The end of The Big Bang Theory is almost here, and there aren’t enough crying emojis to fit into one article. I mean, how do you close out 12 seasons of a show—the longest running live-action sitcom—into 42 minutes of airtime? “It’s tough,” executive producer Steve Molaro tells Glamour. “I’m struggling. It’s a tough thing to do.”
While fellow executive producer and Big Bang showrunner Steve Holland says Thursday’s finale is tearful, he thinks it’s a good balance of funny and emotional. “There are episode tears and there are emotional tears about ending the run. Hopefully it’s a good combination of both, but I’m so proud of the finale. We managed to fit in everything we were hoping to.”
Audience members who attended the finale taping (myself included) had to sign non-disclosure agreements promising not to reveal even the slightest development. I’ll be sticking to that, but the producers were kind enough to offer a few teasers prior to the episode. Do with this what you will: Part one of the finale is called “The Change Constant,” and it focuses on Sheldon and Amy as they “await big news.”
The second part of the finale—titled “The Stockholm Syndrome” (another clue)—features Bernadette and Howard struggling with leaving their kids for the first time, Penny and Leonard trying to keep a secret, and Raj making a new friend. The CBS-approved synopsis also says that “the gang travels together into an unchartered future.” Unless they’re all starring in the next Star Trek spin-off, I think there’s plenty there to hypothesize on.
One thing that is certain: how everyone felt after the final table read. “They were caught up in the emotion of the moment,” co-creator and executive producer Bill Prady says. “They had already read the finale the night before, but it was still emotional reading it in front of everyone. In the end, they were all very happy about where [the series] wound up.”
So what else can you expect heading into the two-part finale (followed by an episode of Young Sheldon and a Big Bang Theory retrospective)? Read on.
“We are aware the fans have a wishlist, and we also have a wishlist,” Holland says of the mysteries he knows fans have waited 12 years to find out. So will the elevator be fixed? Will Penny reveal her maiden name? “Some big moments will be checked off, and others will remain elusive,” he says. There’s also a chance some things you didn’t even know you wanted answers to will finally be uncovered. (FYI, you’ll probably need to re-watch the episode to pick up on everything). Says Molaro, “It’s often our goal to keep people surprised, so that was part of [our finale strategy].”
Holland says it wasn’t necessarily the hardest episode to write, but definitely the most stressful. “It’s certainly the episode we thought about the longest,” he says. “We know there’s a lot of pressure on it, and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to really make it perfect. There was more sleepless nights about the finale than other episodes.”
Prady admits that while he didn’t start thinking about the finale until it was announced in late 2018, Molaro has been thinking about it since season four. “No one loves television more than Steve Molaro. No one. So I think he started imagining what it would be like when we were only four seasons in.” Once a definite finale date came to be though, Prady says they started getting down to business right away. “We started heading down a road and said, ‘Let’s do this, let’s do that, and here’s some other things we can do.'”