Last week’s episode dipped into the serious tones of science, religion, and the potential for loss. Here’s what happened.

Medical Emergency

Things start off with Sheldon and his grandmother, Mima, playing a game of poker. The young Sheldon learns a valuable lesson about bluffing… one that he will grow up to probably forget given his lack of social awareness on The Big Bang Theory. After the game and some eggs from the kid next door, the family goes to church where Sheldon challenges the pastor’s lesson.

The next day, Mary comes rushing out, indicating she and George Sr. need to go to the hospital. Without much explanation, the two rush off while Mima stays behind to watch the kids.

During dinner, Mary calls the home to share an update: the doctors are running test on George to determine what the issue may be. Experiencing chest pains would suggest it’s a heart attack, but Mima remains confident it will be nothing. The children, meanwhile, grow more and more concerned.

An Unexpected Drive

That night, George Jr. decides to take matters into his own hands. Gathering up Sheldon and his sister, the trio decide to steal the car and drive over to the hospital. George Jr. is 14 years old and has tractor driving experience. What could go wrong?

Sheldon is more cautious. After they successfully steal the keys away from a sleeping Mima’s pocket, the children pack into the car and head off. Sheldon decides to wear a helmet and surrounds himself with pillows for extra safety.

It soon becomes clear that George Jr. underestimated the difficulties of driving around. While taking out nearly every trash can they encounter, the group realizes they are lost. George knows the hospital is near the local Dairy Queen but Sheldon reminds his older brother that there are two Dairy Queens nearby.

Thankfully, an ambulance passes the car. Sheldon tells George to follow the flashing lights while Mima wakes up to find the kids are gone (thanks to a note left by Sheldon).

Waiting For News

Somehow, the kids and Mima all meet up at the hospital without Mary finding out the truth about their method of transportation. The doctors continue to run tests.
Sheldon decides to go off to wash his hands because of all the germs. Coming out from the bathroom, he sees the door to his father’s hospital room open. Inside, a flurry of doctors hovers over George Sr. while the middle aged man lies in bed in pain. Sheldon retreats from the scene and enters into the hospital’s chapel where he prays… not to God, but Blaise Pascal who created Pascal’s Wager. Knowing he has nothing to lose, Sheldon asks Pascal to pass along his pleas for his father’s survival.

In the end, everyone’s prayers are answered. George Sr. experienced a mild heart attack but comes out unscathed. Everything returns to normal, including Sheldon’s mission to “destroy” his pastor in church the next Sunday.

Wrapping It All Up

This show continues to impress me with how it balances the humor The Big Bang Theory excels at with more serious tones. Some shows utterly struggle with this (check out The Orville for a good example) but it’s effective when done right. Digging into Sheldon’s past brings new light to how we understand the character as an adult.

Sometimes, it’s just a single scene that makes it all work. In this episode, the look on Sheldon’s face upon seeing his father in the hospital room was the very scene needed. Somehow, that look conveyed all the confusion, doubt, and worry most kids experience when they realize that their parents aren’t the indestructible immortals we treat them as while young.

All I can say is: I want more. Keep up the drama!