Warning! The following contains spoilers from the Young Sheldon episode “Potential Energy and Hooch on a Park Bench.” Read at your own risk!

George Cooper ended up in a hospital in the Season 5 opener of Young Sheldon, following a health scare, which could be a sign that a major event in the life of Sheldon Cooper is on the way. The Big Bang Theory revealed that George died before Sheldon reached adulthood, but does that mean we’ll see Sheldon lose his father in Season 5? Here’s what we know about his fate, paired with what we know about Season 5 so far. 

According to The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon Cooper’s father George died when he was 14 years old. Sheldon is eleven in Season 4 and started college, and series co-creator Steve Molaro revealed to TVLine that by Episode 7 of Season 5, Sheldon will be in his second semester of college. Sheldon isn’t the type to move through school slowly, so while he’ll undoubtedly be older, It’d be a stretch to assume he’s anything more than a few months into twelve by the time that episode hits. 

We also know that before George dies, a thirteen-year-old Sheldon witnesses his father in the midst of sleeping with another woman. Young Sheldon teased that the Cooper family’s neighbor Brenda Sparks could be that woman eventually. As of now, the two haven’t done anything beyond act suspicious about their night at the bar that George’s cardiac event cut short. An affair may happen before Sheldon discovers it, but right now, George isn’t involved in anything like that just yet. 

One important thing to keep in mind is that it works under the assumption that Young Sheldon honors previously established canon from The Big Bang Theory. Steve Molaro and the writing have honored much of that canon to this point, but he’s gone on the record to say he’d change things up if he had to for the benefit of the series. 

Young Sheldon could certainly change the previously established story of George Cooper’s death, especially with the rapidly aging younger cast. Iain Armitage is 13 years old, so eventually, Sheldon Cooper is going to need to age with him, or it may start to look weird. Of course, this can be easily fixed by introducing more time jumps in Season 5 and elsewhere, so it’s not something fans should be too concerned with. 

The question, though, is will George die in Season 5 of Young Sheldon? At the moment, I’m heavily leaning towards no unless we see Sheldon jump forward a couple of years in age and see his discovery of the affair. That feels like too big of an event for the CBS spinoff to bypass, so I’d wager until that, and his official grad school admission to CalTech happens at 14, George Cooper will still be around. That’s maybe not for the best considering what’s ahead for his character, but the audience can decide for themselves on that. 

Young Sheldon airs on CBS on Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Continue to tune in to see if George’s health problems get any worse or if his awkward encounters with Brenda evolve into something much deeper.

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