Unknowingly, Mary has become the villain of Young Sheldon. For 12 years, Sheldon's (Jim Parsons) mom was a recurring character in The Big Bang Theory as she regularly visited her son in California. This helped her establish her own dynamic with the rest of the Pasadena gang. Now, Mary's (Zoe Perry) younger version, much like the rest of the Cooper family, is the focus of the storytelling in Young Sheldon. As the show goes on, however, it is becoming increasingly clear that she is being painted as the villain in The Big Bang Theory prequel.
It has been difficult the last few weeks for the Coopers. The whole family has been wrapped up in Georgie's (Montana Jordan) Young Sheldon situation, as he accidentally got his girlfriend pregnant. While Meemaw (Annie Potts) has been doing everything to support Mandy (Emily Osment), the Cooper parents have been busy arguing about how to handle the crisis. Everyone is coping with this major development differently. For some reason, however, it seems to bring out the worst in Mary.
Understandably, George and Mandy's pregnancy has been difficult for everyone but Mary is the only one who has been approaching the whole issue from the wrong perspective. In Young Sheldon season 5's penultimate episode, she goes on a rant taking offense at the idea that Sheldon is having a difficult time focusing on his academics because of their family drama. While the whole situation has been tricky to navigate, Mary isn't the victim that she thinks she is in Young Sheldon. From the get-go, she has been focused on how Georgie's mistake will personally affect her, hence the only reason why she insists that he marries Mandy. After being betrayed by Pastor Jeff (Matt Hobby), she continues to hold out hope that the congregation will turn around and welcome her back to their community. Mary also continues to be intentionally oblivious to her and Pastor Rob's (Dan Byrd) growing attraction to each other, acting so surprised when George explicitly pointed out that her former co-worker has a crush on her.
The interesting part in all of this is that based on The Big Bang Theory, George was the bad parent. Whenever Mary would visit Sheldon, she would never miss the chance to rag on her dead husband, calling him drunk, lazy, and stupid. Sheldon supported this notion with his own anecdotes, further establishing George as an unreliable and bad family man. That isn't exactly the case, however, in the ongoing CBS comedy. Instead, George is reliable and hardworking. Granted that he likes to drink, there's no doubt about his commitment to his family. Young Sheldon has started setting up George's cheating scandal, but it seems like the series is trying to justify his affair by painting Mary in a bad light. Admittedly, Sheldon's mother can be self-righteous and self-centered, but Young Sheldon season 5 seems to highlight this now more than ever.
It's curious if the family drama will make it look like that Mary is to blame for George's inevitable ending and cheating scandal in Young Sheldon. While the Cooper patriarch's burgeoning relationship with Brenda Sparks (Melissa Peterman) has been set aside, The Big Bang Theory prequel has been heavily hinting at Mary's own affair with Pastor Rob. That way, the CBS family drama doesn't exactly contradict what was established in the geek-centric sitcom without compromising their seemingly good version of George Cooper.