozy together in the waiting room. 

With all four parties together in one room, tensions finally hit a boiling point and Mary and George’s relationship blew up in front of everyone in the hospital waiting room, including Mandy’s parents. George pressured Mary to admit that she had feelings for Pastor Rob, in a hypocritical rant as he stood there and lied, stating that nothing had happened between him and Brenda. Mary held her own, and was smart enough to realize that George is the married man that Brenda has been pining over. Although they were not able to settle anything due to the birth of the baby, it is clear that their marriage will never be the same. Mary will never be able to move past the fact that George is Brenda’s mystery man and the source of the town gossip, and even though George was unfaithful, he will never be able to let go of his belief that Mary has feelings for Rob. According to the Big Bang Theory, Sheldon walked in on his father and another woman at the age of 13. Sheldon is now 13 in the prequel, which begs the question of whether or not this moment will occur as future Sheldon recalled it. 

Missy and Billy were left outside school waiting for George and Brenda to pick them up, unaware of the drama that was unfolding at the hospital and it was clear that their parents had forgotten to pick them up. Billy made Missy very uncomfortable when he suggested that her dad and his mom are going to become boyfriend and girlfriend, and that they may end up being siblings. Missy has already suspected for some time that something has been going on with Brenda and her dad, but it is clear that she is not ready to deal with her feelings about it yet. Her reaction to Billy’s comment foreshadowed her fear of how her parent’s indiscretions will impact her family. 

Meanwhile, Sheldon was completely oblivious to the family drama. Mandy went into labour during what was supposed to be his big database launch party. Already upset that he was unable to attend what was one of the biggest moments of his life, he gets news from Dr. Sturgis that the database did not receive a single subscriber and was therefore a complete failure. Sheldon will have to cope with his database failing on top of dealing with the situation that is unfolding with his parents. Sheldon has difficulty managing his emotions and dealing with failure and change. He will definitely struggle with everything that he will be forced to face, and it will be interesting to see how he manages to deal with it all. Issues like these are difficult for a neuro-typical child. It will be even more difficult for a child like Sheldon to process. 

Despite all of the heavy drama in the episode, there were some golden comedic moments that helped lighten the mood. Georgie was nowhere to be found when Mandy went into labour, because he was trying to install the baby’s car seat. It was funny to watch him struggle through what is a very relatable moment for anyone who has had a baby. In the end, Sheldon ended up installing the car seat and Georgie quipped to Mandy that apparently it did take a genius to install. Connie also offered a lighthearted reprieve from the tension. Mandy discovered Connie walking out of a hospital room in a gown, and she awkwardly let Mandy know that she was at the hospital getting hemorrhoids removed. 

This episode was a huge turning point for the show and the Cooper family will never be the same. The rest of the season will likely be focused on the Coopers dealing with the fall-out of Mary and George’s indiscretions, and just how everything will play out is anyone’s guess. The show creators have made it clear that they are not obligated to follow the Big Bang Theory timeline, so nothing is off the table in terms of how they write this next chapter of the story. 

Over to you, Young Sheldon fans. Were you expecting the tension between Mary and George to come to a head during Mandy’s big day? Where do the Coopers go from here? How will Sheldon cope with the failure of his database and the fact that his family is falling apart? Share your thoughts below and follow me on Twitter @MiddleofCanada.

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