The Big Bang Theory is still on its extended Thanksgiving break, but when it returns, it will roll out its crossover episode with Young Sheldon. Announced last month, the special event will bring Iain Armitage (young Sheldon), Montana Jordan (young Georgie) and Lance Barber (George Sr.) to the long-running sitcom.
Admittedly, the crossover announcement was met with a divisive reaction, especially from The Big Bang Theory fans who have pointed out that with a limited number of episodes left, the show shouldn't allot more outings on Sheldon's (Jim Parsons) story when the rest of the characters still have their own respective unresolved story arcs. Despite the criticism, the crossover is pushing through and is coming sooner than most of us think.
Fresh from their two-week hiatus, The Big Bang Theory will return on December 6 with the Young Sheldon crossover, titled "The VCR Illumination." Based on the title alone, we already get a strong sense of how the supposed crossover will ultimately pan out: VCR flashbacks. Couple that with the release of the first promo clip for the outing and it seems that this crossover will be a little different to how some fans expected.
As things were left in "The Citation Negation" a couple of weeks ago, Sheldon and Amy (Mayim Bialik) are still devastated upon learning that their joint study on Super Asymmetry has long been debunked by a Russian scientist. The blow hit the newlyweds so hard that they refused to get out for work the day after. Since the issue remains unresolved, the next episode will dive further into the situation as their friends attempt to get them out of the rut they're in. Sheldon's understandably more distraught than his wife, but an unearthed VCR of his young self will more likely reinvigorate his drive to continue the study. While we've seen a snippet of the video featuring a young version of himself talking directly on the camera thanks to a promo spot, it's still unclear at what age Sheldon made the video. However, based on how he looks like in the clip, chances are that it's around the same time as to where Young Sheldon's narrative is right now.
That explains Sheldon, but not how George Sr. and Georgie factor in the upcoming crossover. The latest episode of Young Sheldon revealed the Cooper patriarch's personal sacrifice when he turned down a job he liked in Tulsa so as not to force his whole family to move. The prequel spin-off has been doing a good job humanizing Sheldon's father, even if it creates a plot hole considering that the theoretical physicist has mostly described his dad as a no-good father in the main series. The Big Bang Theory can rectify this, however, by giving Sheldon a reminder that his dad wasn't all that bad. Just as how moving the reconciliation was between him and Georgie last season before he got married, this will add an emotional weight to his ongoing career debacle.
Whatever happens, it's worth stating that The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon event isn't really a crossover in the technical sense as in reality. Of course, there's no way that a traditional one would be possible considering the wide time-gap between the shows. This is unless CBS gets creative with its storylines like what NBC's This Is Us did to have young Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) interact with a grown-up Randall (Sterling K. Brown) after he drank a mushroom beverage that caused him to hallucinate. Since The Big Bang Theory will be wrapping up its 12-season run next year, it's safe to say that this is going to be the closest thing fans will ever get to see the two shows collaborate.
The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon air Thursday nights on CBS.